MUSPOP 1201 - Song Writing & Performance 1A
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2022
General Course Information
Course Code MUSPOP 1201 Course Song Writing & Performance 1A Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 4 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites Audition Incompatible MUSPMACT 1011 Restrictions Available to BMus, BMedia (Pop Music Major), DipMus students only Course Description This course introduces students to the creative, technical and professional skills used by composers in a contemporary popular music context, with a focus on the creation and presentation of new original music. Seminars introduce composition and song writing techniques, including creative impetus, the musical materials of rhythm, pitch, melody, chords progressions and song structures, and approaches to writing lyrics. Stylistic idioms used in contemporary popular music styles are contextualized in relation to established song-writing forms. Through Workshops, students will work in small groups to prepare their original work for live performance. Rehearsal, improvisation and performance techniques will be introduced, culminating in on and off-campus student performances.
Course Coordinator: Dr Luke HarraldMr Grayson Rotumah
Contact details available via MyUni.
Mr Derek Pascoe
Contact details available via MyUni.
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesThrough successful completion of this course, students will develop:
1 an understand basic composition and music production principles used by professional songwriters;
2 their own compositional “voice” at a basic level;
3 a cogent and quality portfolio of songs in a recorded and notated format;
4 skills in the interpretation and performance of the compositions of others;
5 an understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and activities involved in live Contemporary Music performance; &
6 basic abilities in the evaluation of performances and the communication of instructions and technical requirements to
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)
Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.
Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.
2, 3, 4, 6
Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills
Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.
Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness
Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.
1, 2, 5, 6
Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.
Required Resources• Class handouts and materials placed on MyUni.
• Each week students will be required to bring their instruments, or other technology they require to realise their group work.
Bailey, D. (1980) Musical Improvisation: its nature and practice in music. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
Beall, Eric (2009) The Billboard Guide to Writing and Producing Songs that Sell. Billboard Books: Crown Publishing Group, New York.
Bergonzi, J. (1992) Vol. 1 Melodic Structures. Advance Music, Rottenburg.
Blume, Jason (1999) Six Steps to Songwriting Success. Billboard Books: Crown Publishing Group, New York.
Braheny, John (2006) The Craft and Business of Songwriting. Writer’s Digest Books, F+W Publications, Cincinnati.
Cardew, C. ed. (1974) Scratch Music. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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.
Crook, H. (2002) How to Improvise. Advance Music, Rottenburg.
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. Dell Publishing, New York.
Gary Ewers – The essential secrets of songwriting http://secretsofsongwriting.com/index.html
Rhymer – a free online rhyming dictionary http://www.rhymer.com
The Music Library is located within the Barr Smith Library, and is an excellent source for music, literature and recordings.
Online LearningLearning materials and assessment will be placed on MyUni. Usage of MyUni will include Announcements, Digital readings, External web-links and Recordings of classes; particularly student performances to enable students to critically reflect on their experiences in class.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe course structure and content is delivered through a range of classes and materials. Class delivery modes include a weekly seminar 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 then expand theoretically through discussions and exercises during the seminar, and practically through performing their work in the workshop. Students will also be expected to further expand the topics presented using out-of-class resources that are presented online, and rehearsing in their own time. The online 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 through students preparing their work for performance.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.WORKLOAD / TOTAL HOURS
1 x 2-hour seminars per week / 24 hours per semester
1 x 2-hour workshop per week / 24 hours per semester
6 hours rehearsals & readings per week / 72 hours per semester
1 hours research per week / 12 hours per semester
2 hours assignment preparation per week / 24 hours per semester
TOTAL = 156 HOURS PER SEMESTER
Learning Activities SummaryThe course structure and content will examine the areas below through weekly theoretical and/or practical demonstrations and exploration. The following list of topics is supplied as a guide, and may change depending on needs arising through the semester.
Further detail regarding weekly content can be found on MyUni.
