Mini Composition 1

Musique Concrète Narrative


For this project, you will compose a 1:00-2:00 piece using techniques from the Musique Concrète tradition that tells a story through sound. The composition should take the listener through an activity, scene, emotion, or environment without the aid of spoken word. It should also have a coherent formal structure, with a clear beginning and ending.

  1. Only use audio samples (no virtual instruments). The source audio material for the composition may be retrieved from an online repository such as or the University of Iowa Musical Instrument Samples, taken from other available recordings (commercial or otherwise), or recorded yourself using a portable recorder or other recording device. Do not use pre-made loops from the Studio One library, or from any other pre-packaged loop library. You may use as many sources as you like, but I would suggest limiting yourself to a few sources and achieving variety through creative editing techniques.
  2. You may only use the following techniques: cutting/splicing, fading, speed and pitch manipulation, reversing, and volume and pan adjustment using the mixer and automation. In other words, no effects, no virtual instruments or MIDI sequencing, just audio editing and basic mixing.
  3. When you are finished, ensure that your project has the name “YourFirstNameYourLastName-MiniComp1” and submit using the procedure in the Basic Submission Instructions document.
  4. As always, save a backup copy on your personal storage media.


Mini Composition 1 - Musique Concrète Narrative

1 3 5 Score
Audio Samples Poor quality, homogenous, uninteresting, and/or pulled from prohibited sources. Sufficient quality, moderate variety, and/or sourced appropriately. High quality, exceptionally varied and interesting, covers a wide timbral/tonal range. Use of original recordings.
Editing and Automation Techniques Little and/or incorrect use of editing techniques. Moderate and mostly correct use of editing techniques. Extensive, correct, and creative use of editing techniques.
Form and Structure No obvious coherent form. Unclear narrative content. Coherent beginning and ending. Mostly clear narrative. Clever and coherent form. Creative establishment of an evocative narrative.
General Technical Merit Several errors made in mixing, bouncing, and/or submitting. One or two errors made in mixing, bouncing, and/or submitting. No errors made in mixing, bouncing, and/or submitting.