At the heart of music is composition, and although Woody Guthrie famously wrote, "I ain't a writer," many of the most important arguments and stories produced in the twentieth century and beyond have been at the hands of musicians. Much of the literary landscape, as well, has been historically in alignment with trends in popular music or the music of protest. This course focuses on developing coherent and effective academic writing in response to literary work, specifically literary texts that engage in subjects related to various forms of music and musicianship. Students will read a number of different texts throughout the semester in order to explore techniques for good writing and the benefits of critical reading, thinking, and dialogue. Students will read fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and craft essays covering a range of topics, many of which investigate the way music and other art responds to or stands against social and cultural constructs or demands. The class will also attempt to explore the ways different forms of compositions interact and are informed by one another as well as ideas about the life of the artist as represented by contemporary literature. Students will further develop their skills of reading and responding to literary work as a way of understanding and practicing the elements of successful writing. The class will value community based learning and discussion as well as collaboration, progression, and revision of work throughout the semester. While the majority of the course work for this class will be writing, students will also be evaluated on their completion of assigned readings and in class activities, as well as participation. Students should expect to gain a proficiency in college level academic writing, critical thinking, and literary craft analysis.