Theory, Style and Analysis (20 credits)
The aim of the module is to familiarise students with tonal music theory, formal analysis and the more general foundation of music analysis, in the context of historical style and genre.
Audio Sequencing & Recording (20 credits)
This module is designed to provide students with a grounding in Apple’s LOGIC and the applications and techniques of MIDI and audio sequencing. The module will focus on commercial music recording and production methods and will relate specifically to the practical production of demo-format recordings
Music History (20 credits)
The module aims to develop a critical understanding of the concept of music’s social, political and cultural contexts. Taking a broadly sociological perspective, the module will examine practitioners, audiences and consumers of music through history and in a range of societies, and will investigate the social factors influencing the status of a particular musical work at a given time and place.
Composition, Notation & Direction (20 credits)
This module aims to provide students with a broad understanding of compositional techniques and to aid future employability in a range of musical contexts. It will cover a number of stylistic approaches including rhythm, harmony, form, notation and timbre, but will focus on students’ creativity and follow current creative industry practices to give offer a real world insight into professional composition. The module will take new musical ideas and apply them to workshops and rehearsals, where the students can actively take part in shaping the composition, direction, performance and recording of their works.
Musical Styles and Analysis (20 credits)
This module examines indicative works across a range of musical and historical periods, and from a range of places, in order to familiarise students with fundamental concepts and approaches to music history and repertoire. Progress toward a detailed understanding of a shorter list of set core works is enhanced through a variety of analytical approaches, including cultural, structural, harmonic and philosophical methods. There will also be a larger set of works covered during the module, with the aim of helping to establish a broader framework for the core works. The module aims to broaden and deepen understanding of music and will examine specific musical works from a range of styles and genres, concentrating particularly on those works regarded as part of a stylistic ‘canon’.
Music and Culture (20 credits)
This module aims to introduce students to a broad range of music in its cultural contexts. Aspects of this module include the development of a global and inclusive understanding of musicians and music-making; and developing students’ understanding of other cultures and the musical universals that bring people together. The module also includes the development of transferable skills such as effective academic writing, reflective writing, participation in discussion, and group work.
Professional Preparation (semester 1)
This module will enable students to undertake the research necessary for an extensive portfolio in the Professional Portfolio module. The outcomes of this research activity can cover a broad area and may include, for instance, research towards a composition, research project or performance, but will crucially be focused upon preparing the students for engagement with the music industry or its surrounding academic context.
Professional Portfolio (semester 2)
Building on the work generated within the Professional Preparation module, this module will enable students to develop their research into a substantial professional portfolio of composition, performance or critical writing. The work undertaken in this module should represent a significant development in the student’s chosen area of study and aims to fundamentally enhance students’ employability through its focus on creative industry/academic standards expected in the ‘real world’ context, both nationally and internationally.
Likely Optional Modules
Introduction to Performance 1 (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to enable students to develop skills in performance through the study of an instrument/voice. Alongside the development of instrumental skills students will have a series of lectures that focus on the development of practical musicianship skills such as playing by ear, improvising, conducting and aural skills. Additionally, peer learning will feature within the module in order to begin to promote self-discipline, critical awareness, co-operation with other students and independent preparation.
Music Technology & Culture (20 credits)
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the historical and cultural context of various styles and genres within contemporary electronic music and sonic art. These will be considered by tracing the development of constituent sonic techniques and their relationship to current practices. In addition, recorded examples from each stage of development will be considered analytically in order to identify their salient characteristics and their relationship to other media and disciplines.
Performance for Stage (20 credits)
The Performance for Stage module aims to enable students to continue to develop skills in performance through the study of a specialist instrument (including voice). Students will participate in a series of seminars focusing on individual development addressing issues such as performance anxiety, self-awareness, and communication. The module aims to encourage development and refinement of theoretical knowledge and practical skills on the students chosen instrument/s.
Commercial Music in Context (20 credits)
The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the historical and cultural context of a range of styles and genres of commercial music. These will be considered by tracing the development of constituent strands of music to the present day. In addition, recorded examples from each style will be considered analytically in order to identify their salient characteristics and their relationship to other styles. The module will focus on popular music since 1900 and will introduce a number of simple conceptual frameworks that will enable students to discuss popular music with more confidence and precision.
Performance for Stage and Screen (20 credits)
Building on the level four performance modules this module further develops skills in performance through the continued study of a specialist instrument/voice. The module begins to develop an understanding of performance practice for both stage and screen contexts.
Community Music (20 credits)
This module aims to provide students with an introduction to community music and the basic principles of teaching music in groups in schools and in community settings with participants of all ages. Students study theories of effective teaching and learning in formal, informal and non-formal settings and design music sessions that include a variety of musical activities with material from different musical genres.
