BA Music and Drama

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Music post 1900

Course unit fact file
Unit code MUSC20222
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Music
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


An introduction to significant Western musical works from the 20th and 21st centuries, with emphasis on historical trends and analytical aspects.



Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Tonality: Form and Function MUSC10011 Pre-Requisite Recommended
Tonality: Motive and Meaning MUSC10022 Pre-Requisite Optional

Free Choice - Yes, but note pre-requisites below

Pre-Req: Normally MUSC 10011 or 10022


  • To acquaint students with 20th- and 21st-century Western musical repertoire and trends, and with various analytical approaches thereto
  • To show how historical, analytical and aesthetic issues may be mutually illuminating, especially in the most challenging musical repertoire
  • To foster initiatives in project design, with a view to third-year dissertation writing


Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate detailed knowledge of a selection of significant musical works from the 20th and 21st centuries, and some of their key technical features.

Intellectual skills

  • Understand and evaluate musical analyses encountered in modern scholarly studies
  • Identify and discuss the broad lines of Western music history since 1900 and recent discourse surrounding them

Practical skills

  • Use a range of established techniques for analysing and interpreting musical materials
  • Demonstrate improved score-reading skills

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate enhanced interpersonal and presentational skills

Employability skills

Analytical skills
¿ Analytical skills applied to musical scores and texts
¿ Exercising initiative in both devising assignments within a loose framework ¿ Time-management and informational skills

Assessment methods

Coursework 1 40%
Coursework 2  60%


Feedback methods

  • Assignments annotated and assessed via Turnitin
  • Additional one-to-one feedback (during consultation hour or by making an appointment)


Recommended reading

Indicative texts:

  • Griffiths, Paul, Modern Music and After, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995
  • Ross, Alex, The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, London, Fourth Estate, 2007
  • Taruskin, Richard, The Oxford History of Western Music, vols. 4 and 5, New York, Oxford University Press, 2005


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Fanning Unit coordinator

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