MusM Music (Ethnomusicology)

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Studying World Music Cultures: Themes and Debates

Course unit fact file
Unit code MUSC60021
Credit rating 30
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? Yes


This course unit offers you the opportunity to extend your knowledge and understanding of issues relating to the theory and practice of ethnomusicology and the study of world music cultures. Topics to be explored will normally include most or all of: history and methods of ethnomusicology; music revivals; heritage music in the (post)modern world; music and conflict; music and gender; the cultural study of musical instruments; embodiment and listening; applied ethnomusicology; music and sustainability; and performing world music. You will be expected to study in detail a selection of recommended books, articles and audio-visual materials, to contribute to class discussion and debate, and to prepare items of written coursework and class presentations as specified by the course tutor.



  • To promote awareness of, and engagement with, a wide range of issues and approaches in contemporary ethnomusicology, informed by an appreciation of the history and development of the discipline.
  • To offer insights into the way in which particular themes have been explored in relation to individual music cultures.
  • To encourage critical thinking by providing training in evaluation, interpretation and analysis of relevant arguments.






Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate their familiarity with the variety of music found across the globe and their understanding of different approaches to its study.
  • Give evidence of in-depth engagement with a range of themes and issues in contemporary ethnomusicology and, where appropriate, related disciplines such as popular music, social anthropology and cultural studies.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with primary sources where relevant and a good command of the available secondary literature.

Intellectual skills

  •  Synthesise and evaluate a wide range of material relating to the topics under consideration.
  •  Present informed, cogent and critical evaluations of the material studied.
  • Interpret primary texts, engage with secondary literature, and formulate their own arguments.

Practical skills

  • Articulate, discuss and support findings coherently in both written and verbal form.
  • Work effectively towards clearly delineated goals.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Produce high-quality work independently with self-motivation and critical self-awareness.
  • Demonstrate well-developed skills in the use of library and archival resources.
  • Show that they have acquired a solid theoretical and methodological foundation for their own work in ethnomusicology and developed skills appropriate to undertaking an individual research project.

Employability skills

Time management skills Oral presentation skills Interacting with critical peers Creative problem-solving Digital skills Analytical skills

Assessment methods

Essay 1 - 50%

Essay 2- 50%

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Verbal feedback on class presentations


Verbal feedback on essay plans


Written feedback on coursework essays


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



Recommended reading

  • Bithell, Caroline and Juniper Hill (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Music Revival (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • Bohlman, Philip V., The Cambridge History of World Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  • Born, Georgina and David Hesmondhalgh (eds.), Western Music and its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music (Berkeley and London: University of California Press, 2000)
  • Magrini, Tullia (ed.), Music and Gender: Perspectives from the Mediterranean (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003)
  • Nettl, Bruno, The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-Three Discussions (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015)
  • O’Connell, John Morgan and Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco (eds), Music and Conflict (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010)
  • Pettan, Svanibor and Jeff Todd Titon (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Applied Ethnomusicology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015)
  • Solís, Ted (ed.), Performing Ethnomusicology: Teaching and Representation in World Music Ensembles (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 2004)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Project supervision 10
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 257

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Evanthia Patsiaoura Unit coordinator

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