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Undergraduate Music 2015-2016

M1DIAG: MUSIC DIAGNOSTIC TEST 1 (MUSIC THEORY)

0 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

New students taking a music degree programme must take this Music Theory (M1DIAG) Diagnostic Test. On the basis of this test (M1DIAG) you will be allocated to the appropriate level 1 course - either MU1036 (Fundamentals of Music Theory) or MU1057 (Fundamentals of Musical Harmony).

Please go to www.abdn.ac.uk/mycurriculum to access the diagnostic tests 

Having completed the test online you should select the appropriate course when making your curriculum choices.

M2DIAG: MUSIC DIAGNOSTIC TEST 2 (DIGITAL MUSICIANSHIP)

0 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

New students taking a music degree programme must take this Digital Musicianship (M2DIAG) Diagnostic Test. On the basis of this test (M2DIAG) you will be allocated to the appropriate level 1 course - either MU1538 (Digital Musicianship) or MU1537 (Introduction to Contemporary Composition).

Please go to www.abdn.ac.uk/mycurriculum to access the diagnostic tests

Having completed the test online you should select the appropriate course when making your curriculum choices.

MU1035: KEY MOMENTS 1

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course covers five key moments from Western music history, giving students both a clear and broad grasp of the shape of musical, cultural and intellectual history along with much more detailed studies of individual musical works.

The coverage will not be encyclopaedic and will instead seek to help students develop a sense of a musical period through more engaged explorations of a small number of key musical works. 

MU1036: FUNDAMENTALS OF MUSIC THEORY

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course will begin with the fundamentals and quickly move to a higher standard. Early weeks will cover key concepts such as note names, clefs, octaves and note values. This will lead on to governing concepts of Western tonal music - primary triads, cadences, chord progressions and basic voice leading. The course will progress on to the beginnings of more complex harmony, counterpoint and stylistic study. At all times these fundamentals will be accompanied by contextual information - both historical and cultural - aiming to create an initial appraisal of musicology and its place in musical study. 

MU1051: PERFORMANCE 1

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

MU1051 is structured to develop, in tandem, students' individual instrumental/vocal and ensemble skills.

Entry to the course by audition.


MU1057: FUNDAMENTALS OF MUSICAL HARMONY

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

This course will assume a good, base understanding of the fundamentals of music theory and will quickly move to a higher standard. Early weeks will cover key concepts in Classical harmony such as modulation, secondary dominants and good four­part writing and voice leading. This will lead on to a strong understanding of Classical style with emphasis on piano textures and string quartet writing. The course will progress on to complex Romantic harmony and concepts such as Neapolitan Sixths, Continental Sixths and Diminished Sevenths as well as stylistic awareness of Romantic genres such as lieder.

MU1535: KEY MOMENTS 2

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course covers five key moments from Western music history, giving students both a clear and broad grasp of the shape of musical, cultural and intellectual history along with much more detailed studies of individual musical works.
The coverage will not be encyclopaedic and will instead seek to help students develop a sense of a musical period through more engaged explorations of a small number of key musical works.

MU1537: INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY COMPOSITION

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This ten week course follows a similar teaching pattern to the Key Moments courses. Five topics are covered in detail, An initial fortnightly lecture introduces the topic and the first of two weekly seminars is a workshop on practical aspects of the topic. For the second seminar, the session is split into 4 where coursework is presented, critiqued and evaluated by the group, facilitated by members of staff/PGR students. There will be some non-formal analysis and wherever possible links through to the Key Moments 2 course will be explored. Topics will cover a variety of musical styles and genres.

MU1538: DIGITAL MUSICIANSHIP: MUSIC MAKING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

Course topics will include the theory and practice of digital audio, aural awareness, and social and cultural issues related to digital audio, with extensive tutorials on basic audio hardware and software focusing on helping students establish a skill set required for the duration of their study and beyond.

MU1551: PERFORMANCE 2

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

MU1551 is structured to develop in tandem students individual instrumental/vocal and ensemble skills. 

Entry to the course by audition.

MU2023: INTRODUCTION TO MUSICOLOGY

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

Students will explore a range of elementary issues in musicology relating to some of the following: music history, theory and analysis, sociology of music, psychology of music, aesthetics, ethnomusicology, world music, early music, opera, concert music, jazz, popular music, music in film and television, musical performance, composition, music technology and the economics of the music business.

The course will consider a range of music taking into account the kinds of methodologies and discourses in which this music is discussed.

MU2024: INTRODUCTION TO CONDUCTING

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

The course will be built around three areas of study:

- The history and development of Conducting
- Development of core conducting skills (gesture, vocabulary, score preparation, rehearsal planning and performance)  
- Development of knowledge and understanding of Conducting as a vocation (The business)

The course content will be delivered through workshops that will engage students in academic reading and writing, practical skill building and research skills.

MU2025: COMPOSITION 1

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

This course will go into more detail on some of the ideas put forward in Introduction to Contemporary Composition (a year one course), but not exclusively. It (and its sister course Composition 2) will introduce compositional skills that are of importance to contemporary composers. These will include such styles/techniques as: modality, 12 tone technique, iso-rhythm and minimalism. Students will learn these techniques and assimilate them very quickly, being assessed on two pieces of compositional work over the half-session. Students will be required to regularly critique existing works using these techniques and this will be factored into the assessment process.

MU2026: PERFORMANCE 3

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

Instrumental/vocal study: students work on a one-to-one basis (10 x 1 hour lessons) with a specialist instrumental/vocal instructor and participate in workshops and master classes where appropriate.

Ensemble: requires attendance at least one ensemble managed by the Music Department.

Entry to the course by audition.

MU2523: ANALYSING MUSIC

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

Students will develop a critical awareness of form and structure in music both aurally and by means of studying various approaches to musical analysis which will draw on a range of analytical methods and musical genres. The analysis of musical scores will be related to music as experienced aurally in performance.

MU2525: COMPOSITION 2

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course will go into more detail on some of the ideas put forward in Introduction to Contemporary Composition (a year one course), but not exclusively. It (and its sister course Composition 1) will introduce compositional skills that are of importance to contemporary composers. These will include such styles/techniques as: total serialism, hexachordal rotation, additive rhythmic processes and neo-tonality. Students will learn these techniques and assimilate them quickly, being assessed on two pieces of short work over the half-session. Students will be required to regularly critique existing works using these techniques and this will be factored into the assessment process.

MU2526: PERFORMANCE 4

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

Instrumental/vocal study: students work on a one-to-one basis (10 x 1 hour lessons) with a specialist instrumental/vocal instructor and participate in workshops and master classes where appropriate.

Ensemble: requires attendance at least one ensemble managed by the Music Department.

Entry to the course by audition.

MU2901: INTRODUCTION TO ETHNOMUSICOLOGY

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

The course provides students with fundamental tools with which to conduct ethnomusicological fieldwork and analysis. These include a historical grounding in the subject, an introduction to field research, fieldwork methods including audio and video recording, fieldnotes, transcription and analysis, ethical considerations, and case studies of ethnomusicologists. Much of the course consists of seminars and workshops, which allow students to understand and engage with ethnomusicological concepts and theory before putting these into practice in peer-group contexts and then fieldwork. The course includes a strong practical element and fieldwork visits are made to musical events in the local community.

MU3003: NEW DIRECTIONS

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course combines the study of two highly innovative periods of music history, the early Baroque (c 1600) and the early twentieth century. Students study the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque through the shift from the prima prattica to the seconda prattica, developments in instrumental music and the rise of opera. In the twentieth century we look to the emergence of musical modernism through the music of Debussy, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Stravinsky, Bartok and Varèse, focusing in class seminars on set works such as Debussy's Prelude de l'après-midi d'un faun and Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire.

MU3004: COMPOSITION 2

15 credits

Level 3

Both Sessions

The aims of this course are to encourage personal artistic expression and to develop in students a range of skills, techniques and understanding to enable them to become effective composers. The course consists of one or more discreet composition projects centred on one particular genre (e.g. piano work, piece for percussion ensemble) and/or taking inspiration from a particular body of work (e.g. Schoenberg and his legacy, Impressionism). The exact content varies from year to year according to the composers contributing to the course, and the opportunities for workshops involving visiting composers and performers.

MU3005: PERFORMANCE 4

15 credits

Level 3

Both Sessions

MU3005 is structured to develop in tandem students individual instrumental/vocal and ensemble skills. The Music Department boasts a high quality visiting tutor staff who will provide​ access to 20 free, 1 hour, one-to-one lessons on their principal study, students can also elect to split their studies between two instruments and/or voice. Alongside instrumental and vocal lessons students will join one of the departments many ensembles working in weekly rehearsals towards high quality public performances. The course is assessed by a 20 minute recital.

Entry to the course by audition.

MU3008: EARLY ENGLISH KEYBOARD MUSIC: MY LADYE NEVELLS BOOKE

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course is designed to introduce students to early English keyboard music through practical engagement with the music and the instruments on which it was played, focusing on the music of William Byrd which had been composed before 1591, and published as the compilation My Ladye Nevells Booke. The course involves a practical engagement with the music in masterclasses during which students are introduced to the kinds of instruments on which it would have been played. Students are expected to participate actively in performance activities, but assessment is through written work.

