Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SOC3031: Ethnomusicology

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

The module begins by considering key concepts and writers on music sociology and ethnomusicology. The concepts will include: affordances, homology, appropriation, affiliation and habitus. The module then sets these concepts in context of case study material focused on musical structure as a medium for thinking about the life course, social structure, embodied communication, identity, health and wellbeing; consciousness, social control and memory.


A. Orientation:

  • Introduction to ethnomusicology/music sociology
  • Key concepts with examples
  • What is music, sound, noise: an exercise in boundary construction

B. Music in Everyday Life over the life course and in cultural context:

  • Communicative musicality
  • Music and socialization
  • Music and emotion, music and work
  • Music and health/wellbeing: alternative healing and ritual care
  • Music and continuing bonds: spirituality, transcendence and commemoration through music

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity 4812 x two hour lectures, 8 x two hour seminars and 2 x student-led discussion sessions with small presentations in seminar
Guided Independent Study20A variety of activities directed by module leader and allowing student choice: 1. Mapping the sonic environment
Guided Independent Study102. Interview or radio archive exercise
Guided Independent Study173. Video analysis of embodied musical engagement
Guided Independent Study224. Exploration of musicalisation of settings or interactions
Guided Independent Study60Reading and researching
Guided Independent Study14Preparation for student-led seminars
Guided Independent Study35Writing the proposal
Guided Independent Study74Writing the essay

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).