Aesthetics And Philosophy Of Music (MA/BEng/MEng/BMus Hons) MUSIC4001

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to the process of thinking critically about musical and cultural questions and problems.


10 x 1 hr lectures and 10 x 2 hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into MA and BEng Music, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.

Excluded Courses



Two 2000 word essays, worth 50% each.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to facilitate the practice of sustained critical thinking with respect to fundamental musical and cultural ideas and assumptions. Students will also come to understand the role that critical thinking has in the field of musical and artistic practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students will be expected to be able to:
1. Analyse philosophical arguments, particularly in relation to music
2. Demonstrate critical thinking
3. Understand how philosophical concepts are formed and deployed
4. Demonstrate discrimination and precision in their use of philosophical concepts
5. Present, in both written and verbal form, coherent philosophical arguments relating to music and supply ample support for their positions through reference to published material
6. Formulate and respond to philosophical and cultural questions

7. Demonstrate familiarity with some of the key ideas in music aesthetics

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.