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Music BA Honours

Build the skills, experience and confidence through specialist pathways in jazz, popular music, production or performance/composition to launch a career in the world of professional music making
Code
W301
Start
October 2020
EU/International induction: September 2020
Duration
3 years full-time
6 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,400 (INT) *
Course leader
Dr Brian Inglis

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning for the first few months of the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting with us in autumn 2020 or spring 2021, check back for more detail on arrangements for this course in July and August, and see our current plans for teaching and learning.

Why study music with us

The course has been designed so that you can align your studies to your passion in music and graduate with a degree that represents your interests and skills. With a wide range of optional modules leading to named degree pathways, you can graduate with any of the following titles:

  • BA Music
  • BA Music (Performance/Composition)
  • BA Music (Jazz)
  • BA Music (Popular)
  • BA Music (Production)

You will become a part of our friendly and supportive international community of more than 300 music students, based in the purpose-built Grove building at our vibrant North London campus. You'll collaborate with students from other courses in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries, especially in Dance, Theatre, Animation, TV Production, Art, Fashion and Design.

Benefit from more than 40 permanent and visiting music staff of national and international standing in their fields, as performers, composers, songwriters, scholars and music industry specialists.

Build your hands-on experience while developing your musical talents

Make the most of our state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including an industry standard recording and mixing studio, concert grand pianos, sound insulated practice rooms and computer suites.

You will gain key industry links to the music world with regular visiting guest speakers and master-classes from leading practitioners and music industry managers and the opportunity to work with a range of artists and professors in residence including the Firebird Orchestra, Allegri String Quartet, Daniel Miller, Founder of Mute Records and Grammy award winning producer Alan Branch.

Get the support you need to succeed

You’ll get plenty of support throughout your course, including access to professional staff, coaches, and personal instrumental lessons in your first study instrument or voice. You can also take advantage of our library and music practice facilities.

While you’re learning, you’ll be matched with a Personal Tutor directly related to your course. You’ll also get support from our Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants, who have experience in your subject area.


Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London, including updates on places available in Clearing for 2020 entry.

What will you study on the BA Music?

You’ll explore performance, composition or songwriting, music technology, studio music production, music theory and specialise in genres such as classical, jazz and popular music.

You’ll be encouraged to think critically about music by studying key ideas and concepts, from the historical, political and economic to the technological and aesthetic. You'll learn harmony, instrumentation, orchestration and musicianship, and how to write and/or perform music convincingly in a range of styles.

What will yo​u gain?

As well as cultural capital gained through an in-depth knowledge of musical repertoires and practices, you will also acquire skills in original music composition, music performance and critical thinking. During your third year, you have the opportunity to propose a topic of your own choosing to investigate and explore, along with the guidance of an allocated supervising tutor.

Modules

  • Year 1

    • Performance, Composition and Songwriting (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores the reative practice in Music in performance/improvisation and composition/songwriting. You'll develop proficient skills and techniques in these areas and can select areas of creative practice as major and minor components in the summative assessment. The exploration and development of creative practice provides a solid foundation for later specialist creative work.

    • Musicianship and Theory (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will give you the skills to both understand and utilise music theory. You'll look at the use of music notation and develop a knowledge of harmony and analytical insight. You'll also develop essential musicianship skills such as aural perception, melodic/harmonic transcription, sight-reading, and the practical application of notation conventions and symbols.

    • Music Technologies (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will develop your understanding and technical ability in making, recording and producing music using digital, electronic and acoustic sound sources.

    • Critical Thinking in Music (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will develops your ability to think critically about music, and introduces key ideas, concepts and approaches such as the social, the material, the historical, the political, the economic, the technological, and the aesthetic.

      You'll also explore current units including:

      • Early Jazz in New Orleans and the Swing Era
      • Bebop, Post-Bop and Fusion
      • Politics of Classical Music 1150-1790
      • Revolution and Modernism in Classical Music 1800-1920
      • Popular Music Studies
      • The Music Industries
  • Year 2

    • Composition, Songwriting and Arranging (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will develop your songwriting and compositional skills to specific briefs. You'll develop your own distinctive voice through exploration of various writing techniques and approaches as well as using a range of styles and genres.

