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MUS2088 : Folk Music Studies: Resources and Research Materials

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matthew Ord
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aims of this course are:

- To develop students’ knowledge of traditional music in the UK and Ireland.
- To introduce the historiography of British and Irish traditions and the commonalities and differences between them.
- To develop students’ understanding of the key sources of traditional and folk music in the modern period and their analytical approach to understanding authenticity and performance.
- To develop an overview of the formation of the traditional vocal and instrumental repertoires of the UK and Ireland.
- To develop students’ bibliographical and discographic skills in relation to traditional music.
- To provide an understanding of how social and technological changes in the modern period have been reflected in the changes in construction of authenticity and meaning in traditional and folk music in the UK and Ireland.

Outline Of Syllabus

This course provides an introductory exploration of the historiography of traditional and folk music in the modern period, with an indicative list of lectures covering topics such as:

- Key concepts and terminology in the musicology of traditional and folk music.

- Resources available for the study of traditional music and appropriate conceptual tools for their investigation.

- Chronological history of traditional music collection and reception in Britain and Ireland.

- Increased insight into song genres (for example ballads) and performance styles

- An improved understanding of how recording technologies and processes of globalization are changing the presentation and reception of traditional music.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00PiP - can be converted back to asynchronous online delivery if required
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion481:0048:00Research for portfolio and essay
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading801:0080:00Readings for seminars/workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Weekly PiP seminars - can be converted back to synchronous online delivery if required.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00Optional drop in tutorials at mid-term and final teaching week preceding assessment
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study135:0035:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce key module topics as well as relevant musical collections, texts and resources.

Weekly seminars enrich and deepen student comprehension of key concepts and issues in traditional and folk music and enhance teamwork, communication, and critical skills through small group discussions with staff and other students. Seminars will also provide a space for formative assessment in the form of short presentations related to portfolio tasks, allowing students to receive feedback from staff and peers.

Student independent learning for this course, which involves listening, reading and reflecting on key sources and texts, helps to develop and enrich knowledge of the musical traditions and scholarly historiography of the folk music of Britain, Ireland and their diasporas, and how these relate to the sociological and musicological understanding of traditional and folk music.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1A100Portfolio of three short research tasks and essay.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MStudents will prepare in-class presentations on their response to the portfolio tasks.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The investigative portfolio requires students to use ideas, understanding, knowledge and techniques gained through study of the module’s key themes to a particular set of short prescribed assignments, developing their independent research skills. This gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of musical traditions, idioms and techniques through direct reference to recorded examples, archives and reading. The portfolio is marked in the semester 2 assessment period. The first two tasks are 500 word exercises. The third task is an MP3 file of a creative arrangement plus 500 word commentary or alternatively a 1000 word essay. The final component is an essay of 2000 words which tests students' knowledge of a particular aspect of folk and traditional music historiography.

The formative component, comprising a series of short, in-class presentations, allows students to share their progress on the portfolio tasks at regular intervals during the semester and receive staff and peer feedback.

Reading Lists