Study Abroad and Exchanges



MUS3028 : Songs and Struggle (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module aims to provide an introduction to a folk song repertoire associated with or originating in socio-political movements from the Battle of Agincourt to the invasion of Iraq. It aims to develope an awareness fo folk song as an expression of personal struggle and a personal expression of mass dissent, to consider folk song as a force for social cohesion and examine and identify form and function in the material. This module also aims to encourage a familiarity with the major sources of material.

Original Summary:
Folk songs are a source, and sometimes were the only medium, through which people expressed their dissent and confirmed their identity. Thus, for example, when the peasants of Kent and Essex marched on London, led by Watt Tyler in 1381, it is said they sang 'The Curty Wren', a pagan mid-winter ritual anthem of partition and sharing of the body of a royal sacrifice. Ireland's United Irishmen and Scotland's Jacobite rebels were all celebrated in songs, albeit codified, indistinguishable in structure and form from the most lyrical of classic ballads. Generations of women, hungry for liberation from the gender stereo-type which kept them prisoners sexually, intellectually and economically, have left a legacy of songs which chronicle those struggles in heartfelt detail.
This module will examine the above repertoire - and much more-, drawn from the British Isles and Ireland, and look at content, form, structure and function within a social context.

Outline Of Syllabus


Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will allow for the presentation of relevant material in the form of recorded examples and occasionally, live performance of songs. Texts of songs will be provided and extracts from relevant works not included in the reading list. Students will be invited to contribute to the lectures with questions and comments, and be required to undertake reading, listening and analysis assignments.
Tutorials will be available on request for students wishing to do further research.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M100Written Project, 3,500 - 4,000 word count for finalist essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The project will require you to apply knowledge gained from the module's key themes through independent research and the development of a coherent argument.
The coursework folder is submitted as evidence that you have engaged with the material of the module both during class and during private study time.

Reading Lists