MUS4311 – Music and Cultural Studies

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course provides an introduction to the intellectual history and key concepts in the analysis of relationships between music and culture, including also a focus also on the Nordic region. The point of departure is not the study of any particular genre, but on music as a cultural and social phenomenon, based on approaches developed in cultural studies, music sociology, popular music studies, sound studies, music anthropology, and ethnomusicology. Special attention is given to the significance of music in society, and in relation to central concepts such as identity, historiography, globalization, nationalism, multiculturalism, ethnicity, social structures, institutions, cultural policy, and cultural fields (theories of relevance to popular music, jazz, world music, as well as to the classical music field). The course also gives an introduction to relations between music and society in the Nordic region, with a particular focus on Scandinavian culture and history.

As part of the course, a separate seminar focusing on music and culture in the Nordic countries is offered to students taking the master degree in Nordic music.


Learning outcome

  • Basic skills in relation to music and cultural analysis
  • Understand central concepts applied in cultural studies, music sociology, popular music studies, and music anthropology
  • Knowledge of cultural theory and its relation to understanding the significance of music in different cultures, including the Nordic region
  • Ability to apply cultural theory as a foundation for the student’s own masters thesis and essay writing, and for studying music in cultural settings
  • Ability to reflect independently and critically, and to understand recent theoretical developments in music and culture analysis


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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Opptak til masterprogrammet i musikkvitenskap.


The course consists of 16 hours of lectures and 8 hours of seminars, including a compulsory presentation during the seminar hours. Separate seminar tuition is offered to students taking the master degree in Nordic music. Teaching language is English.

A student with three or more absences will not be allowed to sit the exam unless additional assignments are submitted, subject to individual agreement with the teacher.


Term paper (10 pages, each containing approx. 2.300 characters, spaces not included). The topic will be set by the course tutor.

The assessment criteria for MUS4311 can be found here.

Submit assignments in Inspera

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

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

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

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Teaching language