Popular Music Cultures (W3052)
15 credits, Level 4
This module will provide you with an introduction to the critical discourses regarding jazz and popular music. This module will broaden your historical awareness and critical understanding of different traditions in jazz and popular music, although it is not designed to be a historical overview.
Likewise, while some technical understanding is required, the primary focus is not on minute analytical distinctions between different styles or practical instruction in song-writing, production or performance. Rather, we will concentrate on the social and cultural functions and meanings of the popular music cultures studied and the reasons why they exert such a powerful hold on audiences and practitioners alike.
Every week we will focus on a critical issue that has been central in discussions about popular and jazz music. Deliberately, these issues transcend the boundaries of style (or 'genre') and historical period. Thus, rather than honing in on the minutiae of individual styles, we will seek to contextualise them more broadly and see what, perhaps surprisingly, they have in common and what historical lineages connect them. It is the intention that this wider awareness of historical, social and cultural contexts will also enable those of you who are musicians to reflect more critically on their own artistic practice, thus enriching their work.
Teaching and assessment
We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.
Contact hours and workload
This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 130 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.
This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, there may be changes to this module in response to COVID-19, or due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.
It may not be possible to take some module combinations due to timetabling constraints. The structure of some courses means that the modules you choose first may determine whether later modules are core or optional.
This module is offered on the following courses: