ATS3926 - Gongs, punks and shadow plays - 2019

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 Adrian McNeil


Dr Adrian McNeil

Not offered in 2019


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.




The unit explores the diverse musical practices of Southeast Asia, while investigating regional commonalities and variations concerning the predominance of gongs and bamboo instruments, spirit practices, dance forms, shadow puppetry, colonial influences and popular musics. By examining the geopolitical impact of hills, forests, plains and coasts, the unit also addresses the interplay of tradition and modernity; the impact of war, migration and diaspora on expressive cultures; the relationship between performance practice and musical meaning; and, the role of music in the construction of ethnic, regional and national identities. In addition, students participate in a gamelan ensemble (an Indonesian percussion orchestra) as part of the unit.


Upon completion of the unit, students are able to:

  1. Articulate how selected theoretical perspectives are applicable to the study of Southeast Asian musical practices;
  2. Demonstrate critical reflective practice skills through the keeping of a learning journal and the writing of a summative learning report;
  3. Distinguish between selected musical practices of dominant lowland and marginalised upland peoples, as well as 'traditional' and 'popular' musics of Southeast Asia.


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