Songwriting 1

Course Number: PROD-100DL Credit Hours: 4

Course Description

This course is designed to improve (or uncover) each student’s songwriting ability through a study of the craft of songwriting, and to inform their careers by focusing on the various business aspects of songwriting. Students broaden their historical perspective of songwriting through a study of definitive songwriters of popular music, Melody, structure, lyrics, collaboration, and the development of a “hook” are all looked at in great detail.

Jae Deal

DEAL is an accomplished Los Angeles-based composer, arranger, producer and orchestrator in various genres including pop, hip hop, R&B and gospel.  He has worked behind the scenes as well as on stage with artists including Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Faith Evans, TPain, Jessica Simpson and Wynton Marsalis. In addition, Deal has contributed to the works of Elton John and songwriter Diane Warren. His diverse talents and ability to create fresh sounds for any modern track have kept him busy on the road and in the studio.

Week 1

Songwriting History

  • Folk Music
  • Jazz & Blues
  • Country
  • Pop/Dance

The Creative Process

  • Drawing Inspiration
  • Working Beyond Writer’s Block
  • Discipline
  • Song Development Techniques

Week 2

Songwriting Communication & Language Mechanics

  • Storyline Development
  • Narrative
  • Symbolism
  • Song Purpose/Types of Songs

Song Form: Parts & Construction

  • Song Form
  • Verses/Choruses
  • Bridges/Pre-Chorus/Intros/Outros
  • Variations on Conventional Forms

 Week 3

Skill Sets Expository

  • Syntatic & Semantic
  • Vocabulary
  • Musical Tools
  • Conceptual Appeal/Human Nature

Composition Arrangement

  • Voicing Choices (Vocal)
  • Voicing (Instrumental)
  • Rhythm Arrangement in Composition

Week 4

Song Form: Creative Structure

  • Rhyme Scheme
  • Meter Structure
  • Symmetry & Parallelism

Music Composition Mechanics

  • Verses/Pre-Choruses/Choruses
  • Bridges/Intros/Outros
  • Chord Progressions
  • Melodic & Rhythmic Variation Techniques

 Week 5

Song Analysis

  • Mood Effectiveness
  • Lyrical Effectiveness
  • Musical Effectiveness
  • Message Effectiveness

Preparation for Final Performance

  • More Techniques for Critiquing Your Song
  • Summary of Songwriting I
  • Extra Credit


Hardware & Equipment Requirements:

  • Audio Technica ATR2100-USB microphone
  • Webcam
  • Desktop or laptop PC or Mac with speakers, running the most up-to-date versions of Google Chrome or Firefox (see “Software Requirements” for more info)
  • Video/audio recording software, such as iMovie or Windows Live Movie Maker

Software Requirements: