MUSPMACT 1012 - Compositional Studies 1B

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

Continuation of semester 1 introduction to the creative, technical and professional skills used by composers and music producers in the contemporary popular music industry. Tutorials address compositional techniques for organising basic musical and sonic material, the musical materials of rhythm, pitch, melody and sound and techniques used to organise them are explored. Stylistic idioms used in contemporary popular music styles are contextualized in relation to established song-writing forms and the creative impetus and processes employed in developing song structures are explored. Workshops involve the creation of small-scale works centred on the practical application of the tutorial content.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MUSPMACT 1012
    Course Compositional Studies 1B
    Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites MUSPMACT 1011
    Restrictions Priority is given to Bachelor of Music students but course is available to non-music students (by audition)
    Course Description Continuation of semester 1 introduction to the creative, technical and professional skills used by composers and music producers in the contemporary popular music industry. Tutorials address compositional techniques for organising basic musical and sonic material, the musical materials of rhythm, pitch, melody and sound and techniques used to organise them are explored. Stylistic idioms used in contemporary popular music styles are contextualized in relation to established song-writing forms and the creative impetus and processes employed in developing song structures are explored. Workshops involve the creation of small-scale works centred on the practical application of the tutorial content.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Luke Harrald

    Course Coordinator: Dr Luke Harrald

    Staff: Robyn Habel
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Through the successful completion of this course, students will develop:

    1) A basic understanding of compositional and music production principles; 
    2) An understanding of contemporary popular music idioms;
    3) Creativity and individuality as an artist, which enables students to develop their own unique compositional 'voice'; and
    4) A cogent and quality creative portfolio in recorded and notated formats.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 2
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3, 4
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    • Class handouts and weekly materials placed on MyUni.
    • USB 2.0 Stick or portable hard drive with enough capacity to store files associated with the course and formatted as HFS+ (OSX) or FAT (Windows – Do not use NTFS).
    • Stereo headphones with a 6.5mm male adaptor.
    • Note – students must bring both their USB storage and Headphones (with adaptor) to university, as they are required for using the EMU Audio Suite.
    Recommended Resources
    Reading
    Beall, Eric. (2009) The Billboard Guide to Writing and Producing Songs that Sell. Billboard Books: Crown Publishing Group, New York.

    Blume, Jason. (1999) Six Steps to Songwriting Success. Billboard Books: Crown Publishing Group, New York.

    Chase, Wayne. (2006) How Music Really Works. Roedy Black Publishing, Vancouver.

    Covach, John. 2009. What’s that sound: an introduction to rock music and its history. Second edition. W.W. Norton & Company, New York.

    Kachulis, Jimmy. (2005) The Songwriters Workshop: Harmony. Berklee Press, Boston.

    Perricone, Jack. (2000) Melody in Songwriting: Tools and techniques for Writing Hit Songs. Berklee Press, Boston.
    Webb, Jimmy. (1998) Tunesmith – inside the art of songwriting. Hyperion, New York.

    Wood, Clement. (1936) The Complete Rhyming Dictionary and Poet’s Craft Book.

    Websites

    Gary Ewers – The essential secrets of songwriting
    http://secretsofsongwriting.com/index.html 

    Rhymer – a free online rhyming dictionary
    http://www.rhymer.com 

    Sibelius knowledge base
    http://www.sibelius.com/helpcenter/index.html 

    Library
    The Music Library located in the Hartley building is an excellent source for music, literature and recordings: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/branch/eml/
    Online Learning
    This Course Profile, along with learning materials and assessment will be placed on MyUni – refer to http://myuni.adelaide.edu.au
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course structure and content is delivered through a range of classes and materials. Class delivery modes include a weekly seminar, tutorial and practical workshop. The classes in this course use a format where students are presented with theoretical and/ or practical content through the seminar. The theoretical content creates a topic framework that students will expand through discussions and exercises in the tutorial, and practically through the workshop. Students will also be expected to further expand the topics presented through using out-of-class resources in their own time. The resources will compliment, reinforce and extend the concepts presented.

    The classes provide theoretical explanations of composition and song writing techniques; discussion of their creative and technical application in various styles and genres; and their practical application to creativity and production through supervised sessions using music technology.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Seminar 1 x 12 hours per week
    = 12 hours per semester

    Tutorial 1 x 12 hours per week
    = 12 hours per semester

    Workshop 1 x 12 hours per week
    = 12 hours per semester

    Reading 3 x 12 hours per week
    = 36 hours per semester

    Practice 4 x 12 hours per week
    = 48 hours per semester

    Self initiated learning & research 3 x 12 hours per week = 36 hours per semester
    = 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course structure and content will examine the areas below through weekly theoretical and/or practical demonstrations and exploration. Further detail regarding weekly content can be found on MyUni.

