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Unit of study_

MCGY1020: Musicology Workshop 2

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Sydney

Musicology Workshop provides a forum for discussion of musicological work, and the opportunity to gain a broad perspective on the discipline. Many Musicology Workshop activities are built around the Conservatorium's fortnightly Musicology Colloquium Series lectures, presented by SCM staff and visiting national and international scholars speaking on a wide range of topics. Other class activities explore areas such as research and writing skills, music criticism, controversies in recent music literature, visits to local libraries or archives, and conference attendance and reporting. Students are expected occasionally to attend other musicological activities such as the Conservatorium's Alfred Hook lecture series. During classes students also have the opportunity to present and gain feedback on their own research topics.

Unit details and rules

Unit code MCGY1020
Academic unit
Credit points 3
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Alan Maddox,
Lecturer(s) Alan Maddox,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Reflective journal
Written assessment
40% Multiple weeks 2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO3 LO4
Participation Class participation
Class preparation and participation
10% Ongoing n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO2
Presentation Scope of musicology speed presentation
A brief introduction to one of the sub-disciplines of musicology
10% Week 03 5 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO3 LO2
Assignment Annotated bibliography
Annotated bibliography on your individual research project
10% Week 08 At least 10 items
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO4 LO3 LO2
Presentation Presentation of semester paper or assigned written assessment
10 minute individual presentation with 100-word abstract
30% Week 11 10 minutes and 100 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO1 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO4 LO3

Assessment summary

  • Participation: Students are required to prepare for each class by studying set readings, preparing questions for discussion, posting regularly to the discussion board, and other activities, as specified for each week. In class, students are expected to participate actively in discussion and contribute to a musicological community in which respect for others is shown, difference is valued, and academic honesty is an essential characteristic.
  • Reflective journal: The reflective journal is submitted in two parts, at mid-semester and end of semester. It includes commentary on each workshop meeting, and over the course of the semester, must include entries on at least two ‘extra curricular’ events attended, as described above. You can cover one of these additional events
    in each journal submission, or both can be in the same submission.
  • Presentation of semester paper or assigned written assessment: Towards the end of the semester, students are required to give a substantial research presentation or submit a written paper of equivalent value, on a topic approved by the lecturer. This may take the form of an individual research presentation or essay, a creative project such as an audio or video documentary on a musical subject (which might be prepared as a group project), or a lecture-demonstration including performance. Students may also be required to present a short informal report on the project earlier in the semester.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The following assessment criteria are used for written work in this unit of study:

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Demonstrates high level of initiative in research and reading; sophisticated critical analysis of evidence; high level engagement with theoretical issues, innovative use of reading/research material and impressive command of underlying debates and assumptions; properly documented and written with style, originality and precision.


75 - 84

Demonstrates initiative in research and wide, appropriate reading; complex understanding of question and ability to critically review material in relation to underlying assumptions and values; analyses material in relation to empirical and theoretical contexts; properly documented; clear, well-developed structure and argument with some signs of literary style.


65 - 74

Evidence of broader understanding than pass level; offers synthesis with some critical evaluation of material; coherent argument using a range of relevant evidence; some evidence of independent thought, good referencing. A high credit (70-74) shows some evidence of ability to problematise and think conceptually.


50 - 64

Written work meets basic requirements in terms of reading/research; relevant material; tendency to descriptive summary rather than critical argument; makes a reasonable attempt to avoid paraphrasing; reasonably coherent structure; often has weaknesses in particular areas, especially in terms of narrow or underdeveloped treatment of question; acceptable documentation.


0 - 49

Work may fail for any or all of the following reasons: Unacceptable paraphrasing; irrelevance of content; poor spelling; poor presentation; grammar or structure so sloppy it cannot be understood; failure to demonstrate understanding of content; insufficient or overlong word length.

Oral presentations will be assessed against the following criteria:


Shows evidence of broad research, taking into account a variety of sources

Clear argument, supported by relevant reasons and evidence

Shows evidence of critical thinking about the topic, including:

  • Considers alternative views
  • Where appropriate, questions assumptions implicit in the literature
  • Draws meaningful connections between facts and / or concepts

Uses terminology accurately and appropriately


Is clearly expressed

Is interesting and engages other students

Makes appropriate use of examples and presentation methods relevant to the material presented (e.g. presentation software, handouts, recordings where relevant)

Covers the topic effectively in the available time

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction to the program; 2. What is musicology?; 3. Introduction to reflective writing Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 02 1. Individual interest flash presentations; 2. Approaches to music research 1 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6 LO7
Week 03 1. Exploring the scope of the discipline: speed presentations on sub-disciplines of musicology (10%) Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6 LO8
Week 04 1. Finding a new research topic. 2. Approaches to music research 2 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 05 The great library treasure hunt! Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO7
Week 06 1. online bibliographic skills. 2. Approaches to music research 3 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 07 1. Developing an independent research topic 2. Advanced Endnote skills Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 08 1. Research projects update; engaging sources 2. Approaches to music research 4 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 09 Research writing workshop Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO4 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 10 Special Projects Week: no class. Time to work on your individual research presentation! Independent study (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 11 1. Class conference 1: Individual research project presentations. 2. Approaches to music research 5. Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 12 1. Class conference 3: individual research presentations 2. Approaches to music research 6 Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance: Students are expected to attend a minimum of 90% of timetabled activities for a unit of study, unless granted exemption by the Dean, Head of School or professor most concerned. The Dean, Head of School or professor most concerned may determine that a student fails a unit of study because of inadequate attendance. Alternatively, at their discretion, they may set additional assessment items where attendance is lower than 90%.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 3 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 60-75 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Set texts for this unit are

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Edited by Wayne C. Booth et. al. 9th ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2018. [There is a copy on 2-hour loan in Fisher but the e-book is cheap to buy]

Beard, David, and Kenneth Gloag. Musicology: The Key Concepts. 2nd edition. ed. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, 2016. [e-book available through the library catalogue]

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an expanded knowledge of the scope of musicological scholarship and research
  • LO2. demonstrate skills in critical thinking and critical discussion
  • LO3. find and evaluate a diverse range of sources for music research, both in hard copy and online
  • LO4. develop an independent research topic and research question(s) and articulate their significance
  • LO5. explain key features of important musicological research methods
  • LO6. speak and write persuasively about music and music research
  • LO7. use relevant specialist terminology appropriately and with understanding
  • LO8. demonstrate a reflective approach to research tasks and procedures, including an understanding of ethical, social, cultural, global, and environmental responsibilities in research.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

In response to student feedback, we will focus this year on key skills and disciplinary knowledge, and weekly readings will be revised to keep them within a manageable scope.

Musicology Workshop 2 builds on the skills and knowledge developed in Workshop 1.

Many of the activities for Musicology Workshop are built around the Conservatorium’s fortnightly Musicology Colloquium Series (MCS), which forms part of the curriculum. MCS lectures are presented by SCM staff and visiting national and international scholars addressing a diverse range of musicological topics and demonstrating a wide variety of approaches to music research. They allow you to broaden your knowledge of the discipline and to hear leading scholars speak in person about their research. In weeks when talks in the are being held, the second hour of the class will be devoted to attendance at the MCS (followed by free drinks and nibbles, when we’re able to meet face to face!).

Classes in other weeks include workshops on research and writing skills, discussions and student research presentations. In addition, you choose at least two relevant ‘extra-curricular’ events that interest you, to report on in your journal.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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