Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Music and Spirituality in Contemporary Music

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Music Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit, delivered in lecture form, takes a look at several trends in spirituality that we find in contemporary music. It studies a selection of composers who grappled with spiritual themes in their own different ways and approaches. Besides the more numerous Christian approaches, non-Christian spiritualities are also considered. The content of the lectures are illustrated by several relevant sound-clips.

Study-unit Aims:

- To make participants aware of the various ways spirituality has been present in contemporary music;
- To relate the spirituality of contemporary music to the spirituality of music from other ages and cultures;
- To contextualize these trends within the contemporary culture and thought.

Learning Outcomes:

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

- list and discuss the main composers who engaged with spiritual themes were and in what ways;
- locate all this within the context of their own music and contemporary music in general;
- discuss the role of spirituality within contemporary music.

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

- write critically about topics covered during the study-unit;
- discuss critically with reference to a range of examples.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main text:

- Sholl, R. & van Maas, S. (ed.). 2017. Contemporary Music and Spirituality (London: Routledge).


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Albert Pace

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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.