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An interdisciplinary examination of radical works drawn from Western art music and contemporary rock traditions.

When music becomes famous it is usually because it embodies something expressive or technical that captures the zeitgeist of the times. This paper explores works of music from the Western art music and popular music repertoire and explores their significance from a wide range of perspectives. There will be modules on song; on technology and the concept album; on the ways in which rap and reggae have enabled NZ Polynesians to shape their relationships with particular peoples and places; on Radiohead, one of the most influential and iconic bands of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Students at 300-level who have completed MUSI 201 can take this paper.

Paper title Radical Works
Paper code MUSI407
Subject Music
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,409.28
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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MUSI 201 or MUSI 301
Limited to
BA(Hons), MusB(Hons), PGDipArts, PGDipMus

400-level papers are normally available to students enrolled in a MusB(Hons), BA(Hons), PGDip(Mus) and PGDip(Arts) only. If in doubt as to your eligibility to take a 400-level paper, see Associate Professor Peter Adams ( Not all 400-level papers will necessarily be offered in every year. Usually three 20-point, 400-level papers only will be offered. Students interested in an internship project may be eligible to take HUMS 401 Internship Practicum as a 20-point paper.


Teaching staff

Paper Co-ordinator: Dr Jennifer Cattermole
Teaching Staff: Dr Jennifer Cattermole
Professor Peter Adams
Dr Michael Holland
Dr Maddy Parkins-Craig

Paper Structure
This paper covers six seminal works. Note: All 400-level work is moderated by an examiner external to the University.
Teaching Arrangements

Two lectures per week for a full year.
Internet-based learning, web-supported.


Please contact the School of Performing Arts office ( for a copy of the most recent paper profile.

Course outline

Please contact the School of Performing Arts for a copy of the most recent paper profile.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will:

  • Acquire an in-depth knowledge of seminal works drawn from the Western art music and rock traditions via the study of selected works and selected commentaries on those works
  • Gain advanced and wide-ranging analytical skills within different modules, assessing a work's significance from a variety of perspectives, including historical, stylistic and cultural and technological advancement
  • Extend their skills in harmonic/tonal, motivic and hermeneutic analysis, for which the prerequisite papers provide a foundation

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Thursday 11:00-12:50 13, 18, 22
B1 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 11:00-12:50 31, 36, 40