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Centred on Western art music (1500s–1800s), this module explores music and musicians in society, contextualizing the relationship between music, culture and commerce. Encompassing a range of cultural milieux it employs a variety of methodologies designed to open up understandings of the function and status of music, musicians and the music business. Through a series of case studies it explores the agency and influence of creators, recreators, institutions, critics and audiences. The module opens up awareness of European musical centres, genres, institutional structures, musical roles and music industry activities. The progress of works—from commission, to creation, to performance, and dissemination—is grounded in contexts of reception and commercial opportunity. Performance traditions (public and private; sacred and secular; professional and amateur) are discussed. The case studies are chosen to deepen knowledge of the changing roles, practices and reception of music and musicians across this time period and will vary according to staff expertise and current developments in research.