Contemporary Music through Non-Western Techniques

Course Description
The programme ‘Contemporary Music through Non-Western Techniques’ is intended for students from both classical and jazz departments, and structured for:
1) Performers
2) Composers

In order to be admitted, the student should have finished the Advanced Rhythm course, or should take this course in the first term (September-December) along with Contemporary Music through Non-Western Techniques.

If you are interested in taking the master's profile ‘Karnatic rhythm in western music’, please click here

Performers

This programme, directed at performers of all instruments, is organized in an ensemble situation, and consists of two different approaches: the Reading and the Improvisation ensembles. In both cases, the number of students in an ensemble will be between 4 and 7 and will meet for the entire academic year. The duration of the total programme is one to four years. Every year the student will decide whether he/she will continue into the next (for credits see below).
 
Classical students (Reading Ensemble)
This approach addresses the problems that may arise in many contemporary music pieces from Stravinsky, Béla Bartók or Varèse to Xenakis, Boulez, Elliot Carter, Ferneyhough or Ligeti, as well as more recent composers. The main objective is to provide rhythmic tools that will help the student  achieve a higher degree of accuracy and confidence. Karnatic (South Indian classical) music not only makes use of one of the most complex rhythmical systems but, in addition, has very clear and practical teaching and exercise methods.

The first year provides the essential rhythmical base for all classical musicians: the programme would address the necessary techniques to perform western music composed from the beginning of the 20th century up to the 1950s, as well as more recent music that essentially uses the same level of rhythmical intricacy (in general, music that most professionals are bound to encounter in an orchestral or ensemble situation).
In the remaining three years the techniques imparted are focused on catering the needs of  music from the 1950s on. The classes would cover material that can be found in rhythmically demanding pieces that could already be considered ‘classics’, by composers like E. Varese, E. Carter, O. Messiaen, P. Boulez, L. Berio, I. Xenakis, G. Ligeti, T. Murail, K. Stockhausen, M. Finnissy, B. Ferneyhough, to mention just a few well-known composers.

Each year, in the last two months, every student will prepare a duo or trio piece of contemporary music (eventually a solo). The teacher will show and help the student in how to implement the different techniques studied during the year  in the chosen piece. A presentation with all the pieces will take place at the end of the year. Collaboration with the composers following the composition approach of the program is highly encouraged

Classes will take place once a week and they will be of two hours duration. Maximum amount of lessons that can be missed is six out of the 28 of theory/exercise lessons  that take place until mid-April. In the last eight weeks (mid-April to mid-June), the preparation of the final piece does not work as regular lessons and meetings to work on pieces are arranged whenever possible for the students and teachers. Homework requires no less than an average of 60 minutes a day.

The final grade will be based on:
* Attendance, homework and attitude
* Proficiency of material in  the performance at the end of each year
* Theory exam at the end of the  year.

Improvisation Ensemble
This format is directed at performers who want to attain a broader view of rhythmical and structural fields. The rhythmical concepts of polyrhythm, polypulse and irregular groupings used in South India provide a very flexible method with which the student can experiment without trying to copy Karnatic music. All the topics are re-structured to enable the student to work only with the concepts and techniques. Every group will perform a controlled improvised piece at the end of the year.

Further information about the totality of the program can be found by visiting.
http://www.contemporary-music-through-non-western-techniques.com

The purchase of the book ‘Applying karnatic rhythmical techniques to western music’, by Rafael Reina, is highly advisable.

Related Electives
* Musical Texture
* Orchestral Practice and Audition Training
* Tuning & Temperament

Course details

teachers Jos Zwaanenburg, Rafael Reina, David de Marez Oyens
term September 2019-June 2020
requirements To have completed the introductory course Advanced Rhythm or to be following it in the 1st semester.
credits 10 per year; the first 10 will be taken from the master electives and 10 of a second year will be registered as 'individual credits'.

