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Unit information: Advanced Technical Studies in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Advanced Technical Studies
Unit code MUSIM0042
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Stephen Rice
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit continues and develops students' education in music theory, style analysis and pastiche composition beyond the undergraduate first and second year 'Technical Studies' units. The unit explores a specific historical/stylistic repertoire from Western music history in three different ways:

  • Through the exploration of the musical material and compositional procedures of the music of that repertoire;
  • through the analysis of representative pieces or movements;
  • through pastiche exercises in the style in question.

The choice of period and repertoire may change from year to year, and either builds on Technical Studies at level C, or widens the range of students' technical experience through the exploration of repertoires further away from the 'common-practice period' (medieval, renaissance or early baroque music; styles of Western popular music). Unit aims: This unit aims to introduce students to the study of musical material, compositional procedures, style analysis and pastiche composition and/or improvisation of a repertoire in greater detail than our levels 4 and 5.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to: 1. understand the range of musical material (with regard to features such as harmony, rhythm, melody, polyphony, voice-leading, texture, phrase structure) typical for the repertoire in question; 2. understand typical ways of developing basic musical material into extended, coherent musical structures; 3. understand the relation between the surface of the musical style in question to underlying structural principles; 4. analyse pieces of movements with regard to their use of musical material and structures; 5. compose pastiche pieces/movements or improvisations in the style in question.

Teaching Information

Weekly two hour classes; some will be lecture, some seminar and performance workshop.

Assessment Information

Four coursework exercises, two of which count towards the coursework mark. All exercises, however, must be completed and handed in on time for the award of credit points. At the end of the unit: an extended final assignment. The final mark for the unit will be reached in the following way:

  • Two coursework exercises: 25% each
  • Extended final assignment: 50%

Successful attainment of learning outcomes 1-2 (see below) will enable students to demonstrate learning outcomes 4 and 5.

Reading and References

  • Jane Piper Clendinning: The musician's guide to theory and analysis. New York: W.W. Norton, 2005.
  • Steven G. Laitz: The Complete musician: an integrated approach to tonal theory, analysis, and listening. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3/2012.
  • Steven G. Laitz: Writing and analysis workbook to accompany The complete musician: an integrated approach to tonal theory, analysis, and listening. New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3/2012.
  • Ernst Toch: The shaping forms in music: an inquiry into the nature of harmony, melody, counterpoint, form. (New ed.) New York: Dover Publications, 1977.

Specific reading lists are given to students based on the specific repertoire chosen for the unit in a given year.