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Unit information: Music and Society 1 in 2021/22

Unit name Music and Society 1
Unit code MUSI10061
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Williams
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit gives first year students a foundation for reading, listening and critically evaluating a wide range of musical practice based around the notion of Music and Place. Instead of giving a ‘chronological’ account dominated by the Western classical canon, this unit will address issues in terms of (for example) geography, cultural identity, migration and other social factors influencing the creation and practice of music. It also seeks to provide foundational skills for historiographical research into music, including an ability to evaluate existing published writings), effective use of bibliographical resources, planning and researching a short essay and (in a seminar context) presenting and defending an argument orally.


This unit aims to develop the student's knowledge base in relation to key repertoire, principally by investigation of particular works and by relating these to relevant contexts. It also provides an introduction to important intellectual issues in contemporary musical culture (such as the representation of music in the media, recorded sound, music for stage and film), and encourages students to challenge and rethink established frameworks for understanding the role of music in society.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful completion of this unit will enable the student to:

1) discuss in greater depth particular works and repertoires introduced in the lectures

2) demonstrate a detailed understanding of social and cultural contexts for music

3) evaluate traditions and cultural values critically

4) plan an essay correctly using footnote referencing and appending a bibliography

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

3 x 1000 word essay (summative, equally weighted) ILOs 1-4.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MUSI10061).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.