Music first year modules

Module details

For students taking 80 credits of Music:

  • Music and its Cultures I and II
  • Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint I and II

One module from:

  • Paper and Studio Composition
  • Performance

For students taking 60 credits of Music (This is the only option available for BA Maths and Music students):

  • Music and its Cultures I and II
  • Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint I and II
  • Optional unassessed Instrumental or Vocal Performance (10 hours)

For those students taking 40 credits of Music:

  • A choice of either Music and its Cultures I or Music and its Cultures II
  • Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint I and II
  • Optional unassessed Instrumental or Vocal Performance (10 hours)

Compulsory modules

Music and its Cultures I

This module is an introductory guide to the study of music in its cultural contexts during the historical period 800 to 1800. Key examples of the principal genres of Western art music during these centuries will be discussed alongside an introduction to the traditions and histories of music in other geographical locations. In this way, students will begin to orientate themselves towards the disciplines of historical musicology and ethnomusicology as they are studied at university level. Topics covered briefly as part of this module will be offered in more depth in optional seminars available in the second and third years.

While the lectures for this module will concentrate on broader questions of musical culture, especially the characteristics of genres and their functions, in the associated seminars, students will work in more detail with short musical examples linked to the relevant week’s lecture. Students will thus learn to appreciate not only the place of music in a range of social, historical and cultural contexts, but also the variety of ways in which different kinds of music are constructed.

Music and its Cultures II

Music and its Cultures II extends the music-historical and ethnomusicological coverage provided in Music and its Cultures I, embracing a variety of repertoires and their contexts from 1800 to the present. The module crosses between Western art music and popular forms, aiming for breadth in terms of both geographical and methodological coverage, by means of a focus on the function and development of key musical genres. As with Music and its Cultures I, the module is intended as an introduction to topics that will be offered for more detailed study in years 2 and 3.

Lectures will address a range of political, institutional, social and cultural issues pertaining to music after 1800. In the seminars, students will focus on specific musical examples drawn from the lecture material. In this way, students will develop skills in both musical and cultural analysis that will enhance their music-historical and ethnomusicological engagement with music of the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint I

Weekly lectures will provide the theoretical background for the practical study of tonal harmony, analytical tools and music examples aimed at familiarizing students with the style of the ‘age of common practice’. Weekly seminars will explore the principles of harmony and counterpoint by means of practical exercises in harmonic analysis, realisation of figured bass and introductory chorale harmonisations. The seminars will also provide a forum for both discussion of weekly assignments and for the working or re-working of examples.

Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint II

Weekly seminars will continue to explore the principles of harmony and counterpoint introduced in Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint 1 and expand the repertory of practical exercises to include complete harmonisations of four-part chorales and a pastiche composition of Schubert-style song. The seminars will provide a forum for both discussion of weekly assignments and for the working or re-working of examples.