Module code: MUS3046

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

LEWIS KG Ms (Music & Med)

Number of Credits


ECTS Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None Qualifying condition(s) A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Module overview

This module provides an introduction to the study of African-American Music and major issues arising in its study. These include race; African music; the collision of cultures that created and shaped African-American culture in general and music specifically; colonialism, slavery, and the diaspora; resistance both within and through the music; intertextual commentary; collective individuality; spontaneous expression; ecstatic expression; African nationalism; cultural memory; and signifyin(g). For the purposes of this module, “African-American Music” will refer both to the music and to the musical traditions created by African-Americans, particularly in the United States from 1800 to the present day. The module will also included some discussion of the role of musicians who are not African-American within African-American musical traditions, as well as the effect African-American music has had on other musics.

Module aims

To develop further knowledge and understanding of African-American music.

To interrogate and examine the economic, social, political, and cultural contexts in which African-American music originated, developed, and has proliferated.

To understand and develop methods for studying African-American music.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate awareness and familiarity with the musical genres and styles covered within this module. KCT
002 Demonstrate awareness of and familiarity with the contexts in which African-American music exists and the interrelation between those contexts and the music itself. KCT
003 Employ methods discussed in class to gain further knowledge and understanding of African-American music. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

The content of this module will consist of four loosely interwreathed areas:

• An introduction to the collision of cultures between Africa and Europe that took place as a result of colonialism, particularly as it occurred in North America, and how that collision has manifested itself in African-American music up to the present day.
• An introduction to important elements in African-American music, especially those such as signifyin(g), call and response, and improvisation, that are of particular importance to the creation, transmission, reception, and/or interpretation of the music.
• The study of African-American musical repertoire.
• An examination of how African-American music and the societies in which it exists have shaped each other.

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Develop awareness of some of the intellectual means by which understanding of African American music is sought and achieved, and to develop the ability to employ some of these means to inform discussion of the selected work(s). This will involve directed reading and listening, class discussion, and the formation of critical responses to secondary literature in the coursework essay. The strategy will also reinforce techniques and styles of academic writing and analysis introduced in the Semester 1 modules Encountering Music History and Topic Study 1A and 1B that are critical to student success in FHEQ levels 5 and 6.

The learning and teaching methods include:

required reading and listening for each week in advance of the class meeting. A significant component of the module will include listening to music and watching videos outside of the classroom, in order to gain familiarity with the repertoire;
participation in discussion both inside and outside of class.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding academic study of music through engagement with selected work(s) and their contexts.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

a coursework essay of not more than 3000 words.

Formative assessment

An essay plan and bibliography, to be submitted by the Monday of week 7.


Detailed written feedback will be provided within three weeks of both the submission of the formative and summative assessment.

Verbal feedback will be given to contributions during class discussions as well as individual tutorials on coursework essay plans.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music (Conducting) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Composition) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Creative Practice) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Musicology) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Performance) MMus 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.