Subject name
ID (subject code)
Type of subject
Course types and lessons
Type of assessment
term mark
Number of credits
Subject Coordinator
Dr. Barna Róza Emília
associate professor
Contact details
Educational organisational unit for the subject
Department of Sociology and Communication
Subject website
Language of the subject
magyar - HU
Curricular role of the subject, recommended number of terms

Programme: Elective subjects

Subject Role: Elective

Recommended semester: 0

Direct prerequisites
Validity of the Subject Description
Approved by the Faculty Board of Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, Decree No: 580251/13/2023 registration number. Valid from: 29.03.2023.


The aim of the subject is to provide an introduction to the field of popular music studies, covering its most important topics and approaches with the help of literature and musical examples. It examines the connections between music and society, communities, identity, locality and globalization, as well as power; the relationship between music as an industry and changes in technology; and offers insight into the field of popular music analysis, which requires specific methodologies. It deals with approaches to the history of popular music, as well as the organization and social embeddedness of musical genres. To complete the course, no prior musical training or knowledge of music theory is required, only a basic interest in popular music and society.

Academic results

  1. Knows the most important elements of social science concepts related to the subfield, understands the connections that form the basis of the scholarly interpretation of society and social communication. Familiar with the connections between popular music and society, the relevant scientific contexts and main discourses.
  2. Recognises and understands the operating mechanisms of social phenomena and their subsystems investigated by popular music studies as a subfield of communication and media studies.
  3. Has confident methodological knowledge, understands and sees the possibilities and perspectives of methodological innovation.
  4. Recognises the most important factors of the social, structural, economic and political processes defining the subfield of popular music.
  1. She is able to navigate between the deeper connections of her field and concrete social, communication and media science problems raised by practice, as well as their possible solution methods.
  2. Able to effectively process new knowledge in his field. Confidently handles printed and digital literature sources, knows the media environment of the field.
  3. During her professional vocabulary, she confidently uses the vocabulary of the profession, the basic scientific concepts of the profession, and the elements of the special vocabulary set based on them.
  1. Open to the dynamic and value-based acceptance of social changes, and is receptive to the adaptation of viewpoints that fight against prejudices.
  2. Accepts that cultural phenomena are historically and socially determined and variable.
  3. Has a need to learn about cultures outside of Europe, and has an open and accepting attitude towards these cultures.
  4. Accepts and consistently undertakes the diversity of social science thinking, and authentically represents its conceptual foundations in his/her narrower and wider environment.
  5. Consciously represents the methods with which he/she works in his/her own profession and accepts the different methodological characteristics of other disciplines.
  6. He/she is open to all forms of professional innovation, receptive, but not unthinkingly accepting of theoretical, practical and methodological innovations.
  7. He/she is sensitive and open to the most serious social problems, and his/her approach is permeated by professional and human solidarity towards the downtrodden and the vulnerable.
  8. Committed to social equality, democratic values valid in all areas of life, the rule of law and the European community of values, and can express his/her opinion in the appropriate form.
  9. Open to critical self-evaluation, to various forms of professional further training, to self-development methods of the intellectual worldview and strives to develop him-/herself in these areas.
Independence and responsibility
  1. In his/her professional environment, he/she forms a historically and politically coherent individual position that helps his/her and his/her environment develop and become more aware.

Teaching methodology

Interactive lectures with presentation aids, written and oral communication, processing of specialized literature, assignments prepared independently and in group work: "mini-research" and popular music analysis.

Materials supporting learning

  • Adorno, Theodor W. 2005 [1941]. On Popular Music. In: Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin (eds.) On Record. Rock, Pop and the Written Word. London and New York: Routledge, 256-267.
  • Bayton, Mavis. 2005 [1988] How Women Become Musicians. In: Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin (eds.) On Record. Rock, Pop and the Written Word. London and New York: Routledge, 201-219.
  • Barthes, Roland. 2005 [1977]. The Grain of the Voice. In: Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin (eds.) On Record. Rock, Pop and the Written Word. London and New York: Routledge, 250-255.
  • Hebdige, Dick. 2005 [1979]. Style as Homology and Signifying Practice. In: Simon Frith and Andrew Go-odwin (eds.) On Record. Rock, Pop and the Written Word. London and New York: Routledge, 46-54.
  • Hennion, Antonie. 2005 [1983]. The Production of Success: The Antimusicology of the Pop Song. In: Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin (eds.) On Record. Rock, Pop and the Written Word. London and New York: Routledge, 154-171.
  • Negus, Keith. 1999. Music Genres and Corporate Cultures. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Stokes, Martin. 2004. Music and the Global Order. Annual Review of Anthropology 33: 47-72.
  • Théberge, Paul. 1997. Any Sound You Can Imagine: Making Music/Consuming Technology. Hanover & London: Wesleyan University Press. 

General Rules

The learning outcomes stated in point 2.2 are evaluated on the basis of two midterm written performance evaluations (test papers), homework and active participation in class (partial performance evaluation).

Performance assessment methods

Detailed description of performance evaluations during the working period: 1. Partial performance evaluation: Summary academic performance evaluation: a complex, written evaluation method of the subject and knowledge and ability-type competency elements in the form of a written paper. The part of the curriculum that forms the basis of the evaluation is determined by the course instructor. Papers can consist of theoretical questions to be explained, which are lexical knowledge; test questions based on the interpretation of individual concepts and the recognition of the connections between them; essay questions that examine the ability to synthesize; the available working time is 45 minutes. 2. Partial performance evaluation (homework): a complex evaluation method of the subject's knowledge, ability, attitude, independence and responsibility competence elements, which takes the form of homework prepared individually or in groups; the method of evaluating the content, requirements, and submission deadline of the homework is determined by the course instructor. 3. Partial performance evaluation (active participation): a simplified evaluation method of the subject's knowledge, ability, attitude, and independence and responsibility competence elements, which is expressed in preparation and active participation during class (e.g. when solving individual or group tasks in class); the uniform assessment principles are determined jointly by the subject supervisor and the course instructor.

Percentage of performance assessments, conducted during the study period, within the rating

  • 1st performance assessment: 35
  • 2nd performance assessment: 35
  • partial performance assessment – home work: 20
  • partial performance assessment – active participation: 10
  • total: 100

Percentage of exam elements within the rating

  • :

Issuing grades

Excellent 95-100
Very good 90–95
Good 80-89
Satisfactory 70-79
Pass 50-69
Fail < 50

Retake and late completion

Retake and make-up test options are defined by the valid regulations of the University’s Code on Education and Examination.

Coursework required for the completion of the subject

Nature of work Number of sessions per term
classes 28
preparation for midterm tests 32
total 60

Approval and validity of subject requirements

Topics covered during the term

Introduction: What is "popular"? What is "music"?; Musical and Social Structures; Popular Music and Identity; Popular Music and Technology; Popular Music Analyse; Genre; The Music Industries; Music subcultures and scenes; Global Popular Music; Historical Approaches to Popular Music; Music in Everyday Life; Popular Music and Power

Lecture topics
1. -

Additional lecturers

Name Position Contact details

Approval and validity of subject requirements