Module code: MUS1039

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is for students 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 Levels 5 and 6. An indicative case-study is Beethoven¿s Ninth Symphony, studied in detail and contextualised 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

WILEY Christopher (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: 96

Lecture Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None for Music/CMT/Tonmeister students

Module content

ndicative 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 (addresses LOs 1¿6)
Formative assessment

An essay plan and bibliography, to be submitted during the module.


Detailed written feedback will be provided within three weeks of the summative assessment.

Formative 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 to a level suitable for further study at FHEQ Level 4.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Discuss the main historical and technical issues pertinent to the set work CKT
002 Undertake the research required to complete the coursework essay CT
003 Construct a cogent argument in written form CKT
004 Demonstrate the ability to access physical and online research resources in the library and through the library webpage PT
005 Cite and reference the work of others correctly PT
006 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
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: MUS1039

Other information

The Department of Music and Media is committed to developing graduates with attributes encompassing employability, digital skills, global and culture awareness, sustainability as it relates to music and the wider arts and, finally, resourcefulness and resilience. This module provides opportunities to engage with these attributes in myriad ways including: Cultural and global capabilities: developing an appreciation of different artistic cultures and traditions internationally, encompassing a range of practices as performer of, listener to, and researcher of music as a cultural and global phenomenon. Digital capabilities: these may include conducting research using digital resources (text, score-based and audio) and preparation of digital documents (e.g. word processing) to create digital artefacts. Resourcefulness and resilience: independence of practice, developing skills and work for assessment, maximising available resources, finding creative ways to address assessments and exercising resilience in doing so, overcoming difficulties and other challenges in undertaking a wider range of pursuits. Employability: developing a general awareness of music, culture and society suited to many careers in the diverse arts industries, as well as transferable skills appropriate to all graduate destinations. These values are embedded within the module's learning outcomes and educational aims, and throughout the programme.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) BMus (Hons) 2 Optional 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 BMus (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Creative Music Technology 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 2025/6 academic year.