    Song writing and Composition Topics
    • Creative Process
    • Lyrics
    • Melody
    • Harmony
    • Forms
    • Styles
    • Arrangements
    • Writing to a Brief

    Technology Workshop
    • Technology as a creative tool in a contemporary popular music context.
    • Use of technology in order to score student works.
    • The major software package for this course is Sibelius.
    Specific Course Requirements
    EMU Facilities Access Provisions
    This course will involve using the resources of the Electronic Music Unit (EMU). This includes facilities such as studios, recording spaces and digital audio workstations. For more information about these facilities and how to make bookings go to the EMU website: http://www.emu.adelaide.edu.au/ 

    Access and use of EMU is based upon the following:
    Users must complete and pass the EMU Guide Assessment (EGA). In order to pass the EGA users must receive a 90% or above grade. Users will have a maximum of 3 attempts at passing the EGA before being prohibited from taking the assessment further. If a user fails to pass the EGA after 3 attempts, or doesn’t pass by the end of week 4 of the course, they will not be permitted to continue the course and won’t be provided access or permission to use any of the EMU facilities.
    Users agree to and sign the EMU User Agreement (EUA). Users found in breach of the EUA will automatically have their access and booking privileges suspended. An initial breach will result in a 4-week suspension. Any subsequent breach will result in suspension until the start of the next academic year. Information is available on the EMU website: https://www.emu.adelaide.edu.au/intranet/emu_guide/
    Other Expectations
    Except where otherwise indicated by the lecturer, tutor or workshop instructor – mobile phones, laptops, PDAs, recording devices and other similar technology must be switched off before lessons or classes begin, and kept off for the duration.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    ASSESSMENT
    Semester 2
    Name Type Due % Learning Outcomes
    Journal Summative Week 6 (ungraded, for feedback by lecturer) & Week 13 (final) 30 2, 3
    Portfolio Summative Week 14 70 1, 3, 4
    Formative Assessment: Tutorials will contain embedded formative assessment tasks through weekly quizzes, student presentations, in-class exercises and homework that will enable students to engage with the practical and theoretical concepts presented in order to complete their summative assessments.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Expectation & Penalty
    As per Conservatorium policy, active and positive participation in 100% of classes is expected, any student who attends less than 100% of required classes without approved leave may result in a 5 (five) mark penalty for each unapproved absence. The penalties will be applied to the final total percentage mark for the year for the relevant component i.e. after all other assessments have been completed and calculated. Arrival after the scheduled starting time or departure before the scheduled finishing time may, at the lecturer or Co-ordinator’s discretion, be regarded as an unapproved absence.

    Leave
    The Conservatorium recognises that extenuating circumstances may occasionally affect a student’s ability to participate in a rehearsal, workshop, class, lecture, tutorial or performance. In such cases leave may, upon application using the leave form (available from the Music Office Hartley Building G05), be approved by the relevant staff member (this could be the Head of Studies, teacher, conductor, lecturer or course coordinator as appropriate). Types of leave include: sick leave; compassionate leave; and professional development leave.
    Assessment Detail
    ASSESSMENT
    Semester 2
    Name Detail
    Journal Students will complete a weekly journal reflecting on their experiences applying the techniques presented in class - or on their use of technology - to their song writing and composing. The journal will include a critical reflection on students’ song writing and composing of approximately 100-150 words per week, informed by readings from the reading list and musical examples listened to in seminars and tutorials. It will also include tutorial exercises. The Journal gives context to each student’s creative portfolio.
    Portfolio The Portfolio represents the major practical assessment for the semester and will involve the creation of a minimum of three songs of the student’s choice. All creative works will be required to be recorded for submission, either through Popular Music Ensemble (MUSPMCT 1112) or alternatively students may organise their own groups. Works included in the portfolio will also be required to be scored, this aspect of the assessment will be supported through practical studies of Sibelius software in the weekly workshop.
    Submission
    Assessments and Exams
    Students must be available during the identified University teaching, academic and examination periods. Students are not entitled to sit an examination or submit an assessment at another time, nor are they entitled to any other concessions if an examination or assessment conflicts with a planned vacation or special event. Results from assessments and examinations are usually sent to students via email and/or myUni.

    Late Submission
    Assignments which are submitted after the due date and time will incur a 5% penalty (from the assignment total of 100%) per day (24 hour period) for a maximum of 4 days (weekend days included). After this time the assignment will not be marked for assessment or feedback. Note – this does not apply to assessments where the assessment is conducted at a fixed time and location, such as an exam, practical test, performance or presentation.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.