MUSA131-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Songs, Symphonies and Samples: Music in a Changing World

This occurrence is not offered in 2021

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


This course provides a topic-based approach to music history, focusing on issues including cultures of print, authenticity, technological change, the relationship of the past to the present, and the patronage and funding of music.

The discipline of musicology explores the role of music in history, society, and culture. At its broadest, it encompasses all genres of music, and draws upon varied approaches to history, as well as exploring the intersection of music and other topics (such as social and political change, revolution, and colonisation).

This course provides an introduction to a series of topics in music history, and an overview of the music of different historical periods. It focuses on Western cultures but also ventures into other traditions. It includes a study of the history of music notation, instruments, performance techniques, genre development, and the notion of a music ‘industry’.

Course Aims
The course takes the approach of a theme-based overview of socio-cultural topics in music history. It provides the foundation knowledge and skills that are further developed in the second and third-year music history, world music, and popular music studies, and is a foundation and prerequisite course for 200-level MUSA history courses (MUSA231, MUSA232, MUSA233, and MUSA234).

Topics covered in this course:
• Telling a story through music: music theatre
• From Herrmann to “Hype”: Music and moving image
• Opera as music theatre
• Organum to Autotune: The voice and the word in music
• The virtuoso: performance and display
• Recording, from cylinders to samples
• Authenticity in music old and new
• Music: organised sound?
• Notation and improvisation
• Music and oral history
• Paying the piper: Muses and markets, patrons and pop music
• ‘Modern’ Music?: Avant-gardes from Ars-Nova to Darmstadt

Learning Outcomes

  • Students who pass this course will:
  • Be able to write effectively about music and its relationship to culture, technology, history, and society
  • Be able to research a topic related to music and present arguments and/or findings in academic English
  • Have acquired information literacy skills relevant to the study of music
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Engaged with the community

      Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.



Timetable Note

Student workload (150 hours) will be allocated to:
• 23 hours attending lectures
• 11 hours attending tutorials
• 21 hours preparing and writing the research assignment
• 35 hours researching and writing the essay
• 25 hours researching and writing discussion forum posts
• 10 hours preparing for the listening test
• 25 hours of self-directed study

Course Coordinator

Francis Yapp


Mark Menzies


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Discussion Forum Posts 20%
Research & Writing Assignment 20%
Essay 30% (1500 words)
Listening Test 20%
Contribution to Tutorial Discussion 10%

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $877.00

International fee $4,200.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All MUSA131 Occurrences

  • MUSA131-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021 - Not Offered