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MUI2002 Song-writing and Musicianship

Semester 1, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Melissa Forbes
Moderator: Phillip Gearing


Pre-requisite: MUI1004

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course. A CD player and headphones is mandatory for the Module B examination


This course provides the student with important music skills that supplement Music Performance, Creation and Scholarship courses. Important elements in the development of a musician are aural awareness and a knowledge of music writing techniques used for song-writing across several different styles.


Song-writing and Musicianship is designed for two groups of students:
1. Second year music specialists who have already studied MUI1000 and MUI1004 who have advanced knowledge of tonal harmony and two semesters experience of intensive aural work; (Modules A and B)
2. Students who have an interest in writing their own songs but do not have a formal music notation background and who have not taken MUI1000 and MUI1004 in their previous studies. (Modules A and C)

The material of this course is divided into three Modules.
A. Song-writing is Module A and is taken by all students enrolled in this course. Module A provides practical instruction in the art of popular song-writing, covering many diverse styles including blues, swing, rock'n'roll, pop and rap. Elements of song-writing that will be explored include the writing of lyrics, creative word-setting, establishing suitable harmonic frameworks, and melodic invention within the popular idiom.
B. Module B represents third-stage aural work for second year music theory major students. This module provides further development of aural acuity relating to pitch, melody, rhythm, harmony and form.
C. Module C Music Fundamentals is designed for students requiring a strong foundation in music theory, harmony and aural studies. This module provides practical instruction in the notation of rhythm, pitch, metre, intensity, speed, articulation, phrasing and harmony and the preparation and reading of musical score.

Intending students choose either Module B or C to complement their compulsory studies of Module A.


On successful completion of this course students will have:

  1. demonstrated ability to identify and critically analyse the musical elements of popular songs
  2. demonstrated ability (either through written or recorded examples) to compose a song in a popular style including writing of lyrics set appropriately to melody and harmony
  3. displayed an advanced understanding of harmonic manipulation to elicit a particular response from a listening audience;
  4. applied and documented the development of skills in aural observation and awareness.


Description Weighting(%)
1. MODULE A - WRITING TECHNIQUES These classes develop the skills required to compose a popular song, incorporating original lyrics, melody, harmony and instrumentation. The building blocks of writing songs are worked through systematically. 50.00
2. MODULE B - AURAL TRAINING Systematic and regular series of classes designed to awaken aural awareness in all students and to provide them with a foundation in aural perception, or

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • As specified by the Lecturer.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • As specified by the Lecturer.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 30.00
Directed Study 78.00
Private Study 57.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
MODULE A OR C - ASSIGNMENT 1 100 20 04 May 2012
MOD B ASSIGNMENT 1 100 15 07 May 2012
MOD B ASSIGNMENT 2 100 15 05 Jun 2012
MODULE A OR C - ASSIGNMENT 2 100 30 08 Jun 2012
MOD B WRITTEN EXAM 50 MINS 100 20 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. Students will be advised of the official Module B examination date when the timetable has been finalised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the studentsí responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade, a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Restricted Examination for Module B
    The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination in this course are:
    writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination
    Candidates MUST bring CD player and headphones to the examination

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any deferred or supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.