MUSICOL 1200 - Musicology Foundations

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

This course provides an introduction to concepts and approaches to music research as encountered in the co-disciplines of historical musicology and ethnomusicology, and in other disciplines which have addressed music including sociology and psychology. Key ideas and concepts are used to understand selected examples of Western music (in both popular and classical forms) and non-Western music. The scope of research considered in the course includes both studies of traditional forms of music performance and composition, and studies of music in media contexts such as film, television, and games.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MUSICOL 1200
    Course Musicology Foundations
    Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible MUSICOL 1000A/B
    Assumed Knowledge A basic proficiency with reading standard musical notation but not in musical performance
    Assessment Seminar participation 10%, Essay (1500 words) 30%, Oral presentation (10 minutes) 30%, Exam (2 hours) 30%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Steven Knopoff

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Critically assess music as encountered in a broad range of historical, social, cultural, performative, notational, and mediated contexts
    2. Understand the relationship between studies of music within the co-disciplines of ethnomusicology and historical musicology, and studies of music in other disciplines, particularly within the Social Sciences
    3. Develop and demonstrate aural and analytical skills through assessed written and oral assignments and through participation in seminar discussions
    4. Develop music research skills related to planning essays and confidence in written, oral, and electronic modes of communication
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 3, 4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3, 4
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2, 3, 4
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 3, 4
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    3, 4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Cook, Nicholas. 1998. Music: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Harper-Scott, J P E and Jim Sampson, eds. 2009. An Introduction to Music Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Recommended Resources
    The electronic 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. 

    Music Online is a portal that enables searching in Grove Music Online and other Oxford reference content in the one location. Students can access Oxford Music Online which houses Grove Music Online through the link on the Elder Music Library website at:
    Grove music online [electronic resource] can also be located as a title search through the library catalogue. The 29-volume print copy is available from the Elder Music Library's reserve collection.
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used to provide details of lecture and seminar content, set readings, assignment instructions, presentation schedules, as well as for assignment submission and announcements
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures and Seminars will address the information and aims set out in the Course Description. They will be structured to allow students to develop analytical and written/oral presentational skills through in-class discussion and formal presentations.

    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 3 contact hours per week, it is anticipated that students would spend 4-8 hours per week in
    reviewing in-class notes, preparing the readings and other assignments, and revising for the end-of-semester exam.


    Learning Activities Summary
    The following provides an indicative list of topics for this course

    Week 1
    Introduction to the course/The scope of music research in the 21st century

    Week 2
    Introduction to Musicology and Music History

    Week 3
    Studies of Music based on Notation, Theory and Analysis

    Week 4
    Studies of Music as Performance

    Week 5
    Studies in Music and Media

    Week 6
    Studies in World Music 

    Week 7
    Sociological Perspectives and Music Research

    Week 8
    Music and Psychology

    Week 9
    Studies in the Economics and Business of Music

    Week 10
    Studies of Popular Music

    Week 11
    Student Presentations

    Week 12
    Student Presentations
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no additional course-specific requirements.
  • 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
    Seminar participation Formative and summative 10% 1, 2, 3, 4
    1500 word essay Formative and summative 30% 1, 2, 3, 4
    10-min oral presentation Summative 30% 3, 4
    2-hour exam Summative 30% 1, 2, 3, 4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Active and positive participation in 100% of lectures and seminars is expected, excluding absence due to certified medical illness or on compassionate grounds cleared in advance with the course coordinator. Because important information and perspectives are disseminated in lecture and seminar discussions (not only in readings) non-attendance is associated with poorer assessment results. Students who attend less than 80% of seminars will not be offered an additional assessment in the case of a full course result in the 45-49% range.
    Assessment Detail
    Students will be assiged a brief portion of 1 or 2 of the weekly readings to give a 4-5 minute summary-discussion during a scheduled slot during 1-2 course sessions.

    1200–1500 WORD WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT (30% weighting)
    Students will write a 1200–1500 word paper on an assigned topic related to the Week 2 history content. Detailed instructions will be distributed and discussed in class in Week 2, Friday 11 March. The essay will be due for submission via MyUni in Week 6, Friday 8 April.

    ORAL PRESENTATION (30% weighting)
    In weeks 11-12 each student will give a 10 minute oral presentation regarding the use of music in a chosen media context. Assessment will be based both on the quality of the presentation content (clear statement of aims, use of well-organised and meaningful information leading to a small number of conclusion/s) and on the quality of the presentation itself (in terms of overall timing, vocal delivery, and effective use of A/V information/examples). Detailed instructions and a schedule for the presentations will be distributed in class in Week 6 (6 April).

    END-OF-SEMESTER OPEN-BOOK EXAM (30% weighting)
    Date: The course exam will take place sometime during the final exam period between
    20 June – 1 July, most likely early in this period during the week of the 20th. The exact dates and times of all exams will be published by the Examinations Office on 13 May. All students must attend the exam at the time set by the Examinations Office.
    The exam will require students to answer two or three questions (or sets of related questions). Answers to each question (or set of questions) should run about 300-400 words. This is an open-book exam, allowing for text books and any notes the student may have prepared. Answers will be marked both on clarity of writing and on demonstration of an understanding of relevant concepts and ideas presented in the course. A set of practice questions will be distributed in class in Week 12 (1 June).
    The Written word assignment should be submitted (uploaded) as .pdf no later than 5:00 p.m. on the due date.
    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
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