MUS2088 : Folk Music Studies: Resources and Research Materials

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


The aims of this course are:

• To develop students’ knowledge of traditional music in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
• To introduce the historiography of folk and traditional music in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales 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 vocal and instrumental traditions of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
• To develop students’ bibliographical and discographical 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 England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Outline Of Syllabus

This course moves chronologically through the historiography of traditional and folk music in the modern period, with an indicitave list of lectures covering topics such as:

• Key concepts and terminology in the musicology of traditional and folk music.
• Further development of knowledge of resources available for the study of traditional music and further development of appropriate tools for their investigation.
• Further development of chronological history of traditional musics.
• Further development of the roles of orality and literacy the transmission of traditional music.
• Advancement of understand of musical instruments and instrumental genres and styles.
• Increased insight into song genres (for example ballads, ceremonial music and love songs) and singing styles
• An improved understanding of how the processes of globalization and digitalization are changing traditional music.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion321:0032:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:0011 X 2 hour lectures in semester 2
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1001:00100:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Drop-in surgery hours in weeks immediately preceding examination period.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study132:0032:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of relevant musical pieces and set texts and explorations of materials and methods of investigation. Weekly seminars enrich and deepen student comprehension of key concepts and issues in traditional and folk music and significantly enhance their teamwork, communication and critical skills through small group discussions with staff and other students. Student independent learning for this course, which involves listening, reading and reflecting on key sources and texts, which helps to develop and enrich knowledge of the musical traditions and scholarly historiography of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, 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
Portfolio2A100Portfolio of short research assignments plus 2,000 word final essay.
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 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 final short essay of c. 2,000 words tests their knowledge of a particular aspect of folk and traditional music historiography and is marked in combination with the rest of the portfolio. The final portfolio is assessed as a whole, for a holistic summative mark.

Reading Lists