    • Bop and Hard-Bop (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will develop your knowledge in the styles and techniques of small group bop and hard bop. You'll gain an awareness of the roles of instruments in these styles and their inter-relationships in practical performance and workshop groups.

    • Musicianship and Performance (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will explore creative practice in Music through performance and musicianship. You'll gain skills and techniques in these areas and begin to develop an individual and distinctive voice as an artist.

    • Recording and Production (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will act as a study of music production theories and practices. You'll learn to confidently apply advanced techniques and procedures in digital and analogue recording and mixing environments. You'll also be able to adapt these to achieve the desired creative results.

    • Popular Music in the 21st Century (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will explore and evaluate the appraisal of recent, current and significant trends in popular music and related concepts. You'll be encouraged to view the dialogue between musical practice, reflective thinking, and critical evaluation that benefits and develops creative and academic work.

    • Music and Culture (30 credits) - Optional

      This module develops critical understanding of how musical practices intersect with cultural domains. You'll examine the role of music in the production and transmission of identities, knowledges, beliefs, values, attitudes and understandings, and explore how, in turn, these shape music and its interpretation.

    • The New Music Business (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will allow you to study the contemporary business of music. You'll learn about the large and small companies that operate in this field, as well as how to self-manage a music career. You'll develop a knowledge of working in music as well as gaining a critical understanding of the issues that affect this sector.

    • Style and Theory (30 credits) - Optional

      This module explores a range of stylistic approaches in Music. You'll be able to develop the relevant skills and techniques in these via performance or composition/pastiche work in specific styles of classical, jazz or popular music.

    • Live Interactive Sound and Synthesis (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will develop your expertise in theoretical and practical approaches to expressive sonic manipulation in studio, installation, live, interactive and virtual environments. You'll explore the principles of synthesis, interactive sound, spatial audio and visual programming through the invention and development of different sound worlds.

  • Year 3

    • Advanced Composition / Songwriting (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will develop your songwriting or compositional style and technique. You'll also develop an individual and professional approach to composition/songwriting. You'll be encouraged to explore and establish a distinctive music identity – a personal creative ‘voice’.

    • Advanced Jazz Improvisation (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will enhance your understanding in the conventions and practice of improvisation in Jazz. You'll gain practical improvisation skills and associated aural awareness, and learn sophisticated techniques for the development of musical ideas through improvisation.

    • Advanced Performance and Musicianship (30 credits) - Optional

      This module develops your technical command of an instrument or the voice so you can confidently perform in public. You'll develop the necessary knowledge and skills in forming programmes/sets for performance, gain interpretative insight and begin to project their own individual voice/identity as performer.

    • Production Project (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will develop your knowledge, understanding and expertise in recording and producing music by allowing you to produce a self-developed project. You will be supported to achieve a highly effective and original musical output.

    • Popular Music Studies (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will give you an advanced knowledge of popular music theories through a range of critical approaches or critical perspectives including cultural theory, sociology, political economy and musicology. You'll understand how theory can be used to explore popular music practice, and how popular music practice can be developed by using popular music theory.

    • Music Post-1968 (30 credits) - Optional

      This module is designed to be a specialist study of musical works, composers and approaches since 1968 through the lens of contemporary classical music. The relationship between music and its cultural, political and philosophical contexts is examined through concepts such as the rise of postmodernism across the arts and its relationship with philosophy/political theory.

    • Working in Music (30 credits) - Optional

      This module prepares you for successful engagement with the music industries. You'll gain a working knowledge of contracts, copyright, funding applications and policy documents, as well as a sophisticated understanding of theories relating to decision making and success, which can be applied to a range of music-based projects.

    • Music for Screen and Virtual Realities (30 credits) - Optional

      This module develops the tools and competencies for making electronic and electroacoustic music for screen and virtual realities, in relation to some study of the aesthetics of screen music. You'll also gain the appropriate training in contractual and negotiation issues to support in-house and freelance composer-producers.

    • Music for Dance, Theatre and Live Shows (30 credits) - Optional

      This module develops musical practice in collaboration with students from other courses such as Dance, Theatre and Fashion. Critical and contextual study will support practical work with relevant theory, repertoire and case studies.

    • Negotiated Project (30 credits) - Optional

      This module enables the exploration of a specific area of academic interest and/or vocational/professional practice, providing a platform for the development of placement-related employability skills, or for the exploration and mapping of a specialised academic project that may provide the basis for further studies at MA level and beyond. The nature and aims of each project are negotiated.

