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MUSC8064 - Music History: 1950 to present

Title:Music History: 1950 to present
Long Title:Music History: 1950 to present
Module Code:MUSC8064
Duration:1 Semester
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Advanced
Field of Study: Music & Performing Arts
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2017/18 ( September 2017 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: MARIA JUDGE
Module Author: ROISIN MAHER
Module Description: This module explores the principal composers, musical styles, forms and compositional approaches in the twentieth century from c.1950 until the present day. Musical developments are placed in a cultural, socio-historical and intellectual context.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Relate significant dates and events to music history from 1950 to the present
LO2 Interpret key figures, works and aesthetic movements in music and culture of the period
LO3 Summarise the origins, direction and consequences of specific developments in music in the second half of the twentieth century
LO4 Evaluate the significance of a selected composer, composition or musical development in detail
LO5 Research an approved topic relating to music from c. 1950 to the present
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named MTU module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).

Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Old and new
The conservative tradition since the 1950s; Britten and Shostakovich; Messiaen; music and texture: Penderecki and Ligeti; quotation and borrowing
Serialism since the 1950s; the influence of Webern; total serialism: Boulez and Stockhausen; the politics of serialism; serialism in America: Copland, Babbitt and Carter
Aleatory music
Aleatory music in America; the influence of Cage; Browne, Feldman and the New York School; aleatory music in Europe; the changing role of the performer; indeterminate and graphic notation
Origins of minimalism; minimalism in the USA: Riley, Reich and Adams; minimalism in Europe: Tavener, Pärt and Andriessen; post-minimalism
Film music
Developments in film music since 1950; the film music of Bernard Hermann; classical music on screen; minimalism and film music: Glass and Nyman
Music and politics
Music and politics; responses to war: Crumb, Zimmermann, Rzewski; popular music and politics since the 1960s
Specialised topic
Plan and research a medium length (4,000-4,500 word) essay on an approved topic related to the course OR research, prepare and present musical work(s) written since 1950, in the form of a 30-minute lecture/recital with accompanying programme notes
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Reflective Journal Responses to reading and listening assignments 2,3,4 25.0 Every Second Week
Short Answer Questions Biography, chronology, definition of key concepts, identification of musical works from score and listening extracts 1,2,3 25.0 Week 9
Project Essay or lecture and recital 2,4,5 50.0 Sem End
No End of Module Formal Examination
Reassessment Requirement
Coursework Only
This module is reassessed solely on the basis of re-submitted coursework. There is no repeat written examination.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture 20th-century music from 1950 to present 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Tutorial Engaging with 20th-century music 1.0 Every Week 1.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Reading, listening, research, study 4.0 Every Week 4.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 3.00
This module has no Part Time workload.

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • Taruskin, Richard 2009, Music in the Late Twentieth Century: The Oxford History of Western Music, Oxford University Press Oxford [ISBN: 978-01953848]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Albright, Daniel 2004, Modernism and music: an anthology of sources, University of Chicago Press Chicago [ISBN: 0226012670]
  • Burkholder, J. Peter, Donald Jay Grout, Claude V. Palisca 2014, A history of western music, 9th Ed., W. W. Norton & Company New York [ISBN: 978-039391829]
  • Burkholder, J. Peter (Editor), Claude V. Palisca (Editor) 2014, Norton Anthology of Western Music: Volume 3 Twentieth Century, 7th Ed. [ISBN: 978-039392163]
  • Cook, Nicholas and Anthony Pople (eds.) 2004, The Cambridge history of twentieth-century music, Cambridge University Press Cambridge & New York [ISBN: 0521662567]
  • Cooke, Mervyn 2008, A History of Film Music, Cambridge University Press Cambridge [ISBN: 978-05210104]
  • Cox, Christoph and Daniel Warner (eds.) 2004, Audio culture: readings in modern music, Continuum New York [ISBN: 978-0826416155]
  • Griffiths, Paul 2011, Modern Music and After, 3rd Ed., Oxford University Press [ISBN: 978-0199740505]
  • Morgan, Robert P. 1991, Twentieth-Century Music: A History of Musical Style in Modern Europe and America, Norton New York [ISBN: 039395272X]
  • Morgan, Robert P. (ed.) 1992, Anthology of twentieth-century music, Norton New York [ISBN: 0393952843]
  • Nyman, Michael 1999, Experimental music: Cage and beyond, Cambridge University Press Cambridge [ISBN: 0521653835]
  • Ross, Alex 2009, The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, Harper Collins London [ISBN: 978-1-84115-476-3]
  • Whittall, Arnold 2003, Exploring twentieth-century music: tradition and innovation, Cambridge University Press Cambridge & New York [ISBN: 0521016681]
Supplementary Article/Paper Resources
  • Cambridge University Press Tempo [ISSN: 0040-2982]
  • Quinn, Toner The Journal of Music in Ireland [ISSN: 1649-0215]
Other Resources
  • DVD-ROM: 2014Norton recorded anthology of western music, Vol. 3: Twentieth Century , Sony Music / Norton, New York

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CR_GMUSC_8 Bachelor of Music (Honours) 6 Elective
CR_GMUSC_8 Bachelor of Music (Honours) 8 Elective

Cork Institute of Technology
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