ATS3825 - Western art music in the 20th and 21st century - 2018

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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Joel Crotty


Dr Joel Crotty

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.


This unit investigates the primary musical styles and compositional trends of the twentieth and twenty-first century. The unit analyses representative source works and discusses major musical figures of the period. Topics may include the transition from nineteenth century Romanticism, impressionism, expressionism, the atonal revolution, neo-classicism, the twelve-tone system, serialism (including integral serialism), constructivism (electronic music and extended techniques), indeterminacy, neo-Romanticism and minimalism. The unit also considers Contemporary Australian within this broad context.


Upon completion of the unit, students are able to:

  1. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the major trends of twentieth-century composition, in particular, and the ways in which these trends relate to one another;
  2. Analyse specific areas of twentieth-century music in some depth, providing further insight into the styles, composers and works important to the specific area in question;
  3. Understand the principles of modern musical notation (i.e., graphic notation).


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

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