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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


The course aims a comprehensive introduction to the scientific study of music as sound, social practice and symbolic language.

1. Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, students can identify and recognize the essential components of a musical performance; they identify the main formal and contextual elements of both folk and popular song; they know how to define some basic mechanisms of today's production, circulation, fruition of music; they can distinguish the contextual elements of the musics analysed during classes.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, students are able to give consideration to the sound reproduction devices influence on today's making music. They can propose basic elements of reflection on the variety of music of our day as a representation of different cultural instances in the construction of identities, in the definition of global / local relationships, in the dynamics of power, in interpersonal communication, in the representations of the relationships between groups and individuals and so on. They get basic notions of sound / music archives, their activity and function

3. Making judgements
Students are able to describe musical performances of oral tradition similar to those studied in the class and to reflect on the relationship between text and music highlighting the main types of their interactions

4. Communication skills: At the end of the course, students think critically about the presence and importance of music in the social life of our time. They also use the basic lexicon of ethnomusicology and discuss some basic concepts, first of all the same concept of “music”; and also they effectively communicate the acquired knowledge and skills.

5. Learning skills. At the end of the course students know how to access the main sound archives of music of oral tradition in the world; they know how to critically relate to the mass of information on music and how to improve their skills so as to be ready to continuing their studies in master's degree courses.


There are no specific course requirements. The classes are open to all. Students can attend the literacy workshops and basic music practice organized by the MusE (Unica Musica Ensemble), achieving an additional CFU. Moreover the frequency of "Ethnomusicology of Sardinia" and of "Sociology of Music and Cinema" is highly recommended. It is assumed that the student has an interest in the musical diversity of the world and is available for a reasoned listening. Class attendance is strongly recommended


The module deals with popular music as a symbolic communication tool. By overcoming the clichés suggested by the term commercial music, the class will aim to highlight the most recurring mechanisms of meaning within the "galaxy" of musical expressions circulating mostly through the mass media and enjoyed by a large public of mass. The first lessons will present the different meanings of the concept of popular music, its origin in Britain and its coming in Italy, and the history of studies. Following lessons, through the deepening of some famous songs, will offer some basic notions on the formal structure and the harmonic system of a song. The final part will be dedicated to insights on the Neapolitan song and the origins of the Italian canzone. During classes numerous audio-video materials will be analyzed

Teaching Methods

Lectures with class discussions and practicals

Verification of learning

o Oral examination.
o The questions will concern the basic themes of the course, with special regard to the concept of human musicality
o Competence in framing the ethomusicological studies as a tool for interpretation of contemporary music landscape
o Competence in description of at least two musical practices introduced in the central part of the course.
o Competence in description of a oral tradition music performance
o Expressive proficiency and use of an appropriate terminology.


- Allan F. Moore, Come si ascolta la popular music. In Enciclopedia della musica, Volume 1, Einaudi Torino 2001.

- Richard Middleton. Lo studio della popular music, in Enciclopedia della Musica, Volume 2, Einaudi, Torino, 2002.

- Una antologia di saggi, con materiali multimediali, che verrà messa a disposizione dal docente al termine delle lezioni.

At the end of the course an anthology of essays, with multimedia materials, will be made available by the teacher

More Information


Questionnaire and social

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