Rethinking Classical Music (W3041)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

This module invites you to re-think the history of Western art music (so-called “classical” music) using traditional and non-traditional methods.

You will:

  • engage with a historically informed, critical examination of the concept of classical music
  • consider its ideological presuppositions (for example, capitalism, colonialism, and feminist approaches)
  • creatively re-write, re-arrange, reinterpret or respond to key works from the Western art music canon.

In recent years, we’ve worked with compositions by Beethoven and Debussy.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Practical (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: