Module Catalogue 2022/23

MUS1059 : Contemporary Pop Performance

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr William Edmondes
  • Technician: Mr David De La Haye, Mr Fred Hollingsworth
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



• to develop core skills in contemporary performance

• to develop critically informed understanding and perspectives concerning performance within a contemporary, popular and commercial context

• to encourage creativity and imaginative engagement with contemporary discourses and contexts, integrating a broad range of repertoire and critical-cultural perspectives

• to develop individual abilities in instrumental specialisms, applying them to collaborative, group performance

• to develop critically informed skills with regard to the development of aesthetic, artists’ profiles and contexts, learning to deal with the challenges and contradictions particular to a given mode of delivery or cultural framework.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will introduce stage one students registered on the W301 BA Contemporary & Popular Music degree to critical, discursive perspectives concerning contemporary, popular music realization through performance. Through class discussion and practical group tutorial sessions, the diversity of experience and breadth of specialist interest that individual students bring through their prior personal engagement with popular music culture will be taken into account and applied to the manner in which class discussion and small-group collaboration is shaped and driven.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

• an enhanced knowledge of how to develop creative ideas towards practice-based research and professional practice

• an increased knowledge of the creative capabilities of contemporary instrumental and expressive forces

• an increase in the range of techniques, formats and narratives available to the student

• an enhanced critical understanding of how to contextualize contemporary performance within a wider cultural framework

• a greater knowledge and critical understanding of historical and contemporary performance within a framework of collaborative creativity, innovation and how to integrate personal and collective expression into them

Intended Skill Outcomes

• ability to develop performance material in contemporary and popular music contexts
• greater confidence and awareness working in contemporary and popular forms

• ability to collaborate with other artists/musicians

• greater confidence and fluency in developing musical and artistic ideas and realising them practically

• an ability to work creatively in a professional, commercial or research context

• a greater understanding of how to apply musical knowledge and critical thinking to creative ends

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00Asynchronous online if necessary. Otherwise PiP.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical101:0010:001:1 instrumental or vocal lessons (online synchronous arranged individually with tutors)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00Online synchronous if necessary, timetabled
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork82:0016:00Engagement via chat with streamed, professional lunchtime concerts (online, synchronous)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork181:0018:00PiP. If restricted, engagement via chat with streamed student concerts (online, synchronous)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1126:00126:00Online synchronous, organised by designated collaborative groups. PiP where possible and safe.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce ideas and offer scope for discussion of theoretical concepts and key repertoire relevant to the module topics, shaped and guided by the experience, interests and accumulated knowledge brought to class by its individual members. Such discussion and its findings are applied directly to practical engagement through seminars and set assignments during the course of semester one. Moreover, lecture content will introduce students to ways of negotiating the vast, multi-layered repertoire of contemporary (meaning present-day) music through critical and historical perspectives that, at the same time, place their own creative expression at the heart of how they respond. Lectures also analyse ways in which the post-digital networking environment offers myriad, imaginative ways in which musicians can get their work heard. Seminars will consist of practical work in groups, group discussions and assessed project preparation. Practical work and artist crit groups help students realise their ideas in a manner that explores aesthetic parameters of the contemporary, popular performance environment; collaborative, group, practical work will also be presented regularly in student concerts in preparation for final assessment.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Performance51M105-min group performance of 1 single collaborative composition or arrangement from established repertoire [marks awarded as group]
Performance101M10This is a technical test
Performance152M7010-12 min group performance of material collaboratively composed and/or arranged from established repertoire [marked individually]
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A10A 500 word critical commentary responding to a set question relating to course content
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The two assessed, group performances allow students to present and illustrate the development of skills and their capacity to work creatively, imaginatively and professionally within the context of specific contemporary aesthetic and stylistic frameworks. While individual skill and specialized instrumental technique are pursued in one-to-one tuition, they form only part of what students will be assessed on; students’ capacity to adapt those skills and techniques to an expressive performance context that forms part of a group response to the myriad challenges of contemporary pop music culture will also be key criteria of assessment.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 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 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.