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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedBerwick First semester 2011 (Day)
Caulfield First semester 2011 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Stuart Grant


Previously coded COM2400


This unit examines the role of music in culture and society. It addresses the cultural significance of various musical genres and styles, from pop to classical, from the experimental to the conventional. It asks: why is music meaningful to us? How does it give expression to personal and collective identity? What kinds of contexts do we encounter music in? And how significant is the technological mediation of the sounds we hear? The unit will examine the latest research in the socio-cultural study of music and ask students to reflect upon the musical cultures that they inhabit.


Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Understand how the socio-cultural role of music is approached in communication studies and allied disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, cultural studies and musicology
  2. Employ the tools different traditions of theoretical and empirical writing on the socio-cultural role of music
  3. Examine how different musical cultures organize meaning and value
  4. See the merit of different methods for studying musical practices such as case studies, observation and other empirical techniques.


Essay (2250 words): 50%
Tutorial presentation/participation/attendance (450 words): 10%
2 Hour exam (1800 words): 40%

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture/seminar per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



Must have passed one set of the following sets of 1st year sequences. Either (ATS1277, ATS1278) or (ATS1279, ATS1280)