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

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.

Course content

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 WXM 1008 instead.

Please note: despite the titles, WXM 1004 and 1008 both cover effectively the same material in both semesters. The module covers tonal music in one semester and modal music in the other. In the semester covering modal music both groups are typically taught together. In the semester covering tonal music both groups are typically taught separately: WXM 1004 covers similar ground as WXM 1008, but at a slower pace (hence a two-hour lecture slot). 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. On completion of this module, a student should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of modern music notation.

  2. On completion of this module, a student should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the principles of tonal / modal composition through basic pastiche composition.

  3. On completion of this module, a student should be able demonstrate skills in score reading.

  4. On completion of this module, a student should be able to demonstrate skills in the analysis of tonal / modal music according to fundamental principles.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Coursework 4

You will be required to submit a scanned copy of the CW.

COURSEWORK 4 If tonal music is taught in Semester 2: Typically comprises a question on harmonisation of a chorale melody and one on analysis of a completed chorale or extract thereof. Due not later than noon on Thursday of week 8, semester 1, by noon.

If modal music is taught in Semester 2: Typically comprises three questions on writing against a Cantus and analysis of a completed extract. Due not later than noon on Thursday of week 8, semester 2, by noon.

20
COURSEWORK Coursework 2

You will be required to submit a scanned copy of the CW.

COURSEWORK 2 If tonal music is taught in Semester 1: Typically comprises a question on harmonisation of a chorale melody and one on analysis of a completed chorale or extract thereof. Due not later than noon on Thursday of week 8, semester 1, by noon.

If modal music is taught in Semester 1: Typically comprises three questions on writing against a Cantus and analysis of a completed extract. Due not later than noon on Thursday of week 8, semester 2, by noon.

20
Written assignment, including essay Main assignment 1

You will be required to submit a scanned copy of the CW.

MAIN ASSIGNMENT 1 If tonal music is taught in Semester 1: Typically comprises a question on harmonisation of a chorale melody and one on analysis of a completed chorale or extract thereof. Due not later than noon on Monday of week 13.

If modal music is taught in Semester 1: Typically comprises three questions on writing against a Cantus and analysis of a completed extract. Due not later than noon on Tuesday of week 13.

30
Written assignment, including essay Main assignment 2

You will be required to submit a scanned copy of the CW.

MAIN ASSIGNMENT 2 If tonal music is taught in Semester 2: Typically comprises a question on harmonisation of a chorale melody and one on analysis of a completed chorale or extract thereof. Due not later than noon on Monday of week 13.

If modal music is taught in Semester 2: Typically comprises three questions on writing against a Cantus and analysis of a completed extract. Due not later than noon on Tuesday of week 13.

30
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT Coursework 3 (Unassessed)

You will be required to submit a scanned copy of the CW.

COURSEWORK 3 (UNASSESSED) If tonal music is taught in Semester 2: Typically comprises a question on harmonisation of a chorale melody and one on analysis of a completed chorale or extract thereof. Due not later than noon on Thursday of week 4, semester 1, by noon.

If modal music is taught in Semester 2: Typically comprises two questions on writing against a Cantus and analysis of a completed extract. Due not later than noon on Thursday of week 4, semester 2, by noon.

0
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT Coursework 1 (Unassessed)

You will be required to submit a scanned copy of the CW.

COURSEWORK 1 (UNASSESSED) If tonal music is taught in Semester 1: Typically comprises a question on harmonisation of a chorale melody and one on analysis of a completed chorale or extract thereof. Due not later than noon on Thursday of week 4, semester 1, by noon.

If modal music is taught in Semester 1: Typically comprises two questions on writing against a Cantus and analysis of a completed extract. Due not later than noon on Thursday of week 4, semester 2, by noon.

0

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

One two-hour lectures 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.

Students are expected to complete unassessed tasks ahead of each seminar. Typically up to one hour per week.

22
Private study

Including preparation for lectures and seminars; and completing unassessed coursework. Students are expected to spend at least one hour each week on the seminar activities, in advance of the class.

143
Tutorial

Individual consultation on the assessment will be available on demand, up to a total of 1 hour per semester.

2

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. Students will be provided with a bound book of course notes (written by the tutor) at the start of the module; this is to supplement 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: