Bill Manaris : Fall 2014 / CITA 180 Homework 3

Assigned Date: Monday, Sep. 15, 2014
Due Date: Monday, Sep. 22, 2014
Due Time: 9:55am

Last modified on October 28, 2014, at 08:41 AM (see updates)

Assignment created by Dr. Blake Stevens.


  1. To prompt creative thought about musical transcription, arrangement, and recomposition.
  2. To apply in practice skills in reading traditional notation and using jythonMusic.
  3. To gain a deeper understanding of Bach’s compositional style.

Assignment Instructions

Pick one of the works included in the score packet or any of the movements of the ''Goldberg Variations'' (posted on OAKS); working independently, use jythonMusic to create a transcription, arrangement, or recomposition of the work of at least 50 seconds in length. Be creative in your treatment of sound, including timbre (instrumentation), dynamics, and panning, to produce an interesting piece of music. Consider three different ways of “transforming Bach” in this project:

Transcription: transferring a piece of music from one instrumental medium to another - for example, from violin to lute, guitar, or keyboard. This is the most “literal” form of adaptation, although the transfer of the work from the keyboard to the medium of the computer (with its wide range of sounds) will nonetheless entail creative thought.

Arrangement: adaptation or development of an existing work that preserves a clear, perceptible correspondence to the original work, although features such as voicing, register, timbre, and instrumentation are more significantly altered than in a transcription.

Recomposition: transformation or appropriation of elements of an existing work to create a new work; with new parts or voices, rhythms (including percussion), basslines, and freely-composed music added by the composer, the original work now functions as a “template” or “scaffolding” on which a new work or performance is built, or as a mine of musical “material” to be exploited. is technique is related to “plunderphonics,” the sampling of audio recordings to create sound collages (see John Oswald, “Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative”).


  1. MIDI recording of your project on OAKS (also to be played in class, Monday, September 22).
  2. One-page paper (printed, submitted in class) describing your musical and aesthetic objectives in creating this adaptation of Bach.
  3. Printout (submitted in class) of fully documented program, including (as comments) your

name, project number and title (Project #1: Transforming Bach), course, and date.


Projects will be graded according to the requirements listed above and the creativity/work demonstrated in the resulting work.

Some Interesting Submissions

Here are some interesting submissions:

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