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Students who commenced study in 2016 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.

Monash University

Undergraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2016 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Arts.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Course code


Credit points


Abbreviated title




Managing faculty


Admission and fees

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Course type

Single degree

Standard duration

3 years FT, 6 years PT

Students have a maximum of eight years to complete this course including any periods of intermission.

Mode and location

On-campus (Clayton)


Bachelor of Music


In the Bachelor of Music you will learn practical skills and advanced musicianship, and will also be exposed to the creative, cultural, historical and technical aspects of music making and musical thinking. In addition to learning about music from a variety of perspectives, this course allows you to build a high level of expertise in one of four specialisations:

  • Creative music technology
  • Ethnomusicology and musicology
  • Music composition
  • Music performance.

You will benefit from a vibrant, nurturing and productive environment, with modern facilities, unique archival collections and scholarship prospects. In addition, you will enjoy a wide range of educational opportunities, including studying with international visiting artists and researchers, and have the option of undertaking overseas units as part of your course.

Double degrees

The Bachelor of Music can be taken in combination with the following courses:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Commerce
  • Bachelor of Education (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
  • Bachelor of Science

This will lead to the award of two degrees, the Bachelor of Music and the degree awarded by the partner course. The requirements for the award of the Bachelor of Music are the same whether completed as a single or double degree. Students should refer to the course entry for the partner course and the course mapcourse map ( for the double degree, for the requirements for the other degree.


Creative music technology

This specialisation focuses on the development of theoretical and practical skills that emphasise the creative application of technology within professional music, sound, broadcast, multimedia and research contexts. It prepares you to undertake employment and research opportunities in the music business as well as in the broader creative industries.

Ethnomusicology and musicology

Through this specialisation you will develop critical thinking skills about music, including broadening your understanding of the role of music in society, music history, philosophical and aesthetic aspects of music, performance practice, and the music traditions of various cultures.

The specialisation culminates in a major project that may include archival work, the construction of a musical instrument, the preparation of a series of radio programs, the organisation of a music exhibition or the preparation of an academic publication. This specialisation enables you to pursue academic music study in preparation for a career in music research or various music-related vocations, for example, film, television and radio production, music publishing, music journalism, music administration, as well as archival, library and museum work.

Music composition

Through this specialisation you will acquire experience and skills in music composition. The program offers supervision of your compositional projects and encourages work in various media, including acoustic, electronic, and contemporary solo and ensemble combinations. You will also have the opportunity to work with and have your compositions performed by several large and small ensembles in the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music.

Music performance

Students with strong musical aptitude in classical or jazz performance may undertake this specialisation. You will acquire an assured instrumental or vocal technique and demonstrate specific performance practice skills by participating in a variety of ensembles. Throughout the program you will undertake both solo and ensemble work.


These course outcomes are aligned with the Australian Qualifications Framework level 7, the Bologna Cycle 1 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 7, the Bologna Cycle 1 and Monash Graduate Attributes (

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. undertake sustained high-level independent practice in your chosen music specialisation
  2. engage creativity, critical judgment, analysis and imagination in resolving musical and conceptual problems related to your practice or research
  3. effectively communicate complex musical ideas associated with your specialisation
  4. demonstrate a critical awareness of how your own specialisation is placed within a broader industry or disciplinary context
  5. draw from a range of resources and skills to enhance adaptability and effectively prepare for a career in your chosen specialisation
  6. actively engage with the international and cross-cultural elements of your specialisation.


The course develops through the three themes of music specialist study, music theory and ear training, and music context study:

Part A. Music specialist study

This sequence of units will provide you with specialist skills to undertake a final examination either through performance with your chief instrument or voice, or through a folio of compositions, creative music technology media or written work. Performance and other applied electives are also available.

Part B. Music theory and ear training

This will integrate the development of aural skills with the theoretical understanding of music through listening, analysis, performance, notation and composition.

Part C. Music context studies

These studies will expose you to the study of music and music making in various cultural, historical, social and professional settings through introductory units and a capstone experience.

