Core Module Information
Module title: Contextual Studies: Sampling Musical Worlds

SCQF level: 07:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: MUS07140
Module leader: Paul Harkins
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Screen and Performance


Description of module content:

The aim of this module is to look at the technological, cultural, social, and historical contexts of music making, considering genre labels and the contexts in which they are used. This means engaging with key concepts and debates in the fields of Popular Music Studies (PMS), Science and Technology Studies (STS), sociology, and musicology to understand the relationship between music, technology, and society. Students will begin the module by examining the worlds of art, folk, and popular music and exploring how musical instruments and technologies are used in each of these musical worlds. Our attention then shifts to a more specific focus on the design of sampling technologies in the 1970s and 1980s and their use in a variety of musical genres. In the second half of the module, students will be given the opportunity to undertake detailed research into a music genre and examine important social, political and economic factors that contributed to its development. They will also have the opportunity to analyse the works of key artists and will develop a range of study skills including research, analysis, critical thinking, and essay writing.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to

LO1: Define sampling and acknowledge key developments in digital technology
LO2: Recount how sampling technologies have been used in the worlds of art, folk, and popular music
LO3: Respond to genre labels in popular music and engage with relevant critical debates
LO4: Deconstruct musical works and refer to elements such as song structure, melody, harmony, lyrics, rhythm, and production values
LO5: Gain an appreciation of interconnectivity and transferability of skill sets and information when preparing and presenting reflective outputs

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2023/4, Trimester 1, Blended, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Blended
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Paul Harkins
Module Organiser:

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 24
Independent Learning Groupwork (Independent Study) 70
Independent Learning Guided independent study 106
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Essay 50 1, 2 14 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Oral Presentation 30 3, 4 30 HOURS= .25, WORDS= 0
Oral Presentation 20 1, 2, 3, 4 32 HOURS= 0.25, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contextual Studies: Sampling Musical Worlds