Global Opportunities

MUS2051 : Case Studies in Early Music

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


• To provide an introduction to the study of European early music, focussing predominantly on English music history;
• To extend students’ historical knowledge of music – including composers, genres, institutions, writings about music and the broader contexts in which music was produced and consumed – before 1750;
• To increase awareness of the issues and methodologies involved in the study of early music;
• To provide a platform for the study of specialist historical-cultural options at finalist stage and for those wanting to pursue specialist study dissertations and projects in the field of early music.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is split into two ‘case study’ units typically covering the period from the Renaissance to the early eighteenth century. Each unit enables students to engage in depth with discrete musical case studies over this period. The units are not exhaustive, but rather allow for detailed explorations of specific repertoires, historical moments, institutions, sources, musicians or contexts. Collectively they span from the late Renaissance to the early eighteenth century and range across a variety of topics and approaches: sacred and secular music; professional and amateur activity; production and consumption; close readings and wider contextual approaches.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00Synchronous present-in-person (or asynchronous online if circumstances dictate)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops101:0010:00Workshops: synchronous present-in-person (or synchronous online, if circumstances dictate)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00Tutorial surgeries: synchronous present-in-person (or synchronous online, if circumstances dictate
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1166:00166:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module is organised into two case-study units, each unit typically consisting of five lectures, five workshops and a tutorial surgery for students to discuss their summative assessment. Lectures introduce overarching topics, themes, music, musicians and sources while workshops allow for more detailed explorations of primary sources and secondary scholarship in small groups. Source-based workshop activities include collaborative work on primary sources, discussion and group presentations. The surgeries allow students to seek help with skills development (e.g., in mensural notation) and provide opportunities to discuss the development of summative projects prior to submission.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study1M50Project 1: 2000 words (or equivalent)
Case study1A50Project 2: 2000 words (or equivalent)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Each unit of study culminates in a piece of assessed work relating to the case study covered in the preceding teaching weeks. This will usually be in the form of either a 2000-word essay or a notation-based task (e.g., transcription) to the equivalent substance of 2,000 words. All assessments will require you to engage with primary source materials – both textual and musical – as well as relevant secondary source research. These assessments test your ability to undertake a piece of research based on the topics explored in each unit, and to prepare a piece of written work or musical transcription over the course of several weeks. It gives you the opportunity to do further reading and to explore an aspect of each of the units in greater depth.

Reading Lists