Bachelor of Music - 2019

Undergraduate - Course

Commencement year

This course entry applies to students commencing this course in 2019 and should be read in conjunction with information provided in the 'Faculty information' section of this Handbook by the Faculty of Arts.

Other commencement years for this course: 2018, 2017 and 2016

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



Mr Jordan Murray

Contact details

Tel: 1800 MONASH (1800 666 274) or visit the Arts undergraduate programsundergraduate programs ( website

Admission and fees


Course progression map

A2003 (pdf)

Course type


Standard duration

3 years FT, 6 years PT

You have a maximum of 8 years to complete this course including any periods of intermission and suspension, and must be continuously enrolled throughout.

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 three specialisations:

  • Composition and music technology
  • Ethnomusicology and musicology
  • 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.


Composition and music technology

This specialisation focuses on the development of theoretical and practical skills in music composition that include the creative application of technology in sound, notation, recording and multimedia. You will study compositional concepts that will lead to the development of your own compositional style and provide the opportunity to work with ensembles and other students in the school.

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 performance

Students with strong musical aptitude in classical, jazz or popular voice 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 and Monash Graduate AttributesAustralian Qualifications Framework level 7 and Monash Graduate Attributes (

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

  1. undertake sustained high-level independent practice in their chosen music specialisation
  2. resolve musical and conceptual problems related to their practice or research with creativity, critical judgment, analysis
  3. communicate complex musical ideas associated with their specialisation through written and verbal means, as well as music-specific forms of representation
  4. reflect on the place of their chosen music specialisation within a broader industry or disciplinary context
  5. prepare for a career in music and demonstrate the ability to adapt to a dynamic industry
  6. actively engage with the international and cross-cultural elements of their chosen 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 composition and 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.

If you are completing a double degree you 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 ( provides guidance on unit enrolment for each semester of study.

Units are 6 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 you must enrol in the music specialist study 1 and 2 units in your first year of study, then progress to the music specialist study 3 to 6 units in the following years. You must pass each unit sequentially.

Composition and music technology

  • ATS1046 Composition and music technology 1: Introduction to composition genres
  • ATS1047 Composition and music technology 2: Composition and recording materials
  • ATS2127 Composition and music technology 3: Composition and mixing techniques
  • ATS2128 Composition and music technology 4: Music for screen and other media
  • ATS3140 Composition and music technology 5: Interactive composition
  • ATS3141 Composition and music technology 6: Final project

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
  • ATS3144Not offered in 2019 Music research in the digital age
  • ATS3153Not offered in 2019 Music research project

Music performance

Part B. Music theory and ear training (24 points)

You must complete:

  • 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)

You must complete:

  • ATS1345 Music and history
  • ATS1346 Music and culture
  • ATS2333 Jazz history or ATS2900 Writing about music: Headlines and hashtags or ATS2331Not offered in 2019 Music - overseas study program 1 or ATS2332 Music - overseas study program 2
  • ATS2687 The ethnomusicology of improvisation or ATS2060 The art of teaching music performance
  • ATS3061 Music in Australia
  • ATS3094 The music business: How to be successful in the music industry

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.

Free electives can be identified using the browse unitsbrowse units ( tool and indexes of unitsindexes of 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 numbers 1-3. You may need permission from the owning faculty to enrol in some units taught by other faculties.

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 Song writing: How to write a popular song
  • ATS2159 Recording and computer music production
  • ATS3819 Orchestration
  • ATS3820 Conducting
  • ATS3821 Critical perspectives on new musical works
  • ATS3899Not offered in 2019 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
  • ATS2799Not offered in 2019 Audio culture: From Cage to Gaga
  • ATS3823 Improvising musical traditions of South Asia
  • ATS3824Not offered in 2019 Popular music and society
  • ATS3825Not offered in 2019 Western art music in the 20th and 21st century
  • ATS3828 Film music
  • ATS3829 East Asia and its music: Silk road histories and popular contexts
  • ATS3926Not offered in 2019 Gongs, punks and shadow plays

Not all units are offered in every year.

Overseas units

Progression to further studies

Successful completion of the Bachelor of Music may provide a pathway to a one year honours program leading to the Bachelor of Music (Honours). To be eligible to apply for entry into the Bachelor of Music (Honours), you must obtain a distinction grade average (70%) or above in 24 points of studies in relevant units at level three, which will normally include at least 24 points of units in the discipline in which you wish to undertake honours.