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University of Ulster Choir

 

BMus Hons Music

Course description for the undergraduate Music programme at the School of Creative Arts, University of Ulster

The undergraduate music degree programme at the School of Creative Arts, University of Ulster is based around four core elements: Performance, Composition, Musicology and Music Technology. Classes take place over two 12-week semesters. Students choose modules to the value of 60 credits in each semester.

 

Year 1 is designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of musical styles, genres and disciplines enabling them to develop existing skills and interests as well as acquire a range of new ones. Musicology 1 and 2 both include strands in fundamental harmony while Performance Studies 1 and 2 include an Aural provision.

 

Note: All year 1 modules are compulsory for BMus students. BA students taking music as a major take Musicology and Performance Studies while those taking music as a minor may opt for either.

 

Year 2 allows students the opportunity to begin specialising by introducing a number of optional modules as well as level 2 modules in the four core disciplines. Musicology 3 and 4 – the only compulsory modules - both include strands in advanced harmony.

 

Note: All year 2 modules are worth 20 credits. BA music minor students may take Performance Studies instead of Musicology 3 & 4.

 

Year 3 enables students to focus their degree programme in one or more related areas of specialist interest with a broad range of advanced level modules. Placement presents students the opportunity to take part in an internship with a local music or arts organisation while the Project options allow students to pursue an independent course of research or practical work in a chosen field of musical study.

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Modules

    Year 1

  • Musicology 1 (MUS101)
    Semester 1
    • Musicology 1 introduces students to the nature of musicological enquiry.  Its purpose is to develop students’ familiarity with important areas of musical activity, trends and genres, and to address some of the major issues in relation to the study and performance of Western Art and Popular Music. The module also enables students to develop fundamental skills in the study of tonal harmony.

      Credits: 20

      This Module Is Compulsory

      Staff

      Cormac Newark - Lecturer

      Adam Melvin - Module Co-ordinator

  • Desktop Audio Production 1 (MUS111)
    Semester 1
    • This module provides an introduction to the creative applications of a desktop-based Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) alongside providing a basic understanding of key digital audio procedures and techniques.

      Credits: 10

      This Module Is Compulsory

      Staff

      Brian Bridges - Module Co-ordinator

  • Performance Studies 1 (MUS102)
    Semester 1
    • This module introduces the student to a variety of approaches relating to the study of musical performance, promotes self-awareness and provides a broad context for further development.  It is designed to develop current levels of aural awareness.

      Credits: 20

      This Module Is Compulsory

      Staff

  • Composition and Orchestration 1 (MUS113)
    Semester 1
    • This module essentially provides students with the necessary capabilities for composing in a free contemporary style and arranging for small ensemble.

      Credits: 10

      This Module Is Compulsory

      Staff

      Adam Melvin - Module Co-ordinator

  • Composition and Orchestration 2 (MUS114)
    Semester 2
    • This module builds on the skills acquired in Composition and Orchestration 1, focusing on a more advanced level of compositional and arranging skills. The module is geared towards developing the student’s compositional and arranging skills, enabling them to approach and produce a more developed range of musical canvases.

      Credits: 10

      This Module Is Compulsory

      Staff

      Adam Melvin - Module Co-ordinator

  • Musicology 2 (MUS110)
    Semester 2
    • In this module students will develop essential third-level research and research-presentation skills and will be introduced to the study of Irish traditional music. The study of fundamental harmony introduced in Musicology 1 will be continued with emphasis on jazz and popular music.

      Credits: 20

      This Module Is Compulsory

      Staff

      Cormac Newark - Lecturer

      Liz Doherty - Module Co-ordinator

  • Performance Studies 2 (MUS109)
    Semester 2
    • This module builds on the skills acquired in MUS102, develops self-awareness, and encourages students to advance their understanding and appreciation of artistic qualities that characterise musical performances.  Students are encouraged to make relevant connections between the skills developed here and within other areas of the programme.

      Credits: 20

      This Module Is Compulsory

      Staff

  • Desktop Audio Production 2 (MUS112)
    Semester 2
    • This module builds on the skills acquired in MUS111, focusing in greater detail on contemporary music production, sound engineering concepts, sound physics and the integration of acoustic recordings in the context of musical composition and arrangement within a modern Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) - Apple Logic Pro

      Credits: 10

      This Module Is Compulsory

      Staff

      Brian Bridges - Module Co-ordinator

  • Year 2

  • Performance Studies 3 (MUS315)
    Semester 1
    • In this module students increase their knowledge of the repertoire/styles appropriate to their instrument(s) and develop a range of performance skills to facilitate and inform musical instantiation.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

  • Introduction to Music Business (MUS321)
    Semester 1
    • This module will give students an understanding of key working practices, skills and national and international organisations relevant to the music business. It will provide students with a set of practical skills to equip them as professional practitioners within the music industry. 

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Liz Doherty - Module Co-ordinator

  • Traditional Musics from around the North Atlantic (MUS325)
    Semester 1
    • This module provides an introduction to the range of traditional music styles and repertoires from the North Atlantic regions of Scandinavia, through Scotland, Ireland and on to the eastern seaboard of Canada and north-eastern USA. The student will explore these traditions from social, historical and musical analysis perspectives.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Liz Doherty - Module Co-ordinator

  • Musicology 3 (MUS301)
    Semester 1
    • This module builds on the programme of study undertaken in the first-year Musicology modules, expanded to include further historical areas. The multi-strand structure is retained and the study of harmony remains a distinct sub-strand within the programme. The module engages with a cross-section of musicological and performance-practice issues in the study of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Western Art Music.

      Credits: 20

      This Module Is Compulsory

      Staff

  • Sound Recording and Studio Techniques (MUS319)
    Semester 1
    • This module provides an in-depth investigation of the studio environment and the techniques involved in the different stages of modern music production from pre-production right through to final mastering.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Greg O'Hanlon - Module Co-ordinator

  • Composition and Orchestration 3 (MUS317)
    Semester 1
    • This module develops students’ composing and orchestrating skills, provides opportunity for them to engage with, and focus their study on, a range of 20th-century and contemporary scores, and facilitates their composition of original musical works.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

  • Musicology 4 (MUS310)
    Semester 2
    • This module builds on the perspectives established in Musicology 3, and provides students with both a broad appraisal of twentieth-century music and specific explorations of music in a variety of styles as well as advanced harmony skills and an insight into musical aesthetics.

      Credits: 20

      This Module Is Compulsory

      Staff

      Adam Melvin - Module Co-ordinator

  • Composition and Orchestration 4 (MUS318)
    Semester 2
    • This module consolidates and develops and the composing and orchestrating skills acquired in Composition and Orchestration 3. It guides the student through the processes involved in composing music within large-scale structures.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

  • African-American Popular Music (MUS326)
    Semester 2
    • African-American Popular Music is a musicological module exploring the impact of African-American music on the global development of popular music, its modes of performance and the recording industry as a whole. The module charts the rise of early African-American song forms, and their various offspring, including blues, soul, funk and hip-hop within the broader musical and socio-political context of popular music’s development.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Adam Melvin - Module Co-ordinator

  • Electroacoustic Composition and Sound Design Technologies (MUS302)
    Semester 2
    • This module introduces students to the key aesthetic principles and tools of electroacoustic composition and live electronic music performance. The module aims to provide students with a grounding in the key aesthetic principles of electroacoustic composition, knowledge of key elements of the electroacoustic music repertoire, tools in audio processing and sound design.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Brian Bridges - Module Co-ordinator

  • Performance Studies 4 (MUS316)
    Semester 2
    • In this module students develop their individual strengths in performance, their critical faculties and their awareness of the visual dimensions of performance.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

  • Introduction to Music in the Community (MUS322)
    Semester 2
    • This module will introduce the multi-faceted role of the musician in the community and will prepare participants for pro-active involvement in community arts programmes. It will provide an overview of the historical development of this area as well as engagement with the basic skills necessary for practitioners in this field.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

  • Year 3

  • Interactive Music Systems (MUS522)
    Semester 1
    • This module is designed for students who wish to develop their practice in interactive music, live electronic music performance and sound-based installation work.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Brian Bridges - Module Co-ordinator

