Arranging for Popular Music

    Unit code: ACO3010 | Study level: Undergraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    Footscray Nicholson
    Footscray Park


    This unit focuses on the principles and techniques of arranging for popular music. Students are introduced to: the characteristics of musical instruments including synthesizers; idiomatic writing as part of the arranging process; blend, balance and voicing; melodic and harmonic embellishment; form and structure; timbre and texture; and dynamic and spectral contour. Students analyse and critique these techniques in a selection of exemplary works and relevant texts and then produce and perform the techniques in illustrative arrangement contexts.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    1. Analyse, critique and assess different arranging techniques across a variety of styles and genres of music;
    2. Explain how issues and problems of arranging affect different musical outcomes in a range of social contexts;
    3. Apply an understanding of idiomatic phenomena connected with arranging different musical instruments; and
    4. Produce and perform arrangements for various popular music forms.


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Essay
    Grade: 25%
    Critical analysis of selected musical repertoire.
    Assessment type: Creative Works
    Grade: 30%
    Production of song arrangements.
    Assessment type: Performance
    Grade: 25%
    Performance of song arrangements.
    Assessment type: Presentation
    Grade: 20%
    Solo project presentation

    Required reading

    Learning materials will be provided via VU Collaborate.

    As part of a course

    This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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