TOPIC STUDY 1A - 2020/1

Module code: MUS1032

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to acquire knowledge of approaches to research, discussion, and writing about music of the Western classical tradition at FHEQ level 4. This is pursued through the study of a single work or a small group of works and its/their various contexts. The module provides further foundation for historically based study at FHEQ 5 and 6. An indicative case-study is Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, studied in detail and contextualized within Beethoven’s overall development as well as musical and historical developments more broadly. Perspectives include analysis, reception, and historically informed performance practice.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

MARK Chris (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None for Music and Tonmeister students.

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • What it might mean to understand music.

  • The roles and limits of contextual enquiry and close reading.

  • Reciprocal relationships between contextual enquiry and close reading.

  • Selection of appropriate approaches for the study of particular works.

  • Examination of a selected work or small group of works using a variety of approaches.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK: ESSAY (3000 WORDS) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding academic study of music through engagement with selected work(s) and their contexts.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A coursework essay with a maximum length of 3000 words (100%), to be submitted by the Monday of week 12. (Addresses learning outcomes 1–6.)

Formative assessment

An essay plan and bibliography, to be submitted by the Monday of week 7.


Detailed written feedback will be provided within three weeks of both the submission of the formative and summative assessment.

Verbal feedback will be given to contributions during class discussions as well as individual tutorials on coursework essay plans.

Module aims

  • Acquire knowledge of approaches to the historical and technical understanding of music from the Western classical tradition.
  • Acquire skills and confidence in discussing Western classical music in oral and written form to a level suitable for further study at FHEQ level 4.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Discuss the main historical and technical issues identified regarding the work or works examined in the module. KCT
2 Undertake the research required to complete the coursework essay CT
3 Construct a cogent argument in written form. KCT
4 Demonstrate the ability to access physical and online research resources in the library and through the library webpage. PT
5 Cite and reference the work of others correctly. PT
6 Compile a bibliography following departmental guidelines. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Develop awareness of some of the intellectual means by which understanding of Western classical music is sought and achieved, and to develop the ability to employ some of these means to inform discussion of the selected work(s). This will involve directed reading and listening, class discussion, and the formation of critical responses to secondary literature in the coursework essay. The strategy will also reinforce techniques and styles of academic writing and analysis introduced in the Semester 1 modules Encountering Music History and Music Project 1A that are critical to student success in FHEQ levels 5 and 6.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures, incorporating class discussions as appropriate (2 hours per week x 11 weeks)

  • Tutorials

  • Guided reading and listening

  • Use of SurreyLearn

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MUS1032

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music BMus (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BMus (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.