University of the West of Scotland

Undergraduate Programme Specification

Session: 2020/21

Last modified: 31/03/2020 13:23:59

Named Award Title:BA (Hons) Commercial Music Single

Award Title for Each Award: BA (Hons)  Commercial Music
BA  Commercial Music
Dip HE  Commercial Music
Cert HE  Commercial Music

Awarding Institution/Body: University of the West of Scotland
Language of Instruction & Examination: English
Award Accredited By:JAMES (UK Delivery Only)
Maximum Period of Registration:
Mode of Study:Full Time
Part Time
Campus:Ayr
Roma Contemporary Music College (Italy)

School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Programme Leader:Allan Dumbreck

Admission Criteria

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Chapter 2 of the University Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements:

SQA National Qualifications

Year one:
• SQA Highers: BBBC inc English or relevant alternative
• GCE A-Levels: CCC inc English or relevant alternative
• Irish Leaving Certificate: BBBC inc English or relevant alternative
• International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 24 points (4, 4 at HL)
• Rockschool Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma for Music Practitioners - Technology or Performance pathways (SCQF Level 6)

Students applying to join at Level 7 with our Italian partners in Bologna can be admitted with the Music Academies Italy Pre-Academic certificate.

Year two:
• SQA Advanced Highers: BBC + HG English
• GCE A-Levels: BBC
• International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 28 points
• SQA HNC: Music; Music Performance; Music Technology; Music Production; Music Business, or other relevant discipline
• BTEC Level 4 HNC: Communication, Media or relevant discipline
• BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM

Year three:
• SQA HND / BTEC Level 5 HND / Foundation Degree / Advanced Diploma: Music; Performance; Music Technology; Music Business

Entry is also managed by collaborative partners (NCL Cumbernauld/RCMC Rome/MAST Bari)


Other information:

All applicants will be expected to submit a strong personal statement and reference. Applicants may be invited for interview and/or audition.


or GCE

Year one:
GCE A-Levels: CCC inc English or relevant alternative

Year two:
GCE A-Levels: BBC


or SQA National Qualifications/Edexcel Foundation

An appropriate HNC/HND/BTEC award with the level of entry and/or credit awarded being subject to the content of the HN programme.

Applicants may also be considered with other academic, vocational or professional qualifications deemed to be equivalent.


Other Required Qualifications/Experience

Applicants to the Italian campuses (Roma Contemporary Music College / MAST Bari) will be required to demonstrate competence in English language in line with University Regulations, Chapter 2.12.


Further desirable skills pre-application

It is not specifically required that candidates possess Higher Music within their profile, however where this is lacking candidates must demonstrate evidence of an academic equivalent or active involvement in music at an appropriate level, for example suitable activities may include recording, composing, performing or organising events.


General Overview

Music is one of the UK’s largest industries by export alone and the BA (Hons) Commercial Music programme at the University of the West of Scotland aims to enable those with talent, drive and ability to forge a varied, lifelong career incorporating instrumental performance, business, composition, production and cultural studies elements, in areas such as songwriting, music promotion, live performance, tour management, sound engineering and production.

Developed in response to industry requirements, the focus is on a rapidly developing modern music business and the exciting opportunities brought about by new media. Lecturers are practising music industry professionals and guest speakers have included Shirley Manson and Ricky Ross. 

Designed for anyone with a passion for the music industries, the Commercial Music programme allows students to create bespoke learning experiences developing expertise from amongst three strands of study: songwriting and performance, technology and music business / creative industries studies. 

The songwriting and performance strand is intended for students who have an interest in developing a career within the creative sectors of the music industries: not just songwriters, musicians and singers, but also community music practitioners in fields including but not limited to: music education, music therapy, and community arts, culture and heritage and theatre.

The technology strand is intended for students with an interest in the intersections of music, audio and performance.  Working in our state-of-the-art studios, students will have the opportunity to develop expertise in the recording of live and studio performances, production, editing, post-production and mastering and the creation and production of music and audio for media.  Opportunities for employment may include working for broadcast services, live events and sound companies, recording studios, media outlets and corporate events companies.

The business and industries strand is for students who seek to understand the music industries as part of the wider creative and cultural industries.  Examining both the theories and practices underpinning the music and creative industries, students will have hands-on opportunities to be involved in real-world music enterprises.  To date, students have participated in a series of music industry events, staged within the university environment as well as in the UK, Europe and North America.  Employment opportunities include promotion and management companies, digital music firms, media outlets, artist management, as well as various entrepreneurial activities.

