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Unit information: Approaches to Music History I in 2015/16

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Unit name Approaches to Music History I
Unit code MUSI20142
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Scheding
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Recent research in musicology (including work done by staff in this department) has sought to position the repertoires and musical practices of past centuries in relation to broader social, political, technological and cultural trends of their age. This unit seeks to pursue that agenda in relation to key works, composers, performers and genres, which will be interrogated in depth and in different contexts, with the aim of allowing students to learn both about music history and about the ways of thinking about, researching and writing about music history. Classes will be a mixture of formal lectures, student presentations and discussion. Where appropriate, the unit will combine detailed historical study of a specified core area of the Western musical canon with in-depth consideration of contemporary cultural issues and intellectual debates touching on music and the study of music.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful completion of this unit will enable students to

  • discuss in detail essential repertoire from a specific period of music history
  • account for the technical, social and cultural factors that led to its production and development
  • assess, discuss and dispute arguments in secondary literature, both in writing and in class discussion
  • describe with confidence relevant historiographical issues such as canon formation and periodisation
  • display a grasp of relevant philosophical frameworks
  • research, plan and present an essay according to professional musicological standards
  • internalise information and apply it appropriately in an examination context
  • present ideas and findings, both individually and as part of a team, in a seminar context.

Teaching Information

2-hour lectures/classes with student presentations

Assessment Information

3000-word assessed essay (50%) and 2-hour examination (50%)

Reading and References

Marcia Citron, Gender and the Musical Canon (Cambridge, 1993) Martin Clayton, Trevor Herbert, Richard Middleton (eds.), The Cultural Study of Music (New York, London: Rutledge, 2003) Carl Dahlhaus, Foundations of Music History, transl. J. Bradford Robinson (Cambridge, 1982) Lydia Goehr, The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works (New York: Oxford University Press, 22007) Vesa Kurkela, Lauri V�kev� (eds.), De-canonizing Music History (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publ., 2009) Richard Taruskin, The Oxford History of Western Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005)