BA History and Spanish

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Modern Spanish Music: A Cultural History

Course unit fact file
Unit code SPLA31081
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
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 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. All primary texts will be 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.

Pre/co-requisites

Available on which programme(s)?  All programmes with Spanish / Cultures and Societies / Music 
Available as Free Choice (UG) or to other programmes (PG)?  Yes
Available to students on an Erasmus programme  Yes
Pre/Co/Antirequisite units  N/A
Medium of language  Taught in English. Primary materials in Spanish, but translation into English always offered. Some secondary, optional materials in Spanish 

 

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)

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 Weighting within unit (if Summative)
Research Essay Summative 40%
Open book exam (1-week) Summative 60%

 

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

Christoforidis, Michael, and Elizabeth Kertesz. 2018. Carmen and the Staging of Spain: Recasting Bizet’s Opera in the Belle Epoque. New York: Oxford University Press 

Etzion, Judity. 1998. “Spanish Music as Perceived in Western Music Historiography: A Case of the Black Legend?” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 29 (2): 93–120. 

Hess, Carol A. 2001. Manuel de Falla and Modernism in Spain, 1898-1936. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 

Holguin, Sandie. 2019. Flamenco Nation: The Construction of Spanish National Identity. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 

Llano, Samuel. 2012. Whose Spain: Negotiating ‘Spanish Music’ in Paris, 1908-1929. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Study hours

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

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Samuel Llano Unit coordinator

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