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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Topics in Popular Music (MUSI08078)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryTopics in Popular Music introduces various themes and theoretical frameworks with which to approach the study of popular music. With American popular music of the late 19th and 20th centuries acting as something of a case study, students will be encouraged to consider issues related to technology, genre, race, gender, capitalism, and colonialism. The course looks beyond canonical artists, genres, and events to consider the ways in which popular music comes to have meaning and has changed across the decades.

NOTE: This course requires no prior experience with music theory or notation, and is open to all students across the university.
Course description - How do we define 'popular music'?
- Where, when, and how should a study of popular music begin?
- How do we make sense of the relationship between popular music and other forms of musical expression?
- How are music genres formed? What purpose do they serve?
- What issues have contributed to the ways in which popular music is produced and consumed?
- How and where are concepts such as the 'work', 'authenticity', 'authorship' and 'ownership' located and expressed?
- What purpose does popular music serve?

The course will engage with a variety of topics, and each week's lecture content will be supported by set reading, listening and/or viewing, as well as by
weekly tutorial sessions. Weekly topics are subject to change year to year, but an indicative list might include: defining the popular; technology and listening;
African American influences; popular music and protest; 'world' music.

The student learning experience will consist of one two-hour lecture per week, and small group discussion in a one-hour tutorial each 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 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  220
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 6, Summative Assessment Hours 4, Revision Session Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 133 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) -1 short written essay 750-1000 words, 30% course mark

-Formative assessment provided on tutorial tasks and discussion

-Summative essay linked to tutorial activity 2500-3000 words, 70% course mark.

Feedback Formative feedback toward the summative portfolio will be provided in tutorial groups through a variety of means as appropriate including oral and written feedback from staff as well as peer feedback.

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 the late 19th through twenty-first centuries.
  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.
- Wald, Elijah. 2015. Dylan Goes Electric!: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night that Split the Sixties. New York: Dey St.
- Frith, S. 1996. Performing Rites: Evaluating Popular Music. Oxford: Oxford UP.
- Floyd, Samuel A. 1995. The Power of Black Music: Interpreting its History from Africa to the United States. Oxford: Oxford University Press
- 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.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Marian Jago
Tel: (0131 6)50 2426
Course secretaryDr Ellen Jeffrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 2430
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