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Module WXM-2304:
Genres and Composers B

Module Facts

Run by School of Music, Drama and Performance

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Chris Collins

Overall aims and purpose

On this module, students develop further musicological skills through the detailed study of a focused topic, selected from a choice of options. These topics are usually defined as either the oeuvre of a composer or group of composers (or a subset of their oeuvre), a style or genre of music (usually within a defined historical period), or a repertoire of music that existed in a specific time/place or for a specific purpose. At least three options will be offered, arising from staff specialisms.

The module equips students with a profound knowledge of their chosen subject, while enabling them to develop their skills in musical analysis, source-based study, and contextual understanding.

The options offered are different from those available on Genres & Composers A (in Semester 1), and further options are offered in Genres & Composers C and D (in Year 3). Students may therefore take any number of these modules, building a wider knowledge of musical texts and repertoires, and strengthening their grasp of approaches to understanding them, as they proceed through the programme.

Course content

At least four topics will be offered; students choose two of these. The choice of topics varies from year to year. The following list is indicative of the variety of options that may be available across Genres & Composers A, B, C and D. It is not exhaustive. Options available in 2019-20 are asterisked in the list below.

  • The Ballets Russes
  • The Beatles
  • Beethoven and the String Quartet
  • Boulez
  • Brazilian Music and Culture
  • Bush and Björk*
  • Cage and Experimental Music
  • Debussy and Ravel
  • From Dufay to Josquin
  • Handel
  • Ligeti
  • Manuel de Falla
  • Michael Nyman
  • Minimalism
  • Mozart
  • Music Revivals
  • Opera: Monteverdi to Mozart
  • Postminimalism
  • Post-War British Opera*
  • Seven Jazz Women*
  • Stockhausen
  • The 19th-Century Symphony
  • The 20th-Century Symphony
  • Telemann
  • Three Contemporary Welsh Composers: Metcalfe, Samuel and Barrett
  • Tonality Today
  • The Violin in World Culture
  • Wagner

Assessment Criteria


D– to D: Work which displays basic knowledge of the subject, with some limited ability in conceptual and critical thinking, expressed intelligibly.

C- to C+

C– to C+: Work which displays fair knowledge of the subject, with satisfactory ability at conceptual and critical thinking, expressed understandably.


B– to B+: Work which displays a good grasp of the subject, with evidence of strong ability at conceptual and critical thinking, expressed engagingly.


A– to A**: Work which displays a thorough grasp of the subject, with evidence of depth and originality in conceptual and critical thinking, expressed convincingly.

Learning outcomes

  1. On completion of this module, the student should be able to apply skills of musical analysis, source-based research, and critical thinking in relation to the music studied.

  2. On completion of this module, the student should be able to demonstrate and apply a detailed knowledge and understanding of specific subjects in music history and culture.

  3. On completion of this module, the student should be able to communicate ideas about the music studied effectively.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Presentation 25
Essay 75

Teaching and Learning Strategy


11 lectures/seminars, 2 hours each.

Private study

Preparatory reading and listening, and research and analysis for assessed tasks.


6 fortnightly seminars, 2 hours each.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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
  • 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.


Resource implications for students

There are no resource implications for students.

Reading list

A detailed reading list will be provided when topics have been set.

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: