MUSSUPST 3120 - Music, Culture & Society 3B

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

This course explores western music and music making in its historical, social, cultural and philosophical contexts from the early 20th century to the present. It highlights the many musical and non-musical factors and influences that shaped music during that period, and incorporates historical and critical musicology, reception history, analysis, and repertoire studies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MUSSUPST 3120
    Course Music, Culture & Society 3B
    Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge MUSSUPST 3110
    Assessment Research Essay 40%, Examinations 40%, Repertoire Listening Test 20%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Mark Carroll

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    At the end of this course students will be able to demonstrate:

    1. a conceptual understanding of the key historical, aesthetic and philosophical trends in Western art music from early 20th century to the present
    2. high level research and writing skills
    3. high level listening skills and repertoire knowledge
    4. knowledge of historical perspectives in Western art music
    5. skills in using online technologies to explore the history of Western art music.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2, 3, 4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 2, 3, 5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2, 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 2
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Weekly related readings (see below), are available either as a PDF on MyUni, online via the Elder Music Library, or external websites.
    Recommended Resources
    • Library
    The Music Library located in the Hartley building is an excellent source for music, literature and recordings: 

    • Music Resources Guide
    The Music Resources Guide contains quick links to key music databases for scholarly research and online listening. It also contains links to websites of publicly available online scores, collected editions, and professional associations. Here, too, you can find a regularly updated list of new books, scores, CDs and DVDs available in the Elder Music Library:

    Cook, Nicholas and Anthony Poole (eds). The Cambridge History of
    Twentieth-Century Music (Cambridge: CUP, 2004).
    Hanning, Barbara Russo. Concise History of Western Music, 2nd ed. (New
    York: Norton, 2002).
    Harper-Scott, JPE and Jim Samson (eds). An Introduction to Music Studies
    (Cambridge: CUP, 2012).
    Jeffrey, Jackson and Stanley Pelkey (eds). Music and history: Bridging the
    disciplines Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005).
    Kramer, Lawrence. Musical Meaning: Toward a critical history (Berkeley:
    University of California Press, 2002).
    Latham, Alison (ed). The Oxford Companion to Music (Oxford: OUP, 2002).
    Taruskin, Richard. The Oxford History of Western Music (Oxford: OUP, 2005).
    Weiss, Pedro and Richard Taruskin (eds). Music in the Western World: A
    History in Documents, 2nd ed. (Belmont, CA.: Schirmer, 2008).
    Online Learning
    This Course Profile, along with learning materials and assessment details will be placed on MyUni – refer to  Lecture summaries, reading and support materials will be available on MyUni and through electronic resources, including Grove online and Naxos music library.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course marks an historical continuation of Music, Culture and Society 2 and 3A, in that it pursues a number of key themes set against a broad chronological framework. Those themes centre on the tension between form and content, or art and expression, as it applies to music. With that in mind the course maps changes to music and music making against the shifting intellectual and philosophical currents in Europe during the period under review; these include the religious, political and philosophical currents coursing through music and music-making from early 20th century to the present day. In so doing the course allows performers, composers, educators and musicologists to come to grips with the pivotal factors that shaped their respective disciplines. Intensive guidance provided by high level researchers will equip the students to undertake directed and independent research, and to articulate their findings in a cogent, professional and scholarly manner.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    In addition to the required contact hours, students are expected to play an active role in the practice, refinement and consolidation of their knowledge and understanding. For each hour of this course students will need to spend on average an additional minimum of 3 - 4 hours per week on readings, practice, critical listening, self-initiated learning and research in order to pass the course.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course structure and content will examine the areas below through the weekly seminar and workshop. This list is intended as a guide, and may change in response to needs arising during the semester. Further detail regarding weekly content can be found on MyUni.

    Seminar (S – Wednesdays 1-3 pm, Schulz 1004)
    Workshop (W/S – Tuesdays 11-12 noon, Hughes Lecture Theatre)

    JK = James Koehne; SW = Stephen Whittington; GK = Graeme Koehne; MC = Mark Carroll; JN = Jennifer Newsome

    Week 1
    (W/S) MC
    Course Overview
    (S) JK
    Uprising of the Avant-gardes
    WWI was a moment of crisis in Western culture, and from it emerged a variety of radical reactions (including Primitivism, Expressionism, Dada, Les Six, Futurism and the Soviet Avant-Garde).
    Glenn Watkins Pyramids at the Louvre?
    Paris Between the Wars?
    Week 2
    (W/S) SW
    The ‘Call to Order’
    In the years following the war, a tendency to re-establish order from chaos led to the rise of Neo-classicism [Stravinsky, Respighi] & Serialism [Schoenberg, Berg, Webern].
    (S) GK
    Twentieth Century Symphonies
    The Symphony in the 20C took on meaning for those seeking to establish continuity with the tradition, reflecting Classicist (Prokofiev, Martinu, Stravinsky), Romantic (Mahler, Rachmaninov, Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, Shostakovich), and Transcendentalist tendencies (Nielsen, Messiaen).
    Alex Ross, Sibelius Chapter
    Week 3
    (W/S) MC
    Music and Politics 1917 to 1945
    An overview of the key zones in which Politics made an impact on the practice of music in the first half of the 20C: Shostakovich/ Prokofiev; Entärtete Musik; music of political commitment.
    Alex Ross, Ch 7 ‘The Art of Fear: Music in Stalin’s Russia’ and Ch 9, ‘Death Fugue: Music in Hitler’s Germany’
    Week 3
    (W/S) MC
    Music and Politics 1917 to 1945
    An overview of the key zones in which Politics made an impact on the practice of music in the first half of the 20C: Shostakovich/ Prokofiev; Entärtete Musik; music of political commitment.
    Alex Ross, Ch 7 ‘The Art of Fear: Music in Stalin’s Russia’ and Ch 9, ‘Death Fugue: Music in Hitler’s Germany’
    (S) JK
    A key development in the first half of the 20C was the evolution of a culture of light music, which had its greatest impact in the context of the operatic tradition, through the development of operetta and the musical: Gershwin; Rodgers; Bernstein.
    Stephen Banfield, ‘Popular Musical Theatre (and Film),’ in Mervyn Cooke, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Twentieth-Century Opera, Cambridge University Press, 2005 [Video: Leonard Bernstein Reflections]
    Week 4
    (W/S) MC
    Folk and Vernacular Inspirations
    The 20C concept of ‘Folk Music’ had powerful meaning for many composers, by connecting them to a vernacular tradition. This lecture considers Folk and Popular inspirations in Bartok, Sibelius, Copland, Grainger, Gershwin and Vaughan Williams.
    Alex Ross, Ch. 3 ‘Dance of the Earth,’ in The Rest is Noise: Listening to the 20C, Picador, 2008
    (S) GK
    Stravinsky: Life & Works
    In the career of Igor Stravinsky, most of the main currents of musical development are represented. His story and his oeuvre exemplify key developments and themes of 20C music, from Exoticism to Primitivism, Neoclassicism to Serialism, Nationalism to Internationalism.
    [Video: Opening sequence (reconstruction of the Rite premiere) from Coco & Igor, 2009]
    Week 5
    (W/S) MC
    The Ballets Russes in Australia
    The continuing life of the Ballets Russes after Diaghilev was to reach Australia in the 1940s, with a dramatic effect on Australia’s cultural life and history.
    (S) GK
    Music for Film from ‘Silent’ to the Hollywood ‘Classical’ Era
    The development of communication media in the 20C vastly expanded the demand for music. Film in particular had a profound impact for composers working from the traditions of ‘classical’ music, inspiring some great creations of 20C music.
    Mervyn Cooke
    Week 6
    (W/S) GK
    Listening and Viewing: Music for Film
    A guided presentation looking at and listening to classic examples of film scoring
    (S) MC
    Who Cares If You Listen?: The Radicalisation of avant-garde art music
    The concept of the avant-garde became potent in the years after WWII as part of a search for rebuilding the world. This session explores the concept and its enactment in European and American musical culture.
    David Osmond-Smith, ‘New Beginnings: the International Avant-Garde, 1945-1962,’ in The Cambridge History of 20C Music, Cambridge University Press, 2004 [Available online]
    Alex Ross, Ch 11 ‘Brave New World’
    Week 7
    (W/S) MC
    Listening and Viewing: Key Works of the avant-garde
    Boulez, Stockhausen, Ligeti, Xenakis, etc.
    (S) SW
    John Cage, Aleatoricism and the Experimentalist ‘Tradition’
    Cage developed a radical musical philosophy which inspired a completely new musical outlook for many composers. This lecture explores the music of John cage and other leading exponents within the tradition, including Harry Partch, Cornelius Cardew
    David Nicholls, ‘Experimentalism between the wars,’ in The Cambridge History of 20C Music, Cambridge University Press, 2004 [Available online]
    Week 8
    (W/S) SW
    Listening and Viewing: Key Works of Experimentalism
    This session provides a chance to explore in more depth, the variety of musical output of experimentalism
    (S) JK
    Australian ‘Classical’ Music in the Postwar Era
    The period after 1945 saw dramatic development in Australian musical culture: the growth of major institutions and the ABC; transition from colonial allegiances to Internationalism; and the search for Australian musical leaders in Sculthorpe & Meale.
    Cardus; Covell; Murdoch; Kerry
    Week 9
    (W/S) JK
    Australian Musicians in London in the Postwar Era
    London after the War was a major site for Australian musical creativity. This lecture explores this paradox as seen in the diverse careers of Rolf Harris, The Seekers, Arthur Benjamin, Don Banks, Malcolm Williamson, and Charles Mackerras.
    [Youtube Clip]; Stephen Alomes
    (S) JN
    Aboriginal Music: Towards understanding
    This presentation by the University’s Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music introduces the rich heritage of Aboriginal traditional music and explores the new forms of musical output flowing from new urban-based Aboriginal music-making, in which CASM itself has played an important role.
    Week 10
    (W/S) JK
    Australian Composition and Aboriginal Music From Jedda to Kalkadungu
    This lecture explores the gradual development of a genuine engagement between Australian composers and Aboriginal culture, as seen in the music of Jindyworobakism, Sculthorpe, Mills, Edwards, Hindson, Schulz
    (S) SW
    Music and Machine
    The Rise and Development of Electronic Music since the 20C
    Andrew Hugill ‘The Origins of Electronic Music,’ in Collins and d’Escrivan, The Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music, Cambridge University press, 2007
    Week 11
    (W/S) CH
    Technology, new media and the future of music
    Peter Tschmuck, Digital Revolution/
    David Byrne
    (S) GK
    Minimalism and its Evolution
    The development of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and John Adams.
    Robert Fink, ‘Post-minimalisms 1970–2000: the search for a new mainstream,’ in The Cambridge History of 20C Music, Cambridge University Press, 2004 [Available online]
    Week 12
    (W/S) GK
    Concepts of Modernism and Postmodernism
    Modernism, Postmodernism, and popular taste
    (S) JK
    Crossing the ‘Great Divide’
    This presentation explores the concept of the ‘Great Divide’ between Classical and Popular musical traditions, focussing on the efforts by musicians from both ‘classical’ and ‘popular’ sides of the fence to forge a new relationship between the two concepts of musical production.
    Week 13
    (W/S) JK/GK/MC
    Music: Everywhere and Nowhere
    To end the course, a conversation about the future directions - the challenges and opportunities - for ‘classical’ music,
    David Byrne ‘Amateurs’ in How Music Works/ Alex Ross, Ch 15 ‘Sunken Cathedrals’/ Joseph Horowitz

