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Unit information: Readings In Musicology in 2018/19

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Unit name Readings In Musicology
Unit code MUSIM0036
Credit points 40
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Hibberd
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

none

Co-requisites

none

School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

Readings in Musicology identifies areas of musicological research which demonstrate the chances and challenges of disciplinary self-awareness: key categories of thinking about music, such as autonomy, context, and modernity; the thorny relationship between history and aesthetics; the appropriation of ideas from other disciplines (philosophy, critical theory, literary theory); the discussion of musics or aspects of music ignored or suppressed by traditional musicology (gender, non-Western music, popular and functional music). Such investigations help to understand how and why musicology developed the way it did, the reasons behind and the nature of current debates, and crucially for postgraduate students perspectives on the future of the discipline.

Aims:

Readings in Musicology identifies areas of musicological research which demonstrate the chances and challenges of disciplinary self-awareness: key categories of thinking about music, such as autonomy, context, and modernity; the thorny relationship between history and aesthetics; the appropriation of ideas from other disciplines (philosophy, critical theory, literary theory); the discussion of musics or aspects of music ignored or suppressed by traditional musicology (gender, non-Western music, popular and functional music). Such investigations help to understand how and why musicology developed the way it did, the reasons behind and the nature of current debates, and – crucially for postgraduate students – perspectives on the future of the discipline.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit you ought to:

(1) know an exemplary selection of older as well as recent musicological literature

(2) have a good understanding of important recent and current debates in musicology

(3) be able to apply the critical tools, concepts and vocabularies acquired in the unit independently to topics and questions identified in consultation with the tutors.

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) Demonstrate familiarity with a range of methodologies (including those imported from other disciplines)

(7) Display a sincerity of belief in particular ideas and methodologies, yet retaining a sympathy for and tolerance towards alternatives

(8) Be able to identify subtly different shades of interpretation and display sensitivity towards the consequences of their application

(9) students will demonstrate effective verbal presentation

(10) experience in seeing a project through from conception to planning, blueprint realisation, and execution

(11) students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for the historical understanding of musical styles and their development; relation of musical works to their social environment, and the impact of such environments on the work’s nature; aesthetic issues relating to the musical work; canon formation; reception

(12) students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of critical approaches to ‘traditional’ historical musicology (drawing on recent critical theory in philosophical, literary and sociological disciplines), including introductory treatments of deconstruction, narratology, gender, subjectivity, alternative canons (including popular musics) and intertextuality in music

Teaching details

10x2 hour long group seminars, plus individual tutorials as appropriate

Assessment Details

This unit is assessed by two equally-weighted coursework assignments (of 3000-5000 words). Based on outcome (10) and using outcomes (3) and (5), students will (in each essay), demonstrate learning outcomes (1)-(2), (4), (6)-(8), and (11)-(12).

Reading and References

  • C. Dahlhaus: Foundations of Music History (Cambridge, 1982)
  • I. Bent: Source materials and the interpretation of music (London, 1981)
  • R. Weiss and R. Taruskin: Music in the Western World – a history in documents (New York and London, 1984)
  • N. Cook and M. Everist (eds.): Rethinking Music (Oxford, 1996)
  • Theodor W. Adorno: Introduction to the Sociology of Music (New York, 1976)
  • Richard Leppert and Susan McClary: Music and Society: the politics of composition, performance and reception (Cambridge, 1987)

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