Module Catalogue 2021/22

MUS1011 : Understanding World Music

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nanette De Jong
  • Lecturer: Professor David Clarke, Dr Richard Elliott
  • 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 provide an introduction to the academic study of world music at UG level
• To provide a platform for the study of cultural options in world music later in the UG degree programmes
• To enable a familiarisation with the basic characteristics of a selection of musical styles and systems across the globe
• To acquire knowledge and appreciation of the diverse forms of musical expressions found in varied parts of the globe.
• To acquire an understanding of the importance and relevance of considering music and music-making in relation to their cultural and social contexts
• To provoke thought and understanding of world music traditions, including their differences and similarities as well as how (and why) they arise and develop
• To instil appreciation regarding the ways music and musical participation provide mediums into understanding world cultures in general

Outline Of Syllabus

The general purpose of this course is to introduce students to the scholarly study of traditional, popular, and classical musics from around the world through in-depth reading and close listening to assigned sound recordings, available on Blackboard, and performance. Students will be introduced to a range of scholarly approaches to world music. This introduction to world music will be grounded by looking at a number of specific case studies (identified by geography) through wide ranging analytical frames and/or themes. These may include: Caribbean music and rhythmic codes of identity (to include the study of Big Drum ritual in Grenada, merengue in Dominican Republic, and reggae in Jamaica); Indonesia and the study of music and trance (to include the use of gamelan in Barong and Kris Dance); and Southern Africa and the ‘collaborative’ process in world music production (to include an examination of Paul Simon’s Graceland album and Zimbabwe’s chimurenga). The varied musical modal patterns, including maqam, raga, slendro and pelog, and rhythmic patterns, including clave, tala, djelifoli and gongan, likewise, may be introduced.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

• Knowledge and understanding of how music is related to other cultural phenomena such as religion and ritual, constructions of identity, and political ideology
• Knowledge and understanding of a range of musical expressions within a selected geographical region
• Knowledge and understanding of how musical performance is constructed and enacted in specific social contexts
• Be able to describe and discuss the basic characteristics of a range of musical styles and systems from different parts of the world

Intended Skill Outcomes

• An improved ability to analyse and discuss varying world approaches to music and music-making
• Greater skill in assessing and applying ethnomusicological and cultural-theoretical perspectives to the study of music
• To be able to apply an ethnomusicological approach to the study of music in and as culture
• To be able to analyse the manner in which various aspects of a given music relates to its cultural context

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion741:0074:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials82:0016:00non-synchronous online lectures with accompanying lecture materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture32:006:00PiP. If necessary these can be converted back to non-synchronous online lecture materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00PiP seminars - guided listening, discussions, screenings (can be converted to online if necessary)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00PiP seminars (Review Sessions) (can be converted to online if necessary)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study193:0093:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

• Encourages students to engage with the materials individually as well as part of a group, within a variety of learning contexts

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A401,500-2,000 words
Written exercise2M602,000-2,500 words; these are discussion posts due weekly (12 posts assigned, 10 posts required)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

• The combination of essay and response posts will provide opportunities to apply critical and analytical strategies within different contexts.
• The final essay enables students to extend concepts examined in the course to a more comprehensive research project, reflecting, on a grander scale, their understanding of those concepts.
• The responsive posts tests general comprehension and familiarity with materials covered in the course


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2021/22 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 2022/23 entry will be published here in early-April 2022. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.