Composers

Course Description
This is a four-year long programme that revolves around rhythmical devices/complexities and microtonal concepts (the latter are optional) derived from the theory of South Indian classical music (Karnatic music) in order to use them within a western contemporary context. The final goal for the student is to achieve a higher degree of understanding of these concepts and its subsequent utilization in today's music and never to merely copy the Karnatic tradition. Combining the below mentioned Karnatic concepts with western concepts of  orchestration, counterpoint and  polyphony is a must within the programme. The lessons focus on the  following points:

1) Theory of South Indian classical music: 
* Rhythmical complexities: Different types of tala (cycles) construction, all sort of polyrhythms, polypulses, irregular groupings, inner amalgamation, structural metrical modulations, polytalas and mathematical/rhythmical calculations and their relationship to structural development.
* Microtonality (optional from the second year onwards): 22 srutis (pitches) system, different types of raga construction, 39 srutis system, different types of modulation, use of pitches outside the raga and gamakas (South Indian ornaments).
* Formal and structural concepts: Developmental techniques, different types of forms. Usage of South-Indian geometrical concepts to apply on macro and micro structures.

2) Practical exercises and homework based on the theory

3) Extensive listening and analysis of recorded material

The whole year is divided as follows:
* Theory: 14 lessons before Christmas and 7 lessons after Christmas
* 10-12 weeks to compose an ensemble piece (see below)

Between December and January the student must write a short 'etude-like' duo. From March on the student has to compose an ensemble piece (trio to quintet), and individual meetings to work on that piece will occur on a weekly basis. The student can contact students who follow the performers program to put the piece together, and be coached in a number of the rehearsals by of one of the teachers of the CMtNWT program. The piece can be  premiered  within one of the final concerts of the program or  in any of the  New Music Arena (NMA) concerts, or in one of the Karnatic Lab Concert series. The student can also simply choose to write a piece without any specific premiere date in mind if he/she so wishes or for a commission or event he/she may be involved in.

The programme is divided into two parts, each consisting of two years. In the first part, two or three students will share weekly lessons of 2 hours. The first year is exclusively of rhythmical/structural nature and in the second year the student can choose whether to get an introduction to the basics of the raga system along with more rhythmical devices,  or to study only more rhythmical/structural concepts.
The second part will be structured in individual lessons of 1 hour, with each student devising his/her own program based on a preference for further microtonal possibilities, modulatory techniques, form/structures  or different options of rhythmical devices.

The student decides every year whether he/she wants to continue into the following one.
The final grade will be based on the homework, composition and a theory exam in March.

Please note
Those interested in the composition programme should get in contact with the teacher beforehand (r.reina@ahk.nl). A maximum of ten students will be admitted per year.
Further information about the totality of the program can be found by visiting.
http://www.contemporary-music-through-non-western-techniques.com
The purchase of the book ‘Applying karnatic rhythmical techniques to western music’, by Rafael Reina, is highly advisable.

Related Electives
Musical Texture
Tuning & Temperament

Course details

teacher Rafael Reina
term September 2019-June 2020
credits 10 per year; the first 10 will be taken from the master electives and 10 of a second year will be registered as 'individual credits'.

Conductors

Course Description
This programme, directed at Conducting students, addresses the rhythmical problems that may arise in many contemporary music pieces from Stravinsky, Béla Bartók or Varèse to Xenakis, Boulez, Elliot Carter, Ferneyhough or Ligeti, as well as more recent composers. The main objective is to provide rhythmical tools that will help the student  achieve a higher degree of accuracy and confidence in the performance of rhythmical complexities as well as an important support to the students’ conducting technique when working on contemporary repertoire. Karnatic (South Indian classical) music not only makes use of one of the most complex rhythmical systems but, in addition, has very clear and practical teaching and exercise methods.

The students will not be asked to perform the karnatic techniques with instrument but using exclusively ‘solkattu’ (set of rhythmical syllables used in South India as the first step before playing an instrument). This should enable the student to ‘sing’ a rhythm or phrase to a performer while rehearsing and to adapt the techniques to his/her own whims while conducting.

Topics like metrical modulation, polyrhythms, polypusles, polytempi, inner amalgamation or meter changes will come under scope using the wide variety of karnatic techniques and concepts as starting point. The main goal is that the student can use these techniques to better ‘understand’ a myriad of rhythmical complexities used in western contemporary music as well as how to translate these techniques into conducting patterns or different ways of thinking while conducting.

