• Offered by School of Music
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Music
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

Music rarely occurs in a political vacuum. Throughout history, music and music-making have been engaged with the political whether through their use in propaganda or political protest, or as instruments of national or factional identities. The power of music as a political force has been known since Plato, while the politics of music, ethnicity and gender play out in the media every day, and influence the ways that societies’ policies are shaped. This course explores the relationship between music and politics from Plato to the present.  A case study will be presented each week to illustrate the overarching themes of this course.

The course culminates with students working in groups preparing an application for funding for an music project, as though it were to be presented to a Federal or Territory arts or education minister, in which the students have to advocate for the importance of music and the arts in the contemporary policy landscape.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. describe the interrelationships between music and politics from several theoretical perspectives
  2. apply these theoretical perspectives to a number of specific musical cases
  3. Advocate for the value of music and the arts in a formal policy setting;
  4. demonstrate research, analysis, discussion and writing skills about music and politics

Indicative Assessment

    • One essay of 3000 words or equivalent (50%), [Learning Outcomes 1,2,4];
    • One group research project in which, for example, an application for support for a music project is prepared for a Federal or Territory arts or education minister (50%) [learning outcomes 1-4]

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      A mixture of lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops equivalent to three hours per week, plus seven hours of independent study per week.

      Prescribed Texts

      Jacques Atali Noise: the political economy of music (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1977)

      Peddie, Ian (ed.) Human Rights and Popular Music, 2 vols (Surrey, Ashgate, 2011).




      Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

      If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

      Student Contribution Band:
      Unit value:
      6 units

      If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

      Units EFTSL
      6.00 0.12500
      Domestic fee paying students
      Year Fee Description
      1994-2003 $1542
      2014 $2478
      2013 $2472
      2012 $2472
      2011 $2424
      2010 $2358
      2009 $2286
      2008 $2286
      2007 $2286
      2006 $2286
      2005 $2286
      2004 $1926
      International fee paying students
      Year Fee
      1994-2003 $3618
      2014 $3762
      2013 $3756
      2012 $3756
      2011 $3756
      2010 $3750
      2009 $3618
      2008 $3618
      2007 $3618
      2006 $3618
      2005 $3618
      2004 $3618
      Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

      Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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