According to their interests, students may select modules develop their own individualised learning experience towards their own career aspirations, not limited to just one of these strands, but drawing on modules across all three.  In addition, the Commercial Music programme offers students the chance to enhance their research, communication and scholarly abilities, setting up further opportunities for employment or postgraduate study.

Additionally, students have the opportunity for interdisciplinary study and collaboration with other programmes within the School of Business and Creative Industries and the university.  Recently, Commercial Music students have been involved projects involving the Digital Art, Performance, Broadcast Journalism and Film programmes.  Moreover, Commercial Music students interested in music and health have been able to work on projects developed in conjunction with the School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery relating to the role of music in the lives of people with health issues. 

Forthcoming changes to the structure of the academic year afford Commercial Music the opportunity to extend the breadth and depth of current module delivery.  Students also have the opportunity to study and work internationally through a series of initiatives which support student learning and experience.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

BA (Hons) Commercial Music is designed for student success by promoting creativity, autonomy and employability both in terms of module content and course structure. We offer inspirational and transformative learning within a flexible and personalised curriculum, based on a model of inquiry-based learning, with a mix of practical, project-based work and critical analysis of contemporary popular music culture and the global music industries.

Integrating Teaching and Research

A central focus of the Commercial Music programme delivery lies in the integration of the core functions of the university, i.e. teaching, research, enterprise and community engagement, to provide students with an authentic and transformative learning experience that promotes the development of discipline, knowledge and understanding while developing key transferable skills and competencies that both prepare students for further study and enhance employability.  This focus can be evidenced through the fact that the UWS Music subject area is managed and delivered by a team who enjoy significant profiles both within academia and industry, fostering an environment of research-based teaching as demonstrated through modules such as Commercial Music Strategies, Advanced Music Production and Music : Professional Identity.

Developing an internationalised curriculum

There are related opportunities for educational and intercultural exchange throughout the programme, including the long-established International music exchange (EuroGig) and Toronto work placements and through the development of TNE partnerships, specifically with Roma Contemporary Music College and MAST Bari.  These points align strongly with Key Performance Indicators around Global Reach in the UWS Corporate Strategy. The programme provides a contemporary learning experience by drawing on the expertise of a range of academic and creative practitioners. This expertise is regularly supported by the input of industry speakers who demonstrate that sustained employment within the music industries requires a broad range of skills and adaptability.

The programme structure will build optionality (performance, production, business) across a strong central framework allowing for a relevant mix of core skills / specialism and points of access for RUK students (level 8) and TNE partners. Core modules will embody the major competencies required in the field while allowing for a nuanced delivery and assessment mode while options will offer specificity for individual students and potential institutional partners.

The programme is underpinned in current academic discourse around creative practice, professional practice and popular music / cultural studies, demonstrated by the prescribed literature, specificity of the learning outcomes and in the research-teaching linkages of the delivery team.  The programme offers a clear opportunity for the provision of student-centred learner pathways (UWS Corporate Strategy) towards the suite of Business and Creative Industries Masters programmes wherein creative practice-as-research is embedded as a core methodology. 


Graduate Attributes, Employability & Personal Development Planning

The programme is fully aligned with institutional priorities around the development of graduate attributes and with the institutional policy on personal development planning. The mapping of programme and module learning outcomes and employability-integrated assessment ensures the visibility of graduate attributes, employability and citizenship competencies. Personal development is embedded and explicitly signposted in the curriculum, with students provided with regular opportunities to capture and evaluate progression and development, stimulating reflection, self-regulation and a more constructive engagement with employability. It is recognised that personal development planning is an essential component of lifelong learning and continuing and professional development. To support this activity, all students are provided with access to personal development planning tools and enabled to develop a personal e-portfolio across the programme.

