Analysis, History and Culture Studies Electives

Subject details

Other units of study listed in the Core section can also be taken as electives. Elective units require a minimum enrolment number to run.

Analysis, History and Culture Studies

CMPN3635 Writing Music for the Moving Image

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Felicity Wilcox Session: Semester 1 Classes: 6 x 1 hour lectures for the first six weeks; 6 x 2 hour tutorials thereafter Prerequisites: MUED1002 or MUSC2653 or MUED4002 Assessment: Written paper (20%), Presentation (30%), Final Music (50%)
This unit provides a practical introduction to composing music for the screen.
Topics for discussion will include, but not be limited to: the relationship between image and sound, music as a force in dramatic narrative, important scores in cinema history, sound design, music for documentary film and drama, music for games, and non-commercial applications of music for image. Importantly, the course will focus on the practical aspects of film scoring relevant to establishing professional practice; both at a business level and at a technical level. Students in this unit of study must be fluent in sequencing and/or recording and/or music notation software.
CMPN4666 Advanced Analysis

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Brad Gill Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1 x 2 hr seminar/lecture per week Prerequisites: MCGY4601 or with permission of the Coordinator Assessment: Class presentation (1000 words) (15%), Composition analysis (20%), Weekly readings reports (15%), Research Project (50%)
This unit is designed to equip students with a working knowledge of current music theory and analysis practice, impart analytical skills that can be applied across a broad spectrum of activities and different musical genres and types, and develop an understanding of related concepts such as what analysis actually is, different types of analysis (functional, descriptive, surface, aural/perceptual vs. score based) and an understanding of working at different levels of abstraction.
JAZZ3631 Music Business Skills

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: David Theak Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2hr lect/wk Assessment: Press Kit (25%), Tour Plan (50%), Business Plan (25%)
Music Business Skills is designed to prepare graduating students for the non-musical aspects of their forthcoming career. The unit is designed as an overview of the many different facets of the music industry, including setting up a small music business (including GST/taxation overview and responsibilities), funding sources and alternatives, tour planning and budgeting, producing and designing promotional tools, dealing with record company's/music publishing, and other essential techniques and requirements of running a successful music business in today's competitive arts environment.
MCGY2600 Advanced Harmony

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Lewis Cornwell Session: Semester 2 Classes: One 2-hour seminar/wk Prerequisites: MCGY2011 Assessment: Four 25-bar musical assignments (75%); 30 minute seminar presentation (25%)
Students in this unit will observe in detail a selection of Western musical styles and the work of particular composers, applying the knowledge thus gained by writing short compositions in the relevant styles. For the student with some creative inclinations, the activity of stylistic imitation offers unique insights into the music of any period. Topics for study will be selected according to the interests of the group, taking into account the need for a coherent and cumulative course structure.
MCGY2615 The Ultimate Art: 400 Years of Opera

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Alan Maddox Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 1 hour lecture, 1 x 2 hour seminar Prerequisites: Two units from MCGY2611, MCGY2612, MCGY2613, MCGY2614 Assessment: Essay (40%), Presentation (30%), Listiening tests (30%).
Since its beginnings around 1600, no genre of Western art music has been more innovative or influential than opera. It has inspired devotion and disdain, and led to innumerable theoretical debates. In this unit, 400 years of changing operatic practices will be explored through a series of seminal works. These will be treated as documents of specific historical circumstances (including contemporaneous singing and staging practices), and as aesthetic objects which have been reinvented continuously down to the present.
MCGY3013 Late Beethoven Seminar

Credit points: 3 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Peter McCallum Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2-hour seminar/wk Prerequisites: MCGY2612 or with permission of the coordinator Assumed knowledge: It is strongly recommended that students have completed MCGY2612, or have a sound knowledge of the Viennese Classical repertoire. Assessment: assignment, presentation, project and participation as specified in the course outline (100%)
The aim of the unit is to examine the changes in the last 12 years of Beethoven's creative output, and discuss these in terms of a transition between what are traditionally called 'classic' and 'romantic' periods. This will be done through analysis, and the discussion of historico/critical surveys, aesthetics and contemporary sources. Themes covered will include: Classicism/Romanticism. the compositional process. Beethoven and the fugue in the late style. Variations as transformations. The late quartets. The last 5 Piano Sonatas. Missa Solemnis. The 9th Symphony. Reception of Beethoven's late works.
MCGY3610 Chant in the West

