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Researching Music

  • Module code: MU7001
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

Researching Music is designed to prepare students for their research and writing on the Music Masters' programmes. The teaching covers academic referencing, creating a bibliography, library skills, use of research on-line indices such as RILM, writing skills, and approaches to research. Later in the module research seminars will be given by Kingston and visiting researchers/composers/performers which provide opportunities for student discussion on a variety of issues in current music research. The module is assessed through a folio of written work including an extended annotated bibliography, an extended research paper and an on-line forum.

Aims

  • To introduce relevant research methodologies focused on the needs of students following an MA/MMus course.
  • To enhance students' writing skills, focusing on the demands of MA level work and with special reference to the particular needs of musicians.
  • To aid the development of students' skills in debate, discussion and critical thinking.
  • To enable students to present their own researched ideas.

Learning outcomes

  • locate and access the latest research in their field;
  • present their written work to a professional academic standard;
  • produce a professionally presented annotated bibliography;
  • examine current and controversial musical issues through discussion and debate;
  • reflect critically on a range of music research topics;
  • produce a paper on a musical topic for discussion within the Studyspace forum, and make comments on students' contributions within the online forum.

Curriculum content

  • Introduction to library resources for musicians, both printed and electronic.
  • Bibliographical exercises, and the presentation of footnotes and endnotes.
  • Specific writing skills for musicians and how to present research.
  • Introduction to advanced research methodology with a focus on sources of information which are relevant to musicians.
  • Developing a critical awareness of the quality of possible sources and the distinction between primary and secondary sources.
  • The research seminars will focus on current musical research and lecturers/visiting researchers will lead discussion and debate on a variety of topics which could include: practice as research; popular musicology; issues in contemporary music performance; composing for media; current controversies in music education. An example might be a debate on the proposition that ‘Authenticity in music performance is just a clever marketing device.'
  • The module will also explore how to approach debate and discussion in a constructive manner.

Teaching and learning strategy

The teaching and learning strategies aim to equip students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to produce an annotated bibliography, a research paper and an on-line debate. Students will evaluate research sources, make use of RILM, and discuss research issues in small groups. Whole group lecture-based sessions are used to explore the main issues in writing about and researching music, and for the opportunity for lecturers and visiting speakers to present their research. Some of the teaching will take place in the Learning Resources Centre.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Lectures and seminars 48
Guided independent study 252
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to evaluate students' ability to create an annotated bibliography, a research paper and on-line critical responses.

Students will complete an annotated bibliography assignment of 2,500 words consisting of a main listing, critical commentaries on 4-5 items (one extended) and a short account demonstrating the relevance of their bibliography to researchers in this area and its compliance with good scholarly practice (50% weighting). 

Students will also write a research paper presented on Studyspace of 2000 words, plus at least five comments and contributions (1000 words in total) to other students' papers (50% weighting).

Students will be required to show drafts of their annotated bibliography to lecturers during the first semester according to a fixed schedule designed to encourage good time management and establish M-level expectations clearly. This assignment will be submitted shortly before the Christmas break.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) locate and access the latest research in their field; Research paper and annotated bibliography.
2) present their written work to a professional academic standard; Research paper and annotated bibliography.
3) produce a professionally presented annotated bibliography; Annotated bibliography.
4) examine current and controversial musical issues through discussion and debate; Research paper
5) reflect critically on a range of music research topics; Research paper and online comments
6) produce a paper on a musical topic for discussion within the Studyspace forum, and make comments on students' contributions within the online forum. Research paper and online comments

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Coursework Annotated Bibliography 50
Coursework Research Paper and online comments 50
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Herbert, T. (2001) Music in Words: A Guide to Researching and Writing about Music. London: Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Price, G. ed. (2002) MHRA Style Guide: A Handbook for Authors, Editors, and Writers of Theses. 6th edn. London: Modern Humanities Research Association.

This is available to download from: http://www.mhra.org.uk/Publications/Books/StyleGuide/download.shtml

Bibliography recommended reading

Beard, D. & K. Gloag (2005) Musicology: The Key Concepts. London: Routledge.

Cook, N. (2000) Music: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cook, N. & Mark Everist (eds.) (1999)   Rethinking Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Clayton, M., Herbert, T. & Middleton, R. (eds.) (2003)   The Cultural Study of Music: a Critical Introduction. London: Routledge.

Lampsel, L (2008) Music Research: A Handbook. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Potter, S. J. ed. (2006) Doing Postgraduate Research, 2nd edn. London : Open University.

Ross, A (2008) The Rest is Noise. London: Fourth Estate. Plus: http://www.therestisnoise.com/

Small, C (1996) Music, Society, Education Hanover, NH: Wesleyan University Press.

Small, C (1998) Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

Turabian, K. (2007) A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Wingell, R.J. (2002) Writing about Music: An Introductory Guide. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Wingell, R.J. & Herzog, S. (2001) Introduction to Research in Music. Upper Saddle River, NJ; Prentice Hall.

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