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Unit of study_

MUSC1501: Extended Fundamentals of Music

Semester 2, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Through an integrated and research-based approach to music composition and analysis, student's knowledge of music theory and compositional techniques is extended. Skills in this area cover a range of musical styles including classical music (past and present), jazz, popular music and film music. The Written tutorials build on the topics covered in the lectures. The Aural tutorials develop the students ability to listen musically and critically.

Unit details and rules

Unit code MUSC1501
Academic unit
Credit points 6
MUSC2693 or MUSC2699 or MCGY1008
Assumed knowledge

(MUSC1503 and MUSC1504), or HSC Music 2

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Aidan Rosa,
Lecturer(s) Aidan Rosa,
Tutor(s) Simon Polson,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Online task Final quiz
Music skills quiz and short tasks
20% Formal exam period ca. 2 hours of work
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Final assignment
Composition and written task
20% Formal exam period 6-8 minutes or 2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Online task Mid-semester aural quiz
Aural quiz
5% Mid-semester break ca. 50 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Composing with modes
Composition task
10% Week 04 32 bars of composition
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Harmonisation and chordal analysis
Harmonisation and analysis task
15% Week 07 32 bars of harmonisation and analysis
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Sonata form
Composition and written task
15% Week 10 500 words or 32 bars of notated music
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task Weekly lecture quizzes
Weekly quizzes on lecture material
5% Weekly ca. 15 minutes each
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task Weekly Auralia tests
Weekly aural quizzes via Auralia software
10% Weekly ca. 15-30 minutes each
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

  • Online quizzes: Questions based on lecture content.
  • Composition assignment: A composition assignment that features melodic writing.
  • Analysis or harmonisation: Students can choose one of two options. Analyse a section of a given work for its use of extended chords or harmonise a given melody with the use of informed extended chords/harmony.
  • Sonata form: Students can choose one of two options. Analysis of a set work in sonata form or composition of an exposition of a movement in sonata form.
  • Final assignment: Students can choose one of three options: (1) Composition of a short piece utilising aspects of repetition directly relating to the lectures and tutorials, and set a given piece of text using melody and accompaniment using correct word-setting and employing word painting. (2) Composition of a single piece duration 3-4 minutes based upon 2 or more concepts explored in weeks 9-13. Genre/style are your own choice; e.g., rock, pop, jazz, classical, film, etc. (3) Analysis of a set work in essay format.
  • Auralia tests: Ongoing tests to be done using the Auralia software.
  • Mid-semester aural test: Test that covers all aural tutorial materials up to the week of the test.
  • Final exam: Final comprehensive exam in two parts: a written knowledge exam and aural exam.

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.

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 Pitch and forms 1: revision of voice leading concepts and chord progressions Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. Revision of technical concepts: figured bass, jazz/pop chord symbols, basic voice leading, chord progressions 2. Aural Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 02 Pitch and forms 2: modes and scale organisation Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. Analysis and discussion of modes and extended pitch material 2. Aural Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 03 Pitch and forms 3: extended chords/harmony and their usage in contemporary popular and classical music Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. Extended chords 2. Aural Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 04 Pitch and forms 4: extended chords/harmony and their usage Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. Analysis of extended chords 2. Aural Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Pitch and forms 5: form in popular music, film, and introduction to sonata form Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. Analysis of sonata form 2. Aural Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Pitch and forms 6: writing a sonata form exposition Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. Composition task as demonstrated in the lecture 2. Aural Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Repetition in music 1: motivic ostinatos Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. Repetition with change and process music 2. Aural Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Repetition in music 2: harmonic ostinatos in blues and passacaglias Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. More on harmonic ostinatos: themes and variations 2. Aural Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Text and music: setting text to music with a focus on word-setting Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. Exercises in setting text to music 2. Aural Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Rhythm: extending the concept of ‘the beat’ and composite rhythms in contrasting musical traditions Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. Writing a piece using composite rhythms 2. Aural Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Restrictions and freedom: serialism, minimalism and aleatoric music Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. Elementary 12-tonal serialism 2. Aural Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Revision Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
1. Content revision - written component; 2. Content revision - aural component Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

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. develop a greater understanding of various approaches to music creation and analysis and apply these across a range of contemporary and classical genres.
  • LO2. develop a foundational understanding of the harmonic, rhythmic, metric and structural functions of classical and contemporary popular music
  • LO3. elevate aural skills to a high standard including rhythm and melodic dictation, sight-singing, conducting and interval/triad recognition and reproduction.
  • LO4. present score-based music to an adequate standard using computer music notation software and/or handwriting
  • LO5. Develop a foundational understanding of the harmonic, rhythmic, metric and structural functions of classical and contemporary popular 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

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



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