Art Music and Postmodernism

Subject MUSI30125 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 two-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: None
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 subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Linda Kouvaras


Faculty of the VCA and Music Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 9685 9419
Fax: +61 3 9685 9358
Subject Overview:

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 Sound Art—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 not only to contemporary music but also to classical and early twentieth-century music.


On completion of this subject students should have developed: an understanding of western art-musical styles since 1968 and their social, cultural and intellectual contexts.


Four short assignments due throughout the semester of 300 words each (5% each); mid-semester written-up class presentation of 1200 words (40%); one take-home examination essay of 1600 words (40%) due during the examination period

Prescribed Texts:

A reading pack will be available for purchase from the Bookroom before the commencement of the semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have developed:

  • a capacity for independent critical thought
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Music
Diploma in Music (Practical)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Music History

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