In accordance with University guidelines on employability and personal development skills, the Commercial Music degree adopts an enhancement-led and learner-centred approach.  Specifically, we utilise a research-led teaching approach underpinned by both scholarly activity and industry-facing, career-building skills intended to maximise ‘research-type’ graduate attributes and employability, inclusive of skills like: critical understanding, informed by current developments in the subject; an awareness of the provisional nature of knowledge, how knowledge is created, advanced and renewed, and the excitement of changing knowledge; the ability to identify and analyse problems and issues and to formulate, evaluate and apply evidence based solutions and arguments; an ability to apply a systematic and critical assessment of complex problems and issues; an ability to deploy techniques of analysis and enquiry; familiarity with advanced techniques and skills; originality and creativity in formulating, evaluating and applying evidence-based solutions and arguments; and an understanding of the need for a high level of ethical, social, cultural, environmental and wider professional conduct.

In addition, Commercial Music strives to support the University’s primary objectives of PDP, which are: to enhance the capacity of learners to reflect, plan and take responsibility for their own learning; to enhance their knowledge of what they learn and how they learn it.  Our PDP is concerned with learning in a holistic sense (in academic, personal and professional contexts) based on reflection and planning skills  which are integral to knowing how to learn in different contexts and knowing how to apply learning in different contexts, something that an individual does with guidance and support.  As students progress, support changes as personal capability is developed so that the process of PDP becomes self-sustaining, intended to improve the capacity of individuals to communicate their learning to others (for example, academic staff and potential employers).  In addition, PDP is a process that involves self-reflection; the creation of personal records; and planning and monitoring progress towards the achievement of personal objectives.

 

Work Based Learning/Placement Details

There are a number of different work-based learning opportunities for Commercial Music students.  Students have the opportunity to study and work abroad primarily through two mechanisms: the International Music Exchange (EuroGig), which allows for industry-facing work experience across all sectors of live music performance; and the work-related learning module, which allows a select group of students to work and study at our partner institution, the Harris Institute in Toronto, Canada where they receive intensive work placements with key music industries firms in the metropolitan Toronto area.  In addition, students enrolled in the work-based learning module also have the opportunity for work experience more locally and across the UK.  In years past, students have worked for prominent Scottish music industries companies inclusive of DF Concerts, Soma Records, EmuBands, and the SSE Hydro.  Students at TNE partner institutions will have similar regional opportunities for placements and work-based learning.

Engagement and Attendance

In line with the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on Moodle, and complete assessments and submit these on time.

For the purposes of this programme, this equates to the following:

Students are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study.

Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link: http://www.uws.ac.uk/current-students/rights-and-regulations/regulatory-framework/


Programme structures and requirements, SCQF level, term, module name and code, credits and awards ( Chapter 1, Regulatory Framework )

A. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate an ability to understand theoretical and aesthetic systems and relate theory and practice to each other.
A2Demonstrate an awareness of the understanding of the cultural conventions and symbolic meanings associated with repertoires, instruments and genres studied.
A3Ability to relate to music in its historical, social, cultural, political, philosophical, economic, spiritual and religious contexts.
A4Understanding of the historical development of practices of cultural consumption.
A5Understanding of the history of communication technologies and how developments in media and music can be understood in relation to technological change.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Understand the fundamental skills of music-related theory and practice.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Demonstrate an ability to use analogue and digital equipment for creating and recording music.
C2Create and use computer software for music-related tasks such as notation, sound analysis and synthesis, composition, sound recording and editing.
C3Combine musical sound with other media.
C4Integrate performers with electronically generated sound.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Use a range of processes to address defined and/or routine problems and issues within new and familiar contexts.
D2Demonstrate awareness of audience needs, characteristics and responses across a range of presentation and performance contexts.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate an ability to work independently as well as an ability to work as an integrated member of a team, to respond to partnership and leadership, and to lead others in teamwork in a business- or music-related context.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
7MUSC07009Live Performance20      
7MUSC07015Popular Music: History & Politics20      
7MUSC07002Studying the Music Industries20      
7MUSC07018The Business of Music20      
7MUSC07007Local Music Cultures20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
7MUSC07016Introduction to Collaborative Music Practice20      
7MUSC07017Introduction to Songwriting20      
7MUSC07014Musicianship20      
7MUSC07012Recording for Media 120      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

To progress to L8, students must meet the criteria outlined in University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.13).

For information on progression with credit deficit please refer to University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.13).

Those students entering the programme at SCQF level 7, and who successfully achieve 120 credits at SCQF level 7 (including all cores) can exit with Cert HE Commercial Music should they choose not to progress to the next level of the programme.

For information on the award of distinction please refer to University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.25).

For students who have exhausted all opportunities to pass core modules on Level 7 of the Commercial Music, there is an opportunity available to transfer to the CertHE Combined Studies to complete their award.


B. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the key theories and principles underpinning the cultural conventions and symbolic meanings associated with business and performance practice in the music and creative industries.
A2Demonstrate an awareness of the economic forces that frame the media, cultural and creative industries.
A3Demonstrate understanding of the role of technology in terms of media production, access and use.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Employ a range of practical skills and techniques associated with design, production and delivery of music related texts and products.
B2Demonstrate an ability to reflect upon their learning, and recognise influences on their own and other’s work.
B3Deliver work to a given length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and making use, as appropriate, of a problem solving approach.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Provide evidence of ability to use a range of communication and presentational skills and software applications for scholarly and in some cases music-related tasks.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Present and evaluate complex arguments, information and ideas relating to the practice and theorisation of music and music-related arts and business.
D2Examine assumptions critically in light of evidence.
D3Remain critically self-aware, through continual monitoring and assessment of their own abilities and realistic reflection of their potential and achievements.
D4Respond positively to feedback while maintaining confidence in their own creative and scholarly work.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise autonomy and initiative in a variety of tasks at a professional and/or supervisory level.
E2Demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge and awareness of the key issues in the field of music-related business, production and performance.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
8MUSC08010Commercial Music Strategies20      
8MUSC08021Music Industry Brief20      
8MUSC08020Music, Audiences & Participation20      
8MUSC08013Creating & Producing an Event20      
8MUSC08016Online Music Promotion20      
8MUSC08019Music: Academic Writing20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
8MUSC08018Popular Music Techniques 120       Roma College Only

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

To progress to L9, students must meet the criteria outlined in University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.13).

For information on progression with credit deficit please refer to University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.13).

Those students entering at SCQF level 7 or SCQF level 8, and who achieve at least 240 SCQF credits of which a minimum of 90 are at least SCQF level 8, including all cores, can exit with DipHE Commercial Music, should they chose not to progress to the next level of the programme.

For information on the award of distinction please refer to University Regulation, Chapter 3 (3.25).

For students who have exhausted all opportunities to pass core modules on Level 8 of the Commercial Music programme, there is an opportunity available to transfer to the DipHE Combined Studies to complete their award.


C. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate an integrated knowledge and understanding of the material conditions of (music) cultural consumption, and of the cultural contexts in which people appropriate, use and make sense of music cultural products.
A2Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the historical evolution of particular genres, aesthetic traditions and forms of (music) cultural practice, and of their current characteristics and possible future developments.
A3Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal theories, principles, concepts and terminology associated with Popular Music Studies.
A4Demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of public and everyday discourses in the shaping of music, culture and society.
A5Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which different social groups may make use of cultural texts and products in the construction of social and cultural realities, cultural images and frames of reference.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Demonstrate a limited range of specialist skills variously related to the research, design, production and delivery of music-related products.

B2Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key technological, political, economic and legal issues in the music and creative industries, with a view to being able apply an informed perspective in their creative practical work.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Use a combined range of routine and specialized skills in support of established practices in music performance, management, music production.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Identify and analyse routine professional problems and issues, and draw on a range of sources for the purposes of assessing and responding to them through research and scholarly activity.
D2Demonstrate the ability to assimilate and synthesise complex information, applying methods of identifying, progressing and achieving measurable goals.
D3Demonstrate an ability to employ reasoning and logic in order to analyse data and to formulate relevant arguments and hypotheses.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise autonomy and initiative in a variety of tasks at a professional, managerial and/or supervisory level.
E2Demonstrate an appropriate outlook for work in multi-cultural environments with particular regard to the fields of music-related business, production and performance.
E3Demonstrate an awareness of and understanding of key ethical and practical issues of project management in accordance with professional codes of practice.
E4Evidence a degree of critical self-awareness and reflexivity in relation to their professional and personal development.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
9MUSC09009Creative Music Product Design20      
9MUSC09023Music In Everyday Life20      
9MUSC09025Showcase and Portfolio20      
9MUSC09013Advanced Music Production20      
9MUSC09021Music Research Practice20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
9MUSC09019Advanced Songwriting & Performance20      
9MUSC09018Popular Music Techniques 220       Roma College
9MUSC09007Work Related Learning20      
9MUSC09010Recording for Media 320      
9MUSC09011Community Music Practice20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

To progress to L10, students must meet the criteria outlined in University Regulations, Chapter 3 (3.13).

