Zack Moir and Haftor Medbøe:
This article reports on a qualitative study of four undergraduate students specializing in popular music composition, and examines links and overlaps between three related areas: participants’ interpretations and definitions of the term ‘composition’; their use of music technology; and how they describe their professional identities and roles in the creation of popular music. Findings suggest that the concept and practice of popular music composition are intrinsically tied to music production and the creation of a sonic product or artefact. Participants describe their roles in the creation of their music as multifarious, and report that usage of music technology involves them simultaneously engaging in activities associated with music composition, engineering, production and, especially, performance. Consequently, the authors (both lecturers in popular music composition) suggest that teaching, learning and assessment in this area of popular music education should be based on understanding popular music composition as performance-centred practice.