Global Opportunities

MUS2050 : Applied Composition and Songwriting in Folk, Modal and Acoustic Musics

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


•       To further develop the student’s understanding, confidence and practical ability in composing and arranging new instrumental and/or vocal music.

•       To critically engage with relevant methodologies (eg. modes, actuality, field recording, aural harmony and counterpoint, collation, adaptation and arrangement) sourced from global folk and vernacular musical traditions and practices.

•       To explore the crafts of musical composition via case studies of current cross-genre practices in the professional sphere.

Outline Of Syllabus

An optional module which will apply and develop skills in composition and/or songwriting and the arrangement of newly-composed pieces.

This module continues the line of development started in stage one theory and composition modules and will provide the bridge between theoretical understanding and creative application of the skills developed through composition and arrangement and songwriting. The teaching will respond to specific areas of practice and interest, enabling a fluid interaction between written, aural and practical student-centred creative approaches.

A range of case studies and relevant methodologies (eg. modes, actuality, field recording, aural harmony and counterpoint, collation, adaptation and arrangement) sourced from global folk and vernacular musical traditions and practices will be analysed and eventually applied to students’ own creative work.

The module will be delivered in a combination of synchronous lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops and supported by non-synchronous lecture materials. The assignments will be prepared in independent study time, and students must be prepared to share and discuss their own work in group sessions. Independent study time may also involve gaining additional practice in Sibelius (or equivalent) and/or home recording software.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Lecture material with associated tasks
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops52:0010:00Practical workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery20:301:00Tutorials with module leader.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1161:00161:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials outline and illustrate techniques and approaches to composition/songwriting and arrangement, guiding students in the acquisition of core knowledge and skills, which inform their practice.

Seminars and practical workshops from guest composer-arrangers provide a forum in which students will acquire further information and exchange ideas, providing the opportunity to work collectively, share creative work and exchange ideas. Students thus gain peer-to-peer feedback, and lecturers can monitor students’ progress and understanding.

Regular independent study and creative practice is integral to the development of composition portfolios.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2A30Portfolio of 2 set assignments. 1 assignment will showcase arrangement skills and 1 assignment will showcase composition skills
Portfolio2A70Portfolio consisting of 1 major composition assignment (60%) with supporting (1000 word) written commentary (10%)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment methods allow tutors to track skills development and monitor learning, making possible responsive teaching. This module also extends learning into areas of creativity. Formative composition, arrangement and analysis tasks will be set and formative feedback offered by lecturers and peers in group seminars and 1:1 tutorials.

Reading Lists