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Undergraduate Music 2021-2022

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. 

MU1037: INTRODUCTION TO MUSIC THEORY AND HARMONY

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

 In this course, basic concepts of Western tonal music such as primary triads, cadences, idiomatic chord progressions, and voice leading are taught using exercises in harmonic analysis, figured bass, and part writing. More advanced concepts such as secondary dominants and chromatically-altered chords are also introduced. In parallel to lectures and seminars, students will work with software designed to reinforce key concepts such as clefs, intervals, key signatures, and scale structures.

MU1051: PERFORMANCE STUDIES 1

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

MU1051 is structured to develop, in tandem, students' individual instrumental/vocal and ensemble skills. Entrance to this course for non BMus students is by audition only. Students must be of ABRSM Grade 8 (or equivalent) standard or above before they can be considered for audition. Students must also be fully proficient in reading music and have a reasonable standard of music theory knowledge.

For non BMus students, auditions are arranged by the student contacting the Music Department during Induction Week. Prospective students will be asked to prepare one 5 minute piece for the audition which demonstrates their best abilities, and they will be asked to perform some sight reading. All students on the BMus Ed programme must undertake additional study in Piano Keyboard Skills. These additional study sessions will focus on the development of relevant vocational skills. First study pianists will also be required to take these additional study sessions.

Timetables will be arranged on an individual basis with instrumental / vocal tutors on commencement of the course.

MU1535: KEY MOMENTS 2

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

This course covers five key moments from Western music history between 1300 and 1800, 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.

MU1538: DIGITAL MUSICIANSHIP: MUSIC MAKING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

Combining key components in digital technology and musicianship, Digital Musicianship encourages music students to acquire basic digital skills that will help them explore a wide range of music making in the 21st century, through skill building in the applications of technology to the discipline of Music. This hands-on, project-based course introduces basic knowledge in digital music technology, and key issues related to the music making in the 21st century.

MU1551: PERFORMANCE 2

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

MU1051 is structured to develop, in tandem, students' individual instrumental/vocal and ensemble skills. Entrance to this course for non BMus students is by audition only. Students must be of ABRSM Grade 8 (or equivalent) standard or above before they can be considered for audition. Students must also be fully proficient in reading music and have a reasonable standard of music theory knowledge.

For non BMus students, auditions are arranged by the student contacting the Music Department during Induction Week. Prospective students will be asked to prepare one 5 minute piece for the audition which demonstrates their best abilities, and they will be asked to perform some sight reading. All students on the BMus Ed programme must undertake additional study in Piano Keyboard Skills. These additional study sessions will focus on the development of relevant vocational skills. First study pianists will also be required to take these additional study sessions.

Timetables will be arranged on an individual basis with instrumental / vocal tutors on commencement of the course.

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.

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. Students can elect to split their studies between two instruments and/or voice.

Students must have achieved a CGS award of C3 or higher in year 1 in order to be able to progress to this course in year 2.

MU2028: MUSIC AND TECHNOLOGY

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

This course offers students an excellent opportunity to acquire foundational skills in music technology from sound recording for ensembles and orchestras to the technology-based compositions and sound design for games using digital audio workstation software. The course content is entirely project-based, and upon the successful completion of the course, students will become well-versed in the intermediate-level skills in music technology and well-prepared for advanced music technology courses in the 3rd and 4th year.

MU2036: GOING BEYOND THE KEYS

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

This course explores and develops keyboard skills for a range of musical contexts and aims to develop the practical skills and tackle challenges faced by accompanying in a 21st century setting. Key aspects of music are explored including musicianship, harmony, stylistic chord progressions and voicings, realising accompaniments and blending of the formal with the unexpected. 

MU2038: THE EMERGING MUSICAL PRACTITIONER

15 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

The Emerging Musical Practitioner is open to, and relevant for any musician who would like to explore wider vocational options in music; whether as a composer, educator (formal or informal), musicologist or performer.

MU2523: ANALYSING MUSIC

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

Students will develop a critical awareness of form and structure in music by studying various approaches to musical analysis. The course will draw on a range of analytical methods and musical genres, such as functional harmony and classical form, pitch-class set theory, rhetoric in music, and computer-aided analysis.

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. Students can elect to split their studies between two instruments and/or voice.

