There are seven full-time musicologists on the staff at Bristol:

Our study of music and musical culture is closely related to our activities as researchers, and breaks down into the following strands:

  1. Music, politics and society (music and cultural transfer; transnationality and colonialism; reception studies; music, revolution and totalitarianism);
  2. Music and intermediality (popular music, especially hip hop; opera studies; film music; medieval music, text, visual and material cultures);
  3. Music as performance (historical performance practice; medieval oral transmission).

First and second years (mandatory units)

In Year One (Historical Studies I & II) we focus on music produced in the traditions of Western culture, from the medieval period through to the present day – including popular music, film and stage music. We explore key works, repertoires and ideas, and examine contemporary cultural issues and intellectual debates. Grounding is provided in the research and bibliographic skills required for historiographical work and essay writing.

In Year Two (Approaches to Music History I & II) we explore the repertoires and musical practices of past centuries in relation to broader social, political, technological and cultural trends. We interrogate key works, composers, performers and genres in different contexts, to encourage you to learn both about music history and about the ways of thinking, researching and writing about music history.

Second and third years (optional units)

Most of these are taught jointly to second and third years, often in smaller groups.

  • Russian Opera
  • Music and Migration
  • Soviet Music
  • Music and War
  • Composers as Film Figures
  • Courtly Music in the Renaissance
  • Inside Medieval Music
  • Music and Comedy in Film and TV Music
  • The Romantic Imagination
  • Opera & Politics
  • The Film Musical
  • Music in Asia
  • African-American Music in the 20th Century
  • Music and Sex
  • Music, Technology and Cultural Change
  • Aesthetics and Criticism
  • Analytical Techniques
  • Transcribing and Editing
  • Editing Project
  • Musicology Project
  • Dissertation

Teaching is generally by lecture, seminar and small-group or individual supervision. Our regular research seminar series, where distinguished guest speakers present their latest work, is open to all our undergraduates. We also host occasional study days and conferences.

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