WEEK SEMINAR TOPICS / WORKSHOP TOPICS
1 Introduction to song writing & the creative process / Improvisation Class 1
2 Song Forms / Improvisation Class 2
3 Lyric Writing – Rhyme & Rhyming Structures / Improvisation Class 3
4 Melodic Writing – Phrasing, Melodic Motion and Contour, Hooks / Improvisation Class 4
5 Creative Portfolio creation and considerations for writing to briefs / Improvisation Class 5
6 Harmony – Common Chord Progressions & Writing in a Key Area / Improvisation Assessment
7 Rhythm – Subdivisions in relation to musical styles / Ensemble Rehearsal 1
8 Arranging – introduction to arranging for small ensembles / Ensemble Rehearsal 2
9 Lyric Writing – Metaphors, Similes and Symbolism / Ensemble Rehearsal 3
10 Harmony - Minor Keys, Chord Colours, Secondary Dominants / Ensemble Rehearsal 4
11 Structured Activity - Students work on song writing portfolios / Ensemble Rehearsal 5
12 Structured Activity - Students work on song writing portfolios / Ensemble Rehearsal 6
Specific Course RequirementsEMU Facilities
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.
Information on use of the EMU Faclities, including Access, Bookings, Support and Penalties for misuse are available via the following link:
Sound Levels & Hearing Protection
This course may require using spaces where a dB meter has been installed. If you exceed the set dB limit for the space, the lights will flash. Students found exceeding these levels will have their booking privileges revoked for two weeks, and repeat offenders may have their booking privileges revoked for the remainder of the academic year.
In order to minimise risk in noise-prone situations, the Conservatorium makes both reusable gel ear-plugs and disposable foam ear-plugs available to students and staff free of charge at all times. Students and staff are also urged to consider purchase of customised personal hearing protection.
For more information regarding sound levels, hearing and hearing loss please refer both to the full content of the O'Brien Report and to the excellent publication by Canadian audiologist/academic Marshall Chasin, entitled Hear the Music: Hearing Loss Prevention for Musicians both available here: https://arts.adelaide.edu.au/music/health-safety-and-wellbeing
This course will require that students rehearse both individually and as a part of their group. For individual practice, students may book and use any of the rehearsal rooms contained within the Conservatorium with a limit of two hours per day for any individual space as per the Conservatorium’s Rehearsal guidelines. For more specific group work, rehearsal space with a backline (Drumkit, Guitar and Bass Amplifiers and an electric piano) and PA system has been provided in Schulz B14. Bookings of this space may be made through the online booking system: https://elder.bookedscheduler.com/
All spaces must be left in a neat and tidy state ready for the next user when you finish rehearsing.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
ASSESSMENT TASK TASK TYPE WEIGHTING COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES Online Journal Summative 20% 1, 2, 3, 6 Improvisation Assessment Summative 20% 2, 4, 5, 6 Portfolio Summative 30% 1, 2, 3 Recital Summative 30% 1, 2, 4, 5, 6
Assessment Related RequirementsExpectation & Penalty
As per Conservatorium policy, active and positive participation in 100% of classes is expected. Any student who attends less than 80% 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 semester 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.
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 be approved by the relevant staff member - students should contact the lecturer and gain approval prior to taking the leave.
Assessment DetailOnline Journal: Students will complete a weekly journal reflecting on their experiences applying the techniques presented in class to their songwriting, composing and performing. The journal will include a critical reflection on students’ song writing, composing and or improvisation of approximately 100 – 150 words per week, which is informed by readings from the reading list and musical examples listened to in classes. A log of rehearsals will be also be required as part of this assessment. The Journal gives context to each student’s creative practice and will be compiled online via a Wordpress blog.
Improvisation Assessment: Students will be assessed practically in class on skills they have learned through the workshop via solo and small group improvisations.
Portfolio: The Portfolio represents the major practical assessment for the semester and will involve the creation of a minimum of two songs, one of which will be a set work; ie. students will be required to write to a brief. All creative works will be required to be recorded for submission, either through groups assigned in the workshop, or alternatively students may organise their own groups.
Recital: Students will be assessed on their contribution to the preparation and delivery of a public performance of their work, held during the examination period. Central to this assessment is the role they play in the delivery of both their work, and that of other students, and their level of performance in the Recital.
SubmissionAll written and recorded materials will be submitted online via MyUni.
Practical assessments will take place either in-class, or at the off-campus performance. Note that due to practicalities, extensions for practical assessments are not possible.
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.
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.
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- Student Life Counselling Support - Personal counselling for issues affecting study
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Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
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.
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