About this minor
Do you want to explore both classic and cutting-edge research on the economy and sociology of popular music, while simultaneously gaining practical insights into the popular music ecosystem? This is the ideal minor for students interested in pursuing a career in the popular music sector and/or students interested to add more music to their bachelor program.
What makes a hit? This has puzzled musicians and researchers for decades. In this minor, students will gain cutting-edge knowledge on the economy and sociology of popular music, while simultaneously – in a unique cooperation with Codarts University of the Arts – put their theoretical knowledge to the test by co-creating and marketing a ‘hit’ song. Popular music plays a fundamental role in everyday life. It can act as a source of identification and rebellion, but also just to aid in selling a product. There is music for babies, for funerals, for going out, for elevators, for having sex to – and much, much more. In other words, popular music has become ubiquitous in our lives. In this minor, students explore both classic and cutting-edge research on the topic, while simultaneously gaining practical experience by taking part in the creation of their own ‘hit’ song.
The minor has a three-fold set-up:
In the first module (Popular Music: Industry and Society), students are introduced to the basics of the sociology and economy of popular music. We will study popular music’s role in societies from its beginnings in rag time and youth cultures to its contemporary position in 21st Century digital landscape, all the while keeping an eye on the developing business-side of the music industry – both at the level of musicians and global media companies. Overall, the goal of this module is to familiarize students with key insights from the economic and sociological study of popular music.
In the second module (Greatest Hits and Critics’ Picks), students will take a deep dive into research on popular music production, distribution, and reception. Each week, students will engage with a central theme, often guided by an invited speaker who has researched the topic. In interactive sessions, students will dissect the methodologies used to conduct this research and evaluate research insights. The overarching goal of this module is to prepare students to become popular music researchers themselves, either from an academic perspective or for practical professional purposes.
In the third module (The Shape of Popular Music to Come), students move their focus to the practical side of the popular music ecosystem. In a series of small-scale, interactive seminars, several invited sector professionals will share their knowledge and practical experience on identified key challenges for the future of the music ecosystem. By gaining a peek behind the curtain into the functioning of the popular music sector in the Netherlands and beyond, this module prepares students for a potential career in the popular music ecosystem.
- After following this minor, students have an in-depth understanding of the role that popular music plays in society.
- After following this minor, students are able to reproduce the key concepts in the sociology and economy of popular music and apply these in their own work and research.
- After following this minor, students have an in-depth understanding of the history and contemporary workings of the international popular music industries from a business, legal, organizational, technological and societal perspective.
- After following this minor, students can evaluate challenges in the popular music ecosystem and can creatively produce analyses and potential solutions to these challenges in their own work and research.
- After following this minor, students can evaluate and develop research methods to sociologically study the production, distribution, and reception of popular music.
- After following this minor, students are equipped to identify and research challenges in the popular music ecosystem, from an academic and a professional perspective, and share these insights in an accessible way.
Teaching method and examination
- Popular Music: Industry and Society (5 EC)
- Greatest Hits and Critics’ Picks (5EC)
- The Shape of Popular Music to Come (5 EC)
Module 1 – Popular Music: Industry and Society
Written exam (60%)
Individual paper (10%)
Group assignment (30%)
Module 2 – Popular Music: Greatest Hits and Critic’s Picks
Poster presentation (30%)
Individual paper (70%)
Module 3 – The Popular Music Hit Song Project
Session introduction (30%)
Individual paper (70%)
Good to know
- Affinity with popular music is essential to successfully follow this minor programme, but it is not necessary to possess musical knowledge or skills (e.g. playing an instrument).
- Attendance is mandatory for modules 2 and 3.
- CreditsECTS 15
- Selection minorYes