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MUS 165


This course will aim to provide the student with the fundamentals of writing a song, with the emphasis on the various elements required to actually write the song on paper, i.e. creating a lead sheet by transcribing an original melody with lyrics underneath and chord symbols above.


  •  Learn and utilize standard song forms, including the 12 Bar Blues and the 32 Bar (AABA) Song form.

  • Advance the students’ level of proficiency in transcribing rhythm and melody. Methodology will include rhythmic and melodic dictation exercises and providing written feedback on assignments. Additionally, class work will be critiqued in a workshop environment, so students can learn from each other.

  • Advance the students’ abilities as lyricists, with an emphasis on creating and editing lyrics for specific song forms and utilizing perfect rhymes. Examples of successful lyrics will be handed out, read and studied in class.

  • Advancing the students’ familiarity with basic blues and popular song harmony and chord progressions through listening exercises with lead sheets in hand, teacher led keyboard exercises, and workshopping of assignments.

  • Learn and utilize the basics of the written lead sheet the old fashioned way —with a pencil and staff paper. Students will be given sample lead sheets of the song forms being studied, which they’ll be encouraged to use as a guide for their own creations.

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