Music Language 2: Chromaticism & Beyond

Subject MUSI20061 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 one-hour lectures and 1 one-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


MUSI10023 Music Language 1: the Diatonic World



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


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.


Contact Centre
T: 13 MELB (6352)

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and MCM Student Centre

Subject Overview:

Building on the knowledge acquired in Music Language 1, Music Language 2 continues with a survey of chromatic harmony, select thematic and contrapuntal devices, and form, up to the beginnings of the dissolution of functional harmony in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding of voice leading and harmonic function through regular assignments which will include analysis, chord construction, the writing of two-part contrapuntal textures and four-part chromatic harmonic textures (Bach-style chorales).


On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • identify, analyse, and discuss chromatic harmonic structures including harmonic progressions, functions, and modulations as well as the chromatic movement in individual voices
  • identify and analyse contrapuntal and thematic structures
  • identify, analyse, and discuss common formal structures
  • demonstrate an understanding of the subject matter by composing material based on a variety of harmonic, thematic or contrapuntal devices
  • develop a wide-ranging harmonic, thematic, and structural vocabulary which can be used in a variety of compositional idioms

Ten weekly written assignments (60%); one end-of-semester, 90-minute written final exam (30%); one end-of-semester, 50-minute aural recognition exam (10%).

Students must complete all assessment requirements to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Edward Aldwell and Carl Schachter. Harmony and Voice Leading, 4th edition, New York: Thomson Schirmer, 2003 or 2011.

Kent Kennan, Counterpoint 4th edition, Prentice Hall, 1999.

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:

Students who have studied this subject should further develop and enhance:

  • analytical skills
  • skills in more advanced evaluative thinking, and in the application of complex theoretical criteria to a variety of practical outcomes.
Related Course(s): Graduate Diploma in Music (Practical Music)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Composition Major
Music Studies Electives
Musicology/Ethnomusicology Major
Performance Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Studies in music composition and music language

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