MEDIA AND POPULAR MUSIC CULTURE (SONGWRITING COMPONENT) WXM1007 Co-ordinator: Dr Pwyll ap Siôn Level 1: Autumn Semester, 10 Credits Pre-requisites: GCSE Music Co-requisites: Music Technology
Description: The aim of this module is twofold: to provide the student with a series of theories and contexts for the study of popular music culture and to provide a basic introduction to songwriting skills. Pop culture’s history, development, social significance and aesthetic value will be investigated in parallel with a creative component where students will be encouraged to write and record their own songs. Themes covered will include the industry’s structure, the social and cultural conditions which allowed it to flourish, the emergence of rock and roll, the development of styles and genres and how they can be put to personal creative use.
Method, frequency and number of classes: Classes of 50 minutes for 11 weeks with fortnightly seminars concentrating on aspect of songwriting during weeks 2, 4, 7, 8 and 10. A Reading Week will usually take place during week 7.
Assessment • • •
One essay (1,000 words @ 25%) assessing Learning Outcome 1, to be submitted by 12 noon on Thursday, week 6; Two Songs (totalling around 6-7 minutes @ 50%) assessing Learning Outcomes 2 and 3, to be submitted by 12 noon on Thursday, week 12; Repertoire test (25%) conducted in week 12, testing Learning Outcome 4
Learning Outcomes: On completion of the module, a student should have: 1. 2. 3.
Developed an ability to think critically, and write about popular culture Demonstrated an understanding of the structural and stylistic features of song forms and an ability to work creatively within the medium Demonstrated an understanding of the basic uses of recording technology, such as how to record instruments and voices effectively, how to overdub, multitrack and edit parts effectively, and how to save and store compositions (some of which will be covered in the music technology module) Listened to, and remembered, a repertoire of pop songs featuring music from 1955-1995
Co-ordinators: Dr Pwyll ap Siôn and Dr Craig Owen Jones
Lecture and Seminar Outline (note: lecture and seminar topics may vary, depending on timetable layout) Week
Lecture (L) or
Seminar (S) 1.
What is popular music?
How do songs work?
Adorno’s view of the term ‘Popular’
The Pop Industry’s social context
How to write a song
Historical Background: Why 1955?
American Society in the 1950s
Stylistic Developments in Rock and Pop between 1955-75
L [first essay in!] 7. 8.
The Impact of Afro-American Music Reading Week
Songwriting Seminar (students to outline their plans for assignment 2)
Analysing Popular Music (I)
Analysing Popular Music (II)
Songwriting Seminar (student to play examples of work in progress for assignment 2)
Pop and Politics
Repertoire Test Revision
Select Bibliography Longhurst, Brian, 1995: Popular Music and Society (Cambridge: Polity Press) (ML3470 .L66 1995) Moore, Allan, 1993: Rock: The Primary Text (Buckingham, Open University Press) (ML3534.M66) Wicke, Peter, 1990: Rock music: culture, aesthetics, and sociology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (ML3534.W5713)
MEDIA AND POPULAR MUSIC CULTURE WXM1007 Essay (1,000 words @ 25%) assessing Learning Outcome 1. Please submit to the music office by 12 noon on Thursday, week 6. Remember to submit a copy via Blackboard. Do not plagiarize. QUESTION: What does George Ritzer mean by ‘the McDonaldization of society’? Can his theory be applied effectively to popular music? DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. INCLUDE A BIBLIOGRAPHY AT THE END OF YOUR ESSAY PS
Media and Popular Music Culture (WXM1007) Second Assignment. Compose, record and submit on CD two songs in contrasting styles, totalling around 6-7 minutes (@ 50%). This assignment will assess Learning Outcomes 2 and 3. Please submit by 12 noon on Thursday, week 12 Your songs should: • Demonstrate an understanding of the structural and stylistic features of song forms and an ability to work creatively within the medium • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic uses of recording technology, such as how to record instruments and voices effectively, how to overdub, multitrack and edit parts effectively, and how to save and store compositions (some of which will be covered in the Music Technology module) Please submit one hard copy to the office and one electronically, via Blackboard. Do not plagiarize someone else’s song. PS
WXM1007 Week 12 Repertoire Test Part of the assessment for this course will include a short test held in week 12, the purpose of which is for you to demonstrate a knowledge of songs, singers and pop groups discussed in some of the lectures. You will be required to simply name the song and artist from twenty one-minute segments played from amongst the following list during the test. As some songs can only be heard during specific lectures and seminars, it is imperative that you try to turn up to all classes. Joan Baez: ‘Love is just a four letter word’, ‘Farewell Angelina’, from The First Ten Years (CD 2607) Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (CD 2592) The Beatles: ‘Hard Day’s Night’, from Hard Day’s Night (CD 2522) ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, from Revolver (2053) ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, from Magical Mystery Tour (CD 2518) Chuck Berry: ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’, from Best Of Chuck Berry (CD 2312) Bob Dylan: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (CD 2592) Marvin Gaye: The very best of Marvin Gaye (CD 2327) Genesis: ‘Supper’s Ready’, from Foxtrot (CD 2286) Elvis Presley: The Complete Masters: Volumes 1 and 5 (CDs 2270 & 2274) Queen: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ from Greatest Hits (CD 2058) Little Richard: ‘Tutti Frutti’ (from His Greatest Recordings, CD 2314) Rolling Stones: Hot Rocks Collection (CD 2308; CD 1 only) Muddy Waters: The EP Collection (CD 2287) The Who: ‘My Generation’ and ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’, from Who’s Better, Who’s Best (CD 2262) Hank Williams: 40 Greatest Hits (CD 1 only, CD 2303) Yes: ‘Sound Chaser’, from Relayer (CD 2344) Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention: ‘Who Needs the Peace Corps’, from We’re Only in it for the Money (CD 2337) N.W.a: ‘F**k the Police’ (not in library) Take That: ‘Relight My Fire’ (not in library) Judas Priest: ‘Exciter’ from Stained Class (not in library)