MUSV1032 - Music, culture and society after 1900


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Portfolio 100/100

Course content

In the twentieth century, the borders between art music and popular music get more and more porous. In this course, we will focus on music-historical topics and problems that are relevant across musical fields - from Stravinsky and Debussy to The Beatles and Björk. While our main focus remains ‘the Western world’ (a term that is both useful and problematic) we will also address several examples of global musical connections and contexts.

Through studies of relevant literature and examples, this course provides an introduction to central characteristics of music’s development and its role in Western culture after 1900. Students will develop an understanding of the social, cultural, political, economic, and technological landscapes that have shaped music in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Learning outcome


An examinee with a completed qualification in MUSV1032

  • Has general understanding of the most important developments in Western music from the beginning of the 20th century until today
  • Has knowledge of selected musical examples from the 20th and 21st century
  • Has in-depth knowledge and understanding of a variety of works/genres/trends/technologies/performance practices in their historical, socio-political, and cultural contexts
  • Has basic knowledge of relevant sources, notational practices, and analytical techniques to study 20th and 21st century music
  • Has critical awareness of today’s musicological perspectives on studying and writing about music


An examinee with a completed qualification in MUSV1032

  • Can describe music from different movements and trends in the 20th and 21st century, 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

Weekly lectures and seminars.

Classes can include lectures, active listening, analysis and score-reading, individual and group work, student presentations, and discussions.

Satisfactory attendance to classes and participation in class activities.

Compulsory attendance (minimum 80%) to seminars.

Compulsory assignments

  • Satisfactory participation in lectures and class activities
  • Compulsory attendance to seminars

Further on evaluation

1 portfolio.

The total text for the portfolio should have a maximum length of 15 pages (line spacing 1.5/12-point font size) or equivalent.

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:
Musicology (BMUSV)

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
MUSV1012 7.5 AUTUMN 2021
More on the course



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


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Music History
  • Musicology
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Music


Examination arrangement: Portfolio

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn 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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