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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MUSM030 Module Title: CULTURAL THEORY AND MUSIC
Module Provider: Music and Sound Recording Short Name: MUM.CULTURAL
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: SCHMIDT PL Dr (Music Record)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern
Coursework (100% of total assessment)
2,500-word essay examining a particular issue, theory, or combination of these (30%)
5,500-word sssay applying one or more elements of the field discussed (70%)
Module Overview
Module Aims
To explore cultural theory models dominant in the study of popular music and popular music cultures. To engage critically with the dominant theoretical models used in contemporary popular musicology both through deep reading of cultural theory and through the application of theoretical models to a specific set of pieces.
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this module, you should be able to:
Identify cultural theory models used in the analysis of popular music and music cultures and place this use of a particular model within an historical context.
Discuss critically the dominant cultural-theory methodologies used in popular musicology. Relate and apply cultural theory models to the analysis of individual musical texts and music cultures.
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.
  • Popular Music and Popular Culture—Theorising the Popular
  • Marxism/Hegemony
  • Subculture Theory
  • Modernism/Postmodernism
  • Gender and Queer Theory
  • Reception/Perception
  • Authenticity
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Technology/Media Theory
Methods of Teaching/Learning
10 two-hour seminars plus up to 10 hours of tutorials
270 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. 
Selected Texts/Journals
Essential reading

Excerpts from:
Born and Hesmondhalgh, eds., 2000: Western Music and Its Others: Difference,
Representation, and Appropriation in Music. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Brackett, David, 2000: Interpreting Popular Music. Berkeley: University of
California Press.
Clayton, M., Herbert, T., and R. Middleton, eds., 2003: The Cultural Study of
Music. London: Routledge.
DeNora, Tia, 2000: Music in Everyday Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Herman, A., Swiss, T., and J. Sloop, eds.,1997: Mapping the Beat: Popular
Music and Contemporary Theory. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Lipsitz, George, 1994: Dangerous Crossroads: Popular Music, Postmodernism
and the Poetics of Place. London: Verso.
McClary, Susan, 1991: Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality.
Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.
Middleton, R., 2000: Reading Pop: Approaches to Textual Analysis in Popular
Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Solie, Ruth A., 1993: Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music
Scholarship. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Recommended reading
Frith, Simon, 1998: Performing Rites: On the Value of Popular Music.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Negus, Keith, 1996: Popular Music in Theory: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell
Background Reading
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