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Module WXM-3189:

Module Facts

Run by School of Music, Drama and Performance

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Guto Puw

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To nurture a wide understanding of the music of Ligeti

  2. To examine styles, influences and main characteristics of the composition of a wide cross-section of his compositions.

  3. The ability to position his importance within the musical developments of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century.

Course content

The Hungarian born György Ligeti established himself as one of the most distinguished composers from the second half of the twentieth century. This module will focus on a selection of his most well-known compositions (which features his orchestral Atmosphères and Melodien, his Violin Concerto, the opera Le Grand Macabre, the piano Études and selected chamber and vocal pieces), assessing his artistic contribution within the European cultural developments of the time while placing their significance within the composer’s creative and historical background. Close attention will be paid in identifying his distinctive style and composition techniques, and on how they shaped his independent and uncompromising creative output.

Assessment Criteria


The work shows some understanding and knowledge of the subject, with fairly good, albeit somewhat limited, expression of ideas. Limited awareness of some topics and a basic ability to conceptualise.


The work shows good understanding of the subject, with standard expression of ideas. A good awareness of topics, as well as an acute intellectual ability.


The work shows thorough understanding of the subject, with evidence of further research, wider ideas, original thought, and with excellent expression.

Learning outcomes

  1. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate skills in communicating ideas and expressing views effectively (oral presentation).

  2. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to assess Ligeti’s historical significance, placing his music in context with other European cultural developments.

  3. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to evaluate the compositional approach of Ligeti.

  4. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to discuss aspects of the music and career of Ligeti.

  5. Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate skills in communicating ideas and expressing views effectively (written essay).

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

Essay topics are given in the module handbook.


A short presentation of 6 minutes during the class that presents an opportunity for the student to further explore one of Ligeti's compositions or a specific area of his life and/or music.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 78

11 weekly lectures, each lasting up to 2 hours, with a Reading Week during the semester.


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
  • 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
  • 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.


Courses including this module

Optional in courses: