module specification

MD5010 - Music and Media Context and Cultural Musicology (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Music and Media Context and Cultural Musicology
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Musical Review Week 5 submission Individual work
Coursework 10%   Written assignment 1 Week 10 submission Individual work
Group Presentation 30%   Presentation on week 15 Individual work
Coursework 50%   Case Study Individual research report
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

Module brief:
The module demonstrates how music functions within society and how it reflects cultural developments and both silences and serves as a voice for marginalised groups within society. It also reflects dominant culture and serves as their capital. It opens up questions of social, political, cultural, historical, technological theory and context. The module helps the student to research, access and use knowledge profitably, and to encourage them to make connections and articulate ideas. It examines a range of studies that address the character and conditions of cultural production. This process may be approached from the point of view of the producer or consumer, the critic or the professional, the academic or the practitioner. The module recognises that the student is also an active player in the process: what they bring to the construction of knowledge counts; and how effectively they construct it depends on how well they understand and interact with the field. Skills learned here build towards a case study in the final term which helps students to gain experience in preparing and researching an extended piece of coursework which serves a good preparation for the Dissertation/Investigative Study module at Level 6.
Aims of the module:
The module aims to allow the student to see and articulate connections between practice and critical approaches to study of music and the music industry. The module introduces students to the range of academic skills they need to produce a graduate-level dissertation, while encouraging them to articulate and take responsibility for the development of their own learning.
The main aims of this module are:
● To encourage the student to think independently, select appropriate topics and produce examples of independent research.
● To help orient the student to engage with the main debates which operate within the music industry.  
● To also develop the student’s awareness of cultural and aesthetic perspectives conversant with current debates across their subject area.
● To enable students to exercise that knowledge critically, in oral and written presentation.
● The module rehearses the thinking, historical, analytical, judgmental and discursive skills that are required to understand how practitioners work in the creative industries and as independent musicians.

Prior learning requirements

MD4008 - Music and the Creative Industries  (Level 4)


The module will focus on the following skills and practices:

Context and Practice   LO1, LO2, LO6
This module introduces students to the multiple cultural, historical and economic contexts, which frame how we perceive music and technology; to understand how those discourses are formed; and how music and media products come into being. Lectures, seminars, workshops and visits will enable students to explore how stereotypes and discourses become embedded in our lives and how music is used to both reiterate and challenge those perspectives. The aim of the course is to encourage critical thinking, independent study, and the coherent expression of ideas. Themes and topics are introduced which students may wish to explore further in final year dissertations and investigative studies.

Research and study skills  LO3, LO4, LO5
Acknowledgement of sources and referencing; critical contexts; forming academic questioning; research; writing; theory and practice; forming arguments; research in action. Students develop an individual case study in preparation for the Level 6 dissertation.

Key subject areas:  LO1, LO2, LO3, LO6

Critical and cultural Contexts in music
Particular emphasis is placed on:
● Popular music: genres, culture, and production and consumption
● High and low culture: pop/classical split; cultural capital
● Voices of different races and cultures
● Music as a vehicle for struggle, liberation, and resistance against oppression
● Construction of performer Identity
● Representational cultural contexts such as race, class, gender and politics and how these interact in our conceptions of music
● Women in the music industry as creators and pioneers
● Technology and national identity in music
● Music, Identity, and Revolution

Technology and Music in the Creative Industries  LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5
● Structure of the recording and music industry: companies, roles and genres
● Reproduction: Popular music as global entertainment and the influence on that of economic and technological upheavals
● The artwork: authenticity and reproduction
● Social media: fans, marketing, representation, and performance
● Advertising: the artist as a brand
● Copyright and authenticity

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The balance between independent study and scheduled teaching activities within this module is 70% and 30%.
Scheduled teaching follows the average contact time, per standard 30-credit module across the University, at 90 hours (3 hours per week). We excluded from this total the two weeks at the end of the module, which are dedicated to preparation for the Final Project submission and Presentations & Feedback sessions. The scheduled teaching is divided in Lectures, Workshops, and Seminars and they take place in the Computer Lab and in the Music Studios. Independent study provides students with the opportunity to develop LO3 - to research individual specialisms and to distinguish how their work relates to and arises from previous work in the area and LO4 - To complete exercises leading towards a case study through which they take responsibility for independent learning and formulation of a research path.
Students have access to the Computer Lab, and Library facilities at London Met. Blended Learning is maintained via Weblearn Course and Module pages with full documentation of the activities developed in class. Opportunities for reflective learning/PDP are promoted through feedback and written reports, embedded in all assessments with emphasis on reflection of their work. Formative assessment and feedback is planned to address their learning development needs and to capture their learning achievements with a regular request of reflective commentaries in all written submissions.

Learning outcomes

LO1. To demonstrate critical engagement with the ethical, historical, social, cultural, economic and practice-based contexts which shape music.
LO2. Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural, legal, economic, historical, ethical concepts appropriate to the practice of their discipline.
LO3. To research individual specialisms and to distinguish how their work relates to and arises from previous work in the area. 
LO4. To complete exercises leading towards a case study through which they take responsibility for independent learning and formulation of a research path.
LO5. To deploy critical and analytical skills in oral and written discussions and to form a critical argument.
LO6. Demonstrate the key skills of critical and contextual study including; information retrieval, organising and deploying knowledge, analysis and interpretation of various texts.

Assessment strategy

Musical Review. On a subject discussed with and approved by the module tutor, for submission on week 5. Individual work. 500 words written component.
Written assignment 1. On a subject discussed with and approved by the module tutor for submission on Week 10. Individual work. 1000 words written component.
Individual Presentation (10-min) on a subject discussed with and approved by the module tutor. Week 15, in class.
Case Study. Individual musicological research and report on a subject discussed with and approved by the module tutor. 2500 words written component. Final submission on Week 30.



Core Text:

Clayton, M., Herbert, T. and Middleton, R., The cultural study of music: a critical introduction (New York and London: Routledge, 2003). [2nd edition: 2012]
Cook, Nicholas, What is musicology? in BBC Music Magazine 7/9, May 1999, pp. 31- 3.
Cook, Nicholas and Everist, Mark (eds), Rethinking Music (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).
Dovey, Lister M., J. Giddings, S., Grant, I., and Kelly, K., New Media: a Critical Introduction (London: Routledge, 2003). [2nd edition 2009: e-book]
Giles, Judy and Middleton, Timothy, Studying culture: a practical introduction, 2nd edition (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008).
Kraft, James P., Stage to Studio: Musicians and the Sound Revolution, 1890-1950 (Baltimore, Md.: John Hopkins University Press, 1996).
Stokes, Martin, Ethnicity, Identity and Music: The Musical Construction of Place (Oxford: Berg, 1994). 
Wikstrom, Patrick, The Music Industry: Music in the Cloud, 2nd edition (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013).

Recommended Reading:

Clayton, Martin (ed.), Music, Words and Voice: a Reader (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008), pp. 159-171.
Chion, Michel, Film, A Sound Art, translated by Claudia Gorbman (New York; Chicester: Columbia University Press, 2009).
Day, Timothy, A Century of Recorded Music: Listening to Musical History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).
Donelly, K. J. (ed), Film Music: Critical Approaches (New York: Continuum, 2001).
Katz, Mark, Capturing sound: how technology has changed music (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004). [revised edition 2010 and e-book available]
Small, Christopher, Musicking the Meaning of performing and listening (Hanover, University Press of New England, 1998.

Music & Science
Popular Music History
Journal of technology in music learning
Music and the moving Image

Electronic Databases:

JSTOR: Arts and Sciences

Social Media Sources