Music Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (20 credits)
This module aims to develop students understanding of the creative, technological and managerial elements of the music business as an industry, becoming aware of key areas of the sector and specific expectations related to employability and career development. It considers a wide range of music industry activities and career possibilities which may include focuses on music publishing, law & copyright, performance & recording management and the release, access and discovery of recorded music, for example.
Solo Performance (20 credits)
Building on the skills acquired in previous performance modules this module further develops skills in performance through the study of a specialist instrument/voice. The module focuses on the development of students as soloists or featured instrumentalists, with a continued emphasis on developing an understanding of industry expectations of musical performance practice.
Introduction to Applied Music Psychology (20 credits)
The module aims to introduce the students to a wide range of music psychology and music social psychology studies concerning how people make sense of music; how they develop specific musical skills such as improvisation and performance; and how they use music in their everyday lives. The students will explore different music psychology methodologies through a combination of theoretical and practical sessions on topics such as bodily and emotional responses to music, music and the brain, physical and psychological health in performing musicians, musical improvisation, musical identities, music and consumer behaviour and the effects of music on health and wellbeing of older people.
Media Music (20 credits)
The aim of the module is to give students an introduction to the skills, approaches and insights needed to produce music for various media. Students will develop the ability to compose music that enhances narrative and moving images and will learn to engage those stylistic conventions and techniques most commonly encountered in bespoke media music. Students will develop sequencing and arranging skills needed in the production of smaller-budget media music and will also be presented with opportunities to develop skills in sound design that may be used alongside or as an alternative to more traditional compositional techniques.
Independent Creative Project (20 credits)
This module will enable students to undertake a creative project agreed with the tutor at the start of the module. The outcomes of this research activity can cover a broad area and may include, for instance, a composition portfolio, an album, sound work, installation, and/or software design project. The work will be supported by a reflective commentary in which students reflect upon their own goal setting and progress in tutorials and individual work.
Recorded Performance (20 credits)
This module has a particular focus on performance technique in recorded contexts such as in a recording studio or a concert hall. As with previous performance modules, the study of a specialist instrument or voice is the central core activity. Students will develop necessary skills for competent recorded performance within a recording session.
Instrumental & Vocal Teaching (20 credits)
This module aims to develop students’ ability to analyse and reflect on their own instrumental or vocal expertise, in order to transfer knowledge and skills in a flexible and communicative way, mainly in one-to-one or small group teaching situations. Students will study and evaluate models of teaching in their specialist fields, and investigating current research into traditional and contemporary modes of instrumental teaching.
The module aims to give students a sophisticated understanding of the process of writing music for film. A historical survey of the process will introduce students to the development of the language of film music, film scoring techniques and to broader cultural and critical issues. The module will cover a variety of composers working in the industry with a focus upon the detail of influential works.
Recital Performance (20 credits)
The aim of the module is to further enable progression in the knowledge and skills gained within the Solo Performance and Recorded Performance modules. Students will further develop skills in live performance in preparation for a recital, and the study of a specialist instrument or voice continues to be the central core activity.
Music for Therapy & Wellbeing (20 credits)
This module aims to develop students’ knowledge of the use of music for the enhancement of health, wellbeing and music education with vulnerable populations such as older people with dementia and Parkinson’s disease as well as children and young people with learning disabilities or behavioural problems. The module also aims to expand students’ understanding and awareness of central issues in relation to planning and leading music-making activities with older learners in palliative care and in the community through theory and in practice. Moreover, this module prepares musicians for further studies in music therapy.
Film Music Portfolio
Following on from Film Music, this module aims to give students a further understanding of the process of writing music for film aiming to further develop the understanding of the language of film music, film-scoring techniques and broader cultural and critical issues. Students will develop composition, production, and software techniques to a professional level, and apply these skills to the creation of music for film. Students will also be required to produce a show-reel of their work and online portfolio, ready to present to a potential client.
Independent Project A (20 credits)
This module will enable students to undertake the research necessary for an extensive creative or dissertation project in the Independent Project B module. The outcomes of this research activity can cover a broad area and may include, for instance, research towards a composition, dissertation or performance. The module aims to enable students to develop a detailed, critical understanding of their chosen area of study, and to research, refine and present information, techniques, views and opinions in an academic fashion. The work may be either creative with a practice-based focus or a dissertation.
Independent Project B (20 credits)
This module will enable students to continue to develop a creative project or dissertation based on research developed in the Independent Project A module or work that they would like to further develop from other level 6 semester one modules such as Individual Songwriting, Audio and Sound for Games, Instrumental and Vocal Teaching. The work undertaken in this module should represent a significant development in the student’s chosen area of study and the module also aims to fundamentally enhance students’ employability through their focus on creative industry/academic standards.