Short Courses

Our short courses give you the opportunity to explore a particular musical topic over 6 weeks. They are introductory courses, so you don’t need to have any prior experience of higher education study. The courses are offered three times a year and are supported by a study advisor.

Dolly Parton: music, identity and culture

You’ll explore the relationship between music, identity, and culture through the work of country musician and songwriter Dolly Parton. You’ll learn about Parton’s appeal to different audiences, her paradoxical artistic persona and the connections between her music and music by other artists. The course situates Parton’s music in relation to country music, examining the genre’s associations with place, race and gender. You'll be introduced to the key concepts and terminology relevant to studying music. The course will help you to develop your analytical listening skills by engaging with a range of music examples.

Computer audio: sound and music in the digital world

During this six-week course, you’ll explore the history of computer audio and computer music, from the very earliest examples of computers making sound, through to the sophisticated devices that you may be familiar with today. Pioneering computer audio work conducted in the 1950s influenced subsequent developments in computer audio and computer music. The hardware and software that emerged from these early experiments underpins the audio capabilities found in modern digital technologies, such as smartphones and musical instruments. This has changed how sound and music is made, distributed and consumed and who can make, distribute and listen to it.

Sound systems in society from Jamaican dub to stadium rock

During this six-week course, you’ll explore the history of amplified sound from the earliest acoustic techniques such as the megaphone, through to amplifiers and loudspeakers. You’ll learn how sound systems drove Jamaican popular music culture in the 1960s and 1970s, and consider their influence on DJing, hip-hop and electronic dance music (EDM). The evolution of sound systems in rock is traced through early PA systems for vocals, through to festival and stadium sound. Relationships between loudness, musical styles and social groupings provide useful context for exploring the more political aspects of amplified sound, including identity, community and the environment.