Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Historiography and Criticism MUSIC4096

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course is designed to introduce honours students to the conceptual bases, influential models, and guiding principles of musical historiography and current academic music criticism. 


1 x 1hr Seminar; 

1 x 1hr Lecture over 10 weeks as scheduled on Mycampus

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into MA Music or B.Mus Music, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Presentation (15 minutes) - 40%

Essay (2500 words) - 60%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will 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 aims to:


■ introduce honours students to the conceptual bases of music historiography and current academic music criticism as represented in selected influential music-historical scholarship

■ foster a meta-critical perspective on music writing of all kinds, through close study of key traditions, models, and debates

■ develop a sense of the entanglement of musical writing in ongoing debates about culture and identity

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ evaluate historiographical models deployed in selected work or works of music-historical scholarship

■ apply a considered historiographical perspective to selected music repertoires and/or practices

■ analyze how key historiographical concerns impinge on the experience and study of music

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.