Building on the highly successful academic discipline of commercial music, this innovative course is for those entering the music industry as performers, songwriters, composers, musicologists and educators. It supports the development of instrumental and group performance skills with composition, underpinned by a programme of contextual studies combining musicology, music business and music education. Our strong music industry links provide guest lectures from leading practitioners while maximising opportunities for graduates to begin their careers in music.
With a challenging combination of practical and theoretical modules the course offers you a range of opportunities, including composition, general musicianship, music business, music education, performance and song writing. You will be able to collaborate with students from other academic disciplines including film, TV, radio, fashion and media, and to network with other Music Department courses. You will develop a portfolio of work and experiences to launch a career in music or continue on to postgraduate study.
The modules you take cover an extensive selection of topics, such as individual and group performance, music and innovation, music performance with technology, and year-long (Year 3) performance modules which fuse instrumental performance, ensemble performance, songwriting and composition. A wide range of specialist free modules are available, including world music, improvisation, electronic music (including algorithmic composition and computer programming), the working musician, music education and music as intellectual property.
Instrumental workshops are grouped around generic instrument types with workshops available for woodwind, brass and strings, subject to demand. In Years 1 and 2 all instrumental teaching takes place on a small group basis with individual assessments generally every three weeks. In Year 3 all instrumental teaching is more specifically tailored to your individual learning path.
Ensemble development is taught through a range of groups within performance modules, as well as within our extra curricular activities, and you will be encouraged to form and play in as many ensembles as you can, both on campus and in the outside professional world.
A programme of contextual studies develops your understanding of the origins, cultural and theoretical backgrounds in music. Music and identity examines the origins of commercial music in terms of (sub) culture, gender and politics. Music and meaning looks at how and why music does what it does for its listeners, by considering cognition, politics of taste and music semiotics. The business of music performance introduces you to a range of issues affecting musicians, including career planning and accounting, and examining the roles of music business organisations. As an option in Year 2 you may study strategies for music education, which looks into the theory and practice of a range of music education structures. In your final year, in addition to your performance and contextual studies modules, you will also specialise in performance, songwriting, composition for media, freelance musician, music business, music journalism or music education.
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