PERF 1016 Popular Music Histories

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102547

Coordinator John Encarnacao Opens in new window

Description Students will explore some of the most significant trajectories of popular music of the last 100 years. Each week will look a different facet of popular music history, stretching from the stars of the early years of the recorded music industry to the development of electronic dance music. The subject will touch upon folk, jazz, blues, rock, soul, funk, pop, disco, metal, punk, and hip hop to offer a necessarily incomplete tapestry of music scenes, chains of influence, and theories on the points of origin of styles and genres. Concepts that will be investigated include the relationship of recording and dissemination technologies with popular music creation; the notion of a "mainstream" and its margins; and the idea of a grand narrative of popular music history, including the problems of canonicity.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Music

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Equivalent Subjects CART 1006 - Music History 2 PERF 1022 - Western Art Music 2

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Name significant artists, works and genres associated with popular music of the period 1925-the present
  2. Aurally recognise popular music artists, works and genres of the period 1925-the present
  3. Associate significant artists, works and genres associated with popular music of the period 1925-the present with specific time periods
  4. Explain elements of the lineage of popular music history with respect to developments in technology
  5. Participate in debates regarding the relationship to a succession of formats of analogue and digital distribution with the production and reception of popular music works
  6. Define canon and notions of a �gmainstream�h and their influence on common perceptions of popular music history
  7. Those attending Art of Sound will be able to: Participate m

Subject Content

Major musical genres of the last 100 years of popular music. How do we identify these with respect to musical elements and their historical context?
The development of music performance technology and its influence on popular music history
The development of music dissemination technology and its influence on popular music history
The synchronicity of developments in parallel fields of popular music (e.g. punk and hip hop in the 1970s)
The idea of canon and canonicity
The relationship between recording and performance


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Presentation 10 minutes 20 N Group
Essay 1,500 words 30 N Individual
Quiz 2 x 30 minutes (20% each) 50 N Individual
Participation Minimum 2 hrs per fortnight S/U Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Stanley, Bob (2013) Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop. London: Faber and Faber.

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact John Encarnacao Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window