MUSV3115 - Music and Culture in 1970s New York


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2021/2022

Course content

Through lectures, in-class discussions, and assigned readings, listening, and video viewing, this seminar will examine the explosion of rich musical cultures that defined 1970s New York, a period when the city was dirty, dangerous, and broke. Despite the city’s high crime rate, abandoned buildings, widespread poverty, and political scandals, this era of New York history gave birth to disco, punk rock, new wave, no wave, trash rock, salsa, and hip hop, all of which co-existed alongside – and even interacted with – the loft jazz scene, the downtown composers known as "minimalists", and other musical trends high and low. In this era, the city was likewise richly represented in a range of important films, many of which included influential underscoring. In exploring this still-influential era of NewYork-related music and media region, we will study both questions about musical geography, the interrelationships between race, class, economics, musical aesthetics, and values, culture, politics, and society. The course will further consider how this rich body of music and musical media has continued to shape Western musical culture to the present day.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: A candidate who successfully completes MUSV3115 will have - Have an increased historical appreciation for the creative processes in, and debates surrounding, the culture and legacy of various influential music, artists, and genres related to 1970s New York - Have knowledge of both key issues in, as well as historical- and thematic-based knowledge of, 1970s New York cultural politics and society, various period music scenes, trends, and media, and musical geography - Have specialized knowledge of the critical theory and discourses around 1970s New York cultural politics and society, various period music trends, and musical geography Skills: A candidate who successfully completes MUSV3115 - can formulate their knowledge in a compelling manner in both written and spoken forms

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and in-class discussion Mandatory activities This class is structured as a seminar with discussion sessions and lectures being the central parts of each class. The respective reading, listening, and video viewing assignments for each class will function as the basic materials from which we will build our seminar discussions. Weekly coursework includes: select readings; listening and viewing assignments related to readings; and in-class discussion of these assigned materials. NOTE: Because this course includes a discussion-oriented seminar, all weekly assigned readings MUST be dutifully read before each weeks class, as in-class discussion participation is a vital part of the pedagogical methods of the course. Assessment: Either a take-home examination or a portfolio assessment to be graded as follows: 40% written assignment-response postings, with weekly deadlines before class; 60% term paper or a bachelor's thesis (15-20 pages) under academic supervision. The text for the home examination should have a length of about 10 pages. Students at the bachelor's programme in Musicology must choose "bachelor's thesis" as the form of assessment in one MUSV31**-course in the third or fourth semester. The bachelor's thesis will be thematically based on the in-depth course, and is supervised individually in the amount of 5 hours. The scope of the bachelor's thesis is 15–20 pages.

Compulsory assignments

  • Short weekly assignment-response postings (in English or Norwegian)

Specific conditions

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

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Creative Music Technology (MMUST)
Music Performance (MMUSP)
Music Performance Studies (BMUSK)
Music Performance Studies (BMUSP)
Music Technology (BMUST)
Musicology (BMUSV)
Musicology (MMUSV)

Required previous knowledge

Requires admission to one of the Bachelor's programmes or Master's programmes in Musicology, Music Technology or Music Performance Studies.

More on the course



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



Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Music History
  • Music Theory
  • Cultural History
  • History
  • Musicology
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Music


  • * 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