MU3012: LISTENING AND ANALYSIS

15 credits

Level 3

Both Sessions

The aim of the course is to develop a critical awareness of form and structure in music both aurally and by means of studying various approaches to musical analysis. The analysis of musical scores will be related to music as experienced aurally in performance. By the end of the course, students will have developed an aural awareness of musical form and a sense of the way music is structured in various genres.

MU3014: THE PHYSICS OF MUSIC

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

The lecture-based classes discuss the theory of acoustics and psychoacoustics related to sound production and propagation; the physiology of the human ears and how the brain and the nerve system interact to interpret and respond sound; the history of room and concert hall acoustics and design both in classical and popular musical production; the review of compositional and performance problems related to acoustic and psychoacoustic phenomena; and tools with which to measure sound properties and room acoustics. The course module also include a month-long psychoacoustic lab sessions for experimenting with key physical properties of sound and psychoacoustic phenomena

MU301B: UNDERSTANDING COMMUNITIES 1: IDENTIFYING COMMUNITIES

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course introduces music students to the idea of community, to key theoretical concepts used in describing and analysing communities and to methods of finding out about communities, including observation, interviews, creative engagement, community profiling and use of data.  It provides opportunities to think about the role of the arts in creating and sustaining communities, and develops skills in devising and delivering appropriate musical inputs in community settings and ways of evaluating impact on individuals, groups and communities. 

MU3050: MUSIC AND THE BRAIN

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course is designed to enable students to understand and critically evaluate the factors involved in music perception and music performance from a neuroscientific perspective. 

MU3094: PRACTICAL MUSICIANSHIP SKILLS

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

Practical Musicianship is a fully interactive course designed to develop students musicianship skill whilst providing the teaching techniques and resources required to transfer musicianship skills to participants in a diverse range of community settings regardless of starting ability.  All students taking this course are also required to sing in the Music and Communities choir, designed to provide basic vocal training and as an introduction to vocal ensemble resources. This is a fun, activity filled practical course. 

MU3097: PLACEMENT 1

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

Placement 1 is a practical course designed to develop further some of the work undertaken in MU2521, students will have the chance to explore an extensive set of community settings, at their choice and in their area of interest, developing a broad set of skills including; negotiation and networking skills, critical observation and reflective practice. As well as observing students will also be required to provide practical support for the communities they choose to engage with. 

MU309A: COMPOSING AND COMMUNITIES

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

Composition will consist of one or more discreet projects centred around a genre (eg piano work, piece for percussion ensemble) and/or taking inspiration from a particular body of work (eg Schoenberg and his legacy, impressionism). Students compose one or more pieces to make up a folio of compositions. The exact content varies from year to year according to the composers contributing to the course, and the opportunities for workshops involving visiting composers and performers. One of the projects will have direct relevance to a community setting of the student's choice.

MU30A4: MUSIC EDUCATION STUDIES 2

30 credits

Level 3

Both Sessions

This course builds on the work done in year 2 and introduces students to a wider range of topics in music education such as world music in the classroom, informal learning pedagogies and music technology. Students will continue to develop a range of practical musical skills essential for teaching in the secondary school classroom. A range of Professional Studies topics current in Scottish Education are introduced such as Social Justice and Child Protection. 

MU30A5: SCHOOL EXPERIENCE 1

30 credits

Level 3

Both Sessions

This school experience places an emphasis on Music education from S1 to S4, with the opportunity to experience S5/S6 as appropriate. Students are expected to take responsibility for a range of classes; plan, implement, and evaluate progressively structured programmes of work throughout the school, taking into consideration a variety of approaches to teaching and learning, and for pupils' differing abilities; initiate some involvement in accompanying the instrumental performances of NQ pupils; become involved in extended curriculum and/or community activities; initiate and use their own resources in addition to those found in the school. 

MU30M3: EUROPEAN ART MUSIC 1945-2000

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course introduces many of the key developments in European art music since 1945. Beginning from the challenging situation facing composers immediately after the war, we study the emergence of the serial generation of composers in the 1940s and 50s, the importance of the annual summer festival at Darmstadt, the work of Xenakis, Ligeti, Penderecki and Berio which offered alternatives to serialism; the spectral composition which developed in France in the 1970s and 80s, the new German music of Lachenmann and Rihm, the work of independent composers, and key compositional developments in the United Kingdom.

