Tell Me A Story: Teaching Music Composition Through Narrative Design

This version of Tell Me A Story was presented at the College Music Society 2019 National Conference and the SCI 2021 National Conference. You can download a PDF of the presentation here.

Tell Me A Story has also been published in the College Music Symposium. You can read the full text of the article here.

Works Cited

Barthes, Roland, and Lionel Duisit.  “An Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative.” New Literary History Vol. 6, No. 2, On Narrative and Narratives (Winter 1975): 237-272.

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968.

Carr, David. Time, Narrative, and History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

College Music Society. Facts and Figures Concerning Music and Higher Education in the United States (2009, rev. 2015).

Feisst, Sabine. Schoenberg’s New World: the American Years. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Franklin, Jon. “The Narrative Tool.” In The Journalist’s Craft: A Guide to Writing Better Stories, ed. Dennis Jackson and John Sweeney. New York: Allworth Press, 2012. EBSCOHost eBook collection.

Freytag, Gustav. Freytag’s Technique of the Drama. Translated by Elias J. MacEwan. New York: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1894.

Kaschub, Michele, and Janice Smith. Minds on Music: Composition for Creative and Critical Thinking. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2009.

Mizcnik, Vera. “Music and Narrative Revisited: Degrees of Narrativity in Beethoven and Mahler.” Journal of the Royal Musical Association Vol. 126, No. 2  (2009): 193-249.

Searby, Michael. “‘Composers Are Born and Not Made’: Some Preliminary Thoughts On How To Construct A Pedagogy For Music Composition.” Journal of Music Theory Pedagogy 31 (2017): 251-262.

Tomaszewski, Zach. “Marlinspike: An Interactive Drama System.” Ph.D. Diss., University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2011.

Van Dongen, Richard. “Children’s Narrative Thought, at Home and at School” Language Arts 64:1, Literature and Literacy (January 1987): 79-87.

Vogler, Christopher. The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers (3rd edition). Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 2007.

White, Hayden. “The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality.” Critical Inquiry 7:1, On Narrative (Autumn 1980): 5-27.

Other Important Resources

These resources, while not directly cited in Tell Me A Story, provided important context and inspiration for these ideas about using narrative design in the composition studio.

Altman, Rick. A Theory of Narrative. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.

Estés, Clarissa Pinkola. Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. Kindle Edition: Riverwolf Press, 2017.

Frankel, Valerie Estelle. From Girl to Goddess: The Heroine’s Journey Through Myth and Legend. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2010.

Harmon, Dan. Story Structure.,_Boring_Theory

Small, Christopher. Musicking: The Meanings of Performance and Listening. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1998.