Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please 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 or area of study.

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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
Organisational UnitSir Zelman Cowen School of Music
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Christine McCombe


This unit provides an introduction to ideas and concepts that are fundamental to an understanding of the process of composition and the analysis of musical works. As composers, performers and thinkers, students sitting this subject will be exposed to a wide variety of musical examples, compositional approaches and philosophies that will inform their ongoing creativity as musicians. The first topic, 'structure', will explore basic concepts of musical structure from both the listener's and composer's perspective. As well as investigating traditional approaches to musical form, we will also address post-modern and post-structuralist approaches to musical analysis. The second topic, 'pitch', covers the formation and organisation of pitch in terms of tuning and scales. Students will develop the ability to analyse modal music and creatively apply a variety of modal composition techniques. The final topic, 'space', focuses on the techniques of post-production, creation and meta-creation in the recording studio. Included will be an investigation of a number of techniques for organising sounds in virtual spaces (such as the stereo space) and related aesthetic issues.


Students completing this unit will be able to: incorporate a range of structural strategies into their compositions or improvisations; perform structural analysis of notated works to a basic level; have an understanding of the assumptions and philosophies inherent in methods of musical analysis; have developed listening skills in relation to pitch organisation; compose musical ideas using a range of approaches to scale and mode; and be able to analyse and criticise music created in recording studios from the perspective of post-production technique; and, have developed basic computer-based post-production techniques.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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