Module Catalogue 2018/19

MUS1013 : Understanding Modern and Postmodern Musics (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2018/19
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Paul Attinello
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This overview of music since 1913 includes lectures giving an overview of musical trends and their cultural contexts, along with readings in cultural history and theory and music examples of innovative works over the time period involved.
A first half focusing on the innovations of Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Boulez, Stockhausen and their associates gives way to a wider consideration of hybrid experiments between avant-garde and popular styles from 1968 onwards, leading up to software and Internet influences on music of the present day.

Outline Of Syllabus

I.       First Shocks of Modernism
II.       Early Modernism I: Atonality and Rhythym
III.       Early Modernism II: Neoclassicism and Pluralism
IV.       High Modernism II: indeterminacy and improvisation, free and fusion jazz
V.       High Modern to Early Postmodern: Cage and the Cultural Transition
VI.       1968: Shattering traditions and the politics of change
VII.       Opening up in the 70s: minimalism, tonality, performance art
VIII.       Hybrids: crossing history and genre
IX.       Overlapping stages: new operas and new musicals
X.       Rhizomes: new postmodernisms, new technologies, new cultures
XI.       Globalization / Internet / Millennium
XII. High Modernism I: serialism and scientism

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students should gain:
•       an understanding of the terms ‘modernism’ and ‘postmodernism’ and their relevance to music in the 20th and 21st centuries
•       an awareness of the functions of classical and contemporary music in this period, and of the ideologies underpinning their reception
•       a knowledge of relevant pieces of music
•       an insight into the historical roots of modernity (in, for example, the culture of the Age of Enlightenment)
•       an understanding of music’s relationship to culture
•       a conceptual vocabulary for dealing with the material in question

Intended Skill Outcomes

•       the ability to think critically
•       the ability to engage with challenging texts
•       the ability to formulate an argument and communicate your views

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Data Synthesis : Present
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Present
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Present
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Assessed
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Initiative : Present
      • Independence : Assessed
      • Problem Solving : Assessed
      • Adaptability : Assessed
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Relationship Building : Present
      • Peer Assessment Review : Present
  • Application
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops121:0012:00Listening Sessions
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce you to issues, musical works, key texts and terms etc. You investigate and digest these through listening and reading as part of your private study time. Seminars provide you with an opportunity for discussion of this material.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M204 written assignments
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam tests (i) how well you have assimilated aspects of the course material, (ii) your ability to formulate a critical position on the material, and (iii) your ability to communicate this concisely. The exam questions will be disclosed sufficiently far in advance of the paper to allow you to reflect on the issues concerned, and to undertake relevant listening and reading.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2018/19 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2018/19 entry will be published here in early-April 2018. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.