module specification

LT4018 - Introduction to Music Business (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Introduction to Music Business
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
54 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
156 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
9 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 30%   Role Play (20-min, moderated by ML/MT)
Coursework 30%   Individual report (1000-word)
Coursework 40%   Group report (3500-word)
Running in 2020/21

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module aims to provide an overview of the music business. It does so by exploring the relevance of content and structure of the music business within the context of creative industries. It pays special attention to the structural and developmental aspects of the music business, its core business practices and support structures. This module covers both traditional and emerging business approaches and explores relationships between different players and key sectors within music business. Key sectors are also examined in broader industry contexts.
This module provides a basic understanding of the music business. It does so by examining key practices within the context of essential business skills. It also aims to introduce analytical tools used in business studies. This introductory module examines key skills across the essential fields of practice within traditional and new music business sectors, sub-sectors and start-ups.
Providing a robust understanding of key foundations of music business and essential business skills, this module also enables and encourages students to undertake independent study. Such independent study, coupled with key business principles of the music business will enable learners to develop an understanding of research and critical skills. By doing so, students will be able to become reflective learners. Embedded within this module are essential academic skills suited for Higher Education, which will find further application in the overall curriculum and study for the Degree.

Aims of the module:

This module aims to provide students with a wide-ranging foundation, essential for the understanding of music business. This should enable students to identify and prepare for a variety of career paths within the Music Business (Live, Recording, Publishing and Digital Sectors). It also enables students to understand the links within the broader context of Creative Industries, further enabling them to identify career prospects in neighbouring areas (events, media, PR, marketing etc.)
1. To introduce the essential understanding of what constitutes the modern Music Business within the context of Creative Industries by presenting the overall integration of diverse practices that form the complex field of the Music Business within its broader industry context.
2. To introduce students to the overall landscape of the Music Business within the context of creative, cultural and entertainment sectors, thus introducing them to their subject specialism.
3. to provide a solid foundation for further study of the complexities of the Music Industry and associated sectors and industries by introducing a comprehensive understanding of their critical aspects.
4. to introduce students to a range of key theories, basic analytical tools and essential methods needed for the further understanding of music business career pathways within the context of independent learning and personal professional development
5. To introduce the fundamental elements and interpret the roles of different players and markets in the music business and associated content industries.


The module will cover:
1. creative and cultural industries in general, within business context;
2. focus on music business career prospects;
3. a solid understanding of the job roles, practices and tools business used in music and live sectors in market-specific as well as generic terms;
4. structural analysis of music and entertainment sectors; LO1
5. development of the music business within the context of creative industries, focusing on key and emergent professions, sectors and enterprises;
6. business analysis methods and theories, understood within the context of music business, across all the key sectors and professional fields of practice; LO2
7. secondary research methods for market sectors (with basic analytical skills);
8. introducing operational methods for industry practice;
9. connections between market sectors and career paths within changing employment markets; LO3
10. understanding of music and entertainment industries in the context of key players and industry practices;
11. an introduction to the processes of production, distribution, dissemination, promotion, market research and conceptual product development in music and entertainment sectors; 
12. integration of music, media, other content industries, skills and techniques in digital creativity and operational innovation.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will utilise a combination of teaching and learning methods, addressing a variety of learning styles. These include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, peer- and team-study, group tasks and interactive learning. Students will be encouraged to reflect and draw on own experiences, aspirations and goals to facilitate inclusive learning.

Inclusive, active and collaborative learning will form the pivotal tactics for learning on this module. This will include: peer-moderated study and teamwork; the use of video, audio and online resources and VLEs; student-centred learning activities will include class interaction, problem-solving tasks and roleplay; uploading and reviewing team-based materials in ungraded formative assessment which will facilitate further class-collaboration among students.
Problem-solving activities will be facilitated by the lecturers in seminars and workshops, encouraging team effort and individual student input. Tasks in class and in preparation for classes will include research- and investigation-driven exercises utilising a variety of sources such as music business blogs, market research reports and industry trade body websites.

The proposed format for class delivery and class contact time will consist of 3-hour workshops.

