MusM Music (Ethnomusicology)

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Advanced Analysis

Course unit fact file
Unit code MUSC60011
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Music
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course aims to develop students’ understanding of key issues in the discipline of music theory and analysis by introducing them to a range of influential methodologies and key analytical debates. It presents a survey of significant and representative analytical approaches from the nineteenth century to the present day, and assesses their applicability to music from Beethoven to Scriabin. The course is structured on three levels, according to analytical method, theoretical issue, and musical repertoire, and concentrates each week on a match between one or more of each. The course further aims to develop students’ critical engagement with current and historical trends in music analysis, culminating in an independent analytical project of a chosen work or works.



Pre/Co/Antirequisite units

Prerequisites: MUSC20011 or MUSC20222, or equivalent.

This course is taught in tandem with MUSC 30012 Analysis, so cannot be taken by students who took the latter as part of their UG degree. 



This unit aims:

  • to improve students music-analytical skills;
  • to familiarise students with a range techniques for analysing tonal and post-tonal music, with an equal emphasis on theoretical understanding and practical application;
  • to equip students with the necessary skills and intellectual tools to undertake their own independent analytical project;
  • to enable students effectively to compare, contextualise and critique different perspectives and analytical methodologies and to communicate that in writing and orally;
  • to lay the foundations for postgraduate analytical and technical work.


Knowledge and understanding


  • demonstrate advanced knowledge and in-depth understanding of a range of music-analytical techniques appropriate for tonal and post-tonal repertoires;
  • demonstrate an ability to employ these techniques appropriately;
  • construct detailed analyses of a range of Western score-based music using accepted models;
  • show an understanding of theoretical writings upon which analytical methods are based.


Intellectual skills


  • understand, apply, and evaluate various music-analytic methods;
  • interpret and critique advanced analytical texts.



Practical skills


  • resent specialist musical notation clearly and appropriately;
  • work on and produce an independent project to a given deadline;
  • articulate, discuss and support findings coherently in an oral presentation;
  • show developing abilities in argumentation and interpretation, and the ability to work with a broad range of texts and scores.



Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • undertake group work and collaboration;
  • demonstrate the ability to synthesize and evaluate material systematically to produce arguments that are communicated clearly in both written and verbal form;
  • show an ability to produce independent work displaying critical self-awareness;
  • demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas and information coherently in written and verbal form.



Employability skills

Analytical skills
Analysing texts, musical scores, and other materials; engaging in critical discussion of their work and that of their peers
Group/team working
Interacting and collaborating with peers
Project management
Time management skills (submitting material to fixed deadlines);
Oral communication
Formal presentation as part of assessment
Problem solving
Creative problem-solving (fulfilling a set task with the resources available);
Digital skills (information searches in databases, and use of MS Powerpoint).

Assessment methods

Presentation 10%
Independent Project 90%


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Oral feedback on students’ responses in weekly seminars


      Independent Project



Feedback on presentation



Additional one-to-one feedback (during consultation hour or by making an appointment)



Recommended reading

Agawu, V. Kofi, ‘How we got out of Analysis, and How to get back in again’ Music Analysis, 23/ii-iii (2004), 267–86.

Bent, Ian, Analysis (London, 1987).

Caplin, William E., James Hepokoski and James Webster, ed. Pieter Bérge, Musical Form, Forms, and Formenlehre: Three Methodological Reflections (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2009).

Cohn, Richard, ‘As Wonderful as Star Clusters: Instruments for Gazing at Tonality in Schubert’, 19th-Century Music, 22 (1999), 213-32.

Cook, Nicholas, and Mark Everist, Rethinking Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).

Horton, Julian, ‘Postmodernism and the Critique of Musical Analysis’, The Musical Quarterly 85/ii (2001), 342–66.

Kerman, Joseph, ‘How we got into Analysis, and How to get out’, Critical Inquiry, 7 (1980), 311–31; published as `The State of Academic Music Criticism', in Kingsley Price (ed.), On Criticizing Music: Five Philosophical Perspectives (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), 38–54; reprinted in Kerman, Write All These Down: Essays on Music (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1994), 12–32.

Morgan, Robert, P., ‘The Concept of Unity and Musical Analysis’, Music Analysis, 22 (2003), 7–50.

Nattiez, Jean-Jacques, Music and Discourse: Toward a Semiology of Music, trans. Carolyn Abbate

(Princeton, 1990).



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 117

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Anne Hyland Unit coordinator

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