MU5001 - Making Music History

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will consider how histories of music are constructed. Who decides what should be included within the narrative and what is the significance of what is left out? To what extent are we constrained by the available evidence? To what extent do the music histories we write reflect our present-day concerns?

You will engage critically with different approaches to writing music history, from the development of musical styles to in-depth socio-cultural studies, and to strategies for structuring our conception of music history. You will also consider how and why particular composers and repertory become dominant in our understanding of music history, and what the consequences of this might be.

You will also explore the different kinds of sources that music historians use – not only scores or recordings, but iconographical, archival or other historical material – exploring what they can reveal about the creation, consumption and functions of music in the past, and their limitations.

Within this module, you will develop a critical capacity to scrutinise sources and evaluate the way they have been interpreted in the creation of music history whilst engaging with a range of music from a variety of periods.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be given guidance on reading and listening which will be at the centre of the course, and act as preparation for weekly seminars of one-and-a-half hours. The seminars will be flexible in format, including presentations, class discussion and some lecture elements.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through the module tutor, engagement with your peers and through your programme leader. Your module tutor will offer tutorials, both for the preparation of your assignments and for feedback. In addition, you will also be able to see the module tutor (for instance in the publicised feedback and consultation hours) and to raise questions via email. Your peers will provide you with a collaborative learning environment, and your programme leader will guide you through the requirements and expectations of your course. You will also be supported through individual engagement with the academic literature, lectures and resources available on the eLearning Portal. Feedback will be ongoing throughout seminar activities and through weekly in-course assessment tasks.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will demonstrate a knowledge of how music history is made, and an understanding of primary source materials and their interpretation.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will be able to draw upon evidence in the construction of an argument expressed through written or spoken word, and be able to relate secondary sources to the interpretation of primary ones.
• You will have a critical faculty for challenging your own assumptions, concepts and hypotheses as well as those of others.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Your curiosity to confront, explore and assimilate unfamiliar musical sounds, concepts, repertoires will be apparent in a willingness to engage with a variety of source materials.
• You will embrace self-critical awareness and feedback from others as you monitor your own progress.

How will I be assessed?

1. In-class Oral Presentation (20%). MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Feedback will a brief report on an oral presentation.
2. Essay 1 (40%). A 2,000-word essay that tests students’ ability to make use of what they have learned in lectures and seminars, and to undertake their own research on a topic. MLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
3. Essay 2 (40%). A 2,000-word essay that tests students’ ability to make use of what they have learned in lectures and seminars, and to undertake their own research on a topic. MLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Feedback on essays comprises annotations to the script and a short report, plus an opportunity to go over your work with the marker in an individual tutorial.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

In this module, you will consider how histories of music are constructed. Who decides what should be included within the narrative and what is the significance of what is left out? To what extent are we constrained by the available evidence? To what extent do the music histories we write reflect our present-day concerns? The module will include a consideration of different kinds of history – those that trace stylistic change and those that focus on music’s place in society – and why particular composers and repertoire become dominant in the narrative. You will also engage with different source materials, such as scores, recordings, iconography and archival material, exploring what they can reveal about the creation, consumption and function of music.

What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will consider how histories of music are constructed. Who decides what should be included within the narrative and what is the significance of what is left out? To what extent are we constrained by the available evidence? To what extent do the music histories we write reflect our present-day concerns?

You will engage critically with different approaches to writing music history, from the development of musical styles to in-depth socio-cultural studies, and to strategies for structuring our conception of music history. You will also consider how and why particular composers and repertory become dominant in our understanding of music history, and what the consequences of this might be.

You will also explore the different kinds of sources that music historians use – not only scores or recordings, but iconographical, archival or other historical material – exploring what they can reveal about the creation, consumption and functions of music in the past, and their limitations.

Within this module, you will develop a critical capacity to scrutinise sources and evaluate the way they have been interpreted in the creation of music history whilst engaging with a range of music from a variety of periods.

Course info

UCAS Code W320

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

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