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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Understanding Music History 2: The Idea of Western Art Music from Romanticism to the Late Twentieth Century (MUSI08082)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores the history of western art music in Europe and elsewhere from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth century. It explores the emergence and development of "western art music" as a discursive and critical category in the nineteenth century, and how this influenced, and was influenced by, music historiography, criticism and theory. Students will gain an understanding of major aesthetic movements including romanticism, modernism and post-modernism. They will learn to recognise and discuss the key characteristics of representative compositions, and place them in historical context.
Course description This course takes a critical and historiographical approach to the study of western art music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It explores the emergence and development of an aesthetic category of "art music" as distinct from "folk" and "popular" music in the nineteenth century, and looks at the value systems which accompanied these distinctions. Combining close study of a range of representative compositions with readings from primary and secondary literature, it explores how the norms and standards now associated with western art music were adopted, adapted or rejected - or simply ignored - by composers, critics and others. The course contextualises the history of western art music - understood not just as the history of composition, but also of music criticism and scholarship - in terms of wider cultural and philosophical trends, including the aesthetic movements known as romanticism, modernism and post-modernism. It explores how music history intersects with political, social and technological history in a period of enormous transformation and change that remains definitive for how we live and think today.

The course is taught through lecture videos and other online learning material (approx. 2 hours in total per week, asynchronous), one one-hour tutorial per week (online, live/synchronous), and set reading/listening each week.

Please note: basic score-reading skills are a prerequisite for this course.
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:  50
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 160 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x take-home exam (50%)
1 x 2000-word essay (50%);
Feedback All students will receive oral feedback on their progress relating to focused tasks in tutorials. All students will submit a summative essay mid-way through the semester: you will be given written feedback on this as per university regulations. Students will also be provided with the opportunity to view their examination scripts in a specially arranged session.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the main concepts and values associated with western art music, and the history of these ideas (Essay, Exam).
  2. Analyse western art music in terms of its wider historical, cultural and philosophical currents (Essay, Exam).
  3. Describe the defining features of each of the main artistic periods covered by the course (Essay, exam).
  4. Place a piece of music in the context of its historical period and identify representative stylistic characteristics (Exam).
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Demonstrate a discerning understanding of a defined range of core theories, concepts, principles and terminology.
2. Demonstrate awareness and understanding of, and be able to work with, research and equivalent scholarly/academic processes.
3. Be able to use a range of professional skills, techniques, and materials.
4. Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues.
5. Work alone or with others on tasks with minimum directive supervision.
Keywordswestern art music,historiography of music,music criticism,romanticism,modernism,postmodernism
Course organiserDr James Cook
Tel: (0131 6)50 2432
Course secretaryDr Ellen Jeffrey
Tel: (0131 6)50 2430
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