Russian Music: Concert Hall to Dance Club

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This course introduces students to a wide array of Russian musics - ranging from 19th century concert repertoire, to traditional practices, to mass-mediated popular forms - in each case relating specific pieces, genres and/or styles to important historical, political, and cultural contexts.

The approximate division of the course, regarding subject area, will be as follows:

  • art music, 25%
  • traditional music 25%
  • popular music (broadly defined) 50%

The course should be of interest to students from a wide range of humanities and social scientific disciplines, including music, Russian language and culture, media studies, and gender studies.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes:


The student..

  • has broad knowledge of representative styles and genres of Russian music from approximately the mid-19th century to the present day.


The student..

  • has the skill to independently work with source material and analyze works of Russian music within specific historical and sociocultural contexts.

General competences

The student..

  • has competence to contextualize broad stylistic and generic areas, as well as individual pieces, within a historical-cultural framework.

ECTS Credits

15 stp

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Minimum of 60 credits undergraduate coursework in the humanities or social sciences.
Access to the Course
The course is open for all students at the University of Bergen.
Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

One semester of lectures including audiovisual examples.

  • Participation in discussion seminar on students' term papers.


  • In advance of each lecture, it is expected that the students read and prepare to discuss the required pensum readings assigned for that meeting.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
  • Attendance at lectures and seminars.
  • All instruction is obligatory; absence of more than 20% leads to loss of right to take the exam.

All mandatory instruction and compulsory requirements must be completed and approved before the exam.

Approved obligatory activities are valid for 2 semesters after they are completed.

Forms of Assessment

Term paper of ca. 4500-5000 words. This paper will focus on a specific work or corpus of works, and must exhibit that the student has been able to:

a) formulate a valid research question

b) find appropriate academic literature to support her/his thesis

c) correctly and convincingly contextualize her/his analysis with respect to historical (including political) and/or sociocultural variables

The lectures and the assignments will be given in English. The students are encouraged to write the papers in English, but can choose to write in Norwegian, if preferred.

Grading Scale
Letter grade from A to F.
Reading List

Approx. 800 pages as well as audiovisual examples.

The literature list will be available by 01.07. for the Autumn semester and 01.12. for the Spring semester.

Course Evaluation
The course will be evaluated in accordance with the quality assurance system of the University of Bergen.
Programme Committee
The Program Board is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study program, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.
Course Administrator
The Grieg Academy - Department of Music at the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study program