MUSV1103 - Popular Music


New from the academic year 2024/2025

Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home Examination
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home Examination 100/100 3 days A

Course content

This course will explore popular music history and practice through both its cultural impact and its diverse stylistic tangents, from rhythm and blues and 1950s rock 'n' roll, to hip hop, electronic dance music, and other recent genres. The course will focus on 1950-2021, and centrally consider US-UK traditions though there will be some attention to areas of Scandinavian popular music history. The course will examine both cultural and technical aspects of popular music practice. Recordings and artists will be discussed in relation to their musical and social contexts and the course will equally explore issues of race, gender, and commercial aspects of the popular music industry. The course will additionally explore aspects of the histories of both record production and music technology.

Learning outcome


A candidate who successfully completes MUSV1103 will have

  • have knowledge about the main developments in popular music from 1945-2000
  • have an increased understanding of style, genre, and technology in relation to popular music practice and history
  • have knowledge about how the development of technologies for recording, music production and distribution has influenced the history of popular music, 1945-2000
  • know music examples that represent the different areas of popular music history
  • have specialized knowledge of the critical theory and discourses around the relationships between popular music, cultural discourse, and the music industry


A candidate who successfully completes MUSV1103

  • can identify and describe the characteristically musical features of different styles of popular music
  • can, based on musical recordings, recognize a selection of important popular music artists
  • can analyze and debate different recordings of popular music
  • can formulate her/his knowledge in both oral and written forms

Learning methods and activities


Lecture-based assignments.

Compulsory assignments

  • Assignments/quizzes during the semester

Further on evaluation

Two out of three short listening quizzes and two lecture-based assignments (compulsory activities) must be approved in order to be able to submit the final exam. The assignments must be approximately 2-4 pages long or equivalent, line spacing 1.0, font size 12, margins 2.5.

The home exam consists of two lecture-based tasks. The maximum length of the combined assignments in the home exam must be a total of 10-15 pages, line spacing 1.5, font size 12, margins 2.5.

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.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
MUSV2003 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:  SPRING 2025

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

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

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Music


Examination arrangement: Home Examination

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