 

MU2527: INTRODUCTION TO ETHNOMUSICOLOGY

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This course offers students an introduction to the field of ethnomusicology, including the historical development of the field, how to conduct fieldwork and some of the field’s key theoretical perspectives. The course will introduce students to a range of musical traditions from around the world through case studies that demonstrate the close relationship between music, society and culture (topics include nationalism, colonialism, identity, race and globalisation). Teaching will take the form of lecture-seminars, reading group sessions and tutorials. The course also has a strong practical element where students will have the opportunity to conduct ethnomusicological fieldwork including ethnographic interviews.

MU2535: THE EMERGING PRACTITIONER 2

15 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

This is a fully interactive course designed to develop students' musicianship skills whilst examining the pedagogy and resources required to transfer musicianship skills to participants in a diverse range of settings regardless of starting ability, thus equipping students to become emerging musical practitioners in a range of education and community music settings. Participatory music making, socio-cultural learning and experience of working in groups will be explored in this course. 

ME33MU: MUSIC, HEALTH, AND WELLBEING

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course will explore practices and research from the fields of music, therapy, public health and medicine, to rigorously explore the relationship between music, health and wellbeing. 

 

As well as engaging in the academic debate around music, health, and wellbeing the course will develop a working knowledge and understanding of the musical practices available to medical and music practitioners, and to their potential uses in a breadth of health care settings.

MU3015: COMPOSITION 3

30 credits

Level 3

Full Year

This course will build on knowledge and techiques studied and assimilated in earlier composition modules in order to create substantial, original new creations. Students will be required to assimilate new techniques and work them into their own emerging musical language for the assessment procedures. Students will be required to regularly critique existing works using these techniques and this will form part of the formative assessments.​

MU3024: PERFORMANCE 5

30 credits

Level 3

Full Year

This course develops individual instrumental/vocal  skills.  Students work on one-to-one basis (20 x 1 hour lessons) with a specialist instrumental / vocal tutor on their principal study. Alongside instrumental and vocal lessons students are  encouraged to join one of the department's many ensembles working in weekly rehearsals towards high quality public performances. The course is assessed by a 20 minute recital, a tutor report and a performance essay.

Students must have achieved a CGS award of B3 or higher in year 2 in order to be able to progress to this course in year 3.

MU3032: BAROQUE OPERA

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

From Monteverdi's l'Orfeo to Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, drama set to music developed from a speculative genre to the dominant musical form of its time. Through the story of early opera, we can trace philosophical, aesthetic, and theoretical currents, and observe developments such as the rise of the virtuoso performer, the supremacy of the figured bass as compositional and improvisational tool, and the ever-changing relationship of music to text.

MU3033: MUSIC EDUCATION STUDIES 1

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course will introduce students to learning and teaching in music education contexts.  Through reflection and practical engagement, students will begin to develop a range of skills essential for teaching in the secondary school.

MU3036: THE DIGITAL MUSIC PRACTICIONER

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

The Digital Music Practitioner is a fully interactive course designed to develop students' digital musicianship skills whilst examining the pedagogy and resources required to facilitate learning and participation in creative music making projects realised through technology. 

MU3037: COMMUNITY MUSIC 1: EXPOSING THE PRACTICE

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course introduces music students to both theories of community and to practice in community settings.  It covers 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.  Through self-selected placements in a range of settings students consider the role of the arts in creating and sustaining communities, and identify skills required to devise and deliver appropriate musical inputs in community settings, including ways of evaluating impact on individuals, groups and communities.  This background will support critical reflection on placement experiences in a wide range of real situations in communities. Students will pursue their own particular interests on placement but must meet requirements for breadth of experience with different age groups, needs and settings. Though finding their own placements students will develop and practice skills in professional communication skills, time management and negotiation.  The maintenance of practice logs and reflective diaries supports effective recording of experience.

MU3082: YEAR 3 COMPOSER OPTION

15 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This ten week course will focus on the work ONE selected composer in the Western art music tradition. It is intended to provide a space in the curriculum where students can have time to consider the work of the selected composer in significant depth and breadth. The selected composer will vary from year to year depending on expertise of the staff member teaching the course. Key musical works will be explored and the approach taken will vary in relation to the repertoire that is studied. Courses will mix aspects of music history, theory, analysis and aesthetics.

MU30M4: ART MUSIC IN THE WESTERN TRADITION SINCE 1945

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.

MU351H: MUSICKING AND COMMUNITIES 1

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Musicking and Communities 1 is a fully interactive course designed to develop students' musicianship skills whilst examining the pedagogy and resources required to transfer musicianship skills to participants in a diverse range of settings regardless of starting ability. Participatory music making, socio-cultural learning and experience of working in groups will be explored in this course.

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.

MU3527: GERMAN ART SONG

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Art song is one of the most widespread and significant forms of chamber music, and German-language composers have been some of the most influential contributors to this genre. This course will investigate the development of the German art song from the late classical period into the early twentieth century. Issues covered may include the development of the song cycle, the changing roles of voice and piano, orchestral songs, aesthetic and literary currents, developments in tonal and post-tonal musical language, influences from and on other musical cultures, and performance practice.

MU3528: TANGO MUSIC

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Tango music has undergone huge changes, particularly over the past 50 years or so with composer/performers such as Astor Piazzolla bringing the music of the tango out of milonga halls and into concert halls. The course will cover social, historical and analytical aspects of the music and students will create and perform their own tango music, following an immersion in all aspects of the music.

MU3531: SOUND DESIGN FOR FILM AND NEW MEDIA

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course introduces theoretical and practical aspects of sound design in a wide range of media, including film, TV series, games and interactive platforms. Along with an in-depth analysis of sound design in films and TV series, such as Mirror by Tarkovsky, Gravity by Cuarón, and Weekend by Godard among others, students will acquire practical tools, technologies, and methodologies to create sound design for film and fixed media. Students are also introduced to Unity and FMOD, a game sound design framework used by AAA games, and encourage them to explore possibilities of sound design with new technologies.

MU3534: DEVELOPING PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE 2

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course will develop knowledge and understanding of learning and teaching in music education contexts. Through reflection and practical engagement, students will further develop a range of skills essential for teaching music in the secondary school.

MU3539: FACILITATING COMPOSING AND IMPROVISING

15 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course will explore ways to develop creative music making and sharing in a range of contexts, styles and genres and with consideration to community resource and restriction. The student experience is built around a participatory approach to learning and teaching. Students will have the opportunity to develop as creative musicians and also as facilitators of composing and improvising in a range of education and community settings.

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.

MU401Q: AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT AND ENGAGEMENT THROUGH COMMUNITY MUSIC

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course looks specifically at the issues of Audience Development and Engagement in Community Settings, giving students the opportunity to work as a cohort to design, negotiate, implement and evaluate a Community Performance and/or Workshop based on a set stimulus.

This course covers aspects of business and entrepreneurship alongside the development of Community Music leadership skills and qualities.

This course is delivered in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen Museums and Special Collections team. 

MU401R: PROFESSIONAL PROJECT: PROJECT PROPOSAL

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

The BMus (Hons) Community Music programme uniquely prepares students as informed and creative practitioners in the emerging field of Community Music. The compulsory suite of course for the BMus (Hons) Community Music programme are designed to fully complement and integrate with each other, bringing together academic and practical experiences. The student experience in each course is built around a participatory approach to learning and teaching, enabling students to fully engage with the stated learning outcomes. Teaching incorporates: contact time with lecturers (lectures, seminars and workshops), self-direct study and practical vocational experiences. Throughout the course students will be asked to undertake a variety of formative tasks including: self-directed research, reading and writing both descriptive and reflective, as well as practical vocational activities and online collaborations.

MU4021: LEARNING AND TEACHING IN SCHOOLS: DEVELOPING PROF PRACTICE 1

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course introduces and develops the main underpinning principles of the programme, providing a forum for analysis and discussion of education in the practical context of classroom teaching.  A range of issues common to all students as developing professionals will be reflected upon, in particular, issues which have implications for direct action in the classroom such as inclusive practice.  Through Professional Enquiry, it provides students with knowledge and understanding of policy, theory and research in the context of developing professional practice.

MU4022: SCHOOL EXPERIENCE 1: BEGINNING TO TEACH

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

Within a school setting students will critically reflect on their own practice in relation to key features of an inclusive learning environment, focussing on the role of the teacher.

Through observation of classroom practice, students will develop capacities and practise skills that enable them to prepare, plan, and implement learning, teaching, assessment and evaluation of learners.

