Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE History of Music: Classical Period to Twenty-first Century

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Music Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit reviews the major style periods of Western music from the mid-eighteenth century to the twenty-first century. It examines the stylistic development and techniques of vocal and instrumental music, the works of the major composers, and the development of musical form from c. 1750 to the present.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to introduce students to the history of Western music from c. 1750 to the present by analysing the key moments within cultural, historical and geographical contexts. It aims at a critical understanding of related historical issues.

Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(a) broadly contextualise the emergence and development of sacred, secular, instrumental and vocal music from the mid eighteenth century to modern times;
(b) demonstrate a critical understanding of the stylistic development of Western music history;
(c) relate key dates and events to the development of Western music history by discussing key concepts regarding the intellectual and artistic cultures of the times;
(d) become familiar with the major composers and works of Western music history.

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(a) analyse the development of musical style and form of the various historical periods;
(b) identify the works of the principal composers with examples from the literature;
(c) recognize performance issues and investigate historical performance practices.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Taruskin, Richard. 2009. The Oxford History of Western Music, Vol. 3, Music in the Nineteenth Century (New York: OUP).
- 2009. The Oxford History of Western Music, Vol. 4, Music in the Early Twentieth Century (New York: OUP).
- 2009. The Oxford History of Western Music, Vol. 5, Music in the Late Twentieth Century (New York: OUP).


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 30%
Online Examination (2 Hours) SEM2 Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Jeremy Coleman

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.