MUSV1031 - Historical Perspectives on Music, Culture and Society


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Portfolio 100/100

Course content

What is music history? Is music history shaped by composers and scores, or by the cultural conditions which demanded and/or enabled musical performances? Why are there so few women composers in history books? Which roles and functions did music play in people's lives? Is music history relevant to today's music performance? Why do we study music history?

This course will engage students with these and other questions and provide an introduction to central characteristics of music development and role in Western culture, from the Middle Ages to 1900. In addition to a general review of music history and selected repertory, the course allows in-depth study in a selection of topics from various perspectives (analytical, historical, performance practice and present-day relevance) that encourage references and connections across time and genres.

The course also includes the development of basic study, critical and writing skills.

Learning outcome


An examinee with a completed qualification in MUSV1031

  • Has general understanding of the most important developments in Western music from the Middle Ages until today
  • Has knowledge of selected musical examples from different periods in music history
  • Has in-depth knowledge and understanding of selected works/genres/styles/performance practices in their historical, social and cultural contexts.
  • Has basic knowledge of relevant sources and notational techniques from different periods and geographical locations
  • Is able to make connections between repertories and periods
  • Has critical awareness about the problems associated with writing about music and music historiography
  • Has knowledge about practical issues connected with today's reconstruction, interpretation and performance of music of the past


An examinee with a completed qualification in MUSV1031

  • Can describe music from different periods, their aesthetic characteristics and structural features
  • Can set and organise personal objectives, and work to briefs and deadlines
  • Can work independently
  • Can update his/her knowledge within the field of study
  • Can express ideas and knowledge in written and oral forms
  • Can listen actively so as to be able to participate in and learn from discussions
  • Can make connections between what is learnt in class and his/her own practice as musician and music student
  • Can apply knowledge, understanding and experience to their own work and/or musical performance

Learning methods and activities

2-hour weekly lectures over 2 semesters (Autumn and Spring). Instruction is obligatory and demands minimum 80% attendance in each semester.

Classes include seminar activities (active listening, quizzes, analysis and score-reading, musicological exercises, individual and group work, student presentations and discussions. A course in writing and referencing skills is also included in the classes.

Compulsory assignments

  • Satisfactory participation in compulsory instruction and other activities
  • Satisfactory participation in compulsory instruction
  • Musicological exercises

Further on evaluation

1 portfolio (with a small number of assignments from the courses thematic main parts).

The total text for the portfolio should have a maximum length of 15 pages (line-spacing 1.5, 12-point font size, 2.5 margins) or equivalent (excluding music examples and bibliography).

Assignments may include essays, concert reviews, smaller projects, etc., suitable to the musicology and performance programs.

If the course is not passed, the student must retake the whole assessment. If the candidate retakes the exam there is no need to retake the compulsory assignments, but it is strongly recommended to follow the complete course again.

Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Music Performance Studies (BMUSP)
Musicology (BMUSV)
Musicology (ÅMUSV)

Course materials

A short reading list, a textbook and anthology (or equivalent compendium provided by the lecturer), and musicological exercises which will be made available on Blackboard.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
MUSV1011 3.0 AUTUMN 2020
MUSV1012 3.0 AUTUMN 2020
MUSP4154 4.0 AUTUMN 2020
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Foundation courses, level I


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Term no.: 2
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Music History
  • Musicology
  • Music Performance Studies
Contact information


Examination arrangement: Portfolio

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Portfolio 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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