BA Spanish and Chinese / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Modern Spanish Music: A Cultural History

Unit code SPLA31081
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course will introduce students to the history of Spanish music from the late nineteenth century through to the late twentieth century. It will examine the ways in which regimes, musicians and audiences in offered in both the original Spanish and in English translation.

The course is open to students from all areas, with no previous knowledge of Spanish and/or music required. Where appropriate, separate teaching methods and assessment criteria will be used.

Spain have used music to different and divergent ends, such as exercising political repression, giving voice to the oppressed and marginalised, creating a sense of national identity, contributing to the expansion of mass culture, or shaping the identity of youth culture. This course will study musical works and documents in connection with other relevant audiovisual and written materials, such as video clips, song lyrics, libretti, and the writings of musicians and music critics. 

Aims

  • To provide students with the opportunity to acquire a basic understanding of the formation of cultural identities through the music of Spain from the late nineteenth century on
  • To provide basic grounding in current theoretical approaches to race, gender, class, authenticity, nostalgia and heritage, as applied to specific musical genres and cultures from Spain
  • Through reading, listening to songs, using web resources, and the writing of essays, to make students conversant with the methods of scholarly enquiry in a Humanities discipline, and with the resources necessary for such research 

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the major trends in Spanish music from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth century
  • Situate Spanish music and culture in the context of modern Spanish history, politics and society
  • Understand and explain some of the ways in which music can express social and political concerns and ideals, and effect social change
  • Comprehend and assess the capacity of music to articulate different forms of identity (race, class, gender, national, political)

Syllabus

Works studied:

Federico Chueca, La Gran Vía (1886)

Tomás Bretón, La Verbena de la Paloma (1894)

Manuel de Falla: El amor brujo (1915)

Manuel de Falla: El Retablo de Maese Pedro (1923)

Isaac Albéniz: excerpts from Iberia (1909)

 

Songs of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)

Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez (1938)

Video clips of Raimon, Joan Manuel Serrat and Lluís Llach (1959-1975)

Video clips of Camarón and Paco de Lucía (1960s and 70s)

Film excerpts with songs by Concha Piquer, Conchita Piquer, Imperio Argentina and Manolo Escobar

Video clips featuring Mecano and other bands from la movida

 

Example outline of lectures:

1.      Introduction / What is ‘Spanish Music’?

2.      Zarzuela, cuplé and mass entertainment in nineteenth-century Spain

3.      Spanish Exoticism Abroad: Bizet’s Carmen

4.      Paris and the Spanish musical avant-garde: Manuel de Falla

5.      Flamenco and Identity I: Ironies in the history of flamenco

6.      Barcelona and Madrid through Opera

7.      Manufacturing Consensus: Music and cultural politics under Franco

8.      Flamenco and Identity II: regional and national identity in flamenco

9.      Singing against Franco: The Nova Cançó and copla

10.    Popular Music and Politics during the Transition to Democracy

11.    Revision / exam preparation

Teaching and learning methods

 3 hours per week (1 x 1 hr lecture, 1 x 2 hr seminar)

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the major trends in Spanish music from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth century
  • Situate Spanish music and culture in the context of modern Spanish history, politics and society
  • Understand and explain some of the ways in which music can express social and political concerns and ideals, and effect social change
  • Comprehend and assess the capacity of music to articulate different forms of identity (race, class, gender, national, political)

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Engage critically with music and articulate their impressions in verbal form
  • Understand different ways in which music can express social concerns and political ideas
  • Place music in relation with other cultural expressions as well as with historical and cultural phenomena

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Identify music works and simple musical structures (listening skills)
  • Read primary texts (lyrics, libretti) in Spanish or in English translation
  • Use music in connection with other materials: audiovisual, written text
  • Communicate ideas in written form

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Improved independent and critical thinking

  • Improved written communication skills
  • Improved research skills into a range of sources, histories and theories
  • Improved textual, aural and visual analysis, and arguments informed by critical awareness of secondary material

Employability skills

Other
The unit will be useful for students considering a career in Spain or with organisations that deal with Spain. It will also be useful for students intending to work in the area of cultural management.

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Formative or Summative

Length

Weighting within unit (if summative)

Partial essay draft

Formative

1,000 words

 

Research essay

Summative

3,500 words

50%

Written exam

Summative

2 hours

50%

 

RE-SIT ASSESSMENT

 

 

 

 

 

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

oral feedback during seminar discussions

Formative

written feedback on essay drafts/plans

Formative

written feedback on the essays themselves

Summative

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

Formative

 

Recommended reading

Colmeiro, ‘Canciones con historia: Cultural Identity, Historical Memory, and Popular Songs’, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, 4:1 (2003), 31-45

Fouz, Santiago, ‘Me Cuesta Tanto Olvidarte: Mecano and the movida remixed, revisited and repackaged’, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, 10.2 (2009), 167-187

Harney, Lucey, ‘Controlling Resistance, Resisting Control: The género chico and the Dynamics of Mass Entertainment in Late Nineteenth-Century Spain’, Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, 10 (2006), 151-167

Hess, Carol A., Manuel de Falla and Modernism in Spain, 1898-1936 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2002)

Llano, Samuel, Whose Spain?: Negotiating “Spanish Music” in Paris, 1908-1929 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012)

Llano, Samuel, ‘Public Enemy or National Hero?: The Spanish Gypsy and the rise of flamenquismo, 1898-1922,’ Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 94:5 (2017), 977-1004

Martínez, Silvia and Héctor Fouce, Made in Spain: Studies in Popular Music (New York; London: Routledge, 2013)

Moreda Rodríguez, Eva, Music and Exile in Francoist Spain (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015)

Sieburth, Stephanie, Survival Sogs: Conchita Piquer’s Coplas and Franco’s Regime of Terror (Toronto; London: The University of Toronto Press, 2014)

Washabaugh, William, Flamenco: Passion, Politics and Popular Culture (Oxford; Washington, DC: Berg, 1996)

Young, Clinton D., Music Theater and Popular Nationalism in Spain, 1880-1930 (Louisiana State University Press, 2016)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Samuel Llano Unit coordinator

Additional notes

  • two weekly office hours
  • additional office hours for individual feedback (to be scheduled)
  • assessment related activities: compiling a bibliography; researching relevant books and journal articles in the library
  • where possible, attend a concert or performance related to the content of the course

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