Music Drama (DRA3095)

Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to allow you to:

  • Show that analysis of plays and performance pieces that are thematically concerned with music and informed by relevant scholarship, can yield insight into the ways that music is socially meaningful.
  • Help you to develop your ability to engage in critical thinking, your academic writing skills, your ability to collaborate with others, and your devising skills.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Explain how drama yields insight into music and related phenomena
  • 2. Integrate textual analysis, theory, and other forms of scholarship relevant to music and/or drama in academic writing
  • 3. Create, and critically reflect upon, a short, group-devised performance that intelligently explores one or more aspects of music

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Relate to others in theatrical processes and performances; to work effectively with others in small task-orientated groups and to initiate and sustain creative, analytic and interpretative work within strict time limits and to solve specific technical problems and apply that understanding to performance work
  • 5. Engage critically and analytically from different theoretic perspectives, to explore theoretical concerns through practice, and vice versa, and to synthesise findings in practical and written tasks. The ability to interpret research into physical practice and vice versa
  • 6. Apply a wide range of library and IT skills in detailed independent research

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Develop advanced personal research skills using personal initiative; to set personal objectives that are linked to a sense of challenge and extending boundaries and to identify and evaluate personal learning strategies that are self-critical as much as self-reflective
  • 8. Develop group cooperation skills, including the ability to give and receive constructive critical feedback, and to improve communication skills and advanced analytic abilities in discussions

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

Teaching will take the form of instructor-led seminars on topics connected to the module. The assigned reading for each week will typically include one or more plays/performance pieces and several items of scholarship.

You will be asked to write short critical responses to weekly discussion prompts. In small groups, you will devise a short performance piece on a given topic and perform it in class.

Selected critical responses and a short reflection on your devised piece will be included in a portfolio. You will also write an essay on a different topic.

You will be offered an individual tutorial near the end of the term to discuss your work on the module.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching33Seminar activities
Guided independent study75Seminar preparation (assigned reading; writing of draft critical responses)
Guided independent study22Devising
Guided independent study85Portfolio preparation (revision of critical responses; writing of critical reflection on devised performance)
Guided independent study85Research and writing of essay

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critical responses1500 words (two 750 word responses)1-2, 5Written
Group-devised performance15 minutes1, 3-4, 8Oral
Essay plan1-2 pages1-2, 5-7Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio503000 words (three 750 word critical responses; one 750-word critical reflection on a group-devised performance)1-5, 7-8Written, oral upon request
Essay503000 words1-2, 5-7 Written, oral upon request

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PortfolioPortfolio1-5, 7, 8Referral/Deferral period
EssayEssay1-2, 5-7Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bennett, Andy and Steve Waksman, The SAGE Handbook of Popular Music (London: SAGE, 2013)
  • Cochrane, Tom, et al, eds. The Emotional Power of Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)
  • Cook, Nicholas. Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)
  • DeNora, Tia. Music in Everyday Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
  • Leppert, Richard. The Sight of Sound: Music, Representation, and the History of the Body (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993)
  • Roesner, David. Musicality in Theatre: Music as Model, Method, and Metaphor in Theatre-Making (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014)
  • Scharff, Christina. Gender, Subjectivity, and Cultural Work: The Classical Music Profession (London: Routledge, 2018)
  • Small, Christopher. Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening (Hanover: University Press of New England, 1998)
  • Walden, Joshua S., ed. Representation in Western Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013)

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Key words search

Music, drama, theatre, representation