  • Sound Theory/Sound Practice (CRE504)
    Semester 1
    • Sound has generally been seen as a complementary – or paradigmatically ‘convergent’ - medium in relation to visual production in the media arts context. This module challenges this assumption by offering students a comprehensive overview of the various forms of sound production as a distinctive aesthetic activity. Students undertake tuition in digital recording/editing and produce a sound piece. The aim of this module is to give students an understanding of the central role sound has in our day to day experience, to give them an historical understanding of the ways in which sound form and technology have developed, to explore a range of sound art and to help them create their own sound works in a chosen genre.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Paul Moore - Module Co-ordinator

  • Composition Portfolio 1 (MUS517)
    Semester 1
    • This module encourages the student to consolidate and develop their compositional style.  Students will be guided in consolidating their already acquired compositional techniques and their ability to contextualise their output within contemporary composition more broadly.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

  • Music and Moving Image (MUS506)
    Semester 1
    • This module provides students with a historical, theoretical, stylistic and aesthetic study of music and moving image and the opportunity to compose for the screen. The module focuses primarily on film music and its genres but also covers other screen media, in particular music video and music for television. The module is divided between theoretical and analytical work, including the discussion of selected case studies, and practical work composing and editing in the lab.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Adam Melvin - Module Co-ordinator

  • Performance Studies 5 (MUS510)
    Semester 1
    • In this module students may focus on repertoire/styles in which they have demonstrated particular strengths. They enhance their performance profile through extensive involvement in a range of performance-related activities.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Cormac Newark - Module Co-ordinator

  • Project 1: Music (MUS502)
    Semester 1
    • This module allows students to undertake a sustained period of reflective study in a topic which is related to his or her academic and/or possible career interests, offering an opportunity to build on what they have learned in earlier modules. The form of the eventual submission may be negotiated by the student in consultation with their supervisor.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Cormac Newark - Module Co-ordinator

  • Double Project (MUS505)
    Semester 1
    • This module allows students to undertake a sustained period of reflective study in a topic which is related to his or her academic and/or possible career interests, offering an opportunity to build on what they have learned in earlier modules. The form of the eventual submission may be negotiated by the student in consultation with their supervisor.

      Credits: 40

      Staff

      Cormac Newark - Module Co-ordinator

  • Music in the Theatre (MUS516)
    Semester 1
    • Through examination of a number of case-studies drawn from opera and ballet, this module addresses the place in culture of musical works in the long nineteenth century: their relationship with other media (the visual and plastic arts) and with other discourses (especially political).

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Cormac Newark - Module Co-ordinator

  • Composition Portfolio 2 (MUS518)
    Semester 2
    • This module is geared towards developing compositional skills the student has acquired in MUS517 Composition Portfolio 1, and channeling them towards the production of two large scale pieces of music.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

  • Jazz in the United States (MUS504)
    Semester 2
    • This module explores the development of Jazz in the United States in the twentieth century using a range of critical and analytical techniques.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

  • Placement (MUS524)
    Semester 2
    • This module allows students to spend a period of time working outside the university in a suitable music or arts organisation.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Cormac Newark - Module Co-ordinator

  • Conversations in Irish Traditional Music (MUS515)
    Semester 2
    • The module will provide students with an overview of the sounds, conversations, communities and contexts of traditional musics in Ireland  with a view to developing critical thinking and commentary skills in relation to issues raised.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Liz Doherty - Module Co-ordinator

  • Project 2: Music (MUS503)
    Semester 2
    • This module allows students to undertake a sustained period of reflective study in a topic which is related to his or her academic and/or possible career interests, offering an opportunity to build on what they have learned in earlier modules. The form of the eventual submission may be negotiated by the student in consultation with their supervisor.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Cormac Newark - Module Co-ordinator

  • Performance Studies 6 (MUS511)
    Semester 2
    • This module allows students to concentrate solely on the preparation and execution of public performances, to determine the focus of their programme, and to negotiate the weighting of individual performances.

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Cormac Newark - Module Co-ordinator

  • Advanced Audio Production (MUS523)
    Semester 2
    • This module builds on the skills acquired in MUS111, MUS112 and MUS319 and offers advanced study in t) advanced sound engineering and production techniques and 2) internet and multimedia authoring, publishing, social media and Web 2.0 for music professionals

      Credits: 20

      Staff

      Greg O'Hanlon - Module Co-ordinator

Staff