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Effective: Summer 2015
MUS 58BMODERN SONG COMPOSITION4 Unit(s)

Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will demonstrate an understanding of basic song components
  • A successful student will be able discuss the way a song is created.
  • A successful student will illustrate an understanding of lyrical and melodic techniques.
  • A successful student will modify previously written songs and be able to explain why they're improved.
Description -
Workshop course for intermediate songwriters that focuses on contemporary and songwriting methodology. Different songwriting components and structures are presented. Students are assigned weekly songwriting projects and are expected to submit finished songs with all the necessary components. Course includes analytical listening and discussion of various songwriting styles. Class is appropriate for medium levels of songwriting competency.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
A. Discuss and explain modern songwriting techniques
B. Compose and present completed original songs
C. Identify the various song components
D. Break down the songs of others
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. When taught on campus:
    1. Classroom with digital recording system for student feedback.
    2. Projection system for video and multimedia content.
    3. Basic Sound reinforcement system for in-class performances.
    4. Drums and amplifiers.
    5. Grand piano.
  2. When taught via Foothill Global Access:
    1. On-going access to computer with Email software and capabilities.
    2. Email address.
    3. Java-script enabled internet browsing software.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Lyric Writing
    1. Poetic Devices
    2. Conversation Tone
    3. Song Components
    4. Song Analysis
    5. Love of Language
  2. Songwriting Process
    1. The Process of Lyric and Melody Writing
    2. Hooks
  3. Lyric Technique and More on Melody
    1. Confessional Songwriting
    2. Attention to Detail
    3. The use of 'Places' in Songwriting
    4. Composite Characters
    5. Using All Your Senses
    6. Use of Repetition
    7. Variation
    8. Contrast
    9. Song Development
    10. Writing Verse Melodies
    11. Writing Pre-Chorus Melodies
    12. Writing Chorus Melodies
    13. Writing Bridge Melodies
    14. Creating Melodies That Are Easy to Sing
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Writing Completed Song Assignments
  2. Taking Quizzes
  3. In Class Participation
  4. On-Line Participation
Representative Text(s) -
There IS no required text.

When taught via Foothill Global Access: supplemental lectures, and assignments are delivered via Email. Feedback is delivered via email. Class Discussion takes place in online Forums and Chat Rooms.

Disciplines -
Commercial Music
Music
 
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture
  2. Discussion
  3. Oral presentations
  4. Laboratory
  5. Demonstration
  6. Quizzes
 
Lab Content -
  1. The student is required to compose completed songs on a weekly basis outside of the classroom. These songs must meet the requirements of the assignment and must include the basic song components clearly identified. These completed songs are presented to the class and then are evaluated, commented on and graded by the instructor.
 
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading assignments include multi-media lessons created by the instructor and delivered via Etudes.
  2. Writing assignments include:
    1. Writing a complete song in the style of a songwriting hero
    2. Writing a complete song in the narrative style
    3. Writing a complete song over assigned chords
    4. Writing a complete song that includes the following components: verses, choruses and a bridge
    5. Write in the style of one of your songwriting heroes