Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music


Dr Adrian McNeil



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


This unit focuses on the traditional improvisational musical practices of South Asia, which have been systematically developed across a range of genres over centuries. The rich and clearly formulated processes that underpin these practices are selectively explored and analysed in theory and practice to show both how they work in their cultural contexts and how they can provide a foundational platform for developing generic improvisational skills.


Upon completion of this unit, students are able to:

  1. Comprehend and articulate some of the fundamental musical elements of the region and the cultural foundations and practices that sustain them.
  2. Develop advanced generic skills in melodic and rhythmic improvisation applicable to a wide range of musical contexts.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the diverse ways in which improvisatory practices are thought about and practised in Hindustani and Carnatic musical traditions.


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


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.