CCHU9049 Arts and Humanities
Reinventing Classical Music

This course is under the thematic cluster(s) of:

  • Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth (SCCE)
  • Creative Arts (CA)

Course Description

This course explores cross-cultural classical music and the ways in which it has been reinvented over time. Students will learn how different generations have deliberately or unconsciously chosen what to cherish or reject from the past. Whether it be composers altering their musical language to adhere to the political climate of their time, performers reinterpreting the “great works,” or the music industry repackaging ancient melodies for use in contemporary media, classical music figures in a vast social and cultural landscape that is in a constant state of change. This course examines the history and culture of classical music from the early modern era to the present, focusing on the themes of innovation and tradition, in order to understand the social and cultural processes through which Western art music is made anew again.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

    1. Show how classical music is a product of human experience and in essence is not that different to popular music produced by today’s generation.
    2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the historical roots of the music discussed and apply a more critical perspective to music in general.
    3. Apply theories of tradition to the renewal of classical music.
    4. Critically analyze and interpret events within the cultural context of time and place.
    5. Demonstrate an ability to source materials and evaluate the evidence in an informed manner.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

Second semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 12
Reading / Self-study 45
Fieldwork / Visits 4
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 45
Total: 130

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Project 25
Journal writing 50
Participation in tutorial discussions 25

Required Reading

Students will be assigned weekly readings. See the Recommended Reading list for examples of the kinds of material that will be assigned. No more than one article or book chapter per week.


Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr J.V. Neglia
School of Humanities (Music), Faculty of Arts
Tel: 3917 2892
Email: jvneglia@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr J.V. Neglia
School of Humanities (Music), Faculty of Arts
Tel: 3917 2892
Email: jvneglia@hku.hk
Dr D.J. Waugh
School of Humanities (Music), Faculty of Arts
Tel: 3917 8217
Email: debwaugh@hku.hk