BA Music and Drama

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Advanced study in Musicology A

Course unit fact file
Unit code MUSC30510
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Advanced Study options offer the opportunity for in-depth study around specific subjects relating to the research of the academic teaching each of the options. Each of the options are designed to support develop and refine the historical and critical approaches in musicology covered in previous years of the programme to a higher level.

Students taking MUSC30510 take one of the options on offer. The topics for 2023-24 are:

Semester 1

Jazz Historiography and Criticism (Dr Alexander Gagatsis)

Semester 2

Music in Bollywood (Dr Chloë Alaghband-Zadeh)



MUSC30510 and MUSC30520 cannot be chosen together.

Available as free choice -  Yes, 'Prerequisite in a relevant Level 2 Music course, or by agreement with the Course Director’


This course-unit aims to enable students to study a particular topic within a current branch of musicology in depth.


Teaching and learning methods

Seminars, including individual presentations by each student, and offering formative feedback on the presentations and on ongoing work. Additional one-to-one feedback available through consultation hours, or by making an appointment.

Knowledge and understanding

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

  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge and conceptual understanding of the selected topic and related issues;
  • Demonstrate a good command of the available secondary literature.

Intellectual skills

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

  • Synthesize and evaluate a wide range of material relating to the topic;
  • Interpret primary texts, engage with secondary literature, and formulate their own arguments.

Practical skills

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

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

Transferable skills and personal qualities

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

  • Produce high-quality work independently with self-motivation and critical self-awareness;
  • Demonstrate well-developed skills in the use of library and resources.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Analysing and understanding ideas at a high level from diverse areas of musicology
Oral communication
Communicate ideas and information clearly in verbal form (presentation)
Carrying out in-depth research independently
Written communication
Communicate ideas and information clearly in written form (examination)

Assessment methods

Assessment Task

Formative or Summative


Written Exam




Feedback methods

Oral feedback on presentations

Formative feedback on essays and/or mock examinations

Written feedback on examination

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



Recommended reading

Reading lists for each of the topics are provided by the lecturer concerned. Titles of general support include:

Beard, David, and Kenneth Gloag, Musicology: the Key Concepts (Abingdon: Routledge, 2005)

Born, Georgina, and David Hesmondhalgh (eds.), Western Music and its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music (Berkeley and London, 2000).

Cook, Nicholas and Mark Everist (eds.), Rethinking Music (Oxford, 1999).

Clayton, Martin, Trevor Herbert and Richard Middleton (eds.), The Cultural Study of Music: A Critical Introduction (New York and London, 2003).

Crist, Stephen A. and Roberta Montemorra Marvin (eds.), Historical Musicology: Sources, Methods, Interpretations (Rochester, NY, 2004).

Herbert, Trevor, Music in Words: A Guide to Researching and Writing about Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).

Korsyn, Kevin, Decentering Music: A Critique of Contemporary Musical Research (Oxford, 2003). 

Taylor, Timothy D., Beyond Exoticism: Western Music and the World (Durham, NC, 2007).

Williams, Alastair, Constructing Musicology (London, 2001).

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 27
Independent study hours
Independent study 173

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Chloe Alaghband-Zadeh Unit coordinator
Alexander Gagatsis Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Attendance at Musicology Forum (normally 2hrs every fortnight)

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