MUSA237-22S2 (C) Semester Two 2022

Music in Context: Church, State, Community

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 18 July 2022
End Date: Sunday, 13 November 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 31 July 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 2 October 2022


This course examines the relationship between music and the communities that create and receive it. A diverse range of examples historical and contemporary are explored as case studies.

This course combines western music history in the early modern era with a focus on the relationship between music and two of its key supporting institutions: church and state. Drawing on case studies from music history between the 12th and 18th centuries, we explore topics such as the origins of polyphony in the medieval Church, the impact of humanist and reformation ideals, and patterns of patronage in the princely courts of Europe, and see how the practices, ideas and values of these institutions relate to concepts like artistic function, relevance and freedom in the present day.

MUSA237 is one of a series of courses relating periods of music history to key themes with contemporary relevance. The others are MUSA231/331 'Western Music of Past Ages/The European Concert Tradition', focusing on the relationship between music and ideas, especially those related to radicalism and innovation, from the 18th to early 20th centuries, and MUSA234/334 'Contemporary Music', exploring the roots of the contemporary musical situation in developments since the first world war. In all these courses although we will sometimes refer to music theory and notation, it is possible to complete the course and get 100% in the assessments without prior knowledge of this.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students who pass this course will:
  • Be able to write effectively about music and its relationship to ideology, culture and society.
  • Understand and articulate the kinds of role that institutions have had and can have on the creation, dissemination and reception of music.
  • Show familiarity with topics in music history from the early/early modern period.
  • Be able to use primary source documents relevant to musicological research.  
  • Demonstrate skills in using library and information resources related to musicology, including library databases, bibliographic tools, scholarly editions, and electronic resources.
  • Demonstrate good oral and written communication skills, including language appropriate for scholarly communication.
  • Exhibit a professional attitude to research and to the dissemination and public discussion of music history and musical culture.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 45 points


Timetable 2022

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 11:00 - 12:00 A9 Lecture Theatre
18 Jul - 28 Aug
12 Sep - 23 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 15:00 - 16:00 A9 Lecture Theatre
18 Jul - 28 Aug
12 Sep - 23 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 14:00 - 15:00 A9 Lecture Theatre
18 Jul - 28 Aug
12 Sep - 23 Oct

Course Coordinator

Jonathan Le Cocq


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Programme note 25%
Essay 30%
Final Exam (2 hrs) 30%
Tutorial Participation 15%

Textbooks / Resources

There is no set text for this course.  Weekly readings will be available on the LEARN site.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $892.00

International fee $4,313.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts .

All MUSA237 Occurrences

  • MUSA237-22S2 (C) Semester Two 2022