Music of the 21st Century

Module code: W3112
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module engages with the music of the 21st century, exploring the mechanisms in which new styles and genres emerge from the music of the past, often intrinsically linked to advanced developments in the technologies of music making. The module looks into the cultural changes that influence the way music is thought of today. The music and methods of artists such as Holly Herndon, Johannes Kreidler, Claudia Molitor, Tristan Perich and others will be contextualised as continuation of the late 20th century music of pioneers such as Alivin Lucier, Terry Riley, Brian Ferneyhough, Kaija Saariaho, Alice and John Coltrane, Aphex Twin, Bang on a Can, Masahiru Miwa, Pauline Oliveros, Halim El-Dabh, John Zorn and Kraftwerk. Furthermore, the module addresses the influence of non-Western music in contemporary thinking and work.

In this module you will gain an understanding of the key developments in Western music from the minimalism of the 1970s. You will analyse work and read theoretical texts that influenced this work. You will do various musical and sonic art exercises that train you in making music in the techno-cultural context of the 21st century.

Module learning outcomes

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of contemporary music since the advent of minimalism
  • Train analytical skills of music from the perspective of systematic musicology
  • Engage in practice with the music of the 21st century by composing new works
  • Train critical reflection, review, writing and musicological discussion