Popular Classical Music

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Popular Classical Music

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Music (BA)

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    This course will focus on recorded repertoire - drawn from the Western Art Music or 'classical music' tradition - that has prominently figured in film scores, advertising, recorded compilation CDs, and classical radio play lists. Stylistic aspects and cultural contextualisations of each repertoire item will contribute to the students' understanding of classical music history and development. Course content will also include critical analysis of popular music 'covers' of classical music (such as ELP's rock arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition), electronic realisations of classical music (such as those undertaken by Wendy Carlos and Isao Tomita), and remixes of recorded classical music repertoire (including Megamix remix of reich's early works and Sylvian's sampling of Cage's Sonatas and Interludes).

    Course Introduction
    Classical music encompasses a broad period dating from around the 9th century to the present day. In order to understand the development of classical music as musical style, and to also note changes in its cultural use and function, repertoire will be discussed in chronological order and according to the following main historical periods:
    Chant and Early Music (800-1300).
    Late Medieval Music (1300-1450).
    Renaissance Music (1450-1600).
    Baroque Music (1600-1750).
    The Classical Style (1750-1820).
    Romanticism (1820-1900).
    Early Twentieth Century Style (1900-1960).
    Late Twentieth Century Minimalism and New Simplicity (1960-present).

    A diverse range of musical repertoire covering around one thousand years of classical musical development will be discussed, including repertoire that has prominently figured in film scores, advertising, recorded compilation CDs, and classical radio play lists. In this respect, course content will therefore focus on "popular" classical music but will also extend the notion of "popular" by including critical analysis of popular music 'covers' of classical music, electronic realisations of classical music, and remixes of recorded classical music repertoire.

    Course Aims
    The main aim of lecture presentations in this course is to broaden knowledge and understanding in students of the history and development of Western Art Music or 'classical' musical repertoire. For both music practitioners and those interested in music studies, this is important for the following reasons.

    • A wide knowledge of music repertoire traditionally informs and also broadens contemporary music creative practice because it provides an historical basis for songwriters, performers, and producers to build upon or recontextualise previous musical styles and genres.
    • To understand the values and other meanings that prevous Western cultures/subcultures assigns to the music that it makes and uses is essential in order to get to grips with the materials of music as a communicative form of human expression.
    • Stylistic and cultural aspects of selected repertoire items will contribute to the students' understanding of classical music history and development within both contemporary and historical/traditional contextualisations.

    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1 Apply descriptive terminology in reference to both the musical style and musical techniques of repertoire across main western art music traditions;
    2 Demonstrate knowledge of the paramusical qualities that characterize western art music styles throughout their history.
    3 Investigate the influence of technology on re-conceptualizing western art music repertoire within a contemporary context, including the adoption of western art music in filmic media, popular music 'covers', realisations, and remixes.
    4 Demonstrate a broad scope of musicological research skills relating to western art music.
    5 Apply critical musical listening skills and increased aural perception to music analyses and interpretation.
    6 Develop skills in written communication presentation.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.