Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code MUSI526
Coordinator Mr M Flynn
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 30


To help students establish a contextual and conceptual overview of the music economy.

To introduce students to the concept of cultural industries as a distinct analytical approach to the business organisation of symbolic creativity.

To assist students in the identification of why music, as a symbolic system, might have economic value.

To help students explain and analyse the ‘value chain’ in music with particular regard to record company operations and to trace its disaggregation in the digitally-impacted music economy.

To encourage and equip students to explore contrasting (and complementary) theoretical traditions which attempt to account for the social, economic and cultural practice of symbolic creativity - notably political economy, cultural economics and cultural studies.

To encourage and empower students to consider the relationship between the structure and organisation of the industry and the sty le, content and form of its musical products – the social relations of the cultural production of texts

To facilitate in students an appreciation of how changes in the formation and expression of demand also impact how industry (as a production process for the generation of music-symbolic goods) is organised and practiced.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be aware of the increasing economic and social importance of the cultural industries as an industrial sector.

(LO2) Students will be aware of the inter-relatedness of cultural policy,systems of regulation, technology, and capital investment in the creation,reproduction and circulation of popular music texts.

(LO3) Students will conversant with the idiosyncrasies of cultural production.

(LO4) Students will be conversant with the major debates surrounding the current watershed in the conduct of the recording industry - globalisation, the impacts associated with the digital economy, the fragmentation and diversification of and in music markets, the challenges to intellectual property represented by the foregoing, the nature of organisational change in the wake of these developments.

(LO5) In concert with the module 'Music and the Legal System' students will appreciate the role of contract law in facilitating the music commodification process.

(LO6) Students will be encouraged to consider the tensions inherent in creating cultural policies for geographical regions as an attempt to articulate a 'genius of place' as an economic driver.

(S1) Business and customer awareness basic understanding of the key drivers for business success – including the importance of innovation and taking calculated risks – and the need to provide customer satisfaction and build customer loyalty

(S2) Career and identity management online managing digital reputation and online identity

(S3) Communication, listening and questioning respecting others, contributing to discussions, communicating in a foreign language, influencing, presentations

(S4) Global perspectives demonstrate international perspectives as professionals/citizens; locate, discuss, analyse, evaluate information from international sources; consider issues from a variety of cultural perspectives, consider ethical and social responsibility issues in international settings; value diversity of language and culture

(S5) Information literacy online, finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information

(S6) Information technology (application of) adopting, adapting and using digital devices, applications and services

(S7) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

(S8) Media literacy online critically reading and creatively producing academic and professional communications in a range of media

(S9) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

(S10) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics



Specifying the music economy and its core constituents - musicians, music companies, music users, music and markets in which music goods are offered and music purchases are made.

Exploring each constituency for its distinctive perspectives, imperatives and practices.

Identifying and examining the relations between the different constituencies and their defining practices.

Locating the theorization of music industry in the wider theorization of cultural-industrial production.

Identifying how changes in digital communication impact music industry.

Identifying how changes in demand for music goods can also be traced to changes in the composition of demand (notably changes in the idea of 'mass markets', 'mass occupations' and 'mass media'.

This module forms the cornerstone of the programme 'MA in Music Industry Studies'. Students will be encouraged to become familiar both with sources of news, information and an alysis of contemporary and historical developments in music industry and with critical reflection on such developments. They will also be encouraged to research into music industry. The module is complemented by Music Contracts (MUSI 516) which examines the centrality of legally-binding agreements to music industry. Critical reflection will be developed in MUSI 510 'Studying Music Industry'. Key themes will be developed in greater detail in second semester modules.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: The lecture will presented through a mix of modalities that vary week-on-week: orthodox lectures; guest speakers; screenings; discussions.
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Unscheduled Directed Student Hours (time spent away from the timetabled sessions but directed by the teaching staff): Music industry is defined as the practice of producing music outcomes in joint working alliances between musicians and music companies. Students will be expected to explore such joint working through an identification of case studies they select.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 36

Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 264


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 2 - an essay question chosen from a list. There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When)   5,000 words    60       
Assessment 1 - a portfolio created by the student on a contemporary debate. There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Asse  3,000 words    40       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.