module specification

MD4008 - Music and the Creative Industries (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Music and the Creative Industries
Module level Certificate (04)
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 15%   First patchwork of assignments. Week 7 submission. Individual work
Coursework 25%   Second patchwork of assignments. Midterm submission on week 15. Individual work
Practical Examination 20%   Presentation on week 20. Individual.
Coursework 40%   Written assignment. Individual essay.
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

Module brief:
This module provides a theoretical and practical framework to enable students to relate the auditory experience of music and performance to the material technologies that support and enable the making, transmission and various transformations. It develops a command of intersecting musical, technological and economic contexts, embracing creativity, authenticity, industry, commerce, communication, musical production, and the cultural hegemonies which affect our experience of different kinds of music making. The module integrates basic concepts of music theory as they affect and are affected by the development of technology. It engages the student in thinking critically about their subject area, how it is defined and practiced, the range and richness of its resources, and how it opens up questions of context; and it investigates how that context might be framed culturally, historically, economically, socially, theoretically and through practice. The module as a whole introduces students, through reflective practice, to the range of academic skills needed for their course, while encouraging them to take responsibility for and to articulate the development of their own learning
The musical concepts, skills and vocabulary with which students are equipped are paralleled by an introduction to the formal study of the place of music, musicians and musical technologists in past and present cultures. It is recognised that the musical backgrounds of entrants to the course(s) – their experience, knowledge and attainment – vary; the approach adopted aims to include all, offering new approaches irrespective of the student’s prior musical education.
Aims of the module:
The module aims to orient and critically engage the student in the subject area, its histories and theories, and its broader context in culture and contemporary practice.
The main aims of this module are:
1. To develop core study, research and presentational skills.
2. To examine the relationship between music technology with culture, commerce, creativity, authenticity, and technology.
3. To consider how concepts of sound art, noise, music and soundscapes intersect.
4. To develop the ability to write about music, musicians and associated technologies in a manner appropriate to undergraduate study.
5. To examine the music industry, in particular the place of women in that industry, performance and the place of recording technologies and music for film, their transmission and reception.
6. To develop an understanding of basic principles of musical structures and to develop skills of analytical listening.
7. To develop understanding of the technological and cultural contexts which influence musical notation and production.
8. To develop a working knowledge of the theoretical concepts of western music and instruments up to the present day and the technological and cultural events which have shaped those developments.


This module allows the student to experience and conceptualise different aspects of music theory and sound and the material technologies which have affected its development. It examines the place of music, musicians and musical technologists in past and present culture and the creative industry. It considers the influence of recording technology and film on music. It encourages a contextual and cultural approach linking music theory, music technologies and music history.  LO1-6
Key subject areas:

The Sonic Environment  LO1, LO2, LO3
● The soundscape
● Different sound worlds and technologies past and present
● The changing nature of the music industry: perception of music as noise or sound, as art or as a commercial tool
● Agents of change: experimental acoustic and electroacoustic instruments

Musical sound  LO1, LO2, LO3
● Appreciation of fundamental quantities of music: pitch, duration, intensity and timbre (and the critical assessment of instrumental sounds, live and recorded, considered alongside the forms and structures that produce them)
● The harmonic series
● Transmission of music and the development of musical notations

Musical Technology and Culture  LO1, LO2, LO3
● Introduction to cultural concepts such as cultural capital, identity, identity and hegemony
● The mechanisation of instruments
● Recording and film music: origins, development and influence on music and culture
● Genres of music in film
● The development of gender roles within the music industry to the present day
● The impact of recording technologies and the recording industry upon how music is consumed and valued and the agents who produce it

Past developments and their relationship to the present  LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6
● The development of music and instruments
● The rise of the orchestra in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
● Opera and its survival and influence on cinematic form
● The virtuoso instrumentalist and the public concert and its implications on the music industry today
● The industrial era and the mass production of instruments
● The electric guitar and its cultural significance
● The emergence of new instruments in jazz and rock
● Instruments and voices in experimental and conceptual music

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The balance between independent study and scheduled teaching activities within this module is 70% and 30% respectively.
Scheduled teaching follows the average contact time, per standard 30-credit module across the University, at 90 hours (3 hours per week). The scheduled teaching is divided in Lectures, Workshops, and Seminars and they take place in the library and in teaching rooms.
Independent study provides students with the opportunity to develop LO2 – To be able to communicate analysis of contexts which define music and production and LO3 - To analyse and interpret various kinds of music, and thereby to develop critical listening and analytical skills. 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

On successful completion of the module students will be able:
LO1. To critically reflect upon the contexts which define music, sound and noise.
LO2. To be able to communicate analysis of contexts which define music and production. 
LO3. To analyse and interpret various kinds of music, and thereby to develop critical listening and analytical skills.
LO4. Demonstrate the key skills of critical and contextual study including; information retrieval, organising and deploying knowledge, analysis and interpretation of various texts.
LO5. To demonstrate familiarity with the ethical, historical, social, cultural, economic and practice-based contexts which shape musical developments.
LO6. To reflect on their progress and to engage with feedback.

Assessment strategy

First patchwork of assignments. A collection of exercises for submission on week 7 submission. Individual work. 1000 words written component.
Second patchwork of assignments. Midterm submission of a collection of exercises, following feedback from Week 7 submission. Week 15. Individual work. 1200 words written component.
Individual Presentation (10-min) on a subject discussed with and approved by the module tutor. Week 20, in class.
Written assignment. Individual essay (circa 2000 words) on a subject discussed with and approved by the module tutor. Final submission on Week 30.



Core Text:

July Giles and Tim Middleton, Studying Culture: A practical Introduction, 2nd edition (Wiley Blackwell, 2008)
Clayton, Martin, Trevor Herbert and Richard Middleton (eds.), The Cultural Study of Music: A critical introduction (London: Routledge, 2002). [2nd edition 2012]
Day, Timothy, A Century of Recorded Music: Listening to Musical History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).
Herbert, Trevor, 2001: Music in Words: A Guide to Researching and Writing about Music (London: The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music). [2nd edition 2012: e-book]
Katz, Mark, Capturing sound: how technology has changed music (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004). [revised edition 2010 and e-book available]
Richer, Margaret, Music Theory (London, Hodder headline, 2002).

Recommended Reading:

Cage, J., Notations (New York: Something Else Press, 1969).
Chion, Michel, Film, A Sound Art, translated by Claudia Gorbman (New York; Chicester: Columbia University, 2009).
Kraft, James P., Stage to Studio: Musicians and the Sound Revolution, 1890-1950 (Baltimore, Md.: John Hopkins University Press, 1996).
Small, Christopher, Musicking the Meaning of performing and listening (Hanover, University Press of New England, 1998).
Weiss, Piero and Taruskin, Richard, Music in the Western World; a History in Documents (New York: Schirmer, 1984). [2nd edition 2008]


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

Electronic Databases:


Social Media Sources