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The University of Southampton

MUSI6031 Research Skills 1

Module Overview

This module introduces you to methodological approaches to musical studies and provides you with the professional skills necessary to write about music in different contexts

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• introduce you to the materials of musical study (manuscript, print, recorded and other media) • introduce you to a range of practical and methodological approaches to musical study • teach you how to search for, describe and present musical materials using appropriate methods and tools • prepare you for professional writing and activities (e.g. programme notes, grant writing, abstracts, CVs) • help you begin to compile a bibliography related to your chosen area of research

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the construction, description and use of musical materials such as print and manuscript scores, audio and audiovisual recordings, performances
  • non-musical primary and secondary sources, and the research tools appropriate to them
  • procedures for generating material for a research area new to you
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • use online bibliographical tools and bibliographical software
  • read and annotate texts critically
  • present word-processed bibliographies in a standard humanities format
  • develop presentation and advocacy skills
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • use online music bibliographical and discographical aids such as RILM and Music Index to generate music bibliography
  • use printed music bibliographical aids (eg RISM) to locate sources and generate bibliography
  • identify the appropriate methodologies for your new research area
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • evaluate bibliographical tools and their uses for musical study
  • compile source material (primary and secondary) for a research project using appropriate tools and methods
  • critique musical editions, recordings, performances, and studies with an awareness of source issues they raise
  • summarise source material for annotated bibliography


The range of topics that may be covered in this module includes: • describing and formulating a critique of a performance • generating research questions • professional writing skills including abstracts, CVs, grant applications • exploring methodological approaches to diverse musical practices • Active note taking and summarising • Presentation skills • preparing a bibliography

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • seminars • presentation • individual tutorials Learning activities include • individual study, including take-away tasks from weekly seminars • seminar discussion • accessing online resources

Independent Study126
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback  Skills questionnaire in Week 1  supervised bibliographical search in the Music computing cluster


MethodPercentage contribution
Annotated bibliography  (1500 words) 40%
Essay/report  (500 words) 20%
Oral presentation  (10 minutes) 20%
Short essay /assignment  (350 words) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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