Part D. Free elective study

Electives will enable you to further develop your knowledge of music or Arts more broadly, or to select units from across the University (in which you are eligible to enrol).



The course comprises 144 points, of which 96 points are music study and 48 points are free electives.

Elective units may be at any level, however, no more than ten units (60 points) can be credited to the music course at level 1 and a minimum of 24 points must be completed in music at level 3.

Students completing a double degree must complete no more than six level 1 arts units (36 points) and at least 36 points at level 3 of which at least 24 points must be arts units.

The course progression mapscourse progression maps ( will assist you to plan to meet the course requirements, and guidance on unit enrolment for each semester of study.

Units are six points unless otherwise stated.

Part A. Music specialist study (36 points)

You must complete the specified six units for one of the following specialisations. To avoid exceeding the standard three year course duration students must enrol in the music specialist study 1 and 2 units in their first year of study, then progress to the music specialist study 3 to 6 units in the following years. Students must pass each unit sequentially.

Creative music technology

  • ATS1048 Creative music technology 1
  • ATS1049 Creative music technology 2
  • ATS2129 Creative music technology 3
  • ATS2130 Creative music technology 4
  • ATS3142 Creative music technology 5
  • ATS3143 Creative music technology 6

Ethnomusicology and musicology

a. One of the following pairs of units:

b. the following units:

  • ATS2804 From the erotic to the exotic: Music in the nineteenth century
  • ATS2805 Music, identity and place
  • ATS3144 Music research in the digital age
  • ATS3153 Music research project

Music composition

Music performance

Part 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

Part C. Music context study (36 points)

  • ATS1345 Music and history
  • ATS1346 Music and culture
  • ATS2687 The ethnomusicology of improvisation or ATS2060 The art of teaching music performance
  • ATS2333 Jazz history or ATS2900 Writing about music: Headlines and hashtags or ATS2331 Music overseas study program 1 or ATS2332 Music overseas study program 2
  • ATS3094 The music business: How to be successful in the music industry
  • ATS3061 Music in Australia

Part D. Free elective study (48 points)

You may select any ethnomusicology and musicology units from Part A. Music specialist study, or any units from Part C. Music context study, as listed above. You may also select units from the music electives listed below as long as you are eligible to enrol in the particular units. In addition, you may choose units from across the Arts faculty, or from across the University (including a major or minor from another course) as long as you have the prerequisites and there are no restrictions on admission to the units. The units may be at any level, however, no more than 10 units (60 points) at level 1 can be credited to the Bachelor of Music and a minimum of 24 points must be completed in music at level 3.

For students in double degree courses, some units required for the other degree are credited as electives towards the music degree.

Electives list

Performance electives

Applied electives

  • ATS2139 Songwriting: How to write a popular song
  • ATS2159 Recording and computer music production
  • ATS3819 Orchestration
  • ATS3820 Conducting
  • ATS3821 From critical theory to creating new musical work
  • ATS3899 Jazz arranging: Contemporary arranging techniques for small groups to large ensembles
  • ATS3900 Jazz composition: From Tin Pan Alley to today

Context electives

  • ATS1343 Popular music in global perspective
  • ATS2799 Audio culture: From Cage to Gaga
  • ATS3823 Improvising musical traditions of South Asia*
  • ATS3829 East Asia and its music: Silk road histories and popular contexts*
  • ATS3824 Popular music and society**
  • ATS3926 Gongs, punks and shadow plays**
  • ATS3825 Western art music in the 20th and 21st century
  • ATS3828 Film music

*These units are in annual rotation.

** These units are in annual rotation.

Overseas units


Progression to further studies

Students successfully completing the Bachelor of Music may proceed to a one-year honours program leading to A3702 Bachelor of Music (Honours). To be eligible to apply for entry into the Bachelor of Music (Honours), students must obtain a distinction grade average (70 per cent) or above in 24 points of studies in relevant units at third-year level, which will normally include at least 24 points of units in the discipline in which you wish to undertake honours.