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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Medieval Afterlives: Music and Cultural Imagination (MUSI10101)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe Middle Ages live on today in a multitude of media, from film, television, and game, to Heavy Metal and art music. This course focuses on the these afterlives of the medieval period from the Renaissance until today, and especially on the relationship between music and medievalism.
Course description Medieval Afterlives focuses on the creative re-use of the 'medieval' in later periods, stretching from the Renaissance to the present day. It necessarily crosses genres and media, exploring creative uses of the past within both the art music and popular music traditions, as well as multi-media genres such as film, television, and video game. It also delves into the rich interdisciplinary body of literature from the broader field of medievalism.

Topics will include:
Rock and Heavy Metal
Fantasy TV, Film, and Video Game
Holy Minimalism
Romantic Medievalism
Medievalism and Politics: Race, Sexuality, and Gender (far-right extremism, etc.)

This course will be taught through two-hour mixed seminar/lecture, incorporating both presentation and discussion. Assessment is via individual essay and group research project, culminating in a short outline presentation, designed to give a precis of - and to receive feedback on - a more detailed group blog.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents are expected to have taken at least one previous essay-based arts and humanities course. Contact Course Organiser if unsure of suitability.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Discuss a wide range of contemporary and historical academic writing concerning medievalism in a variety of contexts.
  2. Demonstrate that you can apply these theoretical concepts in a sophisticated manner to articulate cogent arguments concerning the aesthetics of medievalist works.
  3. Evaluate the historical, technological, cultural, and economic issues affecting the representation and creative re-use of the medieval in later periods.
Reading List
A full reading list will be given in LEARN. A representative sample is given below:
The Oxford Handbook of Music and Medievalism, Stephen C. Meyer and Kirsten Yri, eds. Oxford University Press, 2020
John Haines, Music in Films on the Middle Ages: Authenticity Vs. Fantasy. Routledge, 2013
Recomposing the Past: Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen, James Cook, Alexander Kolassa, and Adam Whittaker, eds. Routledge, 2019
James Cook, 'Sonic Medievalism, World Building, and Cultural Identity in Fantasy Video Games', Studies in Medievalism, 28 (2020)
James Cook and Karen Cook, 'Music and Medievalism', Oxford Bibliographies Online
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical and analytical skills
Ability to produce essays and presentations to a professional level
Ability to understand how medievalism is constructed
Ability to research the historical and cultural background of cultural artifacts
Ability to use sources as historical evidence
Keywordsmedievalism,medieval,ludomusicology,video game,popular music,film,romantic,television,music
Course organiserDr James Cook
Tel: (0131 6)50 2432
Course secretaryMr Hugh Black
Tel: (0131 6)51 5926
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