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Unit 19:
Unit code: QCF Level 3: Credit value:

Music and Society
J/600/6993 BTEC National 10

Guided learning hours: 60
Aim and purpose
The unit will show learners how music relates to and interacts with society. It will enable learners to gain an insight into the two-way relationship that informs how we function as musicians and how we behave as consumers.

Unit introduction
Music is created by people seeking to communicate something to others and, as such, is an intensely social activity: it needs, at the very least, a music-creator (composer/songwriter), a music-maker (performer) and a music-user (audience). In some instances, the creator and performer may be the same person. How these elements interact with the society in which they exist is the focus of learning in this unit. Music fulfils many functions in society: it can accompany ritual (eg ceremonial); be a medium for secular and sacred expression; provide an environment for social interaction; and enable us to express and share our thoughts and feelings about things that matter to us. All of us have a stake in how music relates to society, but do we all want the same things from that relationship? How does the Government interpret our expectations and turn them into policies? How are these policies supported and implemented? What funding is available to music-makers? Does economic success give artists power to effect change? How have developments in technology changed the ways in which we engage with music? Does having a portable personalised soundtrack threaten the social and communal nature of music? At the heart of the unit lies the idea that music constantly interacts with society, rather than simply being a separate disconnected static art- form unrelated to its context. This unit allow learners to enjoy and in depth study of the factors influencing this relationship and show how all people working with music, including professional musicians, artists, producers and engineers, amateur music-makers and audiences, access and utilise the ability of music to enrich the contemporary society in which they live.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this unit a learner should:

1 2 3 4

Know the functions of music in society Know how technology affects music making and consumption in society Know how politics affects music-makers and users Know how business and industry affect music-makers and users.

Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Nationals specification in Music and Music Technology – Issue 1 – January 2010 © Edexcel Limited 2009

1

Unit content
1 Know the functions of music in society
Functions: entertainment; communication; religious; social and political commentary; dance music; use as soundtracks to moving image or ceremonial events; performance art; identity and expression in youth culture; cult of celebrity (eg ‘X Factor’); artistic expression in avant-garde movements such as Modernism

2 Know how technology affects music making and consumption in society Development of technology: recording eg cylinder, vinyl, tape, multi-track, analogue, digital, home computer; instruments eg electric guitars, PA and amps, microphones, Hammond organ, synthesizer, samplers; format eg cassette, CD, non-physical/virtual formats, internet, changing hardware (mobile phones, MP3 players) Effects of new technology: vast expansion in music creativity, sampling and remix; do-it-yourself recording; easy-to-use music software; impact on recording and broadcasting organizations; impact on live music and musicians, affordability; downloading

3 Know how politics affects music-makers and users
Government: government aims; initiatives eg Music Manifesto, Youth Music; policy (Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Arts Council, Department for Children, Schools and Families, local music services); funding sources (national, regional and local); music-related legislation eg copyright Historical: class system; patronage; social and political events

4 Know how...
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