Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

Listening for form in popular music
Listening for form in popular music

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.


This free course was written by Adam White and Byron Dueck.

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence.

The material acknowledged below is Proprietary and used under licence (not subject to Creative Commons Licence). Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this free course:


Course image: © recep-bg/istock

Figure 1: © The Open University

Figure 2: © The Open University

Figure 3: The Ronettes performing at the London Palladium, 1964. Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy.

Figure 4: The Imperial State Prison Farm, Sugar Land, c.1908. Photo: Taken from Wikimedia, Texas Prison Museum/Public Domain.

Figure 5: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee performing at Lincoln Folk Festival, 1971. Photo: Estate Of Keith Morris/Redferns/Getty Images.

Figure 6: Walter Crane, ‘Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes’, colour lithograph, song illustration from Pan-Pipes, A Book of Old Songs, Newly Arranged and with Accompaniments by Theo. Marzials, London, George Routledge & Sons, 1884. Photo: Prismatic Pictures/Bridgeman Images.

Figure 7: Fine Young Cannibals in performance, 1987. Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy.

Figure 8: © The Open University

Figure 9: © The Open University

Figure 10: Robyn performing at Carling Academy, Bristol, 2008. Photo: Lebrecht Music and Arts/Alamy.

Figure 11: The Nat King Cole Trio. Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy.

Figure 12: Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh in performance, 1998. Photo: Al Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images.

Figure 13: © The Open University

Figure 14: © The Open University


‘Be My Baby’: Words and Music by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. Copyright © 1963 (Renewed 1991) TRIO MUSIC COMPANY, UNIVERSAL – SONGS OF POLYGRAM INTERNATIONAL, INC. and MOTHER BERTHA MUSIC, INC.

‘Midnight Special’: Traditional Folk Song.

‘Suspicious Minds’: Lyrics by Mark James/Francis Zambon. Copyright © 1968 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC. Copyright Renewed.

‘Hang With Me’: Words and Music by Klas Åhlund. Copyright © 2002 Madhouse Music AB, Sweden. Universal Music Publishing Group.

‘It’s Only A Paper Moon’: Lyrics by Billy Rose and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg. Music by Harold Arlen. Copyright © 1933 (Renewed) Chappell & Co., Inc., GLOCCA MORRA MUSIC and S.A. MUSIC CO.

Every effort has been made to contact copyright owners. If any have been inadvertently overlooked, the publishers will be pleased to make the necessary arrangements at the first opportunity.

Don't miss out

If reading this text has inspired you to learn more, you may be interested in joining the millions of people who discover our free learning resources and qualifications by visiting The Open University – openlearn/ free-courses.