For information on progression with credit deficit please refer to University Regulations, Chapter 3 (3.14).

Those students who initially enter the programme at SCQF levels 7, 8 or 9 and who achieve at least 360 credits with 200 in the subject area of which a minimum of 90 are at least SCQF level 9, including all cores, can exit with the BA Commercial Music, should they decide not to progress to the next level of the programme.

For information on the award of distinction please refer to University Regulations, Chapter 3 (3.25).

For students who have exhausted all opportunities to pass core modules on Level 9 of the Commercial Music programme, there is an opportunity available to transfer to the BA Combined Studies to complete their award.


D. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Understand theoretical and aesthetic systems involved in the creation, delivery and critique of creative texts and products and relate this knowledge to their own and others’ practice.
A2Understand the cultural conventions, symbolic meanings, representative and generic forms and technologies employed in the construction and reception of media, music and cultural texts.
A3Understand the ways in which forms of media and cultural consumption are embedded in everyday life.
A4Understand the ways in which the scholarly and productive fields of music, media and creativity are developed, including a range of established techniques of enquiry or research methodologies.
A5Demonstrate historically informed knowledge of the contributions of the media, creative and cultural industries.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Use a range of the skills, practices and/or materials associated with the design, production and delivery of music-related and/or business texts and products.
B2Consolidate, extend and apply creative skills and practices in one or more specialist areas of creative practice-drawing on craft and technical skills.
B3Demonstrate an understanding of professional and technical practices and traditions.
B4Deliver work to a given length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Make formal presentations about specialised topics to informed audiences.
C2Communicate with professional level peers, senior colleagues and specialists.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Demonstrate creative engagement with key concepts and issues informing and underpinning the music and creative/cultural industries.
D2Demonstrate ability to respond to key practical, ethical, legal, technological and business issues in the context of effective project management and creative development.
D3Demonstrate understanding of the opportunities for creative and entrepreneurial practice and how to exploit them in a business and/or arts context.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate ability to practice in a range of professional, managerial and/or supervisory level contexts.
E2Offer professional level insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues.
E3Demonstrate some originality and creativity in dealing with professional, managerial and/or supervisory level issues.
E4Exercise autonomy and initiative in professional/equivalent activities.
E5Take significant responsibility for the work of others and others’ role and responsibilities.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
10MUSC10014Music: Professional Identity20      
10MUSC10008Commercial Music Research Project40      
10MUSC10010Creative Music Project40      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
9MUSC09019Advanced Songwriting & Performance20      
9MUSC09011Community Music Practice20      
10MUSC10013Music Film & Sound Aesthetics20      
9MUSC09007Work Related Learning20      

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Award

The award of BA (Hons) Commercial Music is awarded to students who have at least 480 credits of which a minimum of 200 Point are at SCQF Levels 9 and 10, and of which a minimum of 90 are at SCQF Level 10.

Honours Classification will be awarded in line with the University Regulations, Chapter 3 (3.20 – 3.24).

To progress to Diploma, students must meet the criteria outlined in University Regulations, Chapter 3 (3.13).

For information on progression with credit deficit please refer to University Regulations, Chapter 3 (3.13).

For students who have exhausted all opportunities to pass core modules on Level 10 of the Commercial Music programme, there is an opportunity available to transfer to the BA (Hons) Combined Studies to complete their award.


Regulations of Assessment

Candidates will be bound by the general assessment regulations of the University as specified in the University Regulatory Framework .

An overview of the assessment details is provided in the Student Handbook and the assessment criteria for each module is provided in the module descriptor which forms part of the module pack issued to students. For further details on assessment please refer to Chapter 3 of the Regulatory Framework.

To qualify for an award of the University, students must complete all the programme requirements and must meet the credit minima detailed in Chapter 1 of the Regulatory Framework.

Combined Studies

There may be instances where a student has been unsuccessful in meeting the award criteria for the named award and for other more generic named awards existing within the School. Provided that they have met the credit requirements in line with the SCQF credit minima (please see Regulation 1.21), they will be eligible for an exit award of CertHE / DipHE or BA / BSc in Combined Studies.

For students studying BA, BAcc, or BD awards the award will be BA Combined Studies.

For students studying BEng or BSc awards, the award will be BSc Combined Studies.



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