Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Music Aesthetics

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Music Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will focus on central concepts in Western and, occasionally, to non-Western aesthetic discourse, as they relate to sound; tone colour; representation; understanding; imagination and metaphor; and ontology.

It will direct students to attend and review critically performing arts events with special reference to the aesthetic qualities of the performance. The study-unit will consist of lectures (a) as a source of information; (b) stimulus for discussions; (c) as a means to put into practice the knowledge covered during the study-unit.

Study-unit Aims:

1) To broaden students' notions of the criteria underlying their musical likes and dislikes;
2) To prepare students to the practice of writing for academic purposes;
3) To extend students' conceptions of what constitutes the aesthetic qualities of composition and performances, highlighting the interdisciplinarity status of the artistic work.

Learning Outcomes:

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

1) articulate why, and be able to explain what aesthetic criteria they apply;
2) listen and talk about musical attributes of different genres with a wider artistic sensibility;
3) comprehend and apply different theoretical frameworks accordingly;
3) adopt an interdisciplinary attitude to their studies.

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

1) apply an aesthetic inquiry in his/her work;
2) relate to foundational skills in analysing cultural events;
3) develop the ability to write critically by evaluating arguments and evidence provided;
4) make pragmatic interdisciplinary links between various knowledge areas, and how these relate to each other.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Scruton, Roger. 1999. The Aesthetics of Music (Oxford: Clarendon Press).
- Demers, Joanna. 2010. Listening Through the Noise: The Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music (New York: Oxford University Press).

Supplementary Readings:

- Lippman, Edward A. 1999. The Philosophy & Aesthetics of Music (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press).
- Contemplating Music: Source Readings in the Aesthetics of Music Ruth Katz; Carl Dahlhaus. Pendragon Press, vol.2, 1987.
- Lippman, Edward A. 2006. A Humanistic Philosophy of Music (Revised Edition) (New York: Pendragon Press).

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite: Intermediate-Level Music (or above) or Minimum Grade 6 music theory/practice


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Classwork SEM1 No 20%
Presentation SEM1 Yes 20%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Mariella Cassar

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.