Module WXM-3207:
Harmony & Counterpoint (Adv)

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 seeks to build on the skills developed in WXM/WXC 1004/1008. It covers a range of music and styles from the late 16th century to the early 19th. At each stage stylistic norms are identified through analysis; these concepts are also demonstrated through structured replication according to sets of criteria.

Course content

This module builds on and develops the basic analytical and (pastiche) compositional skills acquired in WXM/WXC 1004/1008. It will explore in detail a variety of vocal and instrumental music, and compositional practices and techniques from the late sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries; students will be introduced to a range of music from analytical and compositional perspectives. The module will focus on particular genres (such as piano sonata, string quartet) and forms (such as sonata- form exposition, rondo). It will also introduce students to advanced chromaticism and modulation in a range of contexts; these aspects will also be discussed in relation to historical development.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

A- to A** (70-100%) Work which demonstrates a thorough grasp of the subject, both musically and intellectually, with evidence of further study and deeper conceptual thought, some originality of musical approach, expressed in a convincing and notationally flawless manner.

good

B- to B+ (60-69%) Work which shows a strong grasp of the subject, both intellectually and technically, with good conceptual thought, evidence of musical and intellectual acumen, expressed clearly in either music notation or, when required, in prose.

C- to C+

C- to C+ (50-59%) Work which shows a competent grasp of the subject, both intellectually and technically, with basic conceptual thought, evidence of musical and intellectual acumen, intelligibly expressed in either music notation or, when required, in prose.

threshold

D- to D+ (40-49%) Work which demonstrates a limited knowledge and technical command of the subject, with a restricted ability at musical thought, little evidence of a musical approach, but nevertheless expressed in an understandable way.

Learning outcomes

  1. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to critically evaluate through analysis the compositional structure and other defined elements of specific musical works, or sections thereof, composed c.1550–1830, using appropriate techniques / methodologies as taught on the module (e.g. tonal counterpoint, prolongation and cadence, figured roman notation, formal functions, reduction)

  2. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to synthesise different analytical methodologies and apply them to unfamiliar pieces of music within a comprehensive critical evaluation

  3. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to critically evaluate the use of chromaticism (linear and functional) and / or demonstrate an understanding of it in a ‘pastiche’ composition

  4. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate advanced skills in ‘pastiche’ composition (i.e. a practical application of the analytical principles taught on the module, within the grammar of a particular style/period, c.1550–1830)

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Coursework 2

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

Coursework 2: this typically comprises two elements: (1) an analysis of a piece from the classical repertoire, with slurs and figured roman numerals and a short prose description (c.600 words); (2) analysis in practice: developing a two-bar basic idea into a complete binary form (typically c.24 bars for piano), using techniques of expansion from chordal reductions. A prose description is required (c.600 words).

20
COURSEWORK Coursework 1

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

Coursework 1: this typically comprises two elements: (1) analysis in practice: completion an excerpt in imitative counterpoint in the high renaissance style (typically 20 bars for two or three voices); (2) analysis of a two-part Bach invention, with slurs and figured roman numerals and a short prose description (c.600 words).

20
Written assignment, including essay Main Assignment 1

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

Main assignment 1: this typically comprises three elements: (1) analysis of a repertorial extract (typically 20 bars) - score analysis and 500 words; (2) analysis in practice: developing a two-bar basic idea into a conventional theme type (8 bars; piano); (3) analysis in practice: completing an extract in modal polyphony in two or three voices (typically 15 bars).

30
Written assignment, including essay Main assignment 2

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

Main assignment 2: this typically comprises two elements: (1) an analysis of a piece from the classical repertoire, with slurs and figured roman numerals and a short prose description (c.600 words); (2) analysis in practice: writing a transition to complete a main theme and a subordinate theme of a sonata-form exposition (typically fewer than 30 bars for piano).

30

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

One lecture of 50 minutes per week for 22 weeks.

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.

154
Seminar

One Seminar of 50 minutes per week for 22 weeks

22
Tutorial

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

2

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • 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
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

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.
  • Enhanced powers of imagination and creativity (4.17)

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.

Reading list

Talis

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: