Music

About the major

The Music major in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has a distinguished record of music scholarship, composition and teaching, producing many of Australia’s leading music professionals. Its aim is to enrich Australia through a unique multi-cultural music education, broadly based in studies of society, culture and performance.

The curriculum for the BA in Music allows students to study Composition, Musicology, Popular Music, Music and Media, and Performance in ways that are broadly integrated with one another across the curriculum as well as within individual units of study. A wide range of units of study are offered which are designed for both intending professional musicians, students with broad interests in the study of music in culture, and students who will pursue other careers. This means that students can pursue projects in which their music practice can be integrated with the study of history or media or any other Arts Major. The BA in Music offers a variety of pathways to a vast array of rewarding careers such as composing, arranging, and performing music for theatre, concert, film, and media, writing about music as a journalist, commentator, critic, or media professional, or arts administration, including curating, marketing, festival and venue management.

Requirements for completion

A major in Music requires 48 credit points from the Music Units of Study table including:
(i) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective units from Analysis, History and Culture Studies units
(ii) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective units from Music Skills: Music Theory and Aural Skills units
(iii) 12 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level core unit: MUSC3699 Understanding Music: Modes of Hearing
(v) 18 credit points of 3000-level selective units
* 3000-level selective units must include one interdisciplinary unit and one project unit

A minor in Music requires 36 credit points from the Music Units of Study table including:
(i) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective unit from Analysis, History and Culture Studies units
(ii) 6 credit points of 1000-level selective unit from Music Skills: Music Theory and Aural Skills units
(iii) 12 credit points of 2000-level selective units
(iv) 12 credit points of 3000-level selective units

First year

You will gain and develop foundation skills in one or more pathway, including Music and Media, Contemporary Music, Music History and Musicology, and Performance and Composition.

You will be able to engage with your choice of a broad range of intra-disciplinary musical practices including the study of music history, analytical and interpretive writing and research, as well as writing and performing music. This will prepare you to focus your studies in your 2nd and 3rd years in the areas of your primary interests.

Second year

You will begin to take more specialised subjects, many of which have a strong orientation towards interdisciplinary learning and others which have a strong orientation towards practice-based learning.

You will use the skills and knowledge in music history, analysis, and research you have developed and apply these to more specific types of music and musical understanding.

You will expand the range of music you will study to include a wide range of musical traditions from around the world, including popular music, European classical music, avant garde music, jazz, and Latin American music.

You will increasingly study across the curriculum to develop the ability to use a wide range of skills in such areas as musicological research, analysis, performance, and composition.

Third year

The goal of your third year of study is to expand your study of music and engage in interdisciplinary and project-based study. This will allow you to focus your studies on specific, semester-long projects in which you use the full range of skills and abilities you have gained and apply them to complex, large-scale, research-based projects.

Honours

If you commenced your degree prior to 2018: Admission to Honours requires completion of 48 credit points of Music units with an average of 75 percent or above. Admission to the Honours program is by permission of the Honours Coordinator.

If you commenced your degree in 2018: Admission to Honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of 48 credit points of Music units with an average of 75 percent or above. You will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major, prior to commencing Honours.

Example pathways

Music History and Musicology
1st Year: Music in Western Culture Fundamentals 1, 2, or 3
2nd Year: Philosophy of Music Music and Politics
3rd Year: Noise/Sound/Music Avant-Garde
Understanding Music Musicology
4th Year: Musicology Project

Composition and Performance
1st Year Music in Western Culture Fundamentals 1, 2, or 3
2nd Year Music Performance Intro. Digital Music Techniques
3rd Year Ensembles Performance Musical Australia and Asia
Advanced Digital Music Festivals
4th Year Composition/Performance Project

Contemporary Music Practice
1st Year: Sounds, Screens, Speakers Fundamentals 1, 2, or 3
2nd Year: Popular Music Intro. Digital Music Techniques
3rd Year: Contemporary Music Making Noise/Sound/Music
Advanced Digital Music Festivals
4th Year: Contemporary Music Project

Music and Media
1st Year: Sounds, Screens, Speakers Fundamentals 1, 2, or 3
2nd Year: Popular Music Global Sound
3rd Year: Popular Music/Moving Image Music in the 60s
Music & Everyday Life Music Journalism
4th Year: Popular Music and Media Project

Contacts/further information

Program Leader: Dr Charles Fairchild
Honours Coordinator: Dr James Weirzbicki

Email:
Website: sydney.edu.au/music

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of and literacy in basic music skills.
  2. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the history of various traditions of both popular and classical music.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to analyse, interpret or express important musical concepts. This may be done in the form of musicological analysis, musical performance or composition.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of analytical approaches to understanding and interpretation of music and musical practices using appropriate methods and sources, and subsequently the ability to link musical practices to the social contexts in which they were created.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate the prevalent principles, standards, values and boundaries of current music knowledge.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to exercise critical thinking in creating new understandings and practices of music analysis, music composition, music education, music history, music technology or music performance.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to work effectively across discipline boundaries, applying skills and knowledge from the Music major to issues encountered in an interdisciplinary context.