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Unit of study_

MUSC2695: Popular Music Theory

The culmination of the Fundamentals of Music series, this unit of study is an exploration of musical language used in contemporary popular, film and world music repertoire from ca. 1960 to the present. The focus is on compositional techniques, analytical tools and workflow that relates to contemporary music practitioners. Lectures will examine the given topic for that week with references to examples drawn from a list of repertoire for that topic. These examples will be discussed further in the written tutorials and supported by weekly homework. An important outcome of this unit of study is the final assignment, in which students apply the knowledge accrued over the semester in an original composition, which they also analyse. Aural Tutorials will draw on these topics to develop skills relating to the student's ability to perceive and interpret musical elements and procedures.

Code MUSC2695
Academic unit Arts Music
Credit points 6
MUSC1503 or MUSC1504 or MUSC1501 or MUSC2693 or MCGY1009 or JAZZ1621 or JAZZ1019

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

  • LO1. Understand differences between traditional music theory and the harmonic language of popular music
  • LO2. Recognise and contextualise the harmonic and rhythmic mechanics of different popular genres/styles
  • LO3. Present and interpret score/chart-based music using traditional notation, chord symbols, and performance markings
  • LO4. Perform rhythm and melody dictation, sight singing, interval and triad recognition, and recognise tonality
  • LO5. Use the elements of music to create a meaningful commentary on popular music