The History of the Modern A

Module code: W3055
Level 5
30 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Seminar, Workshop, Lecture
Assessment modes: Unseen examination, Coursework

By combining analysis of scores and social history, on this module you will examine the establishment from the early 19th century to the present day, of counter-cultures that subvert the authority of the 'classical', both within the concert-hall and beyond. You will consider the consequences of modernism's estrangement from the aspirations of the concert-going public, the aesthetic re-alignments prompted by the emergence of a popular mass culture, and the impact of electronic and digital technology.

This 30-credit thick version of the module has an additional weekly seminar in which these issues are examined through close case studies of particular works or phenomena. You will be guided in making a critical response in the form of a creative exercise, which may take the form of a composition or analysis depending on yor individual area of interest.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the impact of authoritative models upon the creative imagination of composers during the period covered by the course, demonstrating in particular an understanding of the social structures and institutions that reinforced such authority to define the roles and function of the resulting music.
  • Demonstrate an understanding and critical awareness of music's inner workings.
  • Show competence in the reading of musical scores and show comprehension of the technical means by which they are written.
  • Demonstrate, via appropriate format, detailed analysis of a selected topic.
  • Undertake an in depth analysis of a related set of work or phenomena and make a critical response in the form of a practical exercise. The exercise may take the form of composition, analytical exercise or written essay depending on the individual student's area of interest.