Postgraduate Course: Making sense of popular music (MUSI11050)
|School||Edinburgh College of Art
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course is designed to introduce the field of popular music studies and new directions in popular music research through case-study oriented lecture/seminars, accompanied by selected reading and listening tasks. Strong links will be made to issues of gender, race, capitalism, and technology, as well as to the at times complicated relationship between popular music and popular culture.
To facilitate contextualisation, the course will adopt a case-study approach using various artists, trends, or approaches as a lens through which to examine and apply various theoretical approaches key to the study of popular music. Particular topics, themes, and approaches may vary from year to year. While not a history course per se, the course is concerned with ensuring that students understand and can extrapolate from some of the key historical developments in popular music. While welcoming broader approaches in student work, the course takes a largely North American perspective as its jumping off point.
The course will provide an overview of some key approaches to popular music studies from the field of musicology across the last 40 years, ensuring that a variety of critical viewpoints in contemporary musicology are discussed. Race, gender, technology, capital, genre, identity, politics, and notions of value will be recurrent themes for examination and application.
In addition to weekly set readings, students will be expected to engage with popular music as sound, and critical engagement with recordings will be a point of weekly focus. That said, this course does not expect or require you to read music or engage with formal musical analysis (though you may do so if you wish).
Classes will normally take place weekly, and will comprise lecture/seminars organised around set readings and listening/viewing. Students are expected to participate proactively in seminar discussion.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 8,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
||Students will receive staff and peer feedback on an ongoing basis as part of class discussion.
Feedback on the first assignment will be provided by brief written comments and via plenary discussion. Feedback on this first assignment is also intended to help inform student work on the final assignment.
Written feedback on the final assignment will be provided within 15 working days of the hand-in date.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of key theories, principles, and concepts in the field of popular music studies.
- Communicate key concepts and debates within popular music studies with peers and senior colleagues.
- Plan and execute a significant analysis of a specialist topic within the study of popular music.
- Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in the development of their analysis of popular music.
Beard, D. and Gloag, K. 2005. Musicology: the key concepts. London: Routledge.
Bennett, Andy, and Barry Shank and Jason Toynbee (eds). 2006. The Popular Music Studies Reader, edited by, London: Routledge.
Clayton, Martin et al (ed). 2003. The Cultural Study of Music. London: Routledge.
Frith, Simon. 1996. Performing Rites. On the Value of Popular Music. Oxford: OUP.
Frith, Simon. 2007, Taking Popular Music Seriously, Aldershot: Ashgate.
Horner, Bruce and Thomas Swiss, 1999, Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture. Oxford: Blackwell.
Longhurst, Brian. 2007. Popular Music and Society. Cambridge: Polity.
Negus, Keith. 1996. Popular Music in Theory. Cambridge: Polity.
Toynbee, Jason. 2000. Making Popular Music: Musicians, Creativity and Institutions. London: Arnold.
Wall, Tim. 2003. Studying Popular Music Culture. London: Hodder Arnold.
Journal of Popular Music Studies
Popular Music and Society
Music Week [this is a business digest of developments in the music industry]
Scottish Music Review
Journal of the Art of Record Production
Music and Arts in Action
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||popular music,Sociology of music,Musicology,Popular culture
|Course organiser||Dr Marian Jago
Tel: (0131 6)50 2426
|Course secretary||Miss Laura Varga
Tel: (0131 6)50 2430