MUSV3105 - Popular Music Studies


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2022/2023

Course content

Through lectures and select assigned readings, this seminar examines the themes, critical ideas and repertories of a broad diversity of literature in the cross-disciplinary field of popular music studies.The primary goal is to explore relatively recent scholarship with an eye toward current and growing discourses within the field of popular music studies, though the class will also attempt to place the subjects of these readings into larger historical scholarly contexts. In specific, the seminar will progressively examine the key interdisciplinary critical approaches and topical discourses of post-1990 popular music studies. As our readings and our discussions will show, what ultimately connects people across the field of popular music studies is a concern with questions about the relationships between musical meaning, social power, and cultural value. The primary purpose of this seminar is to allow participants to: (1) gain specialized familiarity with important contemporary and historical issues in academic popular music scholarship; (2) become acquainted with the writings of a variety of significant authors in popular music criticism and scholarship, present and past; and (3) learn the fundamental methodologies of pursuing research in modern popular music studies.

Learning outcome

Knowledge:A candidate who has completed qualification in MUSV3105- has specialized knowledge of recent international scholarship in popular music studies- has specialized knowledge of subject-specific theory and discourses- has general knowledge of the relations between popular music studies and various academic disciplinesSkills:A candidate who has completed qualification in MUSV3105- can formulate their knowledge in a compelling manner in both written and spoken forms- can independently identify, assess, and develop understandings of relevant research-based problems in popular music studies- has gained specialized knowledge of research methodologies related to popular music studies

Learning methods and activities

This class is structured as a seminar with discussion sessions and framing lecture material being the central parts of each class. The respective reading assignments for each class will function as the basic materials from which we will build our seminar discussions. Weekly coursework includes: select readings; companion listening and viewing assignments related to readings; and in-class discussion of readings.NOTE: Because this is a discussion-oriented seminar, all weekly assigned readings MUST be dutifully read before each week’s class, as in-class discussion participation is a vital part of the pedagogical methods of the course.Each class will involve a balance of lectures that contextualize weekly subjects, student-led readings discussions, and full-class seminar discussions based on the weekly reading assignments. Over the course of the semester, each student will also be required to prepare a short presentation on the subjects of a given class's assigned readings.

Compulsory assignments

  • Short weekly assignment-response postings (in English or Norwegian)
  • One short in-class presentation (and written summary) on a given week’s assignments
  • Satisfactory participation in compulsory instruction

Further on evaluation

The text for the home examination should have a length of 10-15 pages (typed, 1,5/12). 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. Bachelor's theses based on this course's topic must be delivered in the course code MUSV2031.

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Musicology (BMUSV)
Musicology (MMUSV)

Required previous knowledge

Requires admission to the Bachelor's or Master's programme in Musicology.

More on the course



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



Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Musicology
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Music


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