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MUS2045 : Indian Music in Practice

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor David Clarke
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 24 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


1.       To provide a practical introduction to Indian Classical music for students new (or relatively new) to this tradition (building on skills they’ve acquired through other musical practices)

2. To offer students the experience of learning in the Indian guru-?i?y? parampar? (guru-disciple tradition)

3.       To provide complementary skills and knowledge valuable to students in their future professional careers, e.g. as creative practitioners, teachers, composers

4.       To encourage cultural understanding though practical encounter, and thus …

5.       To provide a practical complement to modules involving the study of ethnomusicology and world music

7.       To cultivate technical, cultural and historical knowledge relevant to this practice.

This module gives you an opportunity to learn about Indian music by doing it. Apart from giving you a practical introduction to Indian music, it will also help you develop a range of general musical skills valuable to your existing musical practice(s) – e.g. improved listening, rhythmic and ensemble sense, intonation, ability to improvise. It will also enrich your knowledge of musical culture, theory and history.

You don’t have to have any prior experience of Indian music to take this module – just a suitable level of musicianship in any musical practice (classical, popular, folk etc.). You’ll have the option (subject to available places) of studying on vocal, tabla, or possibly a western instrument. As a student on the module you’ll help build a community of practitioners; and, related to this, you’ll get to organise and participate in group riy?z (practise) sessions, baithaks (informal gatherings to share music), and workshops, and attend relevant performances in the University, the region or online.

Because this will be a mostly new practice to you, assessment will NOT be completely staked on a summative final recital. Instead, it will be based on a mixture of elements: tutors’ evaluation of your progress on the course and the quality of your practising (riy?z); your general engagement with the subject, based on a portfolio of short assignments; and a short, informal practical presentation.

Outline Of Syllabus

The core of your activities comprises:

•       A series of regular lessons (e.g. vocal or tabla) in small groups.

•       Regular daily individual practice, and periodic group practice (riy?z) sessions.

* A series of seminars / workshops providing cultural and practice-related theoretical knowledge; these also give you space to share your reflections on your learning experience.

•       A series of online learning packs, designed to help you acquire supporting skills and knowledge in your own time.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching110:458:15Vocal / Tabla lessons. PiP.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00PiP.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery30:301:30To provide students with individual guidance as they progress through their module; and to provide formative feedback on work in progress for assessment.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1151:45151:45Individual practice, online induction, learning activities, tasks and assignments
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study111:3016:30Nonsynchronous online learning materials (e.g. podcasts)
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MUS3052Indian Music in Practice 2
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Small group teaching (vocal / tabla lessons) provide the core of students’ learning. Seminars/workshops provide fora in which students acquire further factual and contextual information and exchange ideas, as well as gaining experiential knowledge of the performing tradition and its cultural contexts. Online learning materials guide students in acquisition of core knowledge and skills, which inform their practice.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Performance102A50Baithak presentations, inflected by tutors’ report (by up to +5%).
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2A502500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Performance & tutor’s report evaluate your basic practical foundation, absorption in practice of key concepts, and overall level of progress and application in your core practical study.

If the public the health situation requires, students may submit an alternative online assessment in the form of a video presentation (weighting unchanged).

Portfolio evaluates (for example) your reflections on the learning process and the cultural encounters represented by it; your reflections on and understanding of performances of Indian music (live or recorded); and essential theoretical knowledge used in practice by performances of Indian music.

Reading Lists