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Listen to This! - MUS00125C

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Mark Hutchinson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

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 2021-22 to Spring Term 2021-22

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 2000 words (due Week 1 Summer Term) which takes one of the pieces introduced in the 'Music in Context' lecture series and argues for its status as a canonical work.

    To do this you will need to outline problems associated with the concept of canonicity (briefly) and then make a case for the significance of your chosen work (the bulk of your essay). You will need to consider for whom this work could be considered canonical, and what features give rise to this status – these may be 'purely musical' or in the discourses surrounding the music and its composition / production.

  2. An essay of 1500 words (due Week 6 Summer Term) which makes reference to at least five concerts from the Concert Series.
    Choose ONE of the following questions:

    1. Evaluate the qualities of effective communication in performance with reference to at least 5 concerts in the concert series.

    2. Compare approaches to programming and curation in at least 5 concerts in the concert series.

    3. How did performance practice issues impact your experience of at least 5 concerts in the concert series?

    4. Analyse the effects of spoken communication by performers within concerts, referring to at least 5 examples from the concert series.

To answer any of these questions most effectively, avoid writing 300 words on each concert and instead take an approach that allows you to explore an issue or issues across your chosen events.

Support for this essay is contained within a self-directed learning module in the Listen To This! VLE page.


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 20 working days.

Indicative reading

Relevant reading for each topic will be indicated via the VLE.

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.