Students will be able to utilise VLEs, such as WebLearn and interact through digital media supplied this way, to facilitate independent guided learning and inquiry.

Inquiry-focused learning will form the central part of student-focused activities in class and in independent study. Students will be expected to attend all classes and do so prepared for class, this being further facilitated through tasks given between seminars and lectures on a weekly basis. Independent inquiry, research and reflection will be facilitated through the use of multiple academic and industry resources through our digital library and online sources, books and journal articles as well as news entries from leading music business publications.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Understand the key imperatives of career progression, planning and management within the music business and carry out industry-focused, business-aimed investigation into the key professions, career paths and sectors of the Music Business and associated industries.
(Assessed in Assessment 1)
2. Attain a solid fundamental knowledge of underlying business principles and practices linked with an overview of key theoretical sources, market research resources and trade publications relating to the Music Business.
(Assessed in Assessment 2)
3. Understand the overall contemporary context (incl. teamwork) of the Music Business through descriptions, interpretations and summaries of key present-day industry issues, aided by essential analytical tools and relevant referenced sources.
(Assessed in Assessment 3)

Assessment strategy

Assessment will combine formative and summative methods, designed for inclusivity and feedforward constructivist loops [as per the CPED Inclusive Curriculum Guidelines]

Formative, 0% compulsory assessment will take place between weeks 4 and 7, with the task being announced to students by week 3. Working in groups, both in class and online- students will conduct an initial investigation, aided by brainstorming, into the contemporary career and/or industry matter of their choosing. Feedforward will be provided to facilitate further learning through assessment (Assessment 1 below).

Summative/Formative Assessment 1: Students will form teams following their Formative, 0% Compulsory Assessment and present by engaging in Role Plays done in groups, focusing on an industry career and associated business opportunities within their chosen sector of the Music Business. This class Role Play will be aided by ICT/Video/Audio resources and industry sources to enhance learning and the meeting of learning outcomes. Role Play Formats will include negotiations and/or interviews. Feedforward delivered by 1) ML/MT in recorded class-session further uploaded to VLE, 2) by means of ongoing class exercises in similar workshop formats.
(Assessment 1 assesses LO1)

Summative/Formative Assessment 2: Students will submit (through VLE) an individual report focusing on their chosen industry sector, engaging in independent research relating to the subjects covered in class and drawing on the feedback given for their previous assessment. Students will be expected to consult a variety of sources, including but not limited to textbooks, online publications, market reports and, where applicable academic journals.
(Assessment 2 assesses LO2)

Summative/Formative Assessment 3: Students will submit (through VLE) an Individual Coursework in the form of a 3000-word Group Report, which will relate to key contemporary issues within the Music Business and/or associated industries, sectors or practices underpinned by independent inquiry, research and reading fed into the team-based paper. The Group Report Coursework submitted through VLEs will consist of components covered in workshops. It will form a synthesis of A1 and A2 and draw on students’ reflective insights relating to career choices, focusing on key issues within their chosen sector presented in Role Play format in w.9 and then addressed in finer detail for individual papers in w.16. The A3 task, utilising key skills introduced in this module’s classes/workshops, will also act as a feedforward building-block for Level 5 team modules and written papers. Feedforward for A3 will be supplied through VLE.
(Assessment 3 assesses LO3)


Core Text:
Rutter, P (2016) The Music business Handbook, Routledge

Other Texts:
Atkins, M (2007) Tour: Smart: and Break the Band, Soluble LLC
Doyle, G. (2013) Understanding Media Economics. Sage Publications
Hannam, C (2009) Health and Safety Management in the Live Music and Events Industry. Entertainment Technology Press
Hesmondhalgh, D (2012) The Cultural Industries. Sage Publications
Negus, K (2013) Music Genres and Corporate Cultures. Routledge
Passman, D. (2015) All You Need to Know About the Music Business. Penguin Books
Riches, N (2012) Music Management Bible. SMT
Popular Music, Cambridge University Press


Electronic Databases:
Mintel UK

Social Media Sources