Module code: MUS3064

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

VOLIOTI G Dr (Music & Med)

Number of Credits


ECTS Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 2 - ESSAY (2500 WORDS) 60

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

No pre-requisites/co-requisites for Music and Tonmeister students. Other students may be admitted to the module with the permission of the Module Leader.

Module overview

The purpose of this optional module is to explore selected operatic repertoire from score-based, performance and cultural-historical perspectives. This module enables students to foster links with other modules on the programme including the performance, compositional-stylistic development and cultural-historical study of Western art-music.

Module aims

To develop critical understanding of historical, analytical, cultural, and performance-related issues pertaining to the study of operatic repertoire and the relevance of opera (and opera studies) in today's society

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge of operatic repertoire and its varied historical/cultural contexts KT
2 Identify, and demonstrate a critical understanding of significant historical, analytical, cultural, and performance-related aspects of operatic repertoire KCPT
3 Demonstrate the ability to interrelate and integrate historical, cultural, analytical, and performance-based knowledge relating to operatic repertoire KCPT
4 think critically and apply analytical/theoretical concepts to a high level CPT
5 Present cogent written arguments CPT
6 Undertake advanced research in order to locate pertinent evidence and data CPT
7 process detailed evidence and data in a systematic manner CPT
8 synthesize thinking in different areas of the discipline KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Critical study of topics in the historical, analytical, and interpretative understanding of operatic repertoire, including:

expressive and structural techniques
compositional influences and legacy
stylistic change
vocal characterizations
the relation between text, scenic setting, and music
literary and philosophical contexts and meanings
reception history
intertextual analysis
performance interpretation
interdisciplinary approaches to the study of opera

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Explore a series of identified set works through the close study of music scores and their performances and through examination of historical and critical issues, thereby relating to historical, contextual, and analytical studies encountered elsewhere on the programme. Each lecture will take the form of an exposition of the topic by the lecturer. This may lead to class discussion. Close listening to musical works will inform both the lectures and students’ individual learning. Students will gain further depth of knowledge in relation to specific aspects of the history of opera through the coursework assignments.

The learning and teaching methods include:

One two-hour lecture per week
Class discussion
Guided reading and listening
Use of online learning environment  
Producing a researched essay/analytical commentary

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to:

Demonstrate knowledge of the wider context of operatic repertoire dating from early seventeenth century to the twentieth century, with in-depth study of specific works through the two written assignments. These assessments will enable students to demonstrate their wider knowledge of selected operas, or excerpts thereof, the cultural and historical context of these works, as well as music-analytical skills and performance-related issues. Students will further develop their knowledge of musicological approaches and essay-writing skills acquired elsewhere on the programme.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Coursework 1: Critical/analytical commentary (not more than 1500 words). [40%] (addresses learning outcomes: 1–8)

·         Coursework 2: Essay (not more than 2500 words). [60%] (addresses learning outcomes: 1–8)


Formative assessment

Formative assessment in this module may include in-class tasks and formative draftwork submissions.



Feedback will be delivered through a range of means including verbal feedback in lecture discussions and individual tutorials, feedback given on formative draftwork, and formal feedback from the interim coursework assessment. 

Reading list

Reading list for OPERA STUDIES : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/mus3064

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Music (Conducting) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Composition) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Creative Practice) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Musicology) MMus 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Music (Performance) MMus 2 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.