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The University of Southampton

MUSI6037 Music Management Fundamentals

Module Overview

Music Management Fundamentals lays advanced theoretical foundations for the practical work you will learn to do later in the Programme. Why is the international music business organised the way it is? What forces – technological, economic, political and creative – have driven industry developments in the past, and where are they likely to drive it in future? How do audiences consume music? How are consumption patterns changing? What motivates musicians to make music; and why do audiences want to listen? These questions matter because they define the context in which music managers have to operate. What do managers actually do? What do managers have in common with entrepreneurs? How might the roles of manager and entrepreneur differ, and how might they be combined? To answer questions like these, Music Management Fundamentals will introduce you to a set of academic theories and show you how the theories can be used both to explain the structure of the music industry and to predict some of the changes likely to affect the industry in years ahead.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• to engage you with the principles of cultural economics, and find out how these principles can be applied in practice. • To provide you with an overview of management theory, and an introduction to the specialist vocabulary used in professional management literature • explore some of the methods with which government agencies attempt to intervene in music markets at local, regional national and international level. • position the work of music managers within a broader general management context • examine what music managers do, and relate their activities to specific music styles and genres and types of artist • investigate music consumption. Audience tastes change over time, and as tastes change so the markets for different sorts of music expand and contract. What do customers want? Why do they want it? • consider different marketing approaches and try to predict future music marketing trends. Managers need to know how music is marketed in order to prepare the artists they represent for maximum career success. What will they want in 2, 5, 10 years’ time? How can managers keep up, or better still get ahead?

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • the role of music managers – past, present and likely future
  • the structure of the music industry
  • the different educational and pre-professional pathways open to following by different types of musician
  • academic theories explaining patterns of behaviour prevalent within the music industry.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • place different types of music in appropriate (industry-recognized) categories, and decide which sector(s) of the industry you are best suited to work in
  • recognise audience tastes and expectations, and align your own management approach some of those tastes and expectations
  • understand the ways in which music markets operate – in particular their winner-take-all character.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify and analyse data and information to evaluate their relevance and validity using a range of sources
  • communicate clearly and persuasively to potential academic and industry clients
  • carry out complex research tasks on specific topics related to your chosen field
  • recognise your own academic strengths and weaknesses, reflecting on your performance and progress and be able to respond to feedback
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate critical understanding of a range of professional arts practices
  • understand and devise music marketing strategies specific to a variety of artists, audiences and repertoires
  • understand the fundamental principles underpinning international copyright law, and know how those principles determine professional practice in the creative industries.


Syllabus content would typically include: • introductions to theories of management and theories of entrepreneurship • a selective introduction to cultural economic theory, seeking in particular to explain the structure of the music industry and its winner-take-all character • description and discussion of the education and training systems from which musicians with professional potential emerge • introduction to theories of taste formation • theoretical and some practical (case study) consideration of music marketing • description and discussion of the legal – copyright – framework within which music businesses operate.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • lectures • whole-class activities during lectures • individual tutorials to answer questions and look at written work in draft Learning activities include • lectures • tutorial discussion with teachers • private study

Independent Study264
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Paul Westhead and Mike Wright (2013). Entrepreneurship: A Very Short Introduction. 

Candace Jones, Mark Lorenzen, and Jonathan Sapsed (2015). The Oxford Handbook of Creative Industries. 

John Hendry (2013). Management: A Very Short Introduction. 


Assessment Strategy

A multiple choice test will be used as a formative task to regularly check your understanding of concepts discussed in class. A management pitch designed to persuade early-career musicians that you would be the perfect manager for them.


In-class Test


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (4000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (4000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (4000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Optional Visits (e.g. museums, galleries)

Some modules may include optional visits to a museum, galleries, or industry. You will typically be expected to cover the cost of travel, admission and food unless otherwise specified in the module profile.

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Where possible, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. Current printing and copying costs can be found here. They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Printing for Students The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service.


You will be expected to provide your own day-today stationary items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.)


Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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