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Module WXM-3209:
Brazilian Music and Culture

Module Facts

Run by School of Music, Drama and Performance

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Jochen Eisentraut

Overall aims and purpose

  1. to offer an introduction to a selection of Brazilian popular music genres.
  2. to offer an overview of Brazilian history and culture, particularly of the last 100 years.
  3. to promote a deeper understanding of the cultural, social, political and intellectual currents that have influenced Brazilian music and its reception and analysis.
  4. to promote a deeper understanding of ethnomusicological approaches to studying music.

Course content

The module will explore some important Brazilian musical genres and relate these to cultural and political developments in the country. The impact of Brazilian popular music outside Brazil will be discussed as well as the effect of foreign music on the country. The module will give students the opportunity to familiarise themselves with several musical styles and artists. Key ideas for the analysis of the issues covered will also be discussed.

Assessment Criteria


Work which displays basic, restricted knowledge of the subject, with simple ability at conceptual thought, and a limited awareness of issues, but has some evidence of a generally intellectual approach, with fair expression.


The work should display a sound grasp of the subject, a good level of conceptual thought, awareness of the main issues, with evidence of intellectual acumen and good expression.


Work which displays a thorough grasp of the subject, with evidence of further study, deeper thought, originality of approach and excellent written skills.

Learning outcomes

  1. demonstrated a deep knowledge and understanding of a range of Brazilian musics.

  2. demonstrated a thorough understanding of the manner in which particular themes and issues in ethnomusicology might be explored with specific reference to the chosen area.

  3. demonstrated an acute critical understanding of developments in Brazilian and global culture, and how these have interacted.

  4. shown that they have made level-appropriate progress with respect to communication skills.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

Essay topics will be provided in the module handbook.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


Normally one class of up to 2 hours each week for 11 weeks. Classes will include lecture presentation, group discussion, audio and video as well as a samba workshop. There will be a Reading Week during the semester.

Private study 78

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
  • 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.


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: