Module code: MUS1031

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to aspects of the Western classical and popular repertories and develop your skills in researching, discussing, and writing about them. The module provides a foundation for Topic Studies 1A and B and historically based work at FHEQ 5 and 6.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

BARHAM Jeremy (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: 97

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 1

Guided Learning: 8

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None for Music and Tonmeister students.

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Concepts of music historiography; its purpose and function in relation to Western classical and popular repertories.

  • Constructing and de-constructing canons, classical and popular.

  • Introduction to the critical study of historical ‘periods’ in Western classical music

  • What is popular music history?

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

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework: Essay (3000 words) 70
Examination Online 4-Hour Open Book Exam 30

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 music historiography  through engagement appropriate secondary texts and selections of the Western classical and popular repertories.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A coursework essay with a maximum length of 3000 words (70%), to be submitted by the Monday of week 11. (Addresses learning outcomes 1–7.)

  • A multiple-choice examination in the Semester 1 examination period (30%). (Addresses learning outcomes 1–7.)

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

  • Introduce you to approaches to the historical and technical understanding of music from Western classical and popular traditions.
  • Develop your skills and confidence in discussing Western classical and popular music in oral and written form to a level suitable for further study at HE level.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Discuss some of the chief issues arising in post-1980 debates concerning the construction of music history. KCT
2 Discuss the main historical and technical issues identified regarding the Western classical and popular repertories examined in the module. KCT
3 Undertake the research required to complete the coursework essay. CT
4 Construct a cogent argument in written form KCT
5 Demonstrate the ability to access physical and online research resources in the library and through the library webpage. T
6 Cite and reference the work of others correctly. PT
7 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 understanding of the role of historiography in the contemporary study of music, and to develop the ability to employ this understanding to engage critically with areas of the Western classical and popular repertories. 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 introduce techniques and styles of academic writing and analysis that are critical to student success in FHEQ levels 5 and 6.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures, incorporating listening and 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: MUS1031

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music BMus (Hons) 1 Compulsory 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 2023/4 academic year.