Bangor University has announced that it will be offering a "new and unique degree in English with Songwriting" through its English Literature and Music departments. The full text of the news release is reproduced below:
The song, it could be argued, is the single aspect of culture in which everybody participates- we all sing at some point, and enjoy our favourite songs. It's perhaps the combination of simple tune and words that makes a song so memorable. Singing and songwriting is an accessible art form and people have used song to reflect their lives and ideas since time immemorial. Bringing us up to date, musician, writer and journalist, Paul Morley, recently described the pop song as a 'specific 20th century art form'.
With this in mind, Bangor University is announcing a new and unique degree in English with Songwriting to be taught from 2008. This is the only degree in the UK that teaches songwriting in all its aspects: the composition of words and music, the theory, the history, recording technology and business skills. The degree offers both rigorous academic education and practical work. A third of the course will be spent writing and analysing songs, and two-thirds of the time following a traditional literary course covering texts from 1066 to 2008.
"Academics, literary critics, and people in general have for centuries gained pleasure from enjoying and analysing all forms of culture from high art, classical symphonies, from novels and plays to sonnets and haiku to popular culture: story-telling, folk songs and ballads, to contemporary forms such as the soap opera and pop song," said Ian Gregson, poet, literary critic and lecturer at the School of English.
"Songs have formed the inner soundtrack to so many people's lives. We can all relate to songs because they richly represent the changing face of our own culture, and other people's. The song form has undergone radical transformation since the Tin-Pan Alley tunes and 12-bar blues of the 1920s and 30s. The proliferation of forms and styles in the late twentieth century has meant that there has been no better time to study songs and their backgrounds, to contextualize their meanings, and become inspired to write some ourselves," said composer and lecturer, Pwyll ap Sion of the School of Music.
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Well, an advancement in the acceptance of popular songwriting as degree-worthy... May the Muse be with us all - we songwriters who are always students of song...