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MUS2060 : Ethnomusicology

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Goffredo Plastino
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


Ethnomusicology is a theory-oriented module, which includes a critical evaluation of selected recordings and audio-visual documentaries. The module explains why and how ethnomusicology is a complex and multifaceted discipline, that deals not only with the so-called “music of the non-Western world” but also with popular, folk and traditional music, western classical music and technologically mediated music, employing specific theories, methods and perspectives. The module also encourages students to apply ethnomusicological ideas, issues and methodologies to their own practice as musicians and/or listeners to music.

The module is designed to:
•       offer students an introduction to ethnomusicology, surveying its history, theories, methodologies, major writings, recordings and audio-visual documents from key scholars in the field;
•       illustrate how ethnomusicologists consider and analyse world music, popular music and music technology.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module typically covers a range of topics, including:

•       fieldwork;
•       field recordings;
•       history in ethnomusicology;
•       music and gender;
•       ecology;
•       music and culture;
•       globalization.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00PiP. If necessary these can be converted back to online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops91:009:00PiP. If necessary these can be converted back to online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery190:5015:50PiP. If necessary these can be converted back to online
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1165:10165:10N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce issues, approaches and concepts, and give the opportunity to discuss and explore these further. Lectures will furthermore focus on the detailed study of selected recordings from different cultures; on key issues that arise in the course of such study; and on the various approaches that ethnomusicology scholars may take.
Workshops will allow for more detailed explorations of primary sources and secondary scholarship.
Drop-in / Surgery sessions are a further opportunity to explore in depth theories, approaches and case studies considered during lectures with the module leader, on the basis of the needs of each student.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A1004000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The purpose of the essay is to present a well-informed debate that recognizes theoretical perspectives on ethnomusicology. The students should aim to debate thoroughly key critical issues, using comparative case studies where appropriate. The students should present a coherent argument and should show their ability to bring together information from different sources in a creative manner. The essay should therefore represent a synthesis of their readings and ideas, demonstrating the depth of their understanding of the theories, methodologies and examples considered during the module

Reading Lists