MU4032: BAROQUE OPERA

15 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

From Monteverdi's l'Orfeo to Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, drama set to music developed from a speculative genre to the dominant musical form of its time. Through the story of early opera, we can trace philosophical, aesthetic, and theoretical currents, and observe developments such as the rise of the virtuoso performer, the supremacy of the figured bass as compositional and improvisational tool, and the ever-changing relationship of music to text.

MU4049: DISSERTATION IN MUSIC

30 credits

Level 4

Full Year

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

Full Year

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

Full Year

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. 


MU4082: YEAR 4 COMPOSER OPTION

15 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This ten week course will focus on the work ONE selected composer in the Western art music tradition. It is intended to provide a space in the curriculum where students can have time to consider the work of the selected composer in significant depth and breadth. The selected composer will vary from year to year depending on expertise of the staff member teaching the course. Key musical works will be explored and the approach taken will vary in relation to the repertoire that is studied. Courses will mix aspects of music history, theory, analysis and aesthetics.

MU4507: SOUND DESIGN FOR FILM AND NEW MEDIA

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course will
explore theoretical and practical aspects of sound design in a wide range of
film and media, particularly focusing on new media, such as games and
interactive platforms.

MU4508: THE BALLETS RUSSES: MUSIC, ART AND MOVEMENT

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Between 1909 and 1929, Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes staged a series of theatrical productions which combined music, movement and visual art in ways that were to have an unprecedented influence on every aspect of artistic life in western Europe and the Americas. Focusing on ten representative ballets, this course explores the creative collaborations between composers, choreographers, artists, dancers and musicians, including such key figures as Stravinsky, Debussy, Picasso, Chanel, Nijinsky and Massine. The course approaches the topic from interdisciplinary angles. 

MU451J: PROFESSIONAL PROJECT - PRACTICE

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course is designed to provide each student the opportunity to design, negotiate, implement and evaluate their own major Community Music project in a setting of their choice.  In doing this the student will synthesise material from the academic commentaries provided in MU 401I, the understandings of community development processes developed in MU401G and the skills in musicking developed in earlier courses.

MU451N: GLOBAL MUSICAL MODERNISMS

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

From its inception in the late 19th/early 20th century, Western musical modernity has contained within itself elements of geographically diverse cultures. Paying close attention to decisive political shifts and the facts of colonialism, post-colonialism and decolonialism, students will study a range of modern music showing the importance of various Asian, African and Latin American musics for Western musical modernity and how the traditions and practices of Western music have been embraced in turn in innovative ways in Asia, Africa and Latin America. 

MU4521: LEARNING AND TEACHING IN SCHOOLS: DEVELOPING PROF PRACTICE 2

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course further develops knowledge and understanding of national policies, and priorities in education relevant to inclusive education classroom practice. Students will extend their knowledge and understanding of the curriculum in Scottish schools and develop professional skills and abilities relevant to the transition to teaching. Through Professional Enquiry 2 emerging critical skills will deepen, while knowledge and understanding of the diversity and quality of educational research relevant to the development of practice will be developed.

MU4526: EQUALITY, EQUITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE THROUGH MUSIC

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course will empower students to engage proactively with the complex social and political concepts, theories and perspectives around equality, equity and social justice. 

The first part of the course will develop a knowledge and understanding of the range of terminology, concepts, theories, and perspectives connected with this area of study, using the 2010 Equality Act as an overarching framework. This will be undertaken through the study of relevant academic literature and participatory activities.  

The second part of the course will demonstrate how these concepts, theories and perspectives can be applied to the student’s understanding of their individual musical practice(s).  

MU4527: GERMAN ART SONG

15 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Art song is one of the most widespread and significant forms of chamber music, and German-language composers have been some of the most influential contributors to this genre. This course will investigate the development of the German art song from the late classical period into the early twentieth century. Issues covered may include the development of the song cycle, the changing roles of voice and piano, orchestral songs, aesthetic and literary currents, developments in tonal and post-tonal musical language, influences from and on other musical cultures, and performance practice.

MU4722: SCHOOL EXPERIENCE 2: TRANSITION TO TEACHER

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

As part of the BMus (Hons) Education degree programme, this professional placement provides further opportunity for students to apply and develop their knowledge of issues in Scottish Education and pedagogical theory, building towards the transition into their induction year.

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