Global Opportunities

MUS2108 : Music and Empire

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


1. To develop a broad knowledge of European colonialism and its legacies in relation to music, c. 1400 to the present.
2.To explore how colonial epistemologies have informed methods of musical study, and to introduce students to postcolonial, decolonial, and indigenous modes of music historiography.
3. To provide students with the tools to critically appraise recent initiatives to “decolonise the curriculum” in music studies.

Outline Of Syllabus

The course will comprise several individual sections, each one unpacking specific elements of the topic, including key concepts, events, and musical case studies. Indicative examples of these topics include:
-The roots of colonialism
-Music within and under colonialism
-Music against colonialism
-Music and decoloniality.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study951:0095:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The course will be taught using a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures will review weekly topics, outlining key terms, concepts, debates, historical figures, and musical works in relation to the assigned weekly reading(s) and listening. Seminars will develop students’ comprehension of key concepts and debates by working with primary source materials, and through class discussion and structured group tasks. Student independent learning will involve guided reading, listening, and the completion of a weekly reflective commentary on the virtual learning environment; these tasks will allow students to participate fully in seminar sessions.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A502000 words
Portfolio1A50Reflective portfolio - 2000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essay assesses students’:
- comprehension of lecture materials
- critical responses to seminar discussion
- skills in locating and comprehending further secondary literature, primary sources, and further listening
Reflective portfolio assesses students’:
- comprehension of lecture materials
- critical responses to seminar discussion
- ability to relate historical events and debates to contemporary context
- ability to reflect critically on the continued legacy of colonialism on studying, performing, and consuming music as citizens of a former colonising power and/or of a formerly colonised territory.

Reading Lists