Piano Composition Assignment MUS 111   William Wieland
This composition would be excellent for your e-portfolio or grad school application. I can also place it on my website if you wish. See the right hand column of Free Piano Music.
  • original music created by you this semester
  • at least 16 measures
  • You must be able to play it.
  • a beautiful melody in the right hand on the upper staff
  • wonderful harmony outlined by the left hand on the lower staff (You might refer to the Tree of Harmony.)
Much piano writing is one note at a time in the right hand and one note at a time in the left hand. Remember the guidelines of last semester's 2-Part Counterpoint Assignment. That is how I composed Contented Pacing 1 and Contented Pacing 2.
Boom, Boom, Indian Drum by Fling — tonic and dominant in the left hand
Dance by Kabalevsky — block chords in the left hand
Andantino by Kohler — triad arpeggios in the left hand
Mozart's famous Sonata in C major uses excellent voice leading in both the alberti bass and scalar passages. (Remember our tendency tone worksheet.)
Chopin wrote almost exclusively for piano. We can learn much from his compositions.
If you are having trouble getting started, you might
  • first write a beautiful melody, then harmonize it. Bach frequently did this. This is like harmonizing an unmarked melody for the keyboard competency except that you are composing the melody.
  • first write a wonderful harmonic progression, then compose a melody above it. Jazz and blues musicians do this. We did it last semester when we melodized a harmony.
  • invent an ostinato at the piano and then add a second part.

GRADING RUBRIC — You begin with 95 points.

I deduct 95 points if I receive nothing.

I deduct 30 points if I receive a rough draft, but no final draft.

I deduct 15 points if I receive a final draft, but no rough draft.

10 point deductions
  • The rough draft is late.
  • The composition is late.
  • The work is fewer than 16 measures long.
  • I am unable to perform the piece.
3 point deductions
  • No tempo markings
  • No dynamic markings
  • No articulations
  • No interpretive markings
At the instructor's artistic discretion, your grade may be raised as many as 10 points or lowered as many as 5 points.