MUSC11380 - Introduction to Songwriting
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for MUSC11380 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

In this unit you will explore the important techniques for songwriting in contemporary popular styles. While studying the various song forms and lyrical structures, you will study the music notation conventions for songwriting and develop the skills to write the lyrics and music for a song in a contemporary popular style.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 1
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite:- MUSC11405 & MUSC11406

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Distance

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 20%
2. Written Assessment 20%
3. Written Assessment 60%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
Broader and more rapid assessment feedback Student evaluation Assessment processes to be maintained and enhanced to ensure smooth delivery of high quality feedback.
Ensure functionality of all course material Student evaluation Continue to monitor the Moodle site to ensure technical implementation is of high functionality.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Apply music notation conventions for songwriting in various short exercises
  2. Describe the various forms and structures of lyrics for songs in contemporary popular styles
  3. Apply the skills associated with writing lyrics and music in the composition of your own song in a contemporary popular style

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Written Assessment    
2 - Written Assessment    
3 - Written Assessment    

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1. Communication
2. Problem Solving    
3. Critical Thinking
4. Information Literacy
5. Team Work      
6. Information Technology Competence    
7. Cross Cultural Competence      
8. Ethical practice    

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment          
2 - Written Assessment          
3 - Written Assessment    

Prescribed Textbooks

The Songwriting Labyrinth
Author/s: Clive Harrison Year: 2015
Edition: 1st Publisher: CreateSpace
Country: Australia
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Audio recording device
All submissions for this unit must use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorDavid Reaston (d.reaston@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Course Introduction

Reading 1: Harrison 2015, pp.194 - 226

Reading 2: Long, P., & Barber, S. (2015). Voicing passion: The emotional economy of songwriting. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 18(2), 142-157.

Week 2 13-03-2017

Lyrics

Reading: Harrison pp.10-48

Week 3 20-03-2017

Lyrics

As previous week
Listening Task – Great American Songbook and the Brill Building Sound Due Friday (24 Mar 17) 04:30 PM AEST
Week 4 27-03-2017

Lyrics

As previous week
Week 5 03-04-2017

Melody

Reading 1: Harrison pp.49-82
Reading 2: Kachulis, Jimmy. (2003). The Songwriter's Workshop: Melody. (Boston: Berklee Press). pp1-29.
Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Melody

As previous week

Listening Task – Singer-Songwriters Due Friday (21 Apr 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 7 24-04-2017

Harmony

Reading 1: Harrison pp.83-121

Reading 2: Tagg, P. Everyday tonality. New York: The Mass Media Scholar's Press. Chapters

Week 8 01-05-2017

Harmony

As previous week

Week 9 08-05-2017

Rhythm and Groove

Reading 1: Harrison, pp.122-130
Reading 2: Moretti, D., Nichol, M., and Stagnaro, O. 2010, Essential Grooves. Petaluma, Sher Music. Set sections
Week 10 15-05-2017

Genre

Reading: Harrison, pp131-135

Week 11 22-05-2017

Structure

Reading: Harrison, pp136-142

Week 12 29-05-2017

Creating a Lead-sheet

Reading: Harrison, pp143-148

Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Creative Portfolio Due Monday (05 Jun 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Listening Task – Great American Songbook and the Brill Building Sound
Task Description

Choose 5 from the following list of song-writers. For each song-writer, find a recording of one popular song they composed and write 200 words on why you think this song was popular. Do not include a recording history of the song or background information on the artist or songwriter, but comment on what you hear. This might involve a discussion of the lyrics, melody, song-structure, genre, instrumentation, riffs employed, harmonic structure. Provide a link to each recording in the text (Youtube, SoundCloud etc.)

  • Harold Arlen
  • Irving Berlin
  • George and Ira Gershwin
  • Cole Porter
  • Rodgers and Hart
  • Burt Bacharach and Hal David
  • Gerry Goffin and Carole King
  • Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
  • Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil
  • Holland-Dozier-Holland

Assessment submission and presentation

Your assessment (1000 words) must be submitted as a Microsoft Word Document (.docx) and:

