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Semester 1

Topics in Popular Music (MUSI08078)







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This course requires no prior experience with music theory or notation, and is open to all students across the university. **Spaces on Music courses are limited in 2022/23, and so enrolment cannot be guaranteed for any visiting student**

Course Summary

Topics in Popular Music introduces various themes and theoretical frameworks with which to approach the study of popular music. With American popular music of the late 19th and 20th centuries acting as something of a case study, students will be encouraged to consider issues related to technology, genre, race, gender, capitalism, and colonialism. The course looks beyond canonical artists, genres, and events to consider the ways in which popular music comes to have meaning and has changed across the decades.

Course Description

- How do we define 'popular music'? - Where, when, and how should a study of popular music begin? - How do we make sense of the relationship between popular music and other forms of musical expression? - How are music genres formed? What purpose do they serve? - What issues have contributed to the ways in which popular music is produced and consumed? - How and where are concepts such as the 'work', 'authenticity', 'authorship' and 'ownership' located and expressed? - What purpose does popular music serve? **The course will engage with a variety of topics, and each week's lecture content will be supported by set reading, listening and/or viewing, as well as by weekly tutorial sessions. Weekly topics are subject to change year to year, but an indicative list might include: defining the popular; technology and listening; African American influences; popular music and protest; 'world' music. The student learning experience will consist of one two-hour lecture per week, and small group discussion in a one-hour tutorial each week.**

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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