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Com­pos­ing for Ensembles

  • Year of study: 1 semester, fall or spring.
  • Preliminary schedule: Wednesday 10:00 – 11:30.
  • Final assessment: Exam portfolio.
  • Prerequisites: Admission to NoCom – The Composing Musician.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian or English.

Course description

The course deals with the creative act of composing independently of the genre. Students will compose for two ensemble types.

Responsible department: Jazz, Improvised Music and Traditional Nordic Folk Music Department.

Course instructors: Helge Sunde (brass), Eivind Buene (strings), Morten Halle (saxophone) and Erlend Skomsvoll (class orchestra).

Learning objectives

On completion of the course, students are expected to

  • have acquired tools for compositional processing of their own musical material, as well as relevant arranging and instrumentation techniques
  • have acquired knowledge of how to compose for various ensembles
  • have acquired knowledge of the place of the composer in society, and how he/she can start working life


  • Aesthetics and style studies relevant to all musical genres.
  • Arranging/instrumentation.
  • The relation between various types of improvisation and composing.
  • Work with individual artistic projects.
  • Briefing on copyright and work opportunities.


Teaching resource is 90 minutes per week for 12 weeks. Students will also receive five hours of individual supervision or group supervision. Students from KOMP26 and KOMP29 will form one class.

Course requirements

Participation in lessons is mandatory when performing pieces of ones own or of a fellow student.

Final assessment

All course requirements must be approved prior to obtaining a final assessment.

Assessment is based on learning objectives. The final assessment is given as a pass/fail mark, which will be determined by two internal examiners based on an exam portfolio.

Exam portfolio

Students will submit an exam portfolio consisting of scores and recordings of the two ensembles they have composed for. If students do not use recordings by ensembles organized by the Academy, students themselves must provide a recording.

Three copies of the exam portfolio must be handed in by 15 December / 20 May to the Exam's office.

New assessment

In the case of re-assessment, the same procedures apply.

Published: May 15, 2020 — Last updated: Feb 9, 2021