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    • Summative Assessments

    The assessments are staggered throughout the semester. Four short exams relating to lecture content and materials will take place in Weeks 3, 6, 9 and 12. A research essay on topics negotiated with the course coordinator will fall due in weeks 9-11. A written exam will likewise test knowledge of the musical topics discussed in the seminar.

    Title Due % Learning
    Seminar Test (1) 10 1,4
    Seminar Test (2) 10 1,4
    Seminar Test (3) 10 1,4
    Seminar Test (4) 10 1,4
    Research Essay 40 1.2.4,5
    Written exam To be held during Examination period, week 14. Date and venue TBA. 20 1,3,4
    Formative Assessment
    Classes will contain embedded formative assessment that may include tasks such as quizzes, in-class exercises and homework that will enable students to engage with the practical and theoretical concepts presented in order to complete their summative assessments.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Expectation & Penalty
    As per Conservatorium policy, active and positive participation in 100% of classes is expected. Any student who attends less than 100% of required classes without approved leave may result in a 5 (five) mark penalty for each unapproved absence. The penalties will be applied to the final total percentage mark for the year for the relevant component i.e. after all other assessments have been completed and calculated. Arrival after the scheduled starting time or departure before the scheduled finishing time may, at the lecturer or Co-ordinator’s discretion, be regarded as an unapproved absence.

    The Conservatorium recognises that extenuating circumstances may occasionally affect a student’s ability to participate in a rehearsal, workshop, class, lecture, tutorial or performance. In such cases leave may, upon application using the leave form (available from the Music Office Hartley Building G05), be approved by the relevant staff member.
    Assessment Detail
    Work submitted after the due date will not be accepted unless accompanied by a valid leave certificate.

    • Seminar short tests (4 x 10% of total mark for semester)

    Dates: Week 3 ( ); Week 6 (…..); Week 9 (….); Week 12 (…..)

    During the first 30 minutes of seminars on the dates listed above, students will be asked to complete a short test, comprising short answers and multiple choice questions. The questions will cover key concepts and repertoire covered in the preceding 3 weeks’ seminars. The tests are intended to 1) provide continual reinforcement of the seminar content; 2) afford students and lecturers the opportunity to track learning outcomes; and 3) ensure regular attendance at seminars.

    • Essay (40% of total mark for semester)

    Due date: 12 noon, Friday XXX (submit to Elder Conservatorium Schulz office, sign in using coversheet provided by the office)
    Word count: 2500 words (NOT including bibliography and references)

    Essay topics will be canvassed during the seminars, and negotiated further if required with Mark Carroll.

    Bibliography and references are to be cited according to either MLA or Harvard styles, as described in the Elder Conservatorium Bibliographic Style Guide at

    • Written exam (20% of total mark for semester)

    Students will be required to provided four single paragraph answers to questions extracted from a list of ten supplied earlier in the semester.

    Assessments and Exams
    Students must be available during the identified University teaching, academic and examination periods. Students are not entitled to sit an examination or submit an assessment at another time, nor are they entitled to any other concessions if an examination or assessment conflicts with a planned vacation or special event. Results from assessments and examinations are usually sent to students via email and/or myUni.

    Late Submission
    Assignments which are submitted after the due date and time will incur a 5% penalty (from the assignment total of 100%) per day (24 hour period) for a maximum of 4 days (weekend days included). After this time the assignment will not be marked for assessment or feedback. Note – this does not apply to assessments where the assessment is conducted at a fixed time and location, such as an exam, practical test, performance or presentation.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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