This unit of study introduces students to the techniques and aesthetics of writing popular vocal songs in a variety of genres and practical implementation of these knowledge and skills using modern software production processes. An aesthetic and musicological exploration of European folk and American blues structures form the background for studies in modern styles such as jazz, rock and pop. The unit also explores sampling, turntablism and beat poetry in reference to styles such as hip hop and rap. Conceptual issues of theme, style and emotional intent are linked to various compositional techniques regarding melody, harmony, rhythm, and form including concepts of functional music theory and complementary aural skills as applied to songwriting. Students explore the meanings behind lyrics and their relationship to rhythm and melody. A selection of well-known songs are analysed for style, compositional structure, lyrical meaning and emotional intent. Original songwriting ideas and processes will be applied to the development and enhancement of students' ongoing practical music activities including professional musicianship, collaboration, musical interpretation and self-evaluation skills.

Unit details

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Students enrolled in course code ABAB and LBLA must complete at least 72 credit points (equivalent to 6 units) in Year 1 before undertaking any Level 2 units.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Develop and produce musical works which demonstrate knowledge of compositional and music production techniques;  
  2. Monitor, maintain and reflect upon goals and practice in relation to composition, lyric writing and music making;  
  3. Exhibit interpretative skills regarding music and lyrics, compositional skills and overall musicianship within collaborative contexts;  
  4. Apply music theory, notation and production activities to music composition;  
  5. Operate music recording and notation software;  
  6. Articulate musicological concepts in a range of musical contexts.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Applied theory and aural exercises 25%
Report Evaluation of musical activities using a range of media 25%
Exercise Operation of recording equipment and music software 25%
Performance Musical performance 25%

Where to next?

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