MU3507: INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course will introduce students to basic research methods and project planning in preparation for a final year dissertation project. Topics covered include developing a research topic, research proposals, project management, identification of primary and secondary sources, literature reviews, referencing and bibliographies. 

MU3514: ACOUSMATIC COMPOSITION AND PERFORMANCE

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Acousmatic Music is music composed using recorded sound and presented over a loudspeaker system. Acousmatic listening, the separation of pure sound from the meanings and symbols usually associated with it, is central to the understanding of this music.
Students will attend lectures and workshops covering developments in acousmatic music, including an understanding of philosophies behind the music (Schaeffer) and familiarisation with technology required to create it. Following this, they will be required to create an original piece of acousmatic music for performance at the end of the course, where their sound diffusion will be assessed alongside the piece itself.

MU351A: UNDERSTANDING COMMUNITIES 2: WORKING IN COMMUNITIES

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course is designed to enable musicians to contribute effectively in community settings by ensuring that they understand the various organisational, legal and procedural requirements of the context.  Students will be encouraged to compare a range of different organisational structures and roles in community settings and to develop skills in collaboration and partnership working, including understanding the value base and standards in use by key professions working in communities and the resultant challenges for multidisciplinary work.  Students will reflect on their own experience in communities as part of their analysis of theory and practice of community work.

MU3521: BECOMING AN ACTIVIST PROFESSIONAL

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

MU3521, MU4020 and MU401C are three closely related courses that sit at the core of the Music and Communities Programme, and the vocational experience that the programme strives to provide.These courses bring together the academic and practical aspects of designing, implementing and delivering a major community based project. 

MU3522: AESTHETICS OF MUSIC

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course explores music from a philosophical viewpoint. What is music? How does it relate to the other arts? Is music purely an aural phenomenon? Can we speak of good and bad music? Can we speak of musical progress? To what extent is music merely a product of wider societal forces? These and other questions will be considered in relation to the writings and ideas of a number of key philosophical writers.

MU3523: THEORY AND PRACTICE OF EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course will help students develop a critical awareness of the history and practice of experimental music in the 1950s to 1980s, particularly focusing on the experimental music in North America and Continental Europe.

MU3597: PLACEMENT 2

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Placement 2 is a practical course designed to facilitate the development of skills in an assistant practitioner role, each student will be paired with a Year IV student (undertaking MU401C) and will be required to provide extensive assistance and support throughout the duration of their allocated project. The course focuses heavily on the development of advanced observational and reflective skills as well as focusing on peer learning and support. 

MU35A1: CONDUCTING

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

MU35A1 is a practice led course that is designed to give participants an academic and practical understanding of the skills required as a conductor when lead an ensemble from rehearsal to performance. Topics covered in the course include; history of conducting, understanding the role of the conductor in amateur and professional settings, rehearsal planning, score preparation and conducting technique. All sessions are either based around structured discussion or practical activities. 

MU4006: RENAISSANCE COUNTERPOINT

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course is intended both for those interested in Renaissance music and for composition students who wish to explore the many possibilities of musical invention within a very controlled compositional environment. To acquire the basic tools of Renaissance composition, students progress through counterpoint exercises in two and three voices. Through more advanced exercises in motivic placement, canon, invertible counterpoint, and the fundamentals of improvised counterpoint, students learn to structure a complete composition, culminating in a motet for three voices. In addition, works are studied through analysis of compositions.

MU401A: SCHOOL EXPERIENCE 2

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This school experience places an emphasis on Music education from S1 to S6, Students are expected to take responsibility for the full range of classes; plan, implement, and evaluate progressively structured programmes of work throughout the school, taking into consideration a variety of approaches to teaching and learning, and for pupils' differing abilities; initiate some involvement in accompanying the instrumental performances of NQ pupils; become involved in extended curriculum and/or community activities; initiate and use their own resources in addition to those found in the school. 

MU401C: PLACEMENT 3

30 credits

Level 4

Both Sessions

MU3521, MU4020 and MU401C are three closely related courses that sit at the core of the Music and Communities Programme, and to the vocational experience the programme strives to provide.  These courses bring together both the academic and practical aspects of designing, implementing and delivering a major community based project. MU3521 is based on Judith Sachs writing on innovative professional development, which supports the writing of a major project proposal. This proposal is then negotiated and delivered in full in MU401C. 

MU401D: MUSIC EDUCATION STUDIES 3

30 credits

Level 4

Both Sessions

This course builds on the work done in years 2 and 3 and introduces students to a further range of topics in the field of music education. A broader range of Professional Studies topics current in Scottish Education are developed, such as Literacy and Numeracy across the curriculum, Children on the Autistic Spectrum and Emotion and Learning. Students have the opportunity to develop progressively the benchmark standards relating to the Standards for Registration. 

