Module Catalogue 2020/21

MUS2044 : Practising Music Analysis

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Christopher Tarrant
  • Lecturer: Professor David Clarke
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

Students wishing to take this module must have passed a Stage 1 notation-based module - MUS1002 or MUS1004.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

N/A

Aims

This module aims to help the student develop skills in the various practices of music analysis, including those already acquired in MUS1020 (Counterpoint and Voice-Leading). It also aims to help develop the student’s knowledge of musical pieces from the Baroque period through to the early Twentieth Century through aural and analytic encounters (with possible excursions into other repertories), and help them gain a measure of self-sufficiency in critically understanding the form(s), voice(s) and content of musical pieces.

By the end of the module students should be able to make sense of a reasonably complex piece of music through their own musical and intellectual resources. This means understanding how a piece works with (or sometimes against) formal conventions and how it mobilises forces such as harmony, tonality and thematic structure, to make an experience that is musically satisfying. This also includes learning to see the wood for the trees – to distinguish between musical elements of local and more global significance; in other words to understand the different levels on which a piece is working.

Outline Of Syllabus

Becoming good at music analysis (like becoming adept at anything else) takes practice. So the course offers a weekly programme during the academic year in which the student can try their hand at working with a range of pieces on different scales, starting with relatively simple ones, and moving towards complex and longer ones. They will be encouraged to understand the music in its various contexts too – historical, cultural, aesthetic etc. Weekly encounters with a related set of pieces should also help them get familiar with musical repertories.

Practising musical analysis also suggests that analysis is a form of doing or making. We will encourage the student to approach the music imaginatively – perhaps hearing it with a composer’s- or performer’s-ear. And we will ask them to produce something in response to their encounter with the music. This includes not only the written word, but other forms of representing their knowledge of the piece (e.g. a transcription, a graph, a talk, or a demonstration).

There are two points of summative assessment during the module: the first at the close of semester 1 (50%); the second at the close of semester 2 (50%).
At the end each semester you hand in a portfolio of work, comprising of task(s) that are related to the learning skills and outcomes of the learning events throughout each Semester. The brief for each portfolio can be found on Blackboard.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this course you should know about
•       Selected musical pieces and repertories
•       Issues pertaining to musical analysis

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the option you should be able better to

•       listen intelligently to music
•       make sense of the formation of musical pieces and the processes going on in them (e.g. processes such as harmony, voice-leading, thematic and motivic development)
•       recognise and understand the functions of different musical elements within a piece, of how these interact
•       represent your knowledge of all the above (e.g. through the written word, through graphical and diagrammatic representations, and other media, as relevant)

In summary, you should be able to make sense of a reasonably complex piece of notated music through your own musical and intellectual resources

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials122:0024:00Online lecture material with associated tasks
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading165:0065:00Seminar and lecture preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars - online and synchronous
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study199:0099:00Portfolio assignments
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures include expositions of relevant issues and approaches relevant to analysing music. Although staff-led, they still presuppose preparation on your own part, usually involving listening and/or reading, and/or score study. Seminars and workshops encourage you to apply these approaches to the study of specific pieces or movements from them, and give you an opportunity to present and discuss your findings and test out your ideas. Through a series of increasingly challenging assignments undertaken for both lectures, seminars and workshops you should gradually acquire the skills and knowledge that the module aims to develop. About 5 hours preparation time is assumed each week.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1A502,500 words
Portfolio2A502,500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Portfolios comprise key coursework assignments designed to test distinct skills and methodologies, and works and repertories studies at each stage of the module.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

n/a

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 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 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.