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Kathleen Nelson Session: Semester 2 Classes: One 2 hr seminar/Week Prerequisites: MCGY2611 Assessment: Class research project activity and report (30%), Report on set reading and discussion 800 words (10%), Seminar presentation on essay topic (20%), Essay 2500 words (40%).
Chant was integral to early Christian practices in the western Roman Empire. Following its long history in medieval and later churches, chant from western European repertoires continues to be sung and appreciated today. This course studies aspects of its history and analysis, and introduces the research field of chant and its sources. Students will develop an appreciation of challenges met by performers and researchers working with chant. A class project will enter directly into the world of contemporary chant research.
MCGY3617 Music Through Literature

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Peter McCallum Session: Semester 2 Classes: One 2-hour seminar per week Prerequisites: MCGY2612 or MCGY2613 Prohibitions: MCGY3017 Assessment: Online and class participation and short tasks (10%); Seminar presentation (30%); Essay 3500 words (60%).
Note: or with permission of the coordinator
This unit will explore specific works of literature which deal with musical matters or which make significant statements about musical aesthetics. The contribution towards understanding musical experience of creative artists who are not, or not primarily, musicians, is sometimes ignored in courses for the training of musicians. Yet, in the case of writers, such artists are often better equipped than musical professionals to capture in words, the ineffable nature of musical experience and aesthetics. Moreover their place as receivers rather than creators sometimes enables them to make statements about the broader cultural significance from a perspective outside that of production and performance. This course exists to allow trainee performers, teachers and musicologists an opportunity to explore such perspectives. Topics will be decided by class interest and may include work by Bruce Chatwin, Gunter Grass, Herman Hesse, James Joyce, Milan Kundera, Thomas Mann, Romain Roland, Vikram Seth, William Shakespeare, Tim Winton and others.
MCGY3627 Paleography of Music

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: A/Prof Kathleen Nelson Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2-hour seminar/week Prerequisites: MCGY2611 or with permission of the coordinator Assumed knowledge: Knowledge of current musical notation is essential. Assessment: Assignments (50%); 2-hour examination (50%).
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
Paleography of Music introduces principles and issues of some different types of western musical notation in use during the medieval and Renaissance periods, and contributes to the development of an understanding of original sources of music of these eras. Through studying original notations and sources, students can develop an understanding of the characteristics and problems of medieval and renaissance musical repertories not otherwise available. Students will transcribe from the original notations studied into modern musical notation. Among the notations to be studied are several chant notations including that of the musical sources of Hildegard of Bingen; white mensural notation as used in sources of fifteenth and sixteenth vocal polyphony with examples likely to include music by Dufay, Ockeghem and Byrd; French and Italian lute tablatures; and German keyboard tablatures.
MCGY3631 African-American Music Inquiry

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Christopher Coady Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2 hr seminar/week Prerequisites: At least 12 cps of Foundation units (MCGY2611, MCGY2612, MCGY2613 MCGY2614) or with permission of the coordinator. Assessment: Essay 3000 words (50%), Tut presentation 2000 wds (30%), Tutorial participation and demonstrated knowledge of required reading (20%)
This unit aims to provide students with a framework for analysing African-American musical products. An historical survey of research into African-American performance is followed by a discussion of current critical debates and scholarship. Students will apply existing theoretical models to the analysis of jazz, funk and hip-hop works. In turn, they will develop original research methodologies for the analysis of an African-American expressive work of their choice.
MCGY3639 Modernism in Austria & Germany 1889-1914

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr David Larkin Session: Semester 1 Classes: One 2-hour seminar/week Prerequisites: MCGY2011 or with permission of the coordinator. Assumed knowledge: It is expected that students will have some knowledge of late 19th-century harmonic practices. Assessment: Essay (30%); Critical and analytical assignments (20%); Listening & score-based tests (20%); In-class presentation (20%); Seminar participation (10%)
Between 1889 and 1914, certain Austro-Germanic composers played a crucial role in the emerging modernist movement. Richard Strauss, Mahler and Schoenberg engaged with past musical traditions and contemporary trends in visual art, literature and philosophy to produce a distinctively new type of music. Works to be studied include Strauss's tone poems, Mahler's symphonies and Schoenberg's chamber music, as well as Lieder and stage works. Crucial issues that will emerge include the way in which traditional formal structures are invoked and destabilised, the dissolution of tonality, and alternatives to the metaphysical understanding of music that were explored in this era.
PERF2622 Professional Practice Internship

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Professor Anna Reid Session: Semester 1,Semester 2 Classes: One seminar at the conclusion of program Prerequisites: 48 credit points from UG Music degree Assessment: Reflective journal completed in ePortfolio (50%), Seminar presentation (50%) Practical field work: Students will work a minimum or 6-9 hours per week
Note: Department permission required for enrolment
This unit of study will enhance the students musical knowledge and learning through placement in a professional practice context within an arts sector environment. An Internship is a system of on-the-job training and as such, this unit of study will seek and select the most appropriate places for students to gain valuable experience and training in the Arts industry. These places may and will change from time to time and according to the students' interests and expertise and the availability of suitable hosts.

