MUS-30038 - Contextual Studies 1
Coordinator: Alastair J Williams Room: CKF04 Tel: +44 1782 7 33300
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
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 students to key themes in current musicological debate.
- Classical music today: the meanings of classical music today, when its value is not longer taken for granted.
- Modernism and postmodernism: the debate between composer and audience understanding.
- Cultural studies: how musicology can understand popular and film music.
- Performance studies.
- Musical identity: emotion and psychology.
- Authenticity in music: the debate between what is natural and what is artificial.
- Music in everyday life: how people use music in their lives to affect their emotions.
The module focuses on music ranging from Beethoven to Zorn to world music.

To introduce students to key concepts and preoccupations in current musicology. The module aims to stimulate student debate and discussion around particular themes; it also aims to introduce students to repertoire relating to those themes. Students will gain insights into major musicological debates and research areas.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Critically assess and evaluate issues and theories relating to specialist areas within classical and popular musical traditions: 1,2
Engage with and evaluate pertinent issues in musicology and cultural theory: 1,2
Demonstrate greater understanding of selected musical repertoires: 1,2
Describe and make critical judgements about current areas of research in musicology: 1,2

Study hours

21 hours seminars
64 hours of seminar preparation of assigned reading
65 hours for preparation and completion of summative assessments

School Rules

Experience of writing essays about music is desirable.

Description of Module Assessment

1: Critique weighted 20%
Close reading of a relevant article selected by the module tutor
Students will be given a passage from a key text by the module tutor in week 8 of the module. They submit their critique at the beginning of the assessment period. Word length: 1000 words

2: Essay weighted 80%
3000-word essay
An essay of 3,000 words. The essay assesses the students' assimilation of key themes from the module.