MUS1012 : Understanding Music History

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


• To provide an introduction to the academic study of music at UG level;
• To extend students’ historical knowledge of music;
• To increase awareness of the issues and methodologies involved in the study of music history;
• To provide a platform for the study of historical-cultural options later in the UG degree programmes.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will introduce you to the challenges of studying music(s) from the past. You will be introduced to a range of scholarly approaches to music(s) of the past and a range of ideological, epistemological and political orientations in the writing of music histories. This introduction to historical method (sometimes called historiography) will be grounded by looking at a number of specific case studies. In the past, these have included chant and liturgy in pre-modern Europe, music in late Renaissance Italy; music, society and print culture in late Elizabethan England and society in early modern England; the rise of the audience in the eighteenth -century London; the Enlightenment; Romanticism and nineteenth-century European art; Austro-German Opera at the Long Fin de Siecle; and folk song collecting in the early twentieth century.twentieth-century modernism and postmodernism.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture142:0028:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars - Study Skills
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching62:0012:00Workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery20:150:30tutorial surgeries (15 minute slots)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1147:30147:30N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are given by a team of staff members; each lecture introduces a new area of study (repertory/context/methodology). Workshops give students the opportunity to enrich the contents of lectures - screenings, extended listening, primary source work M153.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M10500 word precis
Essay1A301,000 words
Essay2A602,500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essay 1 tests your ability to write a précis of a piece of academic writing. This tests students skills in synthesizing ideas and articulating them in their own words.
Essay 2 tests your ability to produce a lengthier piece of work dealing directly with written sources and incorporating some additional self-directed research.
Essay 3 tests your ability to undertake a piece of research based on one of the topics presented in the lectures, and to prepare a piece of written work over the course of several weeks. It gives you the opportunity to do further reading and to explore one of the topics in greater depth.

Reading Lists