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Unit of study_

MUSC1504: Fundamentals of Music 2

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

A more advanced exploration of music literacy skills than MUSC1503. The material covered in this unit of study ranges from the broad to the specific: from an examination of musical elements and the way they are used in a variety of musical genres through to specific compositional aspects such as four-part writing. Analysis and compositional craft regarding melody, harmony and rhythm in classical and contemporary popular music are a central focus of this unit of study. Critical listening skills are developed in this unit of study.

Unit details and rules

Unit code MUSC1504
Academic unit
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Aidan Rosa,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Online task Final quiz
Music skills quiz and short written tasks
15% Formal exam period ca 2 hours of work
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Musical Analysis
Essay or presentation, and, submitted material
15% Formal exam period ca 1000 words + score analysis
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment Figured bass, chord identification, and non-harmonic notes
Two online quizzes based on given scores, opportunity to correct errors
15% Week 04 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task Mid-semester aural quiz
Online aural quiz via Canvas
10% Week 06 ca 50 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Chorale and keyboard style harmonisations
Harmonisation of two given melodies in both chorale and keyboard style
15% Week 06 30 bars of harmonisation
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Musical form and the cycle of fifths
Composition using either ritornello or jazz standard form
15% Week 12 12–16 bars of music writing
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task Weekly auralia tests
10 weekly aural quizzes via Auralia software, commences week 4 onward
10% Weekly ca 15 minutes (each)
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Online task Weekly lecture quizzes
10 weekly lecture quizzes via Canvas, commences week 2 onward
5% Weekly ca 15 minutes (each)
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

  • Figured bass, chord identification, and non-harmonic notes (eLearning online): Two online quizzes assessing knowledge of chords, figured bass and non-harmonic notes.
  • Chorale and keyboard style harmonisations: Harmonise two given melodies in four parts/voices demonstrating both chorale and keyboard styles.
  • Musical form and the cycle of fifths​: Pastiche composition using either ritornello or jazz standard form.
  • Musical Analysis: Analyse a given work according to the concepts and parameters discussed in class. Using your analysis as support material, extrapolate or hypothesise how this music functions and/or what makes it noteworthy in either an essay or audio-visual presentation.
  • Mid-semester aural quiz: In-class test that examines all topics covered during aural tutorials and weekly auralia tests (WATs) upto week 5.
  • Weekly auralia tests (online): Ongoing tests to be done using the Auralia software available for purchase, which will then be available for you on your device or computer.
  • Lecture quizzes (eLearning online): Multiple choice questions to be completed immediately after each lecture.
  • Final quiz (eLearning online): Final comprehensive quiz and music skills assessment in four sections: aural quiz, aural transcriptions, written quiz, and written tasks.

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.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

As per the University’s Assessment Procedures 2011 policy, Clause 7A, (1) It is expected that unless an application for Special Consideration has been approved, students will submit all assessment for a unit of study on the due date specified, by 11.59pm. If the assessment is completed or submitted within the period of extension, no academic penalty will be applied to that piece of assessment. (2) If an extension is either not sought, not granted or is granted but work is submitted after the extended due date, the late submission of assessment will result in an academic penalty as follows: A penalty of 5% of the maximum mark will be applied per calendar day the assessment is late. After 10 calendar days, mark of zero is given for that assessment.

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 Elements of Music Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Week 02 Chords, Triads, and Non-Harmonic Notes Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
1. Figured bass, triads; 2. Aural tutes Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 03 Setting Chords to a Melody Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
1. Non-harmonic notes in figured bass and setting chords to melodies; 2. Aural tutes Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 04 Four-part Harmonisation (Part 1) Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
1. Principles and workflow of harmonisation and voice leading; 2. Aural tutes Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 05 Four-part Harmonisation (Part 2) Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
1. Harmonising a melody practise; 2. Aural tutes Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 06 Harmony and Minor Scales Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
1. Harmonising melodies in minor tonalities; 2. Aural tutes Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 07 Secondary Dominants and the Cycle of Fifths Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
1. Secondary dominants and cycle of fifths practise; 2. Aural tutes Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 08 Modulations Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
1. Modulation and four-part harmony practise; 2. Aural tutes Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 09 The Functional Cycle of Fifths Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
1. Functional cycle of fifths practise (ritornello and jazz standard examples); 2. Aural tute Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 10 Motivic Elements in Music Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
1. Developing musical ideas practise (ritornello and jazz standard examples); 2. Aural tute Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 11 Musical Analysis (Part 1) Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
1. Analysis of motives and melodic structure; 2. Aural tute Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 12 Musical Analysis (Part 2) Online class (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
1. Analysing a score; 2. Aural tute Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 13 1. Content revision - written component; 2. Content revision - aural component Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

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. understand the workings of harmonic vocabulary in western common practice music
  • LO2. possess a foundational understanding of the harmonic, rhythmic, metric and structural functions of classical and contemporary popular music
  • LO3. begin to analyse and assess compositional techniques and approaches in existing compositions, and make use of such techniques and approaches in your own work
  • LO4. present score-based music to an adequate standard using computer music notation software and/or handwriting
  • LO5. relate music listening to score-based musical communication
  • LO6. have improved aural skills including rhythm and melodic dictation, sight-singing, conducting and interval/triad recognition and reproduction.

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.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


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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