MUS3024 : Music and AIDS

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


• To introduce the historical events, cultural changes and artistic works resulting from the AIDS crisis
• To consider broader problems of how music responds to cultural events and changes
• To enable students to pursue a research project on a topic of their choice within the subject

Outline Of Syllabus

This module introduces the historical events, cultural changes and musical and artistic works that have resulted from the AIDS crisis, especially in its most intense period of 1983-96. The class will consider the broader problem of how music responds to cultural events and changes, and how it can be used to project feelings or contexts and elicit personal and public responses. Students will pursue a research project on a topic of their choice that is included in the general purview of the module; a final paper will be preceded by several assignments.

In the past decades, many art works have been created in response do AIDS and its impact on people's lives. Some of those have been musical – a symphony, concert songs and cantatas, a number of pop and rock songs, hip-hop and jazz remixes, and avant-garde experiments. We will examine these works to consider different ways that fear, rage, mourning and more complex emotions are expressed; we will also consider the problem of musical interpretation and presentation of real-world events, as compared with private emotions and visions. There will be readings in cultural theory and the texts of AIDS, including some of the dramatic, literary and visual works created in response to the crisis.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture182:0036:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching40:302:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1162:00162:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce knowledge and skill and demonstrate application.
Small group teaching offers closer supervision of hands-on assignments.
Tutorials are arranged with the Module Leader for discussion of student led themes.
Independent study follows set exercises appropriate to each strand chosen.
Reflective Learning Activity is an opportunity for students to meet and discuss their progress in dedicated sessions that can be independently led or facilitated by the Module Leader.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M20Short Written Assignments
Essay2A804,000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Practical activities – performance or composition – will be accepted as part of the final project, in which case the final project consists of the practical activities plus a 2,500-word essay. Any practical activities must be approved in advance by the module leader.

The preparatory assignments and research paper will require students to apply knowledge of module contents through independent research, planning skills, and the development of coherent arguments and ideas. Students will receive instructions on what is sufficient coverage but word count is not significant in this instance.

Coursework will be marked as evidence of engagement with the material of the module in class and in private study.

Reading Lists