Studies in Musicology 1

Subject 740-518 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

On campus.
For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 hours of classes per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Permission of the subject area coordinator (refer to subject areas above for details).
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Faculty of Music

Phone: +61 3 8344 5256

Fax: +61 3 8344 5346

Online enquiry:

Subject Overview:

A detailed examination of an aspect of Western music history or theory .

Available subject areas:

Semester 1, 2009:

Art Music and Postmodernism (Coordinator: Dr Linda Kouvaras)

This subject will focus primarily on art-music written since 1968 and the trends in composition leading up to this watershed period when a widespread compositional shift occurred as significant numbers of composers generally began to question seriously many modernist ideals and techniques. This resulted in the current pluralistic approach to music composition, where such elements occur as the breakdown of barriers between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture; gender issues; quotation and pastiche; cultural hybrids; and the rise of Neo-movements such as Neo-Tonality, Neo-Romanticism, Neo-Nationalism, Minimalism, and Experimentalism—along with the ‘postmodern backlash’ to be found in such styles as New Complexism. We will also engage with the New Musicology, where postmodern filters are deployed to approach classical and early twentieth-century music.

Cabaret! (Coordinator: Peter Hurley)

An exploration of the world of cabaret from its beginnings in Paris in the 1880s through the Weimar Republic to contemporary practice in Europe, New York and the Melbourne Comedy and Fringe Festivals. The relationships between performer, music and text, movement and staging are explored. Through case studies postmodern themes such as identity, desire and intention are examined.

The Ethnography of Music (Coordinator: Professor Catherine Falk)

An introduction to the writings of the seminal scholars in ethnomusicology from the 19th century to the present day and to the key issues of ethnomusicological theory and methodology presented in those writings, including fieldwork methods, approaches to transcription and analysis, the ethnography of music, ethical considerations and future directions of ethnomusicology. This subject provides a conceptual base for students intending to pursue research in ethnomusicology.

Music Psychology (Coordinator: Dr Katrina McFerran)

This subject will encompass an initial exploration of music psychology research. Selected researchers within the field, including music therapists, behavioural neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, and experimental psychologists will outline recent and current practical research involving music across the lifespan. Information will be provided on the relationship between music and the brain, as well as music and the body. The development of musical skills at different life stages will be outlined, from birth to old age. Each seminar will incorporate didactic teaching paired with class discussion, followed up by weekly on-line quizzes and development of music research concepts.

Paris! Berlioz to the Ballets Russes (Coordinator: Associate Professor Kerry Murphy)

Walter Benjamin called Paris the capital of the 19th century. This subject examines some of the ways in which Paris was a centre for musical activity in the 19th century. It looks at the importance of music criticism, music societies, theatres/companies and exhibitions. Repertoire is examined from within social and cultural contexts.

Semester 2, 2009:

Composition Studies (Coordinator: Dr Elliot Gyger)

This subject introduces students without previous composition tuition to strategies for thinking about and constructing original music. Students will write chamber music based on instruments available within the class. The subject will be divided into three 4-week modules, each beginning with a process of sketching and culminating in a short completed project to be performed in class.

Court, Church and Urban Music 1450-1600 (Coordinator: Professor John Griffiths)

Through individual studies of selected musical centres and repertories, students will explore the nature, the role, and the functions of music in European society during the Renaissance. Using diverse materials, students will engage in a directed exploration of selected repertory, manuscript and printed sources, early notation, theoretical writings, performance practices, social history and current issues in scholarship and performance. Students will gain an enhanced experience of the musical life of the period, and develop critical skills that will assist them to evaluate recent musicological scholarship and modern performances.

Music and Health (Coordinator: Dr Katrina McFerran)

This subject will provide an overview of the ways that music can be used to promote physical health and healthy behaviours for a range of people, including musicians. Topics covered will include music for expression, relaxation, anxiety reduction and communication. Students will be involved in experiential activities underpinned by theoretical knowledge. They will also contribute to weekly web-based discussion that furthers understanding of topics covered in class.

Music of the World (Coordinator: Professor Catherine Falk)

An introduction to the music and sociocultural (“musicultural”) contexts of non-western music cultures from around the world. Students will have the opportunity to experience hands-on music making, and will be encouraged to pursue further knowledge of music cultures in which they have a particular interest.

Ragtime to Rap: Popular Music Since 1900 (Coordinator: Dr Michael Christoforidis)

This subject explores a range of popular musical styles (from dance crazes to pop songs) that have had widespread impact over the past century. It will analyse aspects of the music’s creation, dissemination and modes of consumption, drawing on key cultural theories and recent scholarship.


On completion of this subject, students should have developed:

  • High-level cognitive skills;
  • A critical knowledge of the literature, and;
  • A capacity for independent critical thought.
Assessment: Written work totalling 5,000 words (80%); A 20-minute class presentation (20%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Master of Music (Music Performance)
Master of Music (Musicology/Ethnomusicology)
Master of Music Studies by Coursework(Composition)
Master of Music Studies by Coursework(Musicology/Ethnomusicology)

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