  • Must use 12 point Times New Roman font
  • Must use 1.5 spacing for the body of the assignment
  • May use sub-headings to organise your assignment clearly
  • Must adhere to the CQUniversity APA Style Guide.
Assessment Due Date Week 3 Friday (24-Mar-2017) 04:30 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 5 Friday (07-Apr-2017)
Weighting 20%
Assessment Criteria
  • Appropriate choice of songs (5%)
  • Appropriate description of musical material (20%)
  • Appropriate description of lyrics (20%)
  • Development of argument (20%)
  • Use of primary sources to support argument or theme (15%)
  • Accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar; clarity of writing style (15%)
  • Meeting delivery requirements (presentation, word count, style guide) (5%)
Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Apply music notation conventions for songwriting in various short exercises

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Listening Task – Singer-Songwriters
Task Description

Choose 5 from the following list of song-writers. For each song-writer, find a recording of one popular song they composed and write 200 words on why you think this song was popular. Do not include a recording history of the song or background information on the artist or songwriter, but comment on what you hear. This might involve a discussion of the lyrics, melody, song-structure, genre, instrumentation, riffs employed, harmonic structure. Provide a link to each recording in the text (Youtube, Soundcloud etc.)

  • Bob Dylan
  • Paul Simon
  • Joni Mitchell
  • James Taylor
  • Lennon/McCartney
  • Willie Nelson
  • Graham Nash
  • Sarah McLachlan
  • David Bowie
  • Lou Reed
  • Stevie Wonder

Assessment submission and presentation

Your assessment (1000 words) must be submitted as a Microsoft Word Document (.docx) and:

  • Must use 12 point Times New Roman font
  • Must use 1.5 spacing for the body of the assignment
  • May use sub-headings to organise your assignment clearly
  • Must adhere to the CQUniversity APA Style Guide.
Assessment Due Date Week 6 Friday (21-Apr-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 8 Friday (05-May-2017)
Weighting 20%
Assessment Criteria
  • Appropriate choice of songs (5%)
  • Appropriate description of musical material (20%)
  • Appropriate description of lyrics (20%)
  • Development of argument (20%)
  • Use of primary sources to support argument or theme (15%)
  • Accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar; clarity of writing style (15%)
  • Meeting delivery requirements (presentation, word count, style guide) (5%)
Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

To be sumitted on the Moodle site.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

2. Describe the various forms and structures of lyrics for songs in contemporary popular styles

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy



3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Creative Portfolio
Task Description

You are to submit a creative portfolio of your own work during this unit.

The folio is to consist of:

  • Two songs composed for the unit. The first is worth 50% of the assessment, and the second is worth 30%. Students may nominate which song contributes towards which percentage. Each song should be at least three minutes in length.
  • A Reflective Report (800 words) describing the creative process behind both songs and reflecting on any issues encountered along the way. The structure of the report may represent a weekly journal and must include reflection, interpretation, evaluation, conclusions and opinions.

Assessment submission and presentation

You must submit:

  • A lead sheet for both songs. This may be created on a music notation program (Sibelius, Musescore, or MusicXML) or by hand and scanned. This should be in pdf format.
  • A recording of both songs (mp3 format)
  • A Reflective Report (800 words) as a Microsoft Word Document (.docx)

Your Reflective Report:

  • Must use 12 point Times New Roman font
  • Must use 1.5 spacing for the body of the assignment
  • May use sub-headings to organise your assignment clearly
  • Must adhere to the CQUniversity APA Style Guide.

The topic matter for the songs is open, but suggestions may be sought from the unit coordinator

Assessment Due Date Review/Exam Week Monday (05-Jun-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Returned to students at the end of the term.
Weighting 60%
Assessment Criteria

Song 1

  • Suitable and appropriate use of rhyme (7%)
  • Competent and informed word usage (7%)
  • Construction of appropriate song narrative (7%)
  • Contextually appropriate harmony (11.5%)
  • Musical and technically informed melody (11.5%)
  • Lead-sheet presentation (3%)
  • Audio presentation (3%)

Song 2

  • Suitable and appropriate use of rhyme (4%)
  • Competent and informed word usage (4%)
  • Construction of appropriate song narrative (4%)
  • Contextually appropriate harmony (7%)
  • Musical and technically informed melody (7%)
  • Lead-sheet presentation (2%)
  • Audio presentation (2%)

Reflective Report

  • Narrative of song development process (8%)
  • Reflection on songwriting process (6%)
  • Accuracy of spelling, punctuation and grammar; clarity of writing style (3%)
  • Meeting delivery requirements and correct use of academic referencing for in-text references and reference list (3%)
Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Submit the assignment through the Moodle site.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

3. Apply the skills associated with writing lyrics and music in the composition of your own song in a contemporary popular style

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence

8. Ethical practice




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