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MUI2002 Making Music 3: Popular Song Writing

Semester 1, 2015 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Arts and Communication

Contents on this page


Examiner: Mark Scholtes
Moderator: Melissa Forbes

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


Today’s musician must have a fundamental grasp of creative processes, as unique musical contributions become increasingly important to the sustainability of portfolio careers. This course encourages students to explore their own creativity through the vehicle of popular songwriting.


This course introduces the element of the lyric to musical language, where students will apply a variety of skills (analytical, written, aural, performative) in a specialised manner to create popular songs.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate skills and knowledge of the constraints and conventions of popular songs
  2. apply relevant skills and knowledge to produce popular songs including lyrics set appropriately to melody and harmony
  3. apply relevant skills and knowledge to produce a lead sheet for an original popular song
  4. communicate and present ideas for a demo recording using DIY technology
  5. work both independently and/or collaboratively to apply relevant knowledge and skills to the creation of popular songs.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Overview of the development of conventions and constraints in popular songwriting 20.00
2. Creative lyric writing and prosody 25.00
3. Supporting lyric with melody and harmony 25.00
4. Presenting ideas for songs using DIY technology 10.00
5. Presenting your original song as a lead sheet 10.00
6. Collaborative vs independent songwriting 10.00

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. (

  • Pattison, P 2009, Writing better lyrics, 2nd edn, Writer's Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio.

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
Directed Study 13.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study and Assignments 126.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ANALYSIS ASSIGNMENT 100 20 24 Apr 2015

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ 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.

    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting

  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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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:
    Not applicable

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable

  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

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.