Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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We Made This Song. The Group Song Writing Processes of Three Adolescent Rock Bands

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posted on 2021-11-03, 21:02 authored by Thorpe, Vicki

In garages, practice rooms and classrooms, young people are composing music in rock and pop bands; engaged in working together in the shared enterprise of group music making. This study aims to contribute to scholarly knowledge through describing, analysing and interpreting the collaborative compositional processes (song writing) of three teenage rock bands. A theoretical model was developed and is applied to an analysis of the compositional processes of each group. Communication within each of the bands is analysed in terms of musical, nonverbal and verbal communication. The teaching and cooperative learning that occurred within each of the bands is presented, and each band is described in terms of a community of practice. An analysis of the compositional processes reveals that the three bands employed similar methods to generate ideas and construct their songs. However, when the data are viewed from a number of other theoretical perspectives, it is clear that two of the bands composed collaboratively, working together within mutually supportive, highly focussed and respectful communities; and that the third band’s songs were the work of a single composer, achieved through the cooperation and participation of the other band members. The young people in all three bands were highly engaged in selfdirected music learning, finding meaning and identity in the process.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

History and Literature of Music

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Hardie, Richard