Analysis: Formalist Approaches MUSIC2002

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to formalised methods of analysis as well as to the debates surrounding such methods within the discipline. Focussing on the syntax and structure of a wide range of repertoires, you will not only be taught how to apply given analytical approaches to diverse musical repertoires, but you will also be encouraged to critically interrogate the epistemology, presuppositions, prerogatives and biases of given analytical methods in relation to the repertoire studied.


Ten 1-hour lectures and ten 2-hour seminars as scheduled on MyCampus. This course runs in alternate years.

Requirements of Entry

A grade of D or above in Musicianship (MUSIC1003) or Listening through Analysis (MUSIC1021)

Excluded Courses



Written essay

Set exercise

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:


■ apply appropriate formalist analytical techniques and methods to a wide range of musical repertoires

■ reflect critically on the specific insights granted by given analytical approaches and their role in wider critical perspectives on music

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Demonstrate a critical understanding of the techniques and concepts of various analytical approaches.


■ Analyse musical examples from a wide range of repertoires, using appropriate formal approaches.


■ Explain the inner workings and structure of key examples from a wide range of musical repertoires.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.