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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Thinking about Music (MUSI08075)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to critical and scholarly thinking on music, broadly defined, and equips them with the basic scholastic skills needed for subsequent elements of the curriculum. A key component of the course is challenging the idea that there is any one way to think about or "do" music, by introducing students to a broad spectrum of musical practices and repertoires, and by teaching them to recognise the presence and impact of various value systems in musical discourse. The course introduces students to a range of music research topics, approaches and debates, and in this way underlines what is specific about the academic study of music. Students also learn about research methods and standards through small-scale, original research projects undertaken as part of a group. The course supports students to develop critical listening, reading and writing skills, as well as covering basic tools, skills and resources needed for written work in particular.
Course description Delivered via a weekly 2-hour workshop and a weekly 1-hour seminar, this course aims to provide students with academic reading, research, and writing skills, and to introduce them to a range of contemporary issues in music research as well as promoting critical listening skills. The workshop components involve a mix of lecture content and group exercises; the seminars focus on critical listening and on writing about specific pieces and performances. The course is divided into three blocks. The first of these covers basic skills including finding literature and referencing properly, and introduces students to the basic expectations for academic work. The second block introduces students to a variety of modes of research in music via a series of research dialogues between staff members. The final block comprises of a group research project on a local music history topic, and provides students with the opportunity to consolidate the skills and ideas they have acquired on the course as well as a chance to publish the results of their research.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Available to BMus Music Students only.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  43
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 162 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative assessment:
1. Written assessment: annotated bibliography - 5 items, normally due in week 4 (weighted 25%) (LOs 1, 3, 4, 5)
2. 500-word written assessment: critical review, normally due in week 8 (weighted 25%) (LOs 2-5)
3. Group presentation on research module findings, normally delivered in week 11 (weighted 25%) (LOs 1, 3, 4, 5)
4. 500-word written assessment: analysis, normally due in week 12 (weighted 25%) (LOs 2, 3, 4, 5)
Feedback Formative verbal feedback will be given on exercises conducted in the listening seminars and in the workshop. Written feedback (formative and summative) will be given on all submissions, in line with University policy on timeframe.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify appropriate sources for researching topics in music.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of different approaches to music research.
  3. Analyse critically a range of sources.
  4. Evaluate the value systems underpinning the sources.
  5. Communicate ideas clearly in appropriate formats.
Reading List
David Beard and Ken Gloag *Musicology: The Key Concepts*. London: Routledge, 2016 (2nd edition).
Michael Clayton, Trevor Herbert, and Richard Middleton (eds). *The cultural study of music: a critical introduction*. London: Routledge, 2012.
J. P. Harper-Scott and Jim Samson (eds) *An Introduction to Music Studies*. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Generic cognitive skills (e.g. evaluation, critical analysis);
Communication, numeracy and IT skills; and
Autonomy, accountability and working with others.
SCQF attributes 3, 4 and 5
Additional Class Delivery Information Weekly 2 hour workshop (all students) and 1 hour seminar (small groups).
Course organiserDr Morag Grant
Course secretaryDr Ellen Jeffrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 2430
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