MUS-10104 - Popular Music and Jazz
Coordinator: Miroslav Spasov Room: CKF05 Tel: +44 1782 7 33395
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

This module introduces you to a range of significant 20th- and 21st-century academic debates relating to popular music and jazz, musical traditions that are situated at the very core of contemporary culture and society.
It offers you a thorough historical contextualisation and critical awareness of modern day practice within the popular music and jazz traditions. You will examine topics such as the historical and socio-cultural construction of genres, youth-culture, dissemination and the media and the concept of 'mixing genres' and its engagement with 'mixed audiences'. The module juxtaposes musically influential historical, political and philosophical movements with modern day engagement. Throughout the module you will engage with a broad and eclectic range of music(s) written by seminal recording artists who have, time and again, challenged, pushed, transcended and blurred the boundaries of classification, style (taste?) and 'genre'.
With an entire 'world of music' available upon a single mouse click this is now - perhaps more than ever -the most challenging, thought-provoking and exhilarating time to examine and critically engage with the many significant developments that have helped shape and define our contemporary musical ecosystem.

For students to develop competence in understanding and applying a variety of approaches to the analysis and interpretation of popular and jazz music, including both sociological and musicological methods, and through doing so to develop competence in interpretation of popular and jazz music and their cultural contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes

demonstrate an understanding of the key musicological debates within popular music and jazz studies: 1,2
demonstrate an understanding of how key social, political, philosophical, commercial, artistic and technological developments have each affected commercial, industrial and social engagement with popular music and jazz: 1,2
develop a range of skills that will prove valuable for future employment including critical independent thought, time management, team work, a high level of written communication, the formation of personal opinion and the ability to comprehend, analyse and contextualise academic texts: 2

Study hours

12 hours of lectures
12 hours of seminars, workshops and tutorials
48 hours (4 hours x 12) of preparation time (carrying out set reading and listening, analysis and creative exercises, etc.)
24 hours of reading and listening around the topic
54 hours of work on coursework

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 30%
Essay One
Compare/critically examine/assess two contrasting pieces of scholarly writing - one from popular musicology and the other from jazz musicology - that offer differing perspectives on a similar cultural, social or political issue. 1000 words.

2: Essay weighted 70%
Essay Two
Students write an essay critically examining one or more of the topics presented in the lectures - offering the chance for wider reading and research. 2500 words.