MUS 149G From Rock to Reggae: Tracking Popular Music in New Zealand

MUS 149G | ARTS, BE, EDSW, EMHSS, LC* | Summer School, Semester One, Semester Two 2024 | City Campus | 15 points

*Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music conjoint students cannot take this General Education course.


An introduction to New Zealand’s home-grown popular music, from the 1950s to the present day. A broad range of musical styles will be considered and situated within various social contexts. The issue of cultural identity in music – at national and local levels – will also be explored.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge through assessed tasks of the different genres that emerged in the period c.1950–2021, and to understand the relevant socio-cultural contexts as studied in lectures. 
  2. Describe different musical conventions, meanings, and performance contexts, and their importance to the development of popular music in New Zealand. 
  3. Present informed critical viewpoints and interpretations of the music studied through research oriented tasks. 
  4. Conduct research tasks, finding and utilising relevant resources and source material. 
  5. Take responsibility for personal and professional development and independent study, and demonstrate integrity in work presented. 

Student Feedback

'The lecturer was very engaging and his passion really helped me to be engaged with the content.'

'Great choice of music!'

'I enjoyed learning about the general history of NZ music. Now when I turn on the radio, I understand the socio–political context – what/who people are talking about when the general banter is going on. A truly great course 10/10 would recommend.'

'It was really interesting to go back in time to discover how music came to have different genres. Learning about the music industry and how artists became known for their music. But most importantly seeing the lecturer enjoying himself while teaching us. I enjoyed this class and the mood the songs always brought into action.'

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