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The Studio Musician

  • Module code: MU6002
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 6
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of Level 5 modules
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module is a level 6 optional module for both Music and Music Technology students. It calls upon the knowledge and skills which students have developed at levels 4 and 5 of their programme and provides an opportunity for them to work to a high academic and professional standard. Students will learn how to plan, develop and produce group studio recording projects and how to position them in terms of genre, audiences, marketing and the music business. The final outcomes are group master recordings, supported by individual research and documentation.  Presentations and seminar sessions will provide the opportunity for formative feedback on the projects. In the lectures and seminars, the historical and contemporary roles of producers, recording engineers, composers/arrangers, session musicians, marketing and the music business will be analysed and evaluated, as well as the influence of technology on music creation and dissemination of work. Lectures and seminars will include group discussion, and students will be encouraged week by week to participate by bringing in audio and audio and visual materials that illustrate lecture topics. Lecture materials will be provided on Canvas.

Aims

  • to provide students with knowledge of processes and techniques used by producers, musicians, arrangers and composers in developing recordings to final mix stage;
  • to provide students with an understanding of how to create, manage, develop and market a studio recording project;
  • to develop students' ability to communicate the development of a project both verbally and through written/audio/visual documentation;
  • to develop students' ability to plan and to work with others for the achievement of a common goal.

Learning outcomes

  • demonstrate an understanding of the techniques used by producers, musicians and composers in developing recordings to final mix stage;
  • demonstrate an understanding of how to position a recording project with respect to genre, marketing and the music business;
  • plan a studio recording project;
  • develop and evaluate their own role within a group project;
  • interact effectively within a group.

Curriculum content

  • Working in a team and project management.
  • The roles of producers, sound engineers, composers, arrangers and session musicians in both contemporary and historical contexts.
  • Analysis of recordings with respect to market positioning and genre.
  • Music videos.
  • Marketing, networking and the music business.
  • Studio production techniques.

Teaching and learning strategy

Lectures will introduce the subject matter of the module and will incorporate group discussion on the topics covered.  Seminar sessions will be held in studio control rooms. These sessions will provide the opportunity for studio mixing and production techniques to be workshopped, and for students to present group and individual work in progress for formative feedback.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures, seminars and workshops 44
Guided independent study 256
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment for this module will enable students to demonstrate the learning outcomes in a clearly focused and fully engaged manner.

The module will be assessed through a portfolio of work (100%) consisting of:

Group Recording Projects. This assessment is summative but formative feedback opportunities will be provided through seminar sessions.

Individual Research and Documentation. This will be focused on the topic of the recording projects and on the nature of the students' individual role in the projects. The assessment is summative but formative feedback opportunities will be provided through seminar sessions.

Group Presentations. This assessment will provide formative feedback to feed forward for summative group recording projects.

The assessment for this module is designed to:

a) Give the student the opportunity to develop their skills in planning and realising group recording projects.

b) Provide the opportunity to demonstrate excellent analytical and critical facilities by way of individual research and documentation.

c) Give the student the opportunity to situate the group recording projects and their own individual contributions in the wider context of the music and media businesses.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) demonstrate an understanding of the techniques used by producers, musicians and composers in developing recordings to final mix stage; Group Recording Projects Group Presentations
2) demonstrate an understanding of how to position a recording project with respect to genre, marketing and the music business; Individual Research and Documentation Group Presentations
3) plan a studio recording project; Group Recording Projects
4) develop and evaluate their own role within a group project; Group Recording Projects Individual Research and Documentation
5) interact effectively within a group. Group Recording Projects Group Presentations

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
CWK Portfolio of work 100
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS a requirement that the major category of assessment is passed in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Katz, M. (2004) Capturing Sound: How Technology Changed Music. Berkeley: University Of California Press

Kusek, D. and Leonhard, G. (2005) The Future Of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution. Boston: Berklee Press

Moorefield, V. (2005) The Producer As Composer. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press

Bibliography recommended reading

Coryat, K. (2008) Guerrilla Home Recording: How To Get A Great Sound From Any Studio. 2nd ed. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Books

DeRosa, R. and Pejrolo, A. (2007) Acoustic and Midi Orchestration for the Contemporary Composer. Oxford: Focal Press

Massey, H. (2009) Behind The Glass: Volume 2. San Francisco: Backbeat Books

Passman, D.S. (2008) All You Need to Know About The Music Business. 6th ed.  London: Penguin  

Pierce, J.E. (1998) Playin' Around. Maryland: Scarecrow Press

Webb, J. (1998) Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting. New York: Hyperion

White, P. (2011) The Producer's Manual. London: Sample Magic

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