School Of Communication Arts

Music and MeaningWestern Sydney University Unit Code: 101529.2

Discipline: MUSIC

Student Contribution Band: 1

Level: 3

Credit Points: 10

Equivalent Units
101083 - Contemporary Arts: Music (Meaning and Identity)

About this Unit
In 2011 this unit replaced by 101742 - Music and Philosophy. Music and Meaning tackles the big questions. It considers definitions of music and how music is constituted. It asks how we encounter and experience music, and what makes a piece of music aesthetically pleasing and who decides. The unit ponders issues to do with ethics and morality, and whether the meanings attributed to music are as much intrinsic as they are cultural. The unit considers emotions and feelings in music, and why we would listen to music if it makes us feel sad. When music is used as an instrument of torture is it still music? How do we view the composer in the musical work? Is there a difference between musical thinking and thinking about music? Is music representational? Is music political? The unit provides an historical overview of the important debates and considers the poststructuralist critique of these debates. Students will design a question chosen from the topics covered in the unit, and retrieve and critically evaluate the appropriate literature for their project.

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