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Unit information: Historical Studies 1: Western Art Music (up to 1750) in 2016/17

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Unit name Historical Studies 1: Western Art Music (up to 1750)
Unit code MUSI10045
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Fairclough
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

A study of key issues and repertoires within the tradition known as 'Western Classical Music' (drawn from the medieval, renaissance and baroque periods) interspersed with consideration of relevant cultural issues in which music was implicated in those eras, and an introduction to research and bibliographic skills required for historiographical work.


This unit aims to develop the student's knowledge base in relation to key repertoire within the field of 'Western Classical Music' (principally by investigation of particular works from the period c.1450-1750 and by relating these to relevant cultural issues). 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.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful completion of this unit will enable the student to:

1) discuss in greater depth particular works and repertories 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

11 x weekly lecture (2 hours)

Assessment Information

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

Reading and References

  • Dahlhaus, C., Foundations of Music History transl. J.Bradford Robinson (Cambridge, 1982)
  • Everist, Mark, The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Music, CUP, 2011
  • Hornby, Emma, and Rebecca Maloy, Music and Meaning in Old Hispanic Lenten Chants, Boydell and Brewer, 2013
  • Strohm, R.,The Rise of European Music (Oxford, 1995)
  • Citron, M., Gender and the Musical Canon (Cambridge, 1993)
  • Forster, H. (ed.), Postmodern Culture (London & Sydney, 1985)