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Unit information: Advanced Technical Studies in 2016/17

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 MUSI30113
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Stephen Rice
Open unit status Not open

Technical Studies I or Technical Studies II (level C/4) (or demonstration equivalent knowledge of music theory).



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 Technical Studies units at levels C/4 (and Further Technical Studies at level I/5, if chosen as an option). 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 unit does not require level I/5 'Further Technical Studies' as a pre-requisite, but the assessment is differentiated for level H/6 'Advanced Technical Studies', drawing on students' wider exposure to repertoire and technique at level I/5.

The choice of period and repertoire may change from year to year, and either builds directly on Technical Studies at level C (by exploring examples from 18th- and 19th-century Western art music), or widens the range of students' technical experience through the exploration of repertoires further away from the 'common-practice period' (e.g. medieval, renaissance or early baroque music; styles of Western popular music). In order to ensure that students have the opportunity to study a range of different aspects of technical studies in music, the period/repertoire chosen for Advanced Technical Studies in a given academic year differs from that for Further Technical Studies (level I/5) in the previous academic year.

Unit aims: This unit aims to introduce students to the study of musical material, compositional procedures, style analysis and pastiche composition of a repertoire beyond those studied at levels C/4 and I/5.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of the unit, a successful student 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 a range of ways of developing basic musical material into coherent musical structures;

3. understand the relation between the surface of the musical style in question to underlying structural principles;

4. analyse pieces or movements with regard to their use of musical material and structures

5. compose pastiche extracts or pieces/movements in the style in question.

Teaching Information

Weekly two-hour seminar

Assessment Information

Four coursework exercises, the best 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 determined in the following way:

  • The best two of the four submitted coursework exercises: 25% each (demonstrating ILOs 1-5)
  • Extended final assignment: 50% (demonstrating ILOs 1-5)

Indicative exercises/assignments might be: realisation of a short composition exercise typical of musical pedagogy contemporaneous with the repertoire being studied; a musical analysis presented in graphic or textual form; the completion of a short sonata exposition in the style of a given composer, developed from given opening bars. The nature and size/duration of each exercise will depend on the particular repertoire being studied. Further details of assessment are given in the unit booklet.

Reading and References

1. Jane Piper Clendinning: The musician's guide to theory and analysis. New York: W.W. Norton, c2005.

2. Steven G. Laitz: The complete musician: an integrated approach to tonal theory, analysis, and listening. New York; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 3/2012.

3. 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.

4. Ernst Toch: The shaping forces in music: an inquiry into the nature of harmony, melody, counterpoint, form. [New ed.] New York : Dover Publications, 1977.

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