Module Catalogue 2020/21

MUS1015 : Composing in the Music Studio

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Rob Mackay
  • Teaching Assistant: Mr Phil Begg, Mr Fred Hollingsworth
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
MUS1005Recording in the Music Studio
Pre Requisite Comment

This module builds upon the learning knowledge and skills of MUS1005 and prepares students for studio and music technology practice in Level 5 and 6.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

N/A

Aims

This module builds upon the learning knowledge and skills of MUS1005 and prepares students for studio and music technology practice in Level 5 and 6 modules across the music degree curriculum in SACS (for example MUS2015 and MUS2018). The learning position shifts from recording to composition and using the studio as a tool for creativity, not just a space to record sound. By the close of the module the student should be able to use the studio in for composition and be able to identify themselves (but not exclusively) as either a songwriter or producer.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module begins with a demonstration of how the studio can become a place to practice creativity. In the following nine weeks the students self-identify as either a songwriter or a producer and receive a mix of alternating lectures and workshops on the aesthetics of studio based composition, techniques and structures of studio composition, and how to master a mix. The final two weeks are lecture demonstrations where the key practitioners delivering the content of the module showcase their own work within a studio environment and ask the students to critique their work.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Producers
1.       To recognise and explain the aesthetics and textures of studio based composition.
2.       To recognise advanced studio techniques such as side chain compression.
3.       To evaluate lyrics as components of studio composition.
4.       To describe competencies in the mastering of a studio composition such as panning, EQ setting, and final mix.
5.       To review and explain the studio practice as shown by the songwriter/producer in the studio.

Songwriters
1.       To recognise and explain the aesthetics and textures of studio based composition.
2.       To recognise and analyse common song structures.
3.       To evaluate lyrics as components of studio composition.
4.       To describe competencies in the mastering of a studio composition such as panning, EQ setting, and final mix.
5.       To review and explain the studio practice as shown by the songwriter/producer in the studio.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Producers
1.       To translate the skills of studio recording into the practical skills of studio composition.
2.       To employ advanced studio techniques such as side chain compression.
3.       To develop lyrics as components of studio composition.
4.       To demonstrate competencies in the mastering of a studio composition such as panning, EQ setting, and final mix.

Songwriters
1.       To translate the skills of studio recording into the practical skills of studio composition.
2.       To employ and create common song structures.
3.       To develop lyrics as components of studio composition.
4.       To demonstrate competencies in the mastering of a studio composition such as panning, EQ setting, and final mix.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:001:00Introductory online video/lecture and materials
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion82:0016:00Reflect on the learning outcomes and skills in relation to the assessment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials61:006:00Asynchronous online lecture material with associated tasks.
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials22:004:00Asynchronous online lecture material with associated tasks.
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities10:300:30Introductory online video by the student introducing themselves to the learning group.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:309:00Synchronous online small group teaching with discussion of the associated tasks.
Guided Independent StudySkills practice82:0016:00Reflect and research the learning outcomes and skills in relation to professional practice
Guided Independent StudySkills practice82:0016:00Asynchronous online learning using hardware and software associated with Digital Audio Workstations.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study123:3023:30Analyse & evaluate learning and create from the skills being explored
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk81:008:00Synchronous online discussion of lecture material and associated tasks.
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will be taught in a mix of large and small group scheduled learning activities so that they have directed learning as a collective and then guided learning in smaller groups, each session then leads to a formative task so that the direction of learning travel is towards independent application of the skills shown during each week of teaching. This moving of the learning environment from large, to small group, to self is an important stage in the repeated building of competence and confidence of the student to explore the skills and operations needed to compose music using a Digital Audio Workstation.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj2A60Submission of a multi-track recording, circa 3-5 mins.
Reflective log2A40Consider techniques & skills from professional, critical, reflective practice. Circa 800 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Design/Creative proj2AThese assessments will be set in response to studio based tasks.
Written exercise2AThese assessments will be set in response to reflection on studio based tasks.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will self-identify as either songwriters or producers in this module and whilst the learning outcomes are shared they are themed so as to provide complementary learning journeys, as such the assessment will similarly share this inter-relationship. The stereo mix will enable them to demonstrate their learning in a creative context, whilst the reflective log will enable them to evaluate and be critical of their own learning journey.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.