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Unit information: Source Study, Paleography and Editorial Practices in 2014/15

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Unit name Source Study, Paleography and Editorial Practices
Unit code MUSIM0014
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Williams
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces students to different categories of musicological sources and discusses issues arising from these. It acquaints students with the nature of source materials for different repertoires and with the ways in which these may inform performance or musicological approaches to those repertoires.


  • To stimulate an awareness of the sensitivity required in handling primary and other musical source materials
  • To help students to acquire a critically informed approach to musical texts.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

1. Discuss different types of source materials for music;

2. Comment critically upon existing interpretations of primary source materials in the musicological literature;

3. Engage critically with a range of primary sources in a methodologically appropriate manner

This module also measures general learning outcomes for the MA in Music as follows:

4. Demonstrate a detailed awareness of certain repertoires, verbally and in writing, by means of historical, critical or analytical investigation

5. Synthesize a broad range of material (sometimes of a complex nature) and present the findings coherently, demonstrating a professional level of competence in appropriate bibliographic skills

6.Gain experience in seeing a project through from conception to planning, blueprint realisation, and execution

Teaching Information

10 seminars

Assessment Information

One essay and one practical assignment, from two of the three topics covered in the module. Each exercise will be given equal weighting (50% of the mark for the unit as a whole). The nature of the assignments will vary according to the source materials concerned, and might, for instance, consist of a straightforward editing task, a critical assessment of an existing edition, a critical interpretation of and report on issues surrounding one or more specific primary sources, or interpretation of issues raised in discussion of specific 'readings' introduced in class.

The essay assignment will demonstrate learning outcomes 1-2 and 4-6. The practical assignment will demonstrate learning outcomes 3-6

Reading and References

Key reading will vary each year, depending on the topics taught