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 & Criticism MUSIC5078

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

A course designed to introduce Masters students to the conceptual bases, influential models, and guiding principles of musical historiography as well as to a range of fields of current academic music-critical concern.


Ten x one-hour lectures and ten x two-hour seminars over 10 weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Standard Entry to Masters at College Level

Excluded Courses

Historiography & Criticism (Honours) MUSIC4018

Historiography & Criticism MUSIC3001




1 Essay of around 3500 words (70%)

1 seminar presentation of around 15 min length (30%)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce students to the conceptual bases of music historiography and a range of fields of current academic music-critical interest.

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

■ Develop a sense of the perspectival nature of all musical scholarship, i.e. its dependence on (often unstated) assumptions about history and value, and its entanglement in ongoing debates about culture and identity.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Engage in informed discussion of specialised historiographical and cultural-critical concerns as they impinge on the experience and study of music at an advanced level

■ Write an essay that articulates in detail a considered critical perspective on some musical phenomenon (e.g. work, artist, institution) informed by current specialised debates in academic music criticism.

■ Develop specialised historiographical and critical theories further and apply them to their own work 

■ Deliver a seminar presentation on a selected work or works of music-historical scholarship, efficiently synthesising and critiquing historiographical models and reflecting in critical depth on scope and content, as appropriate at Master's level.


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.