MU3001 - Music in the Home

What will I learn on this module?

This module introduces you to music in the most intimate environment – the home. Topics vary from year to year, but range from the keyboard music of the seventeenth-century home or domestic music-making in the Tudor household to the family relationships of the Mendelssohns and Schumanns in the nineteenth century, and from the music-making of American soul artists to the partnership of Britten and Pears at the Red House in Aldeburgh. We open up three questions that are fundamental to the history and performance programme in our undergraduate degree as a whole: how music is made; how music is consumed; and how music shapes cultural change. As we do so, we explore the most personal side of music – how people express their experience of life through music-making, understanding how emotions, gender, sexuality, identity and social class can all be shaped by music.

How will I learn on this module?

During the course, you will be given guided reading and listening each week; you will be able to track your progress through regular in-class assignments. Lectures will give you practice in listening skills, developing a facility for absorbing information delivered orally and an ability to interact with speakers. Seminars time for student presentations (individual and group work) and discussion, as well as providing an opportunity to develop study skills, including how to present your work orally and in writing. You will be given individual advice on your essays in a short tutorial, and the opportunity to receive oral feedback on your written work.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be supported through engagement with your peers, academic tutors, and programme leaders. Academic support is provided through seminar discussions and essay tutorials which allow specific issues to be addressed and to promote progress in academic development. The module tutor will be accessible within publicised office hours and via email. Your peers will provide you will 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. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar activities and through regular in-class 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:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. You will demonstrate knowledge of a repertoire of music from different periods, the function music played in the home and its relation to how people relate their experience of making music to emotion, gender, sexuality, identity and social class.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. You will be able to make effective use of written and aural sources of information when undertaking your own work, making appropriate acknowledgement of them.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

3. You will demonstrate a capability for independent learning and time management, taking responsibility for your own learning, and show an ability to work in partnership with others.
4. You will demonstrate curiosity through an open-minded engagement with unfamiliar musical sounds, concepts, repertoires and practices.
5. You will demonstrate a capacity to monitor and assess your own progress and an ability to respond positively to feedback of others.

How will I be assessed?

1. Participation in weekly learning tasks (10%). These short assignments will take a variety of forms, depending on the topic, and may include short quizzes, individual or group presentations, contributions to discussion boards or wikis, or submission of pre/post reading circle notes. See MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Feedback will depend on the individual assignments, and may include quiz scores, brief written feedback, oral feedback to cohort, or a combination of these.

2. SUMMATIVE: Essay 1 (45%), submitted at end of Semester 1. 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. SUMMATIVE Essay 2 (45%), submitted at end of Semester 2. 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 will comprise annotations to the script (electronic or hard copy) and a short report. There will also be an opportunity to go over your work with the marker in a tutorial.





Module abstract

In this module, you will study music in the intimate environment of the home. Topics include everything from Tudor domestic music-making to chamber music in the 19th century and American soul. You will explore questions around how music is made, its consumption, and the way music relates to broader cultural change. We will explore the experience of life through music-making, understanding how emotions, sexuality, identity and personality are all shaped by music. You will be given guided reading and listening each week which will provide you with a framework for lectures, which will be more focused. There will be plenty of opportunities for discussion and student presentations in seminars, during which you will also develop your study skills.

Course info

UCAS Code W310

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time followed by a further 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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