Core Curriculum Cluster Courses



CLA9023 Creativity in Western Classical Music
This course examines how creativity has shaped the Western classical music tradition and how, in turn, classical music expresses and employs creativity. Students acquire new tools to appreciate classical music through the lens of creativity. The course also demonstrates how music can stimulate creativity in areas beyond music, enabling students to discover how music can tap their own creativity.


CLA9024 Creative Expression with Music
This course provides an opportunity for students of all backgrounds and skill levels to learn to make music in a creative manner. Whether students have had no music training or extensive musical experience, whether they prefer popular or classical styles, whether they enjoy music from Western or Chinese or other cultures – all students will learn how creative music-making works, why it is unique, and what can be gained from engaging in it. Students will not only develop a greater appreciation for music generally, but also learn how music creativity can lead to other expressions of creativity.


CLA9029 Creative Movement and Dance (former course code: CLA9099a)
This course introduces body movement as a means for creativity and expression. It assumes no previous experience of dance. Contemporary dance techniques will be introduced to expand the bodily potential. Different choreographic skills will also be introduced to expand creativity utilizing the bodily expression. Creativity by different dance artists will be studied to further the knowledge on how creativity is exercised in the contemporary dance world.


CLA9030 The World of Cultural Dances in Hong Kong
Through learning and experiencing cultural dances, this course widens students’ horizon in world cultures. Students will be brought into contact with a variety of dances which are originated from regions and traditions around the world, with some brought by travellers and immigrants to Hong Kong. Examples include a range of cultures in the selected areas of Europe, South America, Africa, India, East Asia and Southeast Asia. Assuming no previous training in dance, the course allows student to explore the origin of those dance styles, intertwined with other art forms including music, costumes and rituals, and how their stylistic evolutions have taken place through time and the changes in cultural environment. Through that, the course helps students build artistic literacy and appreciation towards sophistication within any single dance style. The course will emphasize on experiential learning of these cultural dances through expression using our bodies, connecting creativity and expression focusing on bodily means.


CLA9032    Harmonising Data: GenAI Music Creation for Public Engagement

This course delves into the innovative intersection of Generative AI, data interpretation, and musical creation, focusing on raising public awareness of critical issues such as environmental sustainability, inclusivity and well-being.  

We set out to demystify the complexities of data analysis by leveraging the latest advancements in Generative AI to transform intricate datasets into captivating musical compositions. The course uniquely bridges the gap between technical data understanding and creative expression, making the process accessible and engaging for a broad audience.

Students will learn to use Generative AI tools to craft and manipulate sound, creating songs that reflect critical societal issues and resonate with a wide public. This course represents an exciting foray into a new era of data-driven art and advocacy, where complex data inspires meaningful and impactful musical narratives. 


CLB9022 Music and World Cultures
This course introduces students to the diversity and range of musical expression. Assuming no previous musical training, it will explore how the musics and musical instruments of different world cultures share common fundamental characteristics. At the same time, it will demonstrate the uniqueness of the music produced by any given culture. In examining both the commonalities and differences across different world musics, the course will also show how cultures apply music to an array of art forms (e.g. dance, theatre) and social contexts (e.g. religion, political revolution). It will analyze the role of music in these combined art forms and enriched creative expressions. Students will listen to and watch a range of musical recordings and performances, and critically evaluate these through discussion and writing and the reading of relevant scholarship.


CLB9033 Introduction to Musics of the World and Sustainability
“Sustainability” is often understood as management of finite resources for both present and future use, most commonly with regards to natural resources and often with an eye on possible economic benefits. The study of music and sustainability, however, allows students to re-examine the latter term’s in a deeper level: from the preservation and revitalisation of specific types of endangered music, to community-building and sustenance through music, and finally to the use of music in promoting the protection of the nature. Through studying the experiences of traditional musics around the world, students will engage critically in a range of topics where music and various notions of sustainability meets, such as cultural policy, cultural heritage management, community-building, tourism and economy, activism, conflict and peace-building, well-being, and environmentally-sustainable practices. Students will learn about practical application of these understanding in a final project related to music and sustainability in Hong Kong.


CLB9099b Musical Sustainability on the Silk Road (not offered from 2022-23)
This course introduces students to notions about musical sustainability, and how they are realized in the musical heritage of the ancient Silk Road. Students will learn about the cultures of different nations that inhabit regions such as Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East, and how their traditional musics has been sustained through experiences such as modernization, colonization, globalization, commercialization, conflicts and migration. Students will critically evaluate the sustainability of different music genres through listening and watching recordings of performances and learning about the social and cultural structures that made such performances possible.


CLB9034 Music Across the Generations: Western Popular Music in the Post-World War II Period (former course code: CLB9099c)
This course will investigate the intersection of music and social evolution in the post-World War II period, between approximately 1945 and 1980. Under the overarching umbrella of “The Development of a Youth Culture and Inter-Generational Dialogue”, it will be organized around three primary topics, focusing on core aspects of those processes: 1) Race and the Civil Rights struggle; 2) the Peace Movement (in particular, resistance to nuclear weapons and to the Vietnam war); 3) the Sexual Revolution and gender issues. For all of these topics, attention will be paid to both social/political developments and relevant musical expressions relating to them, in a variety of music genres but primarily rock ‘n’ roll. No prior musical knowledge or experience is expected.


CLD9016 Music and the Science of Sound
This course will examine the make-up of music from the perspective of sound production. It will address such questions as: How is sound created? How do our ears hear? How do musical instruments produce sound? Can all sound be music? How is music based on math and physics? How can we manipulate sounds and sound technologies to make new musics? How can changing the mechanics of music affect our emotional reaction to it? In exploring these questions, students will create and test new musics and music technologies, and investigate the properties of sound and music from a scientific perspective.