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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MUSM016 Module Title: POPULAR MUSICOLOGY
Module Provider: Music and Sound Recording Short Name: MUM.POPMUS
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: MOORE A Prof (Music Record)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern

Assessment is by coursework (up to 8,000 words in total)
Literature survey (30%), Coursework essay (70%)

Module Overview
Module Aims

To explore the recent development of academic discussion of popular music

Learning Outcomes
On completion of this module, you should be able to:
  • relate contemporary debates in musicology (concerning analysis, aesthetics, critical musicology) through the study of popular music;
  • critique a range of methods used for the discussion of popular music texts;
  • apply a range of methods to the discussion of popular music texts.
Module Content
We shall broach a number of areas, to be taken from the following, according to the needs and requirements of the group and to contemporary developments. We shall focus both on the study of the literature and on the applkication of techniques.
  • Semiotic approaches (Tagg et al)
  • Structural analysis (i.e. Schenker, as variously applied by Forte, Everett, Burns)
  • Interpretation and aesthetics (Moore, Covach et al)
  • ‘Cultural’ analysis (Middleton, Negus et al)
Methods of Teaching/Learning

20 contact hours
280 hours of private study (300 hours in total for the module) 

Each seminar will focus on a particular debate, a particular book or an article, which students will be expected to have read beforehand, and to have applied to particular examples. Up to 10 group tutorials as necessary to follow up on specific topics & develop assessed work.

Selected Texts/Journals
Essential reading
Middleton, Richard (ed.), 2000: Reading Pop (Oxford University Press)
Moore, Allan F. (ed.), 2007: Critical readings in Popular Musicology (Ashgate)
Moore, Allan F. (ed.), 2003: Analyzing Popular Music (Cambridge University Press)
Recommended reading
Everett, Walter (ed.), 2000: Expression in Pop-Rock Music (Garland)
Brackett, David, 2000: Interpreting Popular Music, 2nd. edn. (California University Press)
Middleton, Richard, 1990: Studying Popular Music (Open University Press)
Hawkins, Stan, 2002: Settling the pop score (Ashgate)
Tagg, Philip, & Bob Clarida, 2003: Ten Little Title Tunes (MSSSP)
Background reading
Frith, Simon, 1998: Performing rites (Oxford University Press)
Forte, Allen, 1995: The American Popular Ballad of the Golden Era 1924-1950 (Princeton University Press)
Hesmondhalgh, Dave, & Keith Negus (eds.), 2002: Popular Music Studies (Arnold)
Shuker, Roy, 1998: Key concepts in popular music (Routledge)
Toynbee, Jason, 2000: Making popular music (Arnold)
Brackett, D. 1995 Interpreting Popular Music. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
Everett, W. (ed) 2000 Expression in Pop-Rock Music.  New York: Garland.
Forte, A. 1995 The American Popular Ballad of the Golden Era 1924-1950. Princeton: Princeton UP.
Frith, S. 1998 Performing rites. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Gracyk, T. 1996 Rhythm and noise. London: I.B. Tauris.
Grossberg, T. 1992 We gotta get out of this place.  London: Routledge.
Middleton, R. 1990 Studying Popular Music. Milton Keynes: Open UP.
Middleton, R. (ed) Reading Pop. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Moore, A.F. 2001 Rock: the Primary Text. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Shepherd, J. & Wicke, P. 1997 Music and cultural theory. Cambridge: Polity.
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