Arts Music Units

The Arts Music Unit of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music is located at the Seymour Centre. Students from all faculties can enrol in these units. All classes are held on the main campus.
MUSC1506 Music in Western Culture

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Anne Boyd Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2hr lecture and 1 hr tut/wk Assumed knowledge: The ability to follow a musical score while listening to the music and some prior knowledge of elementary music theory. Assessment: Tutorial work including a Listening Journal (40%), 2000 word essay (30%), 60 minute listening exam (30%)
This unit will study a range of today's popular classics with a view to understanding how musical meaning is constructed in relation to the development of tonality and other European stylistic conventions from the Ancient Greeks to the present day. It will consider questions about how the Western art music tradition has been constructed through history. What are the social factors at work? How does music reflect the minds of its creators and create meaning?
MUSC1507 Sounds, Screens, Speakers: Music & Media

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Charles Fairchild Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2hr lecture and 1 tut/wk Assessment: Article summary, 1000 words (25%); Critical analysis, 1000 words (25%); Tutorial test, 500 words (10%); Final Project, 2,000 words(30%), attendance and participation (10%).
Music has been dramatically shaped and reshaped by every major change in communications technology in the 20th century from vinyl discs to MP3s. In this unit of study we will analyse such issues as the ways in which the early recording industry transformed jazz, the blues and country music, how the presentation of music on radio and television changed how the music industry created new musical celebrities, and the challenges the music industry faces as digital technology transforms the creation, distribution and consumption of music.
MUSC2616 Aural Cultures

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr James Wierzbicki Session: Semester 2 Classes: 1 x 2hr lecture and 1 hr tut/wk Assessment: Tutorial participation (15%), brief reports on assigned readings (15%), two 'aural diaries' (2x20%), final paper (30%)
This unit focuses on music, 'noise' and sounds both natural and man-made. By means of in-class experiments, field trips and 'audio diaries', students will explore the nature of sound; by means of lectures, readings and discussion, they will examine the many ways in which human beings engage - negatively as well as positively - with the sonic world around them.
MUSC2622 Music in the Sixties

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Charles Fairchild Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2 hrs/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points Prohibitions: MUSC2106 Assessment: Two critical analyses 1,000 words each (20% each); four online quizzes 1000 words (20%); major essay 3,000 words (30%); class participation (10%).
The very term 'The Sixties' has lived on in myth as signifying a radical break with the past in the arts, literature and music. While these years saw a great change and social upheaval, this subject will seek link to the music of the era to much longer trajectories of social, political and aesthetic change. We will examine a wide range of music drawn from popular traditions, jazz and the avant garde. No formal music training is necessary.
MUSC2631 Music and Everyday Life

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Charles Fairchild Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2 hour lecture/week Prerequisites: 12 junior music credit points Assessment: Fieldwork project paper 3000 words (40%); ethnographic description of a musical event 1000 words (20%); two critical response paper (1000 words each) ( 30%), class presentations and participation (10%).
What can we learn from non-textual approaches to understanding music? The primary goal of this unit of study is to study music not as a composer, producer, performer, listener or audience member, but as an ethnographer. That is, analysing music through an observational, experiential and intellectual understanding of how people make and take meaning from music. This unit is a prerequisite for MUSC4011 Music Honours A (for BA Hons in Music).
MUSC2654 Popular Music

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Charles Fairchild Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2 hrs/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points Assessment: Two critical analyses 1,000 words each (20% each); tutorial test 1000 words (20%); major essay 3,000 words (30%); class participation (10%).
How did early American blues and country music develop in tandem? How was punk different in the US, the UK and Australia? What are the origins of the DJ culture? This unit of study presents a thematic overview of a wide variety of styles, movements and spectacles. It examines major genres of popular music, their stylistic features and historical antecedents as well as modes of reception and the role of popular music in everyday life. No formal music training is necessary.
MUSC2670 Music Festivals & Arts Events Management

