MUS2500 – Current musicological research: Music and Copyright

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course is a specialization in musicology where the thematic content is linked to current musicological research. The content will vary from semester to semester and will provide an opportunity for in-depth study within ongoing research within the department.

In the autumn semester 2020, the course will be taught in English, and the topic will be:

Music and Copyright

This is a course for all students who wish to deepen their understanding of the relationship between music and copyright and improve their analytical skills in this area. Topics include the role of copyright in the creation and circulation of music, how copyright is exercised, and how it affects develpments in musical genres. The course will offer the students a combination of scholarly approaches that draw from the traditions of musicology, law and media studies. It will balance a theoretical and historically informed understanding of the relationship between music and copyright with analytical approaches to contemporary challenges and ongoing debates. The course is based on the research of the ongoing projects MUSEC and MASHED.

Learning outcome

Students will gain

  • specialization in current topics within the field of music and copyright
  • insight into how research into music and copyright produces new knowledge
  • understanding of key elements of copyright law, including notions of ownership and authorship
  • knowledge of the role of copyright for the music industry, and the negotiations and economic exchanges between its different parties
  • ability to analyse the role of copyright for developments in music, including sample-based music and mashups
  • understanding of the role of copyright for the development of online platforms of music distribution, such as Spotify and YouTube


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Teaching will consist of a total of 12 sessions, of which 8 are lectures and 4 are seminars. The final seminar will have a conference form, comprising paper presentations of the students. To qualify for the final exam, each student must present their paper to the satisfaction of the course instructor. Each student will be offered 1 hour of supervision for their final term paper. 



Term paper (10 pages, each containing approx. 2.300 characters, spaces not included) with title and topic to be approved by the course tutor.

The assessment criteria for MUS2500 can be found here.

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.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

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

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2020

Autumn 2019

Spring 2018

The course is offered as needed in the autumn or spring semesters.


Autumn 2020

Autumn 2019

Spring 2018

The exam will be offered in the same semester as the course is taught.

Teaching language