Undergraduate Course: Music and Human Communication (MUSI10067)
|School||Edinburgh College of Art
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||How valuable is music for human communication? Given that words and speech can provide such a rich and specific mode of human interaction, what is music's role? In some cases where social acts of communication prove to be very difficult (e.g. autism, behavioural problems, dyslexia), the work of music therapists and community music practitioners appears to alleviate difficulties. What makes music special?
By focusing on musical action and performance - studying music as something that people do - this course introduces students to aspects of the relationship between music and human communication.
By focusing on musical action and performance - studying music as something that people do - this course introduces you to aspects of the relationship between music and human communication. During the course, you will consider such questions as: What are the materials of musical communication? How can we examine the relationship between music and language? Does music have a particular social and communicative function?
Ethnomusicology, music psychology and social interaction research have all contributed to the study of music and human communication. Reading material for the course includes contributions to the topic from these various disciplines, offering an introduction to the application of social science methods in music research.
Lecture topics include:
What does communication mean for musicians?
What kind of language is music?
Music, cognition and communication
Materials of improvisation and music therapy
Ethnomusicology and social interaction studies
Music, relationships and health
Musical communication in social context
The course is taught through ten weekly, 2-hour seminars. Throughout the course, you will complete weekly writing tasks designed to help you to interpret and synthesise the course literature, which covers wide-ranging topics from different academic disciplines.
There are two assessed assignments. The first is a musical communication case study, involving structured group-based study of a video or film excerpt of musical performance. The final assignment, an essay, gives you the opportunity to explore in greater detail one of the topics raised during the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting Student pre-requisites: Open to Music students who have taken prior courses with a humanities or social science approach (focus on writing, not practical). Open to students with a social sciences background by permission of Course Organiser.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||1. Musical communication case study (30%). Group presentation grade is peer-moderated (WebPA) for final individual mark.
2. Essay, 3000 words (70%).
||Formative feedback on the regular writing and comprehension exercises is provided by sample answer sheets and seminar discussion. Formative feedback on proposed final essay titles/summaries (Week 10).
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal theories and concepts which inform the study of music as communication
- Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in carrying out a defined project of interdisciplinary research
- Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of one specialist area of the subject
1. Clayton, M. R. L. (2016) The social and personal functions of music in cross-cultural perspective. In Hallam, Cross & Thaut (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology (2nd ed., pp.47-59). Oxford, UK: OUP. Main library, electronic access.
2. Miell, D. E., MacDonald, R., & Hargreaves, D. J. (Eds.). (2005). Musical Communication. Oxford, UK: OUP. Main library, electronic access.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Skills in critical reading, reflection and synthesis.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||Seminars in weeks 1-5, 7-11. Students should be available for group work during week 6 for the first assignment (due in week 8).
|Course organiser||Dr Nikki Moran
Tel: (0131 6)50 2423
|Course secretary||Miss Carrie Lyall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422