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Listen to This! - MUS00125C

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Information currently unavailable
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Module summary

This module considers a range of music from the multiplicity available to us today and introduces its histories, contexts and meanings. By placing the music within that framework, student listening and appreciation will become more focused and increasingly critical.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2017-18 to Spring Term 2017-18

Module aims

Listening to and engaging with music is central to its study. This process of listening can take many forms; in this module we will use the music department’s concert series as the starting point for a wider appreciation of that process. Over the year, students will be exposed to a wide variety of live music, across musical genres and from different historical periods, and will develop critical listening skills that move from the ‘enjoyment’ factor to an evaluation of that process and the historical factors that inform it. Alongside that experience, there will be weekly ‘Music in context’ lectures given by a wide range of academic staff. These will present a number of works which individual staff consider central to their understanding of music and their own academic practice – these will range across musical history and genres and also serve as introduction to different musicological approaches. In each case the work will be placed into its historical and cultural context, and issues of status and of canon formation will also be introduced; these examples will also serve to inform the listening ‘live’ that takes place within the concert hall.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will have:

  • widened their knowledge of music through history
  • become familiar with both standard classics and rarer items, from across the whole gamut of available musics;
  • become aware of a range of interpretations and the expressive skills of different performers;
  • learned about performing issues by listening to and watching experienced performers.
  • become more aware of how to respond to an acoustic;
  • engaged critically with the long tradition, in Western art music, of the culture of concert-going;
  • engaged critically with processes of musical perception
  • gained insight into a number of key works
  • become aware of the many different ways in which music can be studied
  • developed their written responses to a variety of musical experience.


Task Length % of module mark
1500 Word Essay
N/A 50
2000 Word Essay
N/A 50

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

There are two parts to the assessment of this module:

  1. An essay of approximately 2000 words (due Week 1 Summer Term) which takes as its topic one of the works discussed in the ‘Music in Context’ lecture series. Students will be expected to research the area around their chosen work, and present a discussion of the music that situates it in its cultural context.

  2. An essay of 1500 words (due Week 6 Summer Term) which reflects on a varied concert experience of at least ten concerts over the year, and considers aspects of performance style, repertoire and the act of performance (technique, interaction, etc.). Students should use the opportunity to reflect on the concerts of their choice in a way that might inform their own choices in performance, as well as evaluating that experience from a more conventional listening perspective.


Task Length % of module mark
1500 Word Essay
N/A 50
2000 Word Essay
N/A 50

Module feedback

Written feedback with mark to student within 6 weeks.

Indicative reading

Trevor Herbert: Music in Words: A Guide to Researching and Writing about Music (Oxford: OUP, 2001).

Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves (London: Profile Books, 2003).

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.