Undergraduate

modules

Modules

MUS2085 : Popular Music and Media

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

Aims

This module explores the relationship between popular music and media from a variety of critical and sociohistorical perspectives. In posing questions about the ways in which music has been produced, consumed, curated and mutated, the module sheds light on the ideological structures underpinning the mediation of music in the past and present. It does so by examining the relationships between musical production and media technologies (the microphone, phonograph, radio, film, television, mp3, social media, etc.); the changing role and place of music in society as understood through an analysis of media technologies; the meaning and nature of musical mediation and reception in society; the political economy of the music industry; the creative potential of media technologies for processes of musicking and remediation (including mixing, mash-ups, memes and plunderphonics); the mediation of music in work and leisure activities (the use of music while we work and play); case studies of key figures who have shaped our understanding of popular music and media, from musicians and producers to theorists and philosophers.

Main module aims
•       demonstrate a systematic understanding and specialised knowledge of the complex relations involved in studying music as a changing industry, technology and mediated cultural form
•       identify, describe and evaluate leading contemporary scholarship engaging with popular music and media
•       identify and deploy key techniques of analysis and enquiry within the field and evaluate the appropriateness of a range of theoretical and practical approaches
•       devise and conduct scholarly investigations which synthesise critical theories and methodologies
•       devise and conduct practice-based projects which deploy creative responses to the challenges and possibilities offered by music/media texts

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will be delivered via lectures, seminars and workshops which will typically cover the following topics:

•       Music and mediation
•       Sound formats from cylinder to mp3
•       Curating music: from radio to social media
•       History of the playlist
•       Broken music and cracked media
•       Mash-ups and memes
•       Labels, copyright and sampling
•       Plunderphonics
•       Humans and machines and technomusicologies
•       Music and film
•       Music and TV
•       Advertising and music video
•       Muzak, gaming and distributed listening

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:0010 lectures in Semester 1 and 2
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion321:0032:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1001:00100:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:0010 Seminars in Semester 1 and 2
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops32:006:003 workshops in Semester 1 and 2
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study321:0032:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of key critical concepts, musical sound, set texts and explorations of materials and methods of investigation. Weekly seminars enrich and deepen student comprehension of key concepts and issues in popular music and media and significantly enhance their teamwork, communication and critical skills through small group discussions with staff and other students. Workshops focus on practical skills relevant to the practice-based aspects of the module. Student independent learning for this course involves:
•       listening, reading and reflecting on key sources and texts, which helps to develop and enrich knowledge of popular music and media repertory and scholarly perspectives on the role of popular music in society
•       practice-based tasks which develop students’ abilities to understand how popular music is mediated and how remediation of music/media texts can afford creative and critical reflection

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A402000-word essay
Essay2A60Choice of essay or creative project - 2500 word essay or non essay assessment to be agreed with module leader
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Design/Creative proj2MTo assess skills required for practice-based portfolio tasks
Written exercise1MTo prepare for written portfolio tasks
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Written tasks (Sem 1 and Sem 2 summative ) assess:
•       comprehension of issues, theories and concepts introduced in lectures and seminars and the set reading
•       research skills
•       reflective and critical skills
•       ability to apply theories and concepts to a case study

Practice-based tasks (option for Sem 2 summative) assess:
•       comprehension of issues, theories and concepts introduced in lectures, seminars and workshops
•       set reading and practical tasks
•       research skills
•       reflective and creative skills
•       ability to creatively respond to music/media texts

Creative project (Sem 2 formative) assesses:
•       comprehension of issues, theories and concepts introduced in lectures, seminars and workshops
•       ability to creatively respond to music/media texts
•       reflective and creative skills
•       ability to use software to create remediated texts in preparation for practice-based portfolio tasks
Written exercise (Sem 1 formative) assesses:
•       comprehension of issues, theories and concepts introduced in lectures, seminars and workshops
•       set reading and practical tasks
•       research skills
•       ability to apply theories and concepts to a case study in preparation for written portfolio tasks

Reading Lists

Timetable