MUSV3105 - Popular Music Studies


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment 100/100

Course content

Through lectures, seminar discussions, and assigned readings, the students will familiarize themselves with current topics and debates in the interdisciplinary field of popular music studies. The students will gain knowledge of methods for the analysis of popular music in a range of genres and styles, but they will also learn how this music becomes a cultural and political force in broader societal contexts. Research on popular music is characterized by an interest in the connections between musical meaning and cultural theory. Popular music researchers have been concerned with exploring how music shapes -and is shaped by- larger societal structures including those of identity, ethnicity, social class, gender and sexuality, and more. Students who follow this course will (1) gain specialized knowledge of important topics in popular music research; (2) familiarize themselves with key texts and authors in the field; and (3) learn the basic methods for starting their own research project on popular music.

Learning outcome


An examinee with a completed qualification in MUSV3105 will have gained knowledge of

  • The roles and functions of popular music in society in general, and in selected historical and cultural contexts in particular.
  • Key topics, methods, and debates in recent popular music research.


An examinee with a completed qualification in MUSV3105 will have

  • Have the ability to critically listen, identity and assess musical devices in examples of popular music in several genres and styles.
  • Can analyze popular music using recent musicological methods.
  • Can identify and make use of relevant academic literature in independent research on popular music.
  • Can productively discuss how cultural and historical conditions are implicated in the development and performance of popular music genres and styles.
  • Can assess the ways in which audiences, fans, and communities contribute to the formation of popular musics.
  • Can evaluate specific styles and genres of popular musics in relation to current academic debates and paradigms (including for example, gender and sexuality, authenticity, and globalization).

Learning methods and activities

The classes will consist of seminars with an emphasis on dialogue and discussion. Weekly preparation, in the form of reading and listening tasks, is therefore key. Students are expected to be well-prepared and be able to discuss the assigned texts for each class.

Compulsory assignments

  • Satisfactory participation in class activities
  • One in-class oral presentation during the course

Further on evaluation

Individual semester assignment (essay) submitted digitally in Inspera, as a pdf-file, at the end of the semester. The essay should have a length of ca. 4000-6000 words. The course instructor will present the essay question in the first half of the semester.

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.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

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

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Music


Examination arrangement: Assignment

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

More on examinations at NTNU