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Unit of study_

MUSC1402: Contemporary Music Practice 2

In this unit of study, students will continue exploration of diverse repertoire areas as commenced in Semester 1, with a specific focus on the communication of musical ideas and collaboration in rehearsal and studio settings. Instruction on techniques for writing and performing music on particular instruments will support students in developing and arranging original music, directing its performance and recording the result. Students will perform and reflect on their own music and the music of others. This unit will culminate in a live performance showcasing repertoire developed over the course of the semester


Academic unit Arts Music
Unit code MUSC1402
Unit name Contemporary Music Practice 2
Session, year
Semester 2, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Jade O'Regan,
Tutor(s) Heather Shannon ,
Toby Martin,
Administrative staff For questions about the studios, please contact Adam Wilson: For studio and venue bookings, please contact Katherine Rowell at the Con Timetable Unit:
Type Description Weight Due Length
Creative assessment / demonstration Playing sessions each week
25% Ongoing Equiv - 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Creative assessment / demonstration Leading a session
25% Ongoing Equiv - 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Music analysis podcast
25% Week 07
Due date: 16 Oct 2020 at 23:59
5 minutes, 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Creative assessment / demonstration group assignment Collaborative performance
25% Week 13
Due date: 27 Nov 2020 at 18:00
Equiv - 1500 words, 3 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?
  • Playing sessions: Students will perform as a session musician in all tutorial recording sessions and at an end-of-semester concert.
  • Music analysis podcast: Students will choose one contemporary music song and analyse it in terms of its arrangement, production and socio-cultural context, and turn this analysis in to a sound file and deliver in the form of a podcast.
  • Leading a session: Students will run a live performance session in class, employing all of their classmates as session musicians.
  • Collaborative performance: Tutorial groups will perform 3 songs they have worked on in class at an end-of-semester concert. Every student will have an important part in the songs, either playing or having written them.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

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

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Comprehensive and outstanding technical control and musical integrity in relation to developmental expectations. Musical individuality consistently projected to create a persuasive personal representation of the work. Performance flair indicative of soloist standard. A mark of 95 or above indicates extraordinary technical virtuosity and musical artistry.


75 - 84

Excellent technical, musical and stylistic achievement. Consistently coherent and expressive performance. Some personal interpretation of the work suggesting soloist potential. 


65 - 74

Confident technique with evidence of solid musicality and some stylistic achievement. Occasional lapses indicative of unresolved technical, artistic and/or stylistic issues. Projects potential for further development.


50 - 64

Satisfactory level of preparation and musical engagement. Some inconsistencies in musicianship, style and/or technique. Musical imagination and overall performance sense developing though some insecurity in this area.


0 - 49

Unsatisfactory technical achievement and/or unsatisfactory level of musical and artistic engagement. Limitations may be of such a scale and consistency as to call into question the student’s future direction in the programme.

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.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

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.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 02 Tips and Tricks for Great Collaborative Playing Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 03 Cross-Cultural Collaborations Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 04 Working With Others Across Disciplines Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 05 Working as a Session Musician/Guitar Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 06 Band Dynamics Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 07 Using Keyboards in your Arrangements Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 08 Rhythm Workshop Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 09 Tweaking your Arrangements Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 10 Vocalists as Session Musicians Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 11 Toplining and Melody Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 12 Unit review Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  

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 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

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 understandings of diverse forms of contemporary music and how to recreate such music in individual and group-based contexts from a technical perspective
  • LO2. document and maintain records of collaborative and individual music practice activities
  • LO3. reflect critically on your music and music produced by your peers
  • LO4. apply composition, rehearsal, performance, recording and production techniques necessary to present diverse forms of contemporary music.

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

Work, health and safety

During this semester, we encourage students to bring in their own instruments and equipment where possible. We are trying our best to reduce contact by not having many students touching gear throughout the week. Some amps and drums, of course, are an exception, however, you will need to provide your own sticks each week, and any other percussion you may need. We will be wiping down instruments and keeping them as clean as we can during this semester, though your help and support with this is really appreciated. 


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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