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Music Composition Pedagogy: A History, Philosophy and Guide
Williams, Benjamin John

2010, Doctor of Musical Arts, Ohio State University, Music.

Music composition pedagogy is a complex field that seems to defy codification. The idea of the composer as a creative ‘genius’ that arose during the eighteenth and nineteenth century changed the field forever. This study aims to understand the historical divide between Music Composition and Music Theory and its pedagogical implications.


Part I of this document is a history of music composition pedagogy that begins with the earliest mappings of musical knowledge as provided by Greek philosophy and continues to the present. Methods and modes of instruction are examined from a cognitive perspective to discern their effect on learning. Ultimately, the technical exercises that developed over time for the teaching of music composition were relegated to the domain of Music Theory apart from the creative field of Composition.


Part II of this document includes a philosophy of music composition pedagogy together with a guide for practical application. Recommendations for change are made both for the teaching of Music Theory and Composition. Educational perspectives inform an examination of previous practices and provide guidance for informed pedagogical decisions.

Thomas Wells, DMA (Advisor)
Gregory Proctor, PhD (Advisor)
Donald Harris (Committee Member)
158 p.

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Williams, B. (2010). Music Composition Pedagogy: A History, Philosophy and Guide. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Williams, Benjamin. "Music Composition Pedagogy: A History, Philosophy and Guide." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2010. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 17 Oct 2017.

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Williams, Benjamin "Music Composition Pedagogy: A History, Philosophy and Guide." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2010. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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