Songwriting 1: Theory and Practice - MU323

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Medway Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
4 30 (15)

Pre-requisites

None

Restrictions

None

2017-18

Overview

Students will learn to deploy basic music notation and conventions such as time signatures and rhythms, pitches, chords and scales. Common harmonic patterns in popular and related traditions will also be covered. There will be some basic development of aural skills. Examples to illustrate standard Western (including African American) harmonic practices will be drawn from a wide range of musical eras and styles. Twentieth-century developments in songwriting and composition techniques will also be explored.

Details

This module appears in:


Contact hours

Delivery of this module is by lectures, seminars (11.1, 11.3-4, 12.1 & 12.3) and practical workshops (11.2, 12.2 & 12.4). The total workload is 300 hours including 2 hours staff contact time per week over two terms. Students will develop their skills in songwriting through practical workshops and through listening to and commenting upon the work of others as well as through receiving feedback on their own work from staff and other students. Understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of key elements such as melody and harmony will be fostered through lectures and seminars.

Method of assessment

20% Theory Paper 1 (Learning outcomes: 11.3-4, 12.1 & 12.3)
20% Theory Paper 2 (Learning outcomes: 11.3-4, 12.1 & 12.3)
60% Songwriting Portfolio including and evaluation of 500 words (Learning outcomes: 11.1-4 & 12.2-4)

Preliminary reading

Everett, W. (2004), ‘Making Sense of Rock’s Tonal Systems’ Music Theory Online, 10 (4) [Available at http://www.mtosmt.org/issues/mto.04.10.4 /mto.04.10.4.w_everett.html]
Moore, A (1992), ‘Patterns of Harmony’, Popular Music, 11. pp. 73-106.
Taylor, E. (1989), The AB Guide to Music Theory Vol 1, London: Associated Board of the Royal School of Music.
Taylor, E. (1991), The AB Guide to Music Theory Vol 2, London: Associated Board of the Royal School of Music.
Winkler, P. K (2007), ‘Toward a Theory of Popular Harmony’ in Moore, A. (Ed) Critical Essays in Popular Musicology, Aldershot: Ashgate.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

11. The intended subject specific learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module, students will:
1. Be able to utilize a range of songwriting techniques and approaches in order to facilitate original songwriting.
2. Be able to make informed choices and use appropriate songwriting methods in order to create music.
3. Have an understanding of the key topics in music theory including an understanding of music notation.
4. Be familiar with some of the harmonic patterns that structure a variety of tonal musics with particular reference to popular music since 1950.

12. The intended generic learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module, students will:
1. Be able to use IT in the preparation of work.
2. Be able to work as part of a team on a project.
3. Be self-critical of work in progress, responding to the critical insights of others in order to develop a final piece of work.
4. Be able to prioritise tasks and manage time and resources effectively.

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.