Music and Contemporary Culture - CMAT3070

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) Kevin Dawe checkmark-circle


This module will provide a broad introduction to important aspects of music history and culture from the twentieth century to the present day. Different approaches to musical language will be considered (tonality/modality, rhythm and timbre in a range of mainstream and experimental styles). The advent of sound recording and the increasing importance of technology in music will also be examined. These key ideas will be connected to research specialisms within the Centre for Music and Audio Technology, encouraging students to appreciate the potential for further study in each of these areas.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 22
Private Study Hours: 128
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Critical Writing Exercise (1,000 words) – 20%
Essay (2,000 words) – 80%

Reassessment methods


Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

.Harper-Scott, J.P. E. & Samson, J. (2009). An Introduction to Music Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hendy, D. (2014) Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening. New York: Collins.
Judkins, J. (2011). 'Silence, Sound, Noise and Music' in Gracyk, T. & Kania, A. (eds), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music. London: Routledge.
Kaemmer, J. E. (1993) Music in Human Life: Anthropological Perspective on Music. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Nettl, B. (2000) ‘Music’ in Sadie, S. et al. (Eds) Grove Music, [online]
Zak, A. (2009). ‘Getting Sounds: The Art of Sound Engineering’ in Cook et al. (eds) The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of important figures, trends and theories relevant to the development of twentieth and twenty-first century musical cultures;
2 Demonstrate a familiarity with a range of scholarly practices and ideas of special significance within the research culture of the Centre for Music and Audio Technology;
3 Research one or more areas of study within music, using skills such as finding and using appropriate sources, producing a bibliography, developing an argument and
drawing connections between texts and contexts.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Manage and navigate information sources (both electronic and printed);
2 Work independently to a given brief;
3 Demonstrate flexibility of thought and an openness to alternative ideas and different ways of thinking.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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