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Unit information: Music and Society 2 in 2020/21

Unit name Music and Society 2
Unit code MUSI10060
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Scheding
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit sits alongside Music and Society 1, again addressing music history in non-chronological terms. The unifying element is here focused on the people creating, consuming and performing music: this may include composers themselves, performance practice, diverse forms of identity, and the writing of music history itself. The assessment is intended to prepare students for the second year mandatory history units, with a longer-length essay.


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 repertories introduced in the lectures

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

3) evaluate and apply strategies and methodologies for writing historical accounts of music, including relevant research methods, bibliographical tools, etc.

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

Teaching details

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

Assessment Details

1 x 2000 word essay (60%)

1 x 5 minute group podcast (40%)

Reading and References

  • Dahlhaus, C., Foundations of Music History transl. References J. Bradford Robinson (Cambridge, 1982)
  • Adorno, T. & Eisler, H., Composing for Films (London, 1994)
  • DeNora, Tia, Beethoven and the Construction of Genius (California, 1995)
  • Citron, M., Gender and the Musical Canon (Cambridge, 1993)
  • Horton, Julian, Schubert’s Late Music (Cambridge, 2016)
  • McClary, S., Feminine Endings (Minnesota, 1991)
  • Middleton, R., Studying Popular Music (Milton Keynes, 1990)
  • Forster, H. (ed.), Postmodern Culture (London & Sydney, 1985)
  • Taruskin, Richard, The Oxford History of Western Music (New York, 2005)