Discovering Music

Subject MUSI10037 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

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

120 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

Not available to Bachelor of Music students

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:

This subject is an introduction to the main elements of music for non-music students. We will explore fundamental musical concepts including rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, texture, dynamics and form, and how they interrelate in the different musical styles. Although the main emphasis will be on Western art music, examples from popular music and non-Western musical traditions and from popular music will also be included. You will be encouraged to analyse and bring to class examples of interest to you. Active listening, as opposed to passive hearing of music, is a key element in this subject. We will help you develop a range of critical skills that will allow you to think conceptually about music and therefore to understand music at a deeper level.
You will acquire a set of tools and a working vocabulary for discussing, describing and analysing music. Through your class presentation and essay you will develop the ability to apply them these tools to musical examples of relevance to you.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Understand core musical concepts
  • Discriminate aurally between different musical styles according to their musical characteristics
  • Apply enhanced listening skills to analyse different types of music
  • Articulate your impressions about music coherently using an appropriate technical vocabulary
  • Engage with music on a critical and analytical level

