Second year - Core modules - Music


This module introduces basic analytical concepts and skills for the understanding of Western art music from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century. Topics may include mode, word-painting, fugue, the schemata of the gallant style, cadence and themes in the Classical style and thereafter, sonata form, the Romantic fragment, Wagner’s form and harmony, narrative patterns, pitch-class collections and sets, non-Germanic musical syntax, twelve-note technique, analysis of rhythm, texture and gesture.

Critical Musicology

This module introduces basic critical methodologies, concepts and vocabularies employed in current academic work in the fields of historical musicology, ethnomusicology and popular music studies. Topics may include the history of musicology, music and culture, contrasting approaches to the anthropology of music, the sociology of music, music and postcolonial theory, music and critical theory, sound studies, the ontology of music, musical modernism and postmodernism, music and politics, music and class, music and ideology, music and violence, the ethics of sound recording, critical organology, music and race, music and feminism, music and gender, music and queer theory, theories of performance, and theories of reception.



Modules and courses are constantly updated and under review. As with most academic programmes, please remember that it is possible that a module may not be offered in any particular year, for instance because a member of staff is on study leave or too few students opt for it. The University of Birmingham reserves the right to vary or withdraw any course or module.