You will study four core modules:
This module introduces you to contemporary issues, methods, techniques and debates in historical musicology, in the areas of source studies (manuscript, printed, electronic), historical performance practice, reception history, and genre studies.
Musicology Research Seminar
Invited speakers from other universities will give eight musicology research seminars, each of one hour in length, followed by discussion. The seminars will provide case studies in a range of methods, techniques and philosophies in contemporary musicology. Staff of the Music Department will lead four follow-up sessions of up to one hour in length, examining the broader issues that lie behind the approaches taken in the seminars.
Information Skills and Resources in Music
This module helps you to identify and access appropriate bibliographical resources, archives, and other sources of relevant information; describe in detail the process of bibliographical research and justify it; and execute a critical survey of the existing literature on a research topic.
Introduction to Music Research
This module introduces you to contemporary issues, methods, techniques and debates in music, in such areas as source studies (manuscript, printed, electronic), historical performance practice, reception history, and genre studies.
You will also choose one optional module from the following:
Advanced Music Analysis
This module will benefit Masters students in Music who lack a traditional background in technical analysis. You will attend the Level I undergraduate module ‘Analysis’ and tutorials given by the module leader. Topics include analysis of fugue, sonata form, nineteenth-century harmony, rhythm and metre, post-tonal pitch organisation and musical narrative.
Thinking about Music: From Aesthetics to Critical Theory
Some knowledge of philosophical aesthetics is an essential prerequisite for any musicologist who wishes to follow the critical debates that have stemmed from the ‘New Musicology’ of the 1990s. Composers, too, are increasingly called upon (or find themselves drawn) to explain their work in philosophical terms. This module is intended to prepare you to meet these demands. At its core is an introduction to the German aesthetic tradition, and the crucial role played in its history by music. Extracts from canonic texts will be read and discussed in seminars, and the development of aesthetic thought traced from the Enlightenment to Postmodernism.
Contemporary Music Studies
This module studies the explosion of musical expression that characterises 20th-century and contemporary music, focusing on key movements (serialism, minimalism, etc) and concerns (tonality/atonality, aleatoric principles, etc). Starting from the musical ‘crisis’ of the early years of the 20th century, the course will address issues such as the separation of ‘art’ and ‘popular’ music, the impact of technology and the presumption of postmodernism at the start of the 21st century. The marked shift in aesthetics and music’s ‘function’ will also be discussed.
Techniques of Music Editing
This module will show you the mechanics and transcription of early notation in the context of brief editing projects, and to apply knowledge gained in Introduction to Music Research and elective modules in understanding source traditions. You will develop skills in transcription, in the interpretation of various notations, and in the critical evaluation of different editions.
British Music Studies
This module takes the broadest perspective on modern British art music, offering case studies in the work of the ‘great composers’ of the tonal idiom such as Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten, evaluation of the Anglican choral tradition and the British symphonic tradition, examination of the problematic status of modernism in British music before 1960, and criticism of modernist and postmodernist composition since World War II. Approaches are critical, analytical and sociological, with some reception history as well. The repertory under study is mainly choral, orchestral and chamber music.