Analysis: Formalist Approaches (Honours) MUSIC4002

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1 (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 in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Music and may not run every year.

Requirements of Entry

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

Excluded Courses

Analysis A (Non-Hons)MUSIC2002


Two set exercises (25% each).

One analytical essay c.2000 words (50%).

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

This course will provide the opportunity to:


■ apply appropriate 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:


■ Evaluate in critical depth the techniques and concepts of various analytical approaches.


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


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


■ Critically reflect on the appropriateness and the strengths and limitations of the analytical approaches chosen and situate the latter both in relation to the wider analytical literature and to other forms of musical enquiry.

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.