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This module is grounded in the humanistic study of music, where music history is interpreted in the broadest sense: including Western art music and hidden music histories. This course is especially suited to those interested in seeing music within a broad cultural context, embracing the literary, the social, the historical and the political. This course introduces students to critical and sustained engagement with multifarious musical works, studied in relation to the historical and social conditions that shaped their genesis and to the meanings ascribed to them by diverse audiences at the time of their creation and since then. Through the study of selected representative musical works from various cultures, this module explores the historical conditions under which music was produced and the purposes it served for composers, performers, patrons and the public. While students are encouraged to become conversant with related fields such as gender studies, history, literature and cultural studies, the study of music, musicians, listeners, and the mechanisms that create and disseminate music remain at the centre of this module. We aim for a balance between the study of historical and social factors that shape music (and are shaped by it in turn) and an examination of musical texts.