Department:Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts
Course Convenor:Dr AA Marsden
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Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabusback to top
Weekly lectures aim to develop an analytical understanding of classical compositional style (the music of composers such as Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, supplemented by other examples, including popular musics) through exercises in analysis and pastiche composition of increasing complexity (from intervals, triads, cadences, progressions, melody and bass, modulation and chromaticism, through arrangement and accompaniment to complete shorter pieces). The principles underlying each topic are outlined in the first part of the session. In the second part, the class works generally within informal smaller groups. This enables more specific discussion of issues raised in the first part of the lecture to be carried out, along with discussion of work completed by the students in their own time between timetabled sessions. This approach also helps to prepare students for the coursework assignment (Harmony; end of Michaelmas Term) and the three-day take-away examination paper (Analysis; Summer Term)
Initial sessions concentrate on the most basic 'building blocks' of tonal music, such as intervals and triads, and the terminology which can be used to describe them.
Subsequently, students begin to explore the harmonic and contrapuntal 'grammar' which governs the way in which these fundamental tonal units are put together.
Concentrating first on small-scale units, such as the phrase, the sessions work gradually towards larger-scale units, leading to an exploration of modulation, and, finally, the construction of large-scale tonal schemes and formal structures.
Complementary analytical perspectives embrace harmonic analysis (including chordal labelling and reduction), together with an initial understanding of 'voice-leading' and motivic techniques, and how to construct a short written commentary
Curriculum Design: Pre-requisites/Co-requisites/Exclusionsback to top
Associated Board Grade 5 Theory or equivalent (equivalent qualifications might include A2-level Music or Music technology qualification) or permission of module convenor. Any student who has not taken Associated Board Grade 5 Theory should contact the convenor prior to the course start-date, providing proof of alternative qualification. Interview may be required.
Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
The aim of this module is: to give students a thorough grounding in core areas of music theory. The module focuses upon harmony (stylistic/pastiche composition) and analysis. Understanding and skills are developed through complementary (harmonic, compositional and analytical) approaches to engaging with music critically, in the context of written (and some non-written) musics. Specific areas include stylistic composition (harmony and pastiche composition, especially in the styles of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven) and analysis of tonal music (including aural skills).
Educational Aims: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
More generally, this module develops students' skills in analysis/evaluation and problem-solving. Additionally, harmony and analysis necessitates basic numeracy. The module also addresses verbal communication (written and spoken) and time-management (especially in the case of the 3-day paper).
Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
On successful completion of this module students will be able to...
(a) Demonstrate an understanding of tonal structures and compositional strategies, especially as practised by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and should be able to express their comprehension of such structures in language and diagrammatic representation appropriate to the broader field of music theory and understandable to anyone educated in music theory (cf. Music Benchmarking (2002), Subject-specific skills, 4.1.4: 'the ability to observe, understand, interpret and manipulate oral, written and visual signs denoting music') [Harmony cwa; Analysis exam]
(b) Show skill in demonstrating their comprehension of such structures and strategies through stylistic composition (cf. Music Benchmarking (2002), Subject-specific skills, 4.1.4: (The ability to 'relate theory and practice to each other.'). [Harmony cwa]
(c) Demonstrate a developing ability to describe articulately, both in written and spoken situations, what is happening in musical examples with (and sometimes without) written texts (cf. Music Benchmarking (2002), Subject-specific skills, 4.1.1: 'The ability to recognise and describe musical organisation, style, genre or tradition, whether aurally or by studying a written score.'). [Analysis exam; and informally through class discussion]
Learning Outcomes: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
On successful completion of this module students will be able to...
(a) Demonstrate analytical/evaluative and problem-solving skills [Harmony cwa; analysis exam]
(b) Show an understanding of basic numeracy [Harmony cwa; analysis exam]
(c) Demonstrate verbal communication skills [Analysis exam; informal class discussion](d) Demonstrate time management skills [Timely cwa and take-away exam submission]
Assessment: Details of Assessmentback to top
Coursework 50% (Harmony/Stylistic Composition Coursework Assignment; end of Michaelmas Term)
Exam 50% (Analysis Examination, 3-day Take-away Paper; Summer Term)Assessment is balanced evenly between Harmony and Analysis tasks since they are of equal importance (and indeed complement each other/interact), and between coursework/exam modes to give students experience (a) of working in depth (cwa), and (b) to a time limit (3 days is viable and well-tested for this activity, whereas 3 hours would be severely limiting).
Curriculum Design: Select Bibliographyback to top
There are NO essential purchases for MUSC121
Aldwell, E and Schachter, C Harmony and Voice Leading (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2002)
Butterworth, A Stylistic Harmony (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994)
*Cook, N A Guide to Musical Analysis (London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1987)
Rosen, C The Classical Style (London: Faber, 2005 )
Schoenberg, A Fundamentals of Musical Composition (London: Faber, 1967)
Bent, I Analysis (London: Macmillan, 1987)
Cook, N Analysis through Composition: Principles of the Classical Style (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996)
Dunsby, J and Whitall, A Music Analysis in Theory and Practice (London: Faber, 1988)
Schoenberg, A Structural Functions of Harmony, ed. Stein, L (London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1983)
Tunley, D A Practical Course in Tonal Harmony (London and Boston: Faber Music, 1984)
Curriculum Design: Single, Combined or Consortial Schemes to which the Module Contributesback to top
Core module: BA Music, BA Music Technology, BA Popular Music Studies
Optional module: BA Hons Creative Arts, BA/BSc Computer Science and Music, BA EngLMus, BA FrMu, BA GerMu, BA HisMus, BA ISMu, BA SSMu