Study Abroad and Exchanges



MUS2075 : Baroque Music (Inactive)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


• to build familiarity with the wider European music repertories, from the late sixteenth to the mid eighteenth centuries;
• to enrich understandings of contextual studies embedded within these repertories;
• to provide an intermediate-level training in the study of a key phase in music history, and so to prepare students for advanced-level contextual studies in their final year;
• to cultivate independent learning through student participation in seminars and student-led presentations.

Baroque music encompasses a very wide range of musical forms, contexts and styles: from Claudio Monteverdi to J. S. Bach. The years around 1600 witnessed a self-conscious epochal change (exemplified in the Mondeverdi-Artusi controversy) with the emergence of a distinct new style or seconda prattica of compositional idiom. For the ensuing century and a half, the continuo provided the backbone of most musical forms, including the genres that so clearly characterise the Baroque: concerto grosso, opera, oratorio, cantata, chamber music.

Taking five case studies, we place these musical forms within the wider social context of urban, courtly, and pious organization, and consider common cultural and social themes, such as patronage, listening, and sources.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is structured into five distinct case studies over the academic year each of which will introduce a key concept, genre, or historical context for the production and consumption of music c.1600-1750. Each unit will consist of lectures, seminars and workshops in which you will actively engage with primary materials (musical and textual) from the period alongside secondary scholarly debate.
The (indicative) units of study are:
•       The Beginnings of the Baroque
•       Baroque Compositional Techniques
•       Italian Opera
•       Musical Consumption in Baroque England
•       From Purcell to Handel: Dramatic Music on the English Stage

Slight variation in unit contents will be determined by yearly staff availability.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops42:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Team-taught units of study allow for case studies in baroque music led by experts on the different case studies offered. Each unit will consist typically of two lectures, and one or two seminars/workshops. The lectures establish the epistemological framework, and introduce key concepts, themes, genres and contextual knowledge while the seminars/workshops encourage student-led learning, group work with primary and secondary materials and discussion and debate. Each assessed unit task will be introduced in the workshops, so that learning begins in a group context enabling discussion and formative feedback on ideas and progress by the unit leader, and the further knowledge and context for these tasks will be supported by the accompanying lectures. In addition private study allows for further reading to support the complete of each unit task.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2A60The coursework portfolios comprise the best three tasks completed during the five units
Essay2A402,000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A portfolio task will be set at the conclusion of each unit; the portfolio submission will comprise the best three tasks completed during the five units. Each task will assess achievement in a discrete topic and/or skill, for instance: reading and evaluating primary source materials; the ability to consider musical culture within its specific social contexts; engaging with musical texts, including historically-informed analysis. The format of the tasks will vary according to the kind of materials being considered.

The essay, set at the end of semester 2, will typically require students to synthesise information and thematic ideas between the discrete units of the module.

Reading Lists