    • Studio Production Placement (30 credits) - Optional

      This module is a work placement in a professional music studio setting. You'll build upon knowledge and skills developed from previous modules in production and studio skills and be able to apply theoretical knowledge and technical skills to the challenges of a workplace environment. You'll also be able to critically reflect on practices and processes in music production, as well as evaluate your workplace experience.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Music support your career?

Careers in music continue to grow. Music is an excellent choice of study because it combines science, technology, history, arts, social and cultural studies, business and media.

Careers in music are exciting and diverse. You could find yourself working in media, publishing, cultural organisations, education, festivals, libraries, merchandising, PR, recording studios or record labels, or art charities as any of the following roles:

Artist ManagementAudio Production
Business Consultancy Composer
Concert Performer Event Management
Legal (Music) Music Arranger
Music Distribution Music Industry Accountancy
Journalism (Music)Music Mastering and Post-Production
Web Design (Music)Orchestral Management
Session Fixers (Music Contractors)Session Musicians
Specialist Music Insurance Studio Design and Construction
Video Production 

Teaching is also a popular choice, and might be combined with any of the above to form a ‘portfolio’ career.

You could also go into further (postgraduate) study, and our graduates have gone on to such prestigious institutions as the Royal Hague Conservatoire, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, York University and King’s College, London.

Based in The Grove, you will have access to world-class facilities:

  • Concert and recital rooms
  • 15 soundproofed practice rooms
  • 23 pianos (including a Steinway grand and a Bosendorfer grand)
  • Hybrid analogue-digital sound recording facilities
  • Recording and mixing studio
  • Digital media workshop with 15 workstations (Mac computer with specialist music software, two monitors and piano keyboard)

You will also have access to external venues and collaborative access to other creative areas of the University such as dance, theatre, film, television, animation and computer games.

Dr Brian Inglis
Programme leader

Dr Inglis makes and writes about music. He studied at City University London (PhD, MA) and the University of Durham (BA), and has previously taught at Trinity Laban and the Royal College of Music. Having been involved in a range of genres and projects, including 2000s artrock band Hicks Milligan-Prophecy, his music and arrangements have been heard at the Sonorities Festival (Belfast), Huddersfield Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Deal Festival, Guildford International Festival, Secret Garden Party, Greenbelt, Truck, Bestival and I Kärlekens Namn (Sweden) as well as on BBC Radios 1&3, BBC2, BBC Wales, Radio Cymru and Bayern 2 (Germany). His interests encompass composition, musicology and journalism, and his writing projects include pieces for Tempo and PRS for Music’s M magazine and for BBC performing ensembles/Proms.

Recent projects include a piano music album Living Stones (Sargasso); book chapters on classical music and copyright for The Classical Music Industry (Routledge) and on music and spirituality/John Tavener (Peter Lang); and an acclaimed edition (with Barry Smith) of Kaikhosru Sorabji’s letters to Peter Warlock (Routledge). He is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, a trustee and board member of alternative classical record label Nonclassical, and an organiser of the international research network Music, Spirituality and Wellbeing.

Read more about Dr Inglis

Jenna Doyle
Co-pathway leader, Popular Music

Jenna is a platinum-selling songwriter, lyricist and musician. Training in voice and piano, she has been writing and producing commercially-released works, under the pseudonym Jenna Donnelly, for over a decade. With US Billboard #1, Japanese Oricon #1 and Spanish iTunes #1 records under her belt, she has also diversified into music for primetime ITV television shows and critically acclaimed musicals.

Signed to Galactic Music and Peer Music as a member of production house Audiofreaks, Jenna is also one half of Donnelly & Maltby, with works published by Theatrical Rights Worldwide. She also recently contributed a chapter to Innovation in Music: Performance, Production, Technology and Business, published by Routledge.

Mike Dines
Co-pathway leader, Popular Music

Mike Dines is a musician, writer, scholar and publisher. He gained his undergraduate degree in Music from the University of Chichester and gained an MA in Music focusing on aesthetics and musical analysis at the University of Sussex. He then moved to Salford University to complete his PhD on punk under Professor Sheila Whiteley. His thesis focused on the anarcho-punk scene of the 1980s, specifically on the work of Crass. He founded Itchy Monkey Press, a DIY punk publisher with the publication of the anarcho-punk novella the darkening light (2014), followed by Tales From the Punkside (2014), Some of Us Scream, Some of Us Shout (2016), and And All Around Was Darkness (2017).

