MUSA337-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Early Music

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


Case studies in music history focusing on the relationship between music and two of its key supporting institutions of the early/early modern era: church and state.

For the purposes of the course, ‘Early Music’ means mainly Western music dating from the 12th to 17th centuries.  It refers to the history of music from these centuries, but also the more recent history of the movement that has sought to revive that music in performance in ways that reflect the performance practice of its time: the Historically Informed Performance (HIP) movement.  One aspect of the course will be workshops and tutorials exploring issues in early music performance practice, including the ins and outs of trying to achieve an ‘authentic’ performance, alongside lectures focussing on the music and its historical context.  In parts of the course this will include some hands-on experience of performing the music for those are interested.  The course will include guest lectures/workshops from people who are active in the early music field talking about their experience and areas of expertise.    Topics covered will include such things as the church and court context for music, the origins of polyphony, the impact of notation practices and printing on music, historical instruments and performance techniques and practices, and the role of ideologies and movements such as humanism and the Reformation on music.

During the course we will at times be using music notation and referring to music theory.  You will get more out of the course if you have some experience of reading and/or playing music, but assessment has been designed to make it possible to succeed in the course without previous knowledge of this, and familiarity with early music is not expected. You are welcome to discuss this with the course coordinator in advance, or to come along to the initial sessions to get a feel for the course.

MUSI237/337 is one of a series of courses in music history.  Others include  MUSA231/331 on the relationship between music and ideas, especially those related to radicalism and innovation, from the 18th to early 20th centuries, and MUSA234/334, exploring the roots of the contemporary musical situation in developments since the start of the 20th century.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students who pass this course will:
  • Be able to write effectively about music and its relationship to ideology, culture and society
  • Understand and be able to articulate the kinds of role that institutions have had and can have on the creation, dissemination and reception of music
  • Understand and critically evaluate the concepts of early music and historically informed performance
  • Be familiar with of a number of case studies in early music history and performance practice
  • Be able to use primary source documents relevant to musicological research.  
  • Possess advanced skills in using library and information resources related to musicology, including library databases, bibliographic tools, scholarly editions, and electronic resources.
  • Be able to demonstrate advanced oral and written communication skills, including language appropriate for scholarly communication.
  • Have a professional attitude to research and to the dissemination and public discussion of music history and musical culture
    • 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.

      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.


Any 45 points at 200 level or above


Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 10:00 - 11:00 A8 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Workshop A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 14:00 - 16:00 Rehua 528
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun

Course Coordinator

Jonathan Le Cocq


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Programme Note Assignment 20%
Quiz 1 15%
Research Essay 25%
Quiz 2 15%
Contribution to Tutorials and Workshops 25%

Textbooks / Resources

There is no set text for this course.  Weekly readings will be available on the LEARN site.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $942.00

International fee $4,663.00

* 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 MUSA337 Occurrences

  • MUSA337-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024