MUS2018 : Contemporary Musical Materials

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


This module aims to introduce the student to further contemporary and cross-cultural understandings of the nature of musical materials. Students will be considering specific case studies throughout the course and challenging preconceived notions about what musical materials are, how they can be analysed/understood, and how they are performed. This module is partly theoretical and builds upon the Music Theory modules (MUS1001, MUS1002, MUS1004, MUS1005, MUS1015 and MUS1044) undertaken at Stage 1

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will be introduced to a variety of different musical practices, from other cultures and from different contemporary and popular practices, and will study these examples with reference to their musical material. These are directly related to the research interests of the staff delivering on the module and may reasonable include: popular music analysis, electroacoustic music, turntabalism, computer-coded musics, and subversive musical materials. Some approaches will be analytical but others will deal with musical forms that are seemingly resistant to conventional analysis. There will be opportunities to use early and modern recording technologies within the module so students should be prepared to perform during the sessions.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion83:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyProject work243:0072:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery240:156:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The mix of lectures and seminars are in regular rotation to allow for the musical material under consideration to be presented, discussed and then reflected upon in both predominantly lecture-led session and student-led sessions. The drop-in surgery hours are scheduled so that the students can meet with tutors at the music studios. The independent study enables the students to practice the techniques and textures they have encountered each week, which then inform the project work hours where they undertake the formative assessments set at the close of each week, and ultimately lead to the assessment preparation time where the students complete their summative assessment for the module.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1A40Research driven covering letter for a job application
Portfolio2A60Think piece under the premise of a public facing publication
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The first task is weighted to reflect the student's engagement with the content of the module up to that point and their brief, which is grounded in real world context of a covering letter for a researcher, is appropriately worth c.1600 words. The second task is worth c.2400 words which is larger due to the need for the student to reflect upon their learning during the whole module and to respond to the portfolio brief which asks them to write a research-driven piece linked to content their learning on the module.

Reading Lists