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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Popular Music History (MUSI08072)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides an overview of popular music from 1800 to the present. It is primarily focused on Anglo-American developments and their international impact, but also considers cultural flows in music from a global perspective. It covers canonical artists, genres, and events in popular music while interrogating how the canon of popular music has been constructed. The course will therefore focus not only on popular music texts but also their contexts, and in particular how popular music has been affected by broader historical changes across a range of fields such as legislation, technology, economics, education, cultural labour, race/class/gender relations, and cultural imperialism over the last two centuries.

NOTE: This course requires no prior experience with music theory or notation, and is open to all students across the university.
Course description The course will be guided by a series of underlying questions:

- How do we define 'popular music'?
- Where, when, and how should popular music history begin?
- How do we decide what to include and exclude in popular music history?
- How do we make sense of the relationship between popular music and other musical cultures over history?
- How are music genres formed?
- How has popular music been produced, mediated, and consumed?
- How have concepts such as musical 'talent', 'creativity', 'authorship', and 'work' changed over time?

Each week will cover a range of topics based on set reading, listening, and viewing. The following list of topics is for illustrative purposes and is subject to change:

Week 1 - Introduction and Why 1800?
Week 2 - The Nineteenth Century
Week 3 - The Early Twentieth Century (1890s-1920s)
Week 4 - The Jazz Age (1917-1939)
Week 5 - The Second World War and Its Aftermath (1939-1949)
Week 6 - Teenage and Adult Music (1950s)
Week 7 - The Long 60s (1958-1973)
Week 8 - Rock versus Pop Part 1 (1970s-1980s)
Week 9 - Rock versus Pop Part 2 (1970s-1980s)
Week 10 - End of the 20th Century (1990s-2000)
Week 11 - Seeking the New in Popular Music and Course Review (2000s-present)

The student learning experience will consist of two one-hour lectures per week, and small group discussion in a one-hour tutorial per week.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  250
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 169 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) ASSESSMENT 1: Short writing assignment mid-semester, 500-700 (week 6; formative)

ASSESSMENT 2: Tutorial group presentations (in groups) and accompanying notes (rolling deadlines; formative)

ASSESSMENT 3: Written essay 2500 words (100%, end of semester)

Relationship between Assessment and Learning Outcomes:

Learning outcome 1 is assessed through the short written assignment and summative essay.

Learning outcomes 2 and 3 are assessed through the presentations, short written assignment, and summative essay.
Feedback Formative assessment will be given on the short written assignment (plenary, oral) and the oral presentations (orally).

Summative feedback for the written essay will be provided within 15 days of submission.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Apply core theoretical concepts and approaches in popular music studies to case studies in popular music history.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of key developments in popular music from 1800 to the present.
  3. Critically analyze a range of narratives and themes that have historically been used to interpret and evaluate popular music culture.
Reading List
Set readings for this course are subject to change each year. The following list is for illustrative purposes only:

- Bennett, A. and Waksman, S, eds. 2015. The Sage Handbook of Popular Music. London: Sage.
- Brackett, D. 2016. Categorizing Sound: Genre and Twentieth-Century Popular Music. Oakland: University of California Press.
- Frith, S. 1996. Performing Rites: Evaluating Popular Music. Oxford: Oxford UP.
- Levine, L. 1988. Highbrow/lowbrow. Cambridge: Harvard UP.
- Rose, T. 2008. The Hip-Hop Wars. New York: Basic Civitas.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will contribute to the following graduate attributes, personal and professional skills:

1. A comprehensive and well-founded knowledge in the field of study.
2. The ability to collect, analyse and organise information and ideas and to convey those ideas clearly and fluently, in both written and spoken forms.
3. The ability to work and learn independently.
4. The ability to apply critical reasoning to issues through independent thought and informed judgment.
5. The ability to evaluate opinions, make decisions and to reflect critically on the justifications for decisions.
6. An appreciation of the philosophical and social contexts of a discipline.
KeywordsPopular music,history,music industry,music industries,blues,ragtime,jazz,rock,rhythm,soul
Course organiserDr Marian Jago
Tel: (0131 6)50 2426
Course secretaryMiss Carrie Lyall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
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