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IR4555   Music, Politics and International Relations

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: 12.00 noon - 2.00 pm Mon

This module explores the complex relationship between the arts and politics, focusing on the various ways in which political thinkers and politicians have viewed music, sought to control it or use it to blunt or effect political change. Though very few musicians write explicitly political music, even non-political works can serve to represent or shape group identity, as well as shaping views of the 'other'; it can be used to mobilise groups to political ends (successfully or otherwise); or used as a means of protest and resistance and to subvert political orders. Equally, it can be used for ends that the author did not intend - witness the playing of Bach in Nazi death camps or Ronald Reagan's use of 'Born in the USA'. In this module we will explore the multiple meanings and readings of a range of works relating to some of the following issues: nations and nationalism, the state, political mobilisation and resistance, and questions of race, gender and sexuality, class, war and political violence. Students taking this class will need to be open to a variety of mostly Western musical forms, and composers/performers from Mozart to Plan B.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1 x 1-hour tutorial (x 9 weeks) + additional contact hours (TBC). 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.

Scheduled learning hours: 19

Guided independent study hours: 281

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 50%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 50%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module teaching staff: Prof J Anderson