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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MUS1012 Module Title: UNDERSTANDING MUSIC 1
Module Provider: Music and Sound Recording Short Name: MU1.UM1
Level: HE1 Module Co-ordinator: ARMSTRONG T Dr (Music Record)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability

Autumn Semester

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)


CW1: critical review




Listening exam (90 minutes)




Module Overview
This module provides an introduction to the variety of ways in which music may be understood. It provides a necessary foundation for work at HE2.  


Module Aims
  • To inform your understanding of music (art-music in the Western tradition, popular music and world music) by introducing a range of scholarly approaches to the subject.


  • To deepen your musical perception towards the level necessary to engage with both familiar and unfamiliar music at HE2.
Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:


  • Respond to several recorded excerpts referring to musical, aesthetic and socio-historical/cultural features as appropriate


  • Write a critical review of a live musical event taking place on campus within a specified period.
Module Content
  • Basic principles and ideologies behind current approaches to the study of music


  • Exemplification of these through selected examples


  • Practical sessions to develop and refine listening skills
Methods of Teaching/Learning
  • Eleven two-hour sessions comprising lectures and listening workshops


  • Resources available on Ulearn


  • Module reader containing extracts from key texts is required
Selected Texts/Journals



Beard, David and Gloag, Kenneth, 2005: Musicology: The Key Concepts (London: Routledge).


Cook, Nicholas, 1998: Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press).


Tagg, Philip, 1999: ‘Introductory Notes to the Semiotics of Music’,





Middleton, Richard, 1990: Studying Popular Music (Miilton Keynes, Open University Press).


Moore, Allan, F., 2001: Rock, The Primary Text: Developing a Musicology of Rock, 2nd edition (Aldershot: Ashgate).


Rowell, Lewis, 1984: Thinking About Music: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Music (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press).


Small, Christopher, 1996: Music, Society, Education (Hanover N.H.; London: University Press of New England ).


Weber, William, 1999: ‘The History of Musical Canon’ in Nicholas Cook and Mark Everist, eds, Rethinking Music (Oxford; New York : Oxford University Press), pp.336-355.





Nettl, Bruno, 1992: ‘Mozart and the Ethnomusicological Study of Western Culture: An Essay in Four Movements’ in Katherine Bergson and Philip V. Bohlman, eds, Disciplining Music: Musicology and its Canons (Chicago; London: University of Chicago Press), pp.137-155.


Cook, Nicholas, 1990: Music, Imagination and Culture (Oxford: Clarendon).


Frith, Simon, 1998: Performing Rites: Evaluating Popular Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press).


Gracyk, Theodore, 2007: Listening to Popular Music, or, How Iearned to stop worrying and love Led Zeppelin (Ann Arbor, Mich: University of Michigan Press).


Kramer, Jonathan, 1988: The Time of Music: New Meanings, New Temporalities, New Listening Strategies  (New York; London: Schirmer; Collier Macmillan).


Meyer, Leonard, B., 1994: Music, the Arts and Ideas: Patterns and Predictions in Twentieth-Century Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).


Sloboda, John, A., 1986: The Musical Mind: the Cognitive Psychology of Music (Oxford, Clarendon).


Swanwick, Keith, 1988: Music, Mind and Education (London: Routledge).


Taruskin, Richard, 1995: Text and Act: Essays on Music and Performance (New York; Oxford: Oxford University Press).



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