MUS2007 – Gender and Music

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

How does gender affect the way we relate to music?

A wide range of musical genres, intellectual traditions and research methods will be explored to address this question in the course.

We will look at the different ways that binary (male-female) ideas of gender are expressed and reinforced in musical communities.

We will also juxtapose traditional ideas of conceiving and staging gender identities with instances where music participants have rebelled against, or at least challenged such norms and practices.

The course will introduce students to the exciting range of actors that they can critically engage with: from unknown Baroque composers and their instruments, to transgender DJs and their music hardware; from students in the school music classroom, to female-only music festivals and the marketing of sexuality in pop music.

Students will learn about an equally large range of conceptual frames for studying gender and music, including, for example, the musical canon and feminist historiography and analysis, queer and postcolonial theories.

In engaging with this rich, complex, and generative field of sources and ideas, this course aims to equip students with a broad conceptual and methodological vocabulary to make sense of the multiple issues at stake in music and gender, and to articulate these effectively.

Learning outcome

On passing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse relationships between gender and music in practice, drawing upon:
  • A range of musical genres and practices.
  • Examples from academic literature, primary sources, and students’ own experiences.

2. Describe and evaluate the broad history and development of gender in music practice and theory, including:

  • How these histories manifest in past and present musical practices.
  • The challenges to, and subversion of gender norms by past and current music participants.

3. Outline and participate in current debates, explain different theoretical and academic positions, concepts, and methodologies relevant to music and gender research, in forms such as:

  • A newspaper opinion piece
  • An academic essay
  • An oral presentation and discussion.


  • 8 double lectures.
  • 12 hours of seminars, which will include readings from the curriculum, workshopping research and writing techniques.
  • 1 qualification assessment consisting of 1 short op-ed piece (for e.g. a newspaper, blog).


1) Oral Examination (in English): 40% Weighting of total assessment.

2) Term paper (in English): 6 pages, 60% Weighting of total assessment

Both 1) and 2) must be passed in the same semester in order to pass the exam as a whole.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

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Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






This course is normally offered in the spring semester, but will unfortunately not be offered in the spring semester 2021.


Normally every spring. No exam will be offered in the spring semester 2021.

Teaching language