MUS2045 : Indian Music in Practice

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


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-shishya parampara (guru-disciple tradition)
3.       To provide complementary skills and knowledge valuable to students in their future professional careers, e.g. as creative practitioners, or teachers
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
6.       To involve students in sustaining and growing a culture around world music in general and Indian music in particular, within the University and beyond it.

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.

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 rivaaz (practise) sessions, baithaks (informal gatherings to share music), and workshops, and attend relevant performances in the University and the region.

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; your general engagement with the subject, based on a portfolio of short assignments; and a short, informal practical presentation at baithak.

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 (riaz) sessions
•       periodic group practice (riyaz) sessions

During the module you also attend and/or contribute to:
•       workshops, discussing themes around the practical study – e.g. the guru–shishya tradition, issues around learning, concepts such as gharana (school), useful models from ethnomusicology for reflection on the process, modes of self-evaluation.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching200:3010:00Vocal / Tabla lessons
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops132:0026:00Group riy?z sessions; group study
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00Individual practice, workshop preparation, and personal study
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. Wokshops 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.

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.

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