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Unit information: Historical Studies I: Western Art Music I in 2013/14

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Unit name Historical Studies I: Western Art Music I
Unit code MUSI10052
Credit points 10
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Pickard
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts


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) and make effective use of bibliographical resources.

Intended learning outcomes

Successful completion of this unit will enable the student to:

  • discuss in greater depth particular works and repertories introduced in the lectures
  • alternatively, to examine contrasting or complementary works
  • demonstrate a detailed understanding of social and cultural contexts for music
  • evaluate traditions and cultural values critically
  • discuss a wide range of current cultural issues in music
  • internalise information and apply it appropriately in an examination context

Teaching details


Assessment Details

2-hour examination.

Reading and References

  • Dahlhaus, C., Foundations of Music History transl. J. Bradford Robinson (Cambridge, 1982)
  • 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)