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Module WXM-2115:

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Pwyll ap Sion

Overall aims and purpose

This module forms part of the Genre/Composer modules according to the School of Music’s Programme specifications. It main aim is to provide a detailed introduction to the composer and area in question, and to ensure that all learning outcomes are met.

Course content

This course will begin by looking at the meaning of the term 'minimalism' in art and music and trace its evolution in the early works of La Monte Young and Terry Riley. Discussion of Steve Reich's landmark essay 'Music as a Gradual Process' will be followed by analyses of works by Reich, Glass, Adams and the module will end by looking at the contribution of more recent European composers and the emergence of Postminimalism during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Assessment Criteria


Work which demonstrates a limited knowledge of the subject, with restricted ability at conceptual thought, little evidence of a truly intellectual approach, but nevertheless expressed understandably.


Work which demonstrates a competent grasp of the subject, with good conceptual thought, evidence of intellectual acumen, and expressed clearly and interestingly.


Work which demonstrates a thorough grasp of the subject, with evidence of further study and deeper conceptual thought, with some originality of approach and/or insight, and expressed coherently and convincingly.

Learning outcomes

  1. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the term Minimalism as applied to music.

  2. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to show that they have familiarised themselves with the music of composers associated with the term Minimalism.

  3. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to apply critical and analytical skills acquired during their first-year studies to this area.

  4. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate an appreciation of Minimalist music and its connections with culture and society.

  5. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate skills of communication.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

One 6-minute presentation (25%) in week 11.


One essay of 2,500 words (75%), to be submitted by noon on Tuesday Week 13 (7 May 2019).


Teaching and Learning Strategy


One class of up to 2 hours every week for 11 weeks, with a reading with in week 6.

Private study 78

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • 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
  • Creative skills – conception, elaboration, adaptation, presentation, collaboration, preservation
  • 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.


Resource implications for students


Talis Reading list

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: