Songwriting: Concepts and Craft addresses the knowledge and skills required to write songs in a range of contemporary popular styles. Songwriting is a creative practice seated in a discipline with history and context, and theory and method. Students will be guided through an historical overview of major eras and styles of popular songwriting since ca.1910s as well as in analysis of the relevant musical theory and methods that underpin songs from these eras and styles, with the intention of informing the students own portfolio of original popular songs.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- apply relevant musical theory and songwriting method to original songs in a range of modern styles and songwriting contexts;
- critically evaluate major songs drawn from major historical eras and styles of the recent century;
- apply song arranging skills to their original songs, inclusive of: writing for the rhythm section, writing for backing vocals, writing for horns and/or second keyboard (e.g. synth pad), and creating charts; and
- articulate key decisions taken during the creative process (both contextual, as well as technical and expressive) through an exegesis.
- Oral presentation, 10 minutes (10) [LO 2]
- Portfolio of 3 original songs (minimum 3 mins, 25% each) charted and recorded (basic demo style) (75) [LO 1,3]
- Exegesis on original songs, 800 words (15) [LO 4]
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 12 hours of lectures and 24 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, composing, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Preliminary ReadingRepertoire list as reader.
Basic level of music theory equivalent to MUSI1502 Aural Skills and Music Theory 2, and ability to play an instrument.
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