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Analyse This! Critical Approaches to Music 2 - MUS00188C

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Daniel March
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module uses case studies from a range of musical styles and traditions to build a concept of music analysis as a critical activity, and to equip you with a broad toolkit of analytical perspectives and approaches you can use to deepen your own critical listening.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

This module continues the pattern of Listen to This!, using critical listening as the basis for an in-depth exploration of foundational concepts for university-level musical study. In this second semester, the focus moves from ideas of canon and socio-historical contexts for musical activity, towards consideration of the different ways in which music may be constructed and heard. This is based around an analytical approach: we use experiences of listening as the basis for looking at specific musical features that underpin those experiences, and at the technical languages through which we can describe them. In weekly lectures, staff members will use relevant analytical techniques to explain core aspects of the effect and significance of a range of musical pieces. You will then apply these techniques for yourself in weekly small-group seminars led by postgraduate students.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the taught part of the project you should be able to:

  • Embrace a conception of musical analysis as an expansion of critical, reflective listening, and recognise the kinds of questions or problems which drive analytical thought.

  • Recognise a variety of analytical strategies that can be applied to music from a range of different styles and contexts.

  • Apply relevant analytical techniques to selected repertoire, situating these techniques in existing scholarship as appropriate.

  • Communicate analytical findings with clarity and critical insight, both through prose and through other visual or diagrammatic means as appropriate.

In this module you will also demonstrate the following learning outcomes for independent work:

  • Analyse music or demonstrate understanding of appropriate analytical techniques – LO 9;

  • Demonstrate techniques of detailed critical listening such as transcription and/or ‘close readings’ of aural sources – LO 12;


Task Length % of module mark
Essay and analytical diagram
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

An analysis of c. 2500 words (of a piece chosen from a shortlist of set works), supported by an appropriate, detailed analytical diagram. The written discussion must include some consideration of prior analytical literature on the piece, and some explanation or justification for the specific analytical techniques being used, as well as outlining the questions that the analysis aims to answer. The analytical diagram must be created by the student, and present information appropriate to the written discussion; a number of possible diagrammatic modes of presentation will be introduced during the module.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay and analytical diagram
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive written feedback in line with standard University turnaround times.

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.