MU4020: DISSERTATION IN MUSIC AND COMMUNITIES

30 credits

Level 4

Both Sessions

MU3521, MU4020 and MU401C are three closely related courses that sit at the core of the Music and Communities Programme, and to the vocational experience the programme strives to provide.  These courses bring together both the academic and practical aspects of designing, implementing and delivering a major community based project. MU3521 is based on Judith Sachs writing on innovative professional development, which supports the writing of a major project proposal. This proposal is then negotiated and delivered in full in MU401C. 

MU4049: DISSERTATION IN MUSIC

30 credits

Level 4

Both Sessions

This course will entail research work which will contribute to musicological understanding (at undergraduate level). Students will research a topic of their own choice (subject to approval), demonstrating knowledge and understanding of their chosen subject matter in the form of a 10,000 word dissertation. 

MU4080: COMPOSITION PORTFOLIO

30 credits

Level 4

Both Sessions

The aim of this course is to allow promising student composers the opportunity to develop their own 'voice' by giving them a degree of creative freedom in what they produce. By the end of the course students are able to compose in a variety of genres, conveying a sense of structure and form in their music as well as working independently. Assessment is via a portfolio of compositions. Lasting c.20 minutes in performance.

MU4081: PERFORMANCE RECITAL

30 credits

Level 4

Both Sessions

MU4081 is structured to develop students individual instrumental/vocal skills to an advanced level.The Music Department boasts a high quality visiting tutor staff who will provide​ access to 20 free, 1 hour, one-to-one lessons on their principal study. Students will work towards a public 25 - 30 minute recital. Students are encouraged to seek out performance opportunities throughout the course as well as participating in masterclasses when applicable. 

Entry to the course by audition.

MU4091: APPLIED MUSICIANSHIP

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course aims to develop knowledge of music as a performing art form and to consider the ramifications of applied musical knowledge in performance practice in contemporary and historical contexts.

MU4098: APPLIED MUSICIANSHIP SKILLS

15 credits

Level 4

Both Sessions

The course will consist of two distinct elements: a) Practical Musicianship Skills and b) Ensemble Development. Students will be required to set up an ensemble (or continue working with one that they have already set up) and work with this group throughout the session. They will create work for this group using their composition and improvisation skills in preparation for the improvisation element of the final recital. The ensembles will be entirely student-led with only minimal intervention from academic staff and students will be required to undertake a variety of peer-assessment techniques during this part of the course.

MU4099: UNDERSTANDING COMMUNITIES 3: CONTRIBUTING TO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

15 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course is designed to enable students to plan their own projects with communities, including understanding and effectively engaging with the values and priorities of community stakeholders.  Building on understandings from the ‘Working in communities’ course it develops understanding of collaborative goal setting and planning processes in community contexts and of the various policy and theoretical frameworks in which community development activity can be undertaken and evaluated.  Evaluation processes are discussed in terms of both creativity and community development aims.

MU4502: CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN OPERA

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

In the mid-twentieth century, it seemed that opera was a dying art form, surviving at best on the back of a canon of great historical works. While its future prospects looked bleak, the composition of over 150 new operas in the period between 1978 and 2003 marked a perhaps unexpected renaissance of the genre. Students on this course will study the factors which led to the resurgence of operatic/music theatre composition in Europe. A range of key operatic/music theatre works by composers from France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom will be considered from a number of points of view.

MU4504: ELECTROACOUSTIC COMPOSITION: THE VOICE AND THE MACHINE

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Seminar-based classes will provide an historical overview of electroacoustic music that utilises the voice as sound object. The theme of each seminar, focused each week around a different aspect of the voice and technology, will provide the theoretical, philosophical, and aesthetic basis for practical applications, focusing on particular cultural and aesthetic issues that concern the mediated voice in recorded sound. Running concurrently, practical, studio-based classes will provide a technical overview of software applications and of sound recording techniques, particularly looking at the way the voice is rendered, represented or transposed through the electronic medium.

MU4505: SACRED MUSIC FROM ITALY IN THE 18TH CENTURY

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course aims to introduce students to the field of Eighteenth Century Italian sacred vocal music. As part of this course, students will develop musical editing skills and will learn about musical analytical techniques appropriate for music of this time and genre. Students will also be introduced to the intricacies of archival research. The course focuses mainly (but not exclusively) on the music of Antonio Vivaldi and Giovanni Maria Ruggieri.

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