Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Maltese Popular Music

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Music Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit explores the role of music, musical instruments and dance in Maltese culture and society. It builds on the notion that music is a socio-cultural phenomenon, and as such it is best understood in relation to the socio-cultural context in which it lives.

This study-unit investigates several issues in relation to music in Malta, such as the role of music in the construction of a national identity, gender and class interrelationships with music, and the use of music for political propaganda. Musical examples employed throughout this study-unit rely on a wide array of musical genres, ranging from folk and traditional to classical and popular music, traditional musical instruments and dance.

Study-unit Aims:

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

(a) understand what characterises the musical genres discussed in class and how these relate to Maltese society and culture;
(b) understand the development of Maltese popular music and how the Maltese learned to think about it;
(c) think critically and describe analytically topics that emerge from the interrelationship between music and the various aspects of Maltese culture, such as language, religion, and gender.

Learning Outcomes:

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

(a) recognize the various functions music has in constructing, influencing, and maintaining human life;
(b) evaluate the role of Maltese instruments, music and dance in the expression of communal sentiments;
(c) recognise the influence of the colonisers on trajectories of Maltese popular music;
(d) assess how Malta’s popular music responded to the increased contact with other societies and cultures after World War II.

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

(a) write critically about popular music in Malta and its interrelationship with Maltese culture and society at large;
(b) explore further other issues of importance through ongoing reflection;
(c) listen critically to Maltese popular music.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts

- Cassar-Pullicino, Guze, and Charles Camilleri. 1998. Maltese Oral Poetry and Folk Music (Msida, Malta: Malta University Publishers).
- Friggieri, Oliver. 2014. L-Istorja Tal-Innu Malti: Kif Sar u Xi Jfisser (Santa Venera: Klabb Kotba Maltin).

Supplementary Readings

- Borg Cardona, Anna. 2014. Musical Instruments of the Maltese Islands: History, Folkways and Traditions (Valletta: Fundazzjoni Patrimonju Malti).
- Cassar-Pullicino, Joseph. 1992. Studies in Maltese Folklore (Msida, Malta: Malta University Press).

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Seminar and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Alex Bezzina
Anna Borg Cardona

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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.