Histoire de la musique
populaire anglophone

Project work

Plan du cours   • Programme du cours    • Version française

Choice of subject   • Aims  • Oral presentation   • Written presentation

Choice of topic

In consultation with the course tutor, each student chooses an individual project covering a topic relevant to the development of English-language popular music between 1980 and the present day.

The topic chosen should be well-defined and not too broad. You may choose to cover, for example, a particular genre, artist, scene, record label, instrument, medium, technology, aspect of the music business, etc.


The aim of this project is threefold:

  1. to inform fellow course participants of important developments in English-language popular music since 1980;
  2. to develop independent research skills;
  3. to develop oral and scribal presentation skills.

The results of your work will be presented both orally and in written form.

Top of document 1. Oral presentation

The oral presentation must be timed to last between nine (9) and ten (10) minutes.

Recorded examples should occupy no more than 40% of the time at your disposal and must be edited (e.g. abbreviated, using cuts or fades) and cued in advance.

There will be five (5) minutes of discussion after each presentation during which the speaker should note comments from course participants and from the teacher which may be useful when editing the final, written version of the project.

The ten-minute slot allocated to each student resembles real-life situations in radio production, where exact timing to the second is essential to the flow of broadcast material reaching the listener, as well as to advertisers paying for air time and to radio-station personnel. No-one will be permitted to exceed the ten-minute limit.

For timetabling of your ten-minute slot, see Plan du cours. You should ensure in advance of your presentation that the equipment you require is working properly.

Evaluation of the oral presentation will be based on the following criteria (random order of importance):

  • [1] clarity of presentation;
  • [2] correctness, quality and relevance of information and ideas;
  • [3] ability to keep to the allotted time.


Unmotivated failure to attend the session at which you are scheduled to deliver your oral presentation means failure on that part of the course evaluation unless medical reasons, substantiated by a doctor’s note, are given. In the event of other difficulties, please give me at least eight days notice to allow for the possibility of reorganising the presentation schedule.

Top of document 2. Written presentation

The written version of your project will probably occupy (including, where applicable, music examples or diagrams and illustrations) between ten (9) and fourteen (14) pages of US ‘Letter’ or A4 size paper (11- or 12-point font).

The word count of your actual text, including bibliography and list of recorded references, should be between 7,500 and 11,000.

For detailed information on norms of presenting serious written work about popular music, see Dissertation and Assignment Tips.

For submission deadline, see Plan du cours.

Evaluation of the written presentation will be based on the following criteria (random order of importance):

  • clarity of visual presentation (page layout, etc.);
  • linguistic correctness;
  • ability to follow norms set out in the Tuyaux (incl. observation of the word limit);
  • thoroughness and formal correctness of source references (see Tuyaux);
  • clarity in the order and presentation of facts and ideas;
  • relevance and usefulness of facts and ideas presented;
  • originality and independence of research.


Due to the late deadline set for the written presentation, no extensions will be given beyond that date (see Plan du cours: Deadlines).


Do not forget the excellent library of our Faculté de musique. Information addtionnelle...

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