The number of topics covered each year will be higher than in the course designed for performers since the student will not use instrument, and there will also be an exhaustive and intense comparative analysis of how to apply these techniques to western pieces from a conductor’s viewpoint.
Classes will take place around the available schedule of the conductors’ requirements, and they will be of two hours duration. Maximum amount of lessons that can be missed is six out of the 28 of theory/exercise lessons  that take place until mid-April.

In the last eight weeks (mid-April to mid-June), the student can propose a final project; this project can range from a short dissertation about one of the topics seen, or a thorough rhythmical analysis of contemporary pieces with karnatic tehniques (or any other proposal that would be suitable to the subject). Individual meetings will then take place in order to coach the student in his project.

Homework requires no less than an average of 60 minutes a day. The final grade will be based on:
* Attendance, homework and attitude (40%)
* Final project (40%)
* Theory exam at the end of the year (20%)

Further information about the totality of the program can be found by visiting.
http://www.contemporary-music-through-non-western-techniques.com
The purchase of the book ‘Applying karnatic rhythmical techniques to western music’, by Rafael Reina, is highly advisable.

Related Electives
Musical Texture
Orchestral Practice and Audition Training
Tuning & Temperament

Course details

teacher Jos Zwaanenburg
term September 2019-June 2020
credits 10 per year; the first 10 will be taken from the master electives, and 10 of a second year will be registered as 'individual credits'.

Music Theorists

Course description
This programme, directed at Music theory students, addresses the rhythmical problems that may arise in many contemporary music pieces from Stravinsky, Béla Bartók or Varèse to Xenakis, Boulez, Elliot Carter, Ferneyhough or Ligeti, as well as more recent composers. The main objective is to provide rhythmic tools that will help the student achieve a higher degree of accuracy and confidence as well as analytical tools, using karnatic concepts, to dissect pieces of contemporary music that have not been written with any karnatic technique in mind.  South Indian classical music not only makes use of one of the most complex rhythmical systems but, in addition, has very clear and practical teaching and exercise methods.

There would be three separate aspects in the lessons
1) Imparting of many karnatic techniques and concepts that can be used pedagogically as well as creatively. These techniques will require some written exercises in order to show that the student has understood the ‘architecture’ of the techniques and concepts.
2) Practice of the material to a level of ‘organic understanding’ of the techniques. The student will not be asked to perform the techniques to the level of the classical performers or improvisers, but will need to have a clear understanding of how to perform them but using exclusively ‘solkattu’ (set of rhythmical syllables used in South India as the first step before playing an instrument) and how to teach it to students.
 3) Exhaustive and intense comparative analysis of how to apply these techniques to western pieces or how to find parallels between karnatic techniques and music that has not been composed with them but yet, resemble karnatic concepts.

Classes will take place once a week and they will be of 2 hours duration. Maximum amount of lessons that can be missed is 6 out of the 28 of theory/exercise lessons  that take place until mid-April.
In the last 8 weeks (mid-April to mid-June), the student can propose a final project; this project can range from a short dissertation about one of the topics seen, or a thorough rhythmical analysis of contemporary pieces with karnatic tehniques, or a short composition (or any other proposal that would be suitable to the subject). Individual meetings will then take place in order to coach the student in his project.

Homework requires no less than an average of 60 minutes a day. The final grade will be based on:
* Attendance, homework and attitude (40%)
* Final project (40%)
* Theory exam at the end of the year (20%)

Further information about the totality of the program can be found by visiting.
http://www.contemporary-music-through-non-western-techniques.com
The purchase of the book ‘Applying karnatic rhythmical techniques to western music’, by Rafael Reina, is highly advisable.

Related Electives
Musical Texture
Tuning & Temperament

Course details

teacher Rafael Reina
term September 2019-June 2020
credits 10 per year; the first 10 will be taken from the master electives and 10 of a second year will be registered as 'individual credits'.

Contact

Delen