Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Oral Music Traditions of the Mediterranean

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Music Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit explores the ways different oral music traditions of the Mediterranean are both shaped by and give shape to the cultural settings in which they are performed. Musical examples employed throughout this unit rely on an array of musical genres, ranging from secular multi-part singing to the monophonic chanting of sacred texts, from laments to love and wedding music. Specific case studies will be examined closely through listening, analysis, and available ethnographic documentation.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:

(a) offer students a wider knowledge of the varied oral music traditions of the Mediterranean;
(b) provide a sophisticated sense of the intriguing processes by which oral music of the region is transmitted and disseminated;
(c) help students evaluate the politics of musical participation in a range of musical traditions;
(d) enable students to realise the peculiarities of the musical genres and styles covered during the unit.

Learning Outcomes:

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

(a) recognize and decipher the diverse oral music traditions of the Mediterranean;
(b) identify and comment on related processes of music-making;
(c) evaluate the interrelationship between the history of the region and its oral musical heritage;
(d) think critically about contemporary issues in Mediterranean music studies.

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

(a) transcribe and analyse orally transmitted music from the Mediterranean;
(b) evaluate related ethnographic material;
(c) recognise and write about the various processes of music-making employed in these traditions.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Bohlman, Philip V. and Marcello Sorce Keller (eds.). 2009. Musical Anthropology in Mediterranean Cultures: Interpretation, Performance, Identity (Bologna: CLUEB).
- Cooper, David and Kevin Dawe (eds). 2005. The Mediterranean in Music: Critical Perspectives, Common Concerns, Cultural Differences (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press).
- Magrini, Tullia (ed.). 2003. Music and Gender: Perspectives from the Mediterranean (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2003).

Supplementary Readings:

- Dawe, Kevin. 2007. Music and Musicians in Crete: Performance and Ethnography in a Mediterranean Island Society (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press).
- Falvy, Zoltan. 1986. Mediterranean Culture and Troubadour Music (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó).
- Pistrick, Eckehard. 2015. Performing Nostalgia: Migration Culture and Creativity in South Albania (Farnham: Ashgate).
- Plastino, Goffredo. (ed.). 2003. Mediterranean Mosaic: Popular Music and Global Sounds (New York and London: Routledge).

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Seminar and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation (20 Minutes) SEM2 No 20%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 80%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
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.