As a scholar, Mike's research interests cover subcultures and the cultural context of popular music, recently co-editing The Punk Reader: Research Transmissions from the Local and the Global (Intellect, 2019), Punk Now!! Contemporary Perspectives on Punk (Intellect, 2020), Trans-Global Punk Scenes: The Punk Reader Vol. 2 (Intellect, 2020) and Punk Identities, Punk Utopias: Global Punk and Media (Intellect 2021). His current writing takes him in the direction of popular music and spirituality with the co-edited collection Exploring the Spiritual in Popular Music: Beatified Beats (Bloomsbury, 2021).

Rob Townsend
Co-pathway leader, Jazz

Saxophonist Rob Townsend has performed with many notable jazz artists such as Eddie Henderson, Sam Rivers, Django Bates, Mark Lockheart, Iain Ballamy and Tim Garland. He plays regularly with iconic acid-jazz organist James Taylor. As well as working with jazz artists, Rob is a member of legendary Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett's band, appearing on more than 10 CDs and DVDs. Rob has also performed with Rick Wakeman, Bill Bruford and played with Robbie Williams at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert.

As a composer, Rob works mostly in the commercial world. He has scored 8 computer games for companies such as Sony, Disney, Supermassive Games, DR Studios, Frontier Games and Blitz Games. Most recently, he wrote the music for F1 Racestars, a multi-platform worldwide release for Codemasters. Rob has written music for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Discovery. In 2011 he wrote the music for Mechanical Musical Marvel which was nominated for BAFTA in the best childrens' animation category.

  • Joanne Yeoh

    Music BA graduate

    It was FABULOUS studying in London. This eventually became a stepping stone towards my future studies, providing me with the opportunity to attend and participate in music festivals - an experience one simply can't get in Malaysia.

    Studying at Middlesex University was definitely a door opener to opportunities in the UK. I loved the learning atmosphere, which was very different from back home in Malaysia. Students were given free time and space to explore their musical inclinations.

    When I returned to Malaysia, I was selected to participate in the prestigious Asian Youth Orchestra and travelled with the orchestra to Vietnam, Japan, Australia, Korea and Hong Kong. I was then lucky enough to perform alongside Hong Kong superstar Jacky Cheung in his Music Odyssey Tour 2002/03 which was a 40 concert tour around the world. The following year, I performed with Taiwanese heart-throb David Tao in his 2003 Soul Power Tour and in 2008 I was invited to play with another Hong Kong superstar, Alan Tam.

    I have received several awards since my time at Middlesex University. I was also selected to be included in Marquis Who's Who in the World 2012 edition and in the Malaysia Book of Records 2012. I am also a fully accredited examiner for the esteemed Trinity College Music London Examination board and I currently head the Music Department of Universiti Putra Malaysia.

  • Helen Rupp

    Music BA student

    One of the reasons I came at Middlesex University was because I wanted to collaborate with other people. Having a module where you can collaborate with theatre and dance students has been really important for me, and being around the other music courses has led to loads of collaborations. I don’t think I’d have done that if I went anywhere else, because here it’s all in one building. This year I got an amazing singer from the pop course to do a rock solo in the middle of my opera!

    There are topics that have come up that I wouldn’t have looked at before, that have really captured my attention. I got a placement with the English Touring Opera, before even thinking about writing opera or studying it, and now I might go into opera after I graduate. Before university I was just writing short piano pieces, and I would never have dreamed of writing something that could be called a string quartet or an opera. Now I’ve got two string quartets and an opera, and I’m writing a viola concerto for another student.

  • Oliver Pugh

    Music BA student

    A highlight of my time at Middlesex has to be performing as a soloist with the London Firebird Orchestra in the university’s Spring Concert. Being given the opportunity to work with a professional ensemble while still at university is something that many do not get the chance to do, and so for Middlesex to offer this really made a positive impact on my time here.

Other courses

Music Business and Arts Management BA Honours

Start: October 2020, EU/International induction: September 2020

Duration: 3 years full-time, 4 to 6 years part-time

Code: W3N2

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