MUSC4105 Music, Aesthetics and Criticism

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 4 elective
  • Honours core unit in Music [Bachelor of Arts (Honours)]
This unit introduces students to the nature and development of aesthetics in Western art music. It covers the work of the classical theorists as well as that of more recent and contemporary scholars. The unit investigates the role of art theory (aesthetics) and its application to music, its historical development, and place within contemporary intellectual culture. Central questions in the unit relate to musical meaning and the creation of aesthetic value—What are the key themes and theories of aesthetics and criticism in general, and in music in particular? What is the relationship between music and the listener in various historical, social and cultural contexts?
Students are able to (1) outline significant developments and moments relating to the study of aesthetics in general and, more specifically, to Western art music; (2) situate debates pertaining to music aesthetics and music criticism within wider historical, social and cultural contexts; and (3) apply theoretical knowledge in the preparation of individual research assignments.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation; (2) research essays; and (3) presentations. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Mr Ashley Smith
Contact hours
seminars: 2 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.