Module WXM-1004:
Intro - Harmony & Counterpoint

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr John Cunningham

Overall aims and purpose

To develop students' understanding of the elements of musical language.

Course content

This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the elements of musical language – melody, harmony, counterpoint, rhythm – through the study of compositional practice in the late Renaissance and Baroque periods. Students work through a course of study which will develop aural skills, score reading and analytical skills, creativity, and a thorough understanding of the parameters for the construction of music during the periods in question. WXM 1004 is intended for those students who have little or no prior knowledge of harmonic principles (e.g. those who have not done chorale harmonization as part of A-Levels or equivalent), or those students who lack confidence in their skills in this area. Students with more experience or confidence are encouraged to register for WXM1008 instead.

Please note: despite the titles, WXM 1004 and 1008 both cover effectively the same material in both semesters. In semester 2, both groups are taught together; in semester 1 WXM 1004 covers similar ground as WXM 1008, but at a slower pace (hence the doubled contact hours). It will be possible to change between WXM 1004 and WXM 1008 until about Reading Week: after Week 3 you must consult the module tutor before changing.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Full understanding of staff notation, but only basic understanding of musical practice in the historical period studied. Basic grasp of key skills pertaining to the subject, with limited ability to apply these skills in other musical contexts. Limited demonstration of individual creativity. Work is presented coherently but with only limited stylistic appropriateness.

good

Full understanding of staff notation, with good understanding of musical practice in the historical period studied. Good grasp of key skills pertaining to the subject, with the ability to apply these skills in a range of other musical contexts. Good demonstration of individual creativity. Work is presented coherently, and with some stylistic appropriateness.

excellent

Full understanding of staff notation, with excellent understanding of musical practice in the historical period studied. Very good grasp of key skills pertaining to the subject, with the ability to apply these skills across the full range of musical contexts. Excellent demonstration of individual creativity. Work is presented coherently and full stylistic awareness.

Learning outcomes

  1. acquired a solid understanding of modern music notation;

  2. acquired a solid understanding of the principles of tonal and modal composition;

  3. acquired detailed knowledge of musical language in the late Renaissance and Baroque periods;

  4. become acquainted with specific musical compositions of the late Renaissance and Baroque periods;

  5. developed skills in pastiche composition;

  6. honed skills in score reading;

  7. developed skills in the analysis of modal and tonal music;

  8. improved skills in aural perception of modal and tonal music.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Coursework 2

All assessments on this module typically comprise questions on analysis and analysis in practice. In semester 1 the focus is on tonal music (Bach chorales); in semester 2 the focus is on pre-tonal music (species counterpoint of the mid- to late sixteenth century).

10
COURSEWORK Coursework 1

All assessments on this module typically comprise questions on analysis and analysis in practice. In semester 1 the focus is on tonal music (Bach chorales); in semester 2 the focus is on pre-tonal music (species counterpoint of the mid- to late sixteenth century).

10
COURSEWORK Main assignment 1

Due Monday of week 20, semester 1. not later than noon.

All assessments on this module typically comprise questions on analysis and analysis in practice. In semester 1 the focus is on tonal music (Bach chorales); in semester 2 the focus is on pre-tonal music (species counterpoint of the mid- to late sixteenth century).

25
COURSEWORK Main assignment 2

Due Tuesday of week 37, semester 2, not later than noon.

All assessments on this module typically comprise questions on analysis and analysis in practice. In semester 1 the focus is on tonal music (Bach chorales); in semester 2 the focus is on pre-tonal music (species counterpoint of the mid- to late sixteenth century).

25
CLASS PARTICIPATION Seminar participation

You will be graded on your preparation and participation (see module booklet).

5
CLASS PARTICIPATION Seminar participation

You will be graded on your preparation and participation (see module booklet).

5
COURSEWORK Coursework 3

Due date is default; assignment is due on the day of the lecture (week 28).

All assessments on this module typically comprise questions on analysis and analysis in practice. In semester 1 the focus is on tonal music (Bach chorales); in semester 2 the focus is on pre-tonal music (species counterpoint of the mid- to late sixteenth century).

10
COURSEWORK Coursework 4

Due date is default; assignment is due on the day of the lecture (week 34).

All assessments on this module typically comprise questions on analysis and analysis in practice. In semester 1 the focus is on tonal music (Bach chorales); in semester 2 the focus is on pre-tonal music (species counterpoint of the mid- to late sixteenth century).

10

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

2 lectures (1 hour each) per week for 11 weeks in Semester 1, and 1 lecture (1 hour) per week for 11 weeks in Semester 2

33
Seminar

1 seminar (1 hour) per week for 11 weeks in both semesters

22
Private study 145

Transferable skills

  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team

Subject specific skills

  • Musicianship skills – recognition, classification, contextualisation, reconstruction, exploration
  • Intellectual skills specific to Music – contextual knowledge, cultural awareness, critical understanding, repertoire knowledge, curiosity, analytical demonstration
  • Intellectual skills shared with other disciplines – research and exploration, reasoning and logic, understanding, critical judgement, assimilation and application
  • Skills of communication and interaction – oral and written communication, public presentation, team-working and collaboration, awareness of professional protocols, sensitivity, ICT skills, etc.
  • Skills of personal management – self-motivation, self-critical awareness, independence, entrepreneurship and employment skills, time management and reliability, organisation, etc.

Resources

Resource implications for students

None. Detailed coursenotes are posted on Blackboard to accompany the lectures.

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/wxm-1004.html

Reading list

Talis

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: