Module Catalogue 2020/21

MUS2069 : Hardcore, Seduction & Anarchy: Music as Social Philosophy & Critical Praxis

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr William Edmondes
  • Teaching Assistant: Mr Craig Pollard, Mr Stewart Smith
  • 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

N/A

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

N/A

Aims

-       To introduce a much deeper and broader historical perspective on marginal music cultures which, though marginal, have had a significant cultural impact
-       To examine marginal and popular music cultures through critical lenses that illuminate their importance and broader significance
-       To bring into the popular and contemporary curriculum a greater understanding and appreciation for cutting edge scenes that derive from relevantly topical current discourses around music performance and art practice.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module’s lecture series operates on two levels: on the one hand the introduction and discussion of key critical concepts relating to contemporary cultural theory (e.g. seductive commodification of new music vs. open-ended, critically challenging music), and applying them to specific moments and movements in the evolution of popular music, such as Punk, Techno, Black Arts Movement and the UK Hardcore continuum. Seminars will be grounded in set listening and applied reading. The module will be supplemented by a series of optional weekly film screenings that enhance and enrich students’ understanding and knowledge of contemporary vernacular music.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

-       A more expansive knowledge of the broader spectrum of contemporary and popular music history
-       A fuller knowledge and understanding of how scenes and movements evolve through collective initiatives driven by a need and desire to improve the social and spiritual sustenance of particular, marginalized communities
-       A much more comprehensive and insightful understanding of how key musical and cultural innovations and their subsequent evolutions develop, grow and spread beyond their initial sphere
-       A more nuanced and informed understanding of how distinct styles and traditions influence each other and overlap in ways that are not always evident or obvious from popular and reductive narratives.

Intended Skill Outcomes

-       An improved ability to analyze contemporary popular culture through specific examples and by applying specific critical positions
-       Greater skill in making critical links and identifying cultural cross-references
-       Learning to discern and identify core critical dynamics from the aesthetic characteristics (not just semantic content) of a particular movement, scene or initiative and practicing the ability to apply those to specific, pertinent examples
-       Learning to forge critical insights on cultural phenomena that are not necessarily (or initially) guided by reading critical texts, rather by using one’s accumulated listening experience and skills to eke out critical perspectives
-       Learning to articulate immersive listening discursively and critically

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 materials102:0020:00Online lecture material with associated tasks – non-synchronous
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00Online and synchronous
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery61:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The study of popular music at HE level is still a relatively new field and has in its short history so far been dominated by prioritising what one terms ‘mainstream’, commercial music that tends to be corporate-driven. Yet the mainstream has always relied on grass-roots, DIY social movements in popular music to keep being able to draw on fresh material. Too often popular music studies at HE focus on the foreground, surface level that we see (and consume) at the end point of that evolution. This module situates the student themselves (as consumer, listener, critic) at the centre of its exploration and enquiry, reinforcing an awareness of the music’s original impetus and meaning. The rationale of its teaching methods and their relationship to learning outcomes therefore concerns a reversal of the regular approach to studying music history and its culture, placing the student’s own subjectivity (listening, absorbing and embracing aesthetics) at the start of the process and negotiating critical frameworks from there. The two essays will this help the student to forge a position that they have themselves conceived through their intuitive response to extending, immersive listening, forging critical insight from it.

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
Essay1A301500 words
Essay2A703000 words/weighted equivalent
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

-       The essays will provide the opportunity to apply critical and analytical concepts and strategies to specific areas of work to be selected by the student from options provided at the start of the module
-       It will demonstrate a critical engagement with the material based on concepts discussed during the course
-       It will illustrate development in the student's capacity to apply critical thinking to specifically identified source material and examples

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.