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Matthew Hindson Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2 hour seminar + 1 hr tut/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points Assessment: Participation and involvement including small written tasks as appropriate (e.g. preparation of a sample budget) (50%) equivalent to 3000 words of assessment. 1500 word groupwork written submission (50%).
This unit of study includes a practical component in which participants will be actively involved in the administration and management of music and arts events. They will learn the procedures and protocols necessary for a smooth behind-the-scenes operation of music event presentation through their own involvement as well as examination of best practice event management nationally and internationally.
MUSC2667 Shakespeare as Opera

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr Michael Halliwell Session: Semester 1 Classes: 1 x 2 hour seminar/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points. Assessment: 1500 word mid-semester assignment (25%), 4,500 word essay (75%).
This course will study the literary and musical strategies employed by composers and librettists in the adaption of the plays of Shakespeare into opera. Operas to be examined are taken from nearly 400 years of operatic repertoire including the classical, romantic, modernist and postmodernist periods. Recent CD and DVD recordings of both the plays and operas will be used, and current adaption theory as applicable to opera will be investigated.
MUSC2679 Music and Spirituality

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Anne Boyd Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2hr/wk Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points Assessment: Listening/short answer test (1500 words) (30%) ; Seminar Presentation (20%);Individual Project as extended essay, or composition or performance accompanied by a shorter reflective essay (4500 words ) (50%).
This 'survey' unit of study presents a diverse range of music, written and performed as a response to spiritual traditions, using the methods of depth psychology. The survey will include examples of music created in response to Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam, as well as Earth-based religions such as Australian Indigenous traditions. The focus will be upon the music rather than religion. Listening will provide the main framework for study.
MUSC3640 Rhythms and Sounds of Latin America

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Daniel Rojas Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2 hr lecture, 1 hr tut/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points Assessment: Essay 2,500 word or creative project with reflective statement (50%), Two Listening Assessments (30%), Knowledge Exam (20%)
Latin American music has become a powerful force in today┬╣s music industry, but its rich diversity and cultural contexts are not always acknowledged nor understood. This unit of study surveys a number of Latin American popular, folk and indigenous musical traditions in terms of their cultural milieu and historical development. Various musical, historical and cultural concerns are examined with a practical and creative involvement with a broad selection of genres. Particular attention will be given to Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Peruvian and Argentinean music and special emphasis will be placed on the compositional characteristics and the repertoire pertinent to these traditions.
MUSC3606 Musical Australia and Asia

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Prof Anne Boyd Session: Semester 1 Classes: 2hr lecture and 1 hr tut/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points Assumed knowledge: An ability to read music at a basic level and an understanding of fundamental musical terminology would be an advantage but not essential. Assessment: One 3,000 word essay, or individual creative project (such as composition) (60%) accompanied by a short reflective essay; a listening test (20%); contribution to online discussion (20%).
An examination of Australian Music reflecting an engagement with the traditional music of Asia. Both the specific tradition as well as its musical influence will be studied with special emphasis upon China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and India. Wherever possible workshops upon a specific tradition (such as gamelan performance) will be included.
MUSC3609 Musicology

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr James Wierzbicki Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2 hr seminar/wk Prerequisites: 12 junior credit points in music, or by arrangement with the coordinator Assessment: Written assessments (50%), weekly summaries of readings (30%), participation (20%)
Note: This unit is a requirement for Honours.
What do we study when we study music? What kinds of stories do we tell about the history of music? What are the central issues, questions, and concerns that drive the study of music? This unit of study will begin to answer these questions and provide an overview of historical musicology as an academic discipline. In addition, students will also learn and practice the research skills necessary to find and evaluate sources, and to define and develop an area of interest. These skills will provide a solid foundation for the independent research work necessary in the Honours year.
MUSC3699 Understanding Music: Modes of Hearing

Credit points: 6 Teacher/Coordinator: Dr James Wierzbicki Session: Semester 2 Classes: 2 hr lecture, 1 hr tut/week Prerequisites: 18 junior credit points Assessment: Analyses eq. 1,500 words (30%), final paper 3,000 words (50%), tutorial participation (20%)
This unit of study deals with the different ways in which we comprehend music and with the different ways in which that comprehension might be explained. It deals with modes of hearing and musical analysis for the purpose of leading students towards a deeper knowledge of how music in various genres (ranging from the classical mainstream to the twentieth-century avant-garde, from Tin Pan Alley songs to punk rock and hip-hop) is understood. A good working knowledge of musical terminology and vocabulary is required. This is the required unit of study for a music major in an Arts degree.