• Offered by School of Music
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Music
  • Areas of interest Musicology, Music
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Christopher Sainsbury
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2023
    See Future Offerings

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.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. apply relevant musical theory and songwriting method to original songs in a range of modern styles and songwriting contexts;
  2. critically evaluate major songs drawn from major historical eras and styles of the recent century;
  3. 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
  4. articulate key decisions taken during the creative process (both contextual, as well as technical and expressive) through an exegesis.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Oral presentation, 10 minutes (10) [LO 2]
  2. Portfolio of 3 original songs (minimum 3 mins, 25% each) charted and recorded (basic demo style) (75) [LO 1,3]
  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.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed MUSI1502, or with consent of the convener.

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable

Preliminary Reading

Repertoire list as reader.

Assumed Knowledge

Basic level of music theory equivalent to MUSI1502 Aural Skills and Music Theory 2, and ability to play an instrument.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5100
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2813 20 Feb 2023 27 Feb 2023 31 Mar 2023 26 May 2023 In Person View

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