Students concentrating in Production will prepare a portfolio of original tracks and write an analysis paper and script for their senior spring semester lecture-recital.

The Production Senior Project Proposal requires the following information:

  1. A description of your production project, including planned pieces, length of each piece, and any other relevant content. Submit as a PDF.
  2. A 250-350 word proposal for an argument-driven academic essay that will engage with and contribute to recent and relevant scholarship in the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, sound studies, and/or music theory. Your essay must focus on the music of a particular producer or the history, evolution, and/or reception of a particular style, technique, instrument, or other technology. Submit as a PDF. This paper is completed in MUSC 490.
  3. A bibliography for this topic proposal that includes ten relevant scholarly sources. Submit as a PDF.
  4. A portfolio of recordings (mp3’s) and related materials (PDF’s for lyrics) produced as part of a class or under the supervision of Music faculty. You will need to create a Google Drive folder containing these materials and whose link you will copy and paste into the project proposal form.

You will be emailed a proposal submission link and directions by October 15.

Production Assessment

Each senior project component is graded Pass with Distinction (PD), Pass (P), or Fail (F). The portfolio is worth 70%, the comps paper 20%, and the lecture-recital plus script 10%.

Notwithstanding the comps paper counting for only 20% of the overall comps assessment, students must receive a PD or P on your comps paper in order to receive a PD or P as their final comps grade. In other words, a student cannot pass their comps with a failing comps paper.

Production Portfolio - Grading Rubric

The portfolio and presentation script will be due no later than 4 weeks ahead of the presentation date. Students will receive a link to upload their materials by February 15, 2024. Once they have submitted their materials, they will receive digital feedback from the faculty within one week.

1. Recorded Materials

Students will digitally submit recorded music totaling 30-40 minutes in length. The portfolio contents should demonstrate an arc reflecting the full range of the students’ capabilities as a producer. These recordings may be formatted as an album, EP, group of singles, mixed media project, video game cues, etc. The choice of format is up to the student, however, the portfolio must be designed as an audience-facing body of work. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the portfolio must be collaborative (ie. co-written, recording other musicians, etc.) Each piece must have a title, and the audio files should be formatted to reflect those titles without unnecessary file extensions like “v2”, “finalMix”, etc. If the pieces are formatted as an album, the album itself is also required to have a title. 

2. Mixing and Mastering Proficiency

Recordings will be assessed to determine whether the student has used appropriate input levels, stereo imaging, and microphone techniques. Audio files will also be assessed according to the commercial standards for mixing and mastering. A passing portfolio must have no weak signal and no clipping at the master or track levels. The loudness at the output stage should peak no higher than -0.1 dB on the master VU meter, and the average loudness should range between -14 and -9 LUFS in the louder moments. Some variations of this rule are allowed, depending on the customary standards of the musical genres covered in the portfolio.

3. Track-by-Track Liner Notes

The portfolio must include liner notes for each track with details about each piece, including the duration and credits to contributing instrumentalists and any collaborating songwriters/producers. Write a brief description of each piece, explaining the production background and how choices in texture, instrumentation, arrangement and engineering reflect the themes underlying this collection of music. Use this document as a template. You will need to copy this document to your own Google Drive to make edits. 

Students may also choose to write about the poetic themes if lyrics are included.

4. Presentation

Students will give a final presentation, totaling 25 minutes in length, which selects the most exemplary music of their portfolio to demonstrate the breadth of their work to their faculty and colleagues. The presentation will be given using PowerPoint, Google Slides, or similar, outlining central themes of the student’s work, audio/visual examples, and a track-by-track analysis as it relates to the core focus of the portfolio.

NoteA recital performance is not a part of the comps presentation or assessment. If any student would like to set up a performance or showcase of their work in addition to the presentation, this will have to be arranged ahead of time with the Department's Production Manager, Alexander Zhu. There are no guarantees a performance or set of performances will be held. This will be assessed based on availability of staff and performance space.

Portfolio Assessment grading:

Excellent, Satisfactory, and Unsatisfactory

Pass with Distinction

  • Requires an “excellent” assessment in all four of the above categories, and is reserved for a truly outstanding body of work.


  • Requires a "satisfactory" assessment in all four criteria.

No Pass

  • Indicates an "unsatisfactory" assessment in any of the four criteria.
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