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Arts discipline Music Studies - BA Arts, Culture and Media

Studying music in Groningen in the Arts, Culture and Media Department offers students a broad spectrum of perspectives from which to situate music’s role in culture and society. Within core modules, students learn to identify the aesthetic, historical and formal qualities connected to various classical and popular music genres. Students also examine particular case studies to highlight music’s performative, mediated, and discursive formations. The programme provides an overview of relevant theoretical models, drawing in particular from the disciplines of cultural studies, ethnomusicology, musicology, media studies, and theories of race, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. Individually and in groups, students engage in research projects that expose them to local, national, and international music cultures and phenomena. Here, they investigate the changing processes guiding music’s mediation and institutionalization in the twenty first century.

Within the Bachelor’s Programme, students enrol in core modules in both popular and classical music. During a three-year programme, students follow the required modules in their own arts specialization (music) as well as integrated arts courses highlighting the role of arts in society. Ultimately music majors complete a curriculum comprised of six music modules, five integrated arts courses and two courses that foreground one academic framework (criticism, policy, or education).

Bachelor's Programme (Music)

Music IA: Analysis, Theory and History of Classical Music (5 EC):

This seven-week course introduces basic concepts such as: what is (classical) music; what is music history; what is a 'musical work'; why do we analyze music; how can music convey meaning; what is involved in playing and hearing music?

Music IB: Analysis, Theory and History of American Popular Music (5 EC):

This seven-week course introduces a variety of genres from minstrelsy to electronic dance music connected to the history of American popular music. It also offers an overview of the growth of the music industry since the expansion of print technologies in the late-nineteenth century to the present consolidation of the music industry under the Big Three.

Music II: History and Theory of Classical Music (10 EC):

The aim of this course is to acquaint students with the major developments in the history of Western art music while also surveying current debates concerning the various methods applied to the study of classical music.

Music III: Popular Music: Theory and Analysis (10 EC):

In this course students gain insight into music’s relation to contemporary culture through various theoretical approaches applied to important musical movements from hip hop and metal to neo-folk and digital mash-ups. For instance, scene theory, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, ethnomusicology and theories of race, gender, and sexuality play an important role in investigating musical cultures.

Music in a Global Context (5 EC):

This course offers an international perspective on the relationship of Dutch popular music to international develpments in the world of popular music. The focus is upon popular music between 1945 and 2000. Within this period, the emergence of Dutch popular music genres such as Indorock, Nederhop, and Dutch EDM remain connected to various trends in the international music world.

Arts in Practice (Music Organization Project) (10 EC):

In this course, students examine a corpus of literature related to live music, festivals and performance practice. Students then prepare, organize, and present their own music event in the form of a festival, music concert, or inter-arts activity.

Bachelor Thesis (10 EC)

The Bachelors’ thesis is an individual literature research project based upon aspects related to music and its relation to culture, history, and society. Based upon a central question, students incorporate material from published sources to be interpreted and synthesized, relying upon methods and skills developed within the courses of their specialization.

Music Staff

Dr. Kristin McGee - Popular music, jazz, film, gender and sexuality in popular culture
Dr. Jeroen van Gessel - Nineteenth century music, classical music
Dr. Melanie Schiller - music and nationalism, media and popular music studies
Dr. Cris Tonelli - Popular music studies

Facebook page for Music Studies in KCM

Music Matters concert and lecture series

Groningen student big band

Last modified:09 May 2019 07.05 a.m.
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