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Making Music, Studying Music - MUS00124C

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Martin Suckling
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

We begin by making music together, working collaboratively on the department’s annual Practical Project to prepare and bring to performance a large-scale piece of music theatre. Alongside that process we look at what it means to study music: to consider what the object of that study might be, the ways in which we can develop and share understanding, and introduce the skills necessary for university-level work.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2021-22

Module aims

This module acts as an introduction to the integration of practical music-making with rigorous academic study that is characteristic of the York music department. It combines the creation, recreation, rehearsal and performance involved in the annual Practical Project with a detailed introduction to the skills necessary to develop successful study of music at degree level. Starting from the collaborative and creative nature of developing the performance, we will investigate the nature of research, and the original, active and critical thought-processes also involved there. A number of core skills will be introduced: to develop research-processes using traditional and digital media, and awareness of the importance of the critical and evaluative processes involved; to develop an understanding of appropriate attribution and referencing; to examine what makes a good seminar presentation in terms of content and delivery; to develop the presentation of research in written form; to develop familiarity with appropriate software and approaches to such issues as bibliographic management. By using content that is directly related to the Practical Project, the module will also develop the research-led approach to teaching which is central to the project (option module) system within the department.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students should:

  • have developed collaborative teamwork and ensemble skills
  • depending on role, have acquired experience in one or a number of the following: conducting, stage direction, dramaturgy, movement direction/choreography, stage design, lighting design, video projection design, rehearsal coaching, stage management, production management and publicity
  • have developed some insight into musical and musicological topics related to the annual Practical Project
  • have some understanding of what constitutes research, and the kind of original and creative thought-processes that it necessitates
  • be aware of different types of sources and their advantages and disadvantages
  • be able to examine a text critically
  • be able to carry out successful searches of e-sources such as JSTOR, Grove Online and RILM, and evaluate material generated by websites
  • understand what is meant by attribution, referencing and plagiarism
  • be able to refer to guidelines on house-style, referencing and citation formats
  • have considered what makes a good seminar presentation and put some of these ideas into practice
  • have become better equipped to choose a suitable essay topic, and understand the importance of planning and structuring an essay
  • have discussed elements of good and bad writing style, begun to analyse and improve their own writing
  • have acquired knowledge of various research strategies and techniques
  • have become aware of bibliographic-management software
  • become aware of the many different ways in which music can be studied.


Task Length % of module mark
Folio of Work
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Formative assessments: there are two short pieces of work produced within the block of sessions:

  1. (For submission in advance of Session 2): Evaluation / comparison of given texts, sourcing at least 2 other texts to support your argument; reference correctly. (500w)
  2. (For submission in advance of Session 4): Essay title (topic relating to Practical Project) + introductory paragraph + resource list

Summative assessment involves a folio containing the following:

  1. Reworked version of evaluation / comparison of a given text, 500w
  2. Essay opening + resource list, based on a topic related to the Practical Project. This opening must introduce the research question and lay out the preliminary argument (c.750w not including resource list)


Task Length % of module mark
Folio of Work
N/A 100

Module feedback

Reports with marks to student no later than 20 working days from final submission of assessment.

Indicative reading


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.