Monash University

Undergraduate - Course

Students who commenced study in 2014 should refer to this course entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course.

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This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2014 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Arts

Managing facultyArts
Abbreviated titleBA/BMus
CRICOS code041539C
Total credit points required198
Standard duration of study (years)4.5 years FT, 9 years PT
Study mode and locationOn-campus (Clayton)
Admission, fee and application details
Contact details

Tel: 1800 MONASH (1800 666 274) Web address:


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.
  • Students are required to overload in some semesters in order to complete this degree in four years (full-time). Students have a maximum of 10 years to complete this course.
  • Students may select arts units from any campus, but should be aware of the teaching location as this may require travel to another campus. Students may also select units offered in off-campus mode.


In addition to the chief music major, students will be exposed to the historical, creative, technical and cultural aspects of music. Students are encouraged to grasp the opportunity provided by undertaking a Bachelor of Arts to develop their imaginations and gain a broad understanding of new ideas, skills and concepts.


Refer to the outcomes for the single degrees 0002 Bachelor of Arts and 0821 Bachelor of Music.


This course consists of 96 points in the arts component and 102 points in the music component.

Areas of study

Arts majors and minors

For the specific requirements of arts majors and minors and information on other arts units refer to the Areas of studyAreas of study ( section in this Handbook.

Music disciplines

The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music teaches, researches, and promotes public outreach in five fields of music endeavour: performance, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology and creative music technology. Students specialise in one field, but gain experience in a unified way in all five areas.


Students with strong musical aptitude undertaking this specialisation are expected to acquire an assured technique and an awareness of the history of performance style and practice. Students develop their stylistic understanding and interactive musical skills by performing in a variety of ensembles. Throughout the program students are examined on both solo and ensemble work.


Students undertaking this specialisation can expect to acquire experience and skills in music composition. The program offers supervision of students' compositional projects and encourages work in various media, including traditional, electronic, and contemporary solo and ensemble combinations. The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music organises a number of large and small instruments and ensemble choral groups and encourages performance of students compositions.

Musicology and ethnomusicology

Students who choose either of these specialisations, or a combination of both, can expect to develop their critical thinking about music, including broadening their understanding of the role of music in society, music history, philosophical and aesthetic aspects of music, performance practice, and the music traditions of different cultures.

In the musicology stream, students undertake close studies of music history, biography and historiography from various periods and from a wide variety of perspectives.

In the ethnomusicology stream, students make detailed area studies of selected music cultures of Asia and/or Africa, and may learn to perform in an Indonesian gamelan and in other Asian and African traditions as appropriate for a particular unit for which a student enrols.

Creative music technology

The creative music technology specialisation is focused on the creative application of technology within professional music, sound, broadcast and multimedia and research contexts. Students will develop creative and music technology skills for employment and research within new media, composition, recording and performance creative industries. The program explores the use of music, sound and media, and promotes creative outcomes enabled through current technologies. These are studied within the context of their creative applications.


Arts component

Students must complete studies drawn from disciplines offered by schools other than the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music in the Faculty of Arts as follows:

(a.) an arts major (48 points)

(b.) an arts minor in a different area of study (24 points)

(c.) additional arts elective units to make up a total of 96 points

By combining some of the core arts requirements, students can complete a double major in two different arts disciplines. For more details on this option, contact the Faculty of ArtsFaculty of Arts (

Arts elective units can be identified using the browse units toolbrowse units tool ( and indexes of arts unitsindexes of arts units ( in the current edition of the Handbook. The level of the unit is indicated by the first number in the unit code; undergraduate units are those that commence with the code ATS and numbers 1-3.

Music component

(a.) a music major - Chief music study and music history (48 points):

* Students must achieve at least a credit (60 per cent) in this unit to continue on to ATS3830 (Chief music study 5).

** Students must achieve at least a credit (60 per cent) in this unit to continue on to ATS3831 (Chief music study 6).

(b.) music theory and ear training (24 points):

  • ATS1899 Music theory and ear training 1
  • ATS1900 Music theory and ear training 2
  • ATS2901 Music theory and ear training 3
  • ATS2902 Music theory and ear training 4

(c.) music elective units (30 points) chosen from the following:

Semester one

  • ATS1343 Popular music and culture: From spirituals to YouTube
  • ATS1347 Music ensemble 1
  • ATS2139 Song writing: How to write a pop tune
  • ATS2333 Jazz history 1: Readings in history and biography
  • ATS2687/ATS3687 African music: Musical change, social change and performance
  • ATS2800 Music ensemble 3
  • ATS2804 From the erotic to the exotic: Music in the nineteenth century
  • ATS2805 Global popular and roots music
  • ATS2807 Composition techniques: Structures, pitch and space
  • ATS3021 Music ensemble 5
  • ATS3818 Global popular and roots music
  • ATS3819 Applied music 1: Orchestration
  • ATS3822 Jazz history 2: Readings in improvisation and cross cultural musical relationships
  • ATS3824 Music in society: Musicians, performances and institutions
  • ATS3828 Music composition techniques: Film and orchestration
  • ATS3829 East Asia and its music: Silk road histories and popular contexts
  • ATS3899 Jazz composition and arranging 1

Semester two

  • ATS1342 Music and popular culture: Asia
  • ATS1344 Living gamelan: Gong-chime cultures in context
  • ATS1348 Music ensemble 2
  • ATS2060 The art of teaching music performance (Classical)
  • ATS2085 The art of teaching music performance (Improvisation)
  • ATS2139 Song writing: How to write a pop tune
  • ATS2686/ATS3686 Flaring up: Bali and musical revolution
  • ATS2799 Audio culture: Developments in new music
  • ATS2801 Music ensemble 4
  • ATS2900 Music aesthetics and criticism
  • ATS2926/ATS2926 Performance studies: Indonesian gamelan
  • ATS3022 Music ensemble 6
  • ATS3061 Music in Australian society
  • ATS3094 The music business: How to be successful in the music industry
  • ATS3820 Applied music 2: Conducting
  • ATS3821 From critical theory to creating new musical work
  • ATS3823 Music of north and south India
  • ATS3825 Western art music in the 20th and 21st century
  • ATS3900 Jazz composition and arranging 2

Overseas study units

* This unit will require payment of an additional fee that may cover items such as accommodation, entry fees, excursions, coaches, transfers, flights and university administration.

Alternative exit(s)

Students may graduate with the Bachelor of Music at the end of three years of study by transferring into the single Bachelor of Music degree provided they have met the requirements of the Bachelor of Music. Students may exit from the double degree program and graduate with the Bachelor of Arts provided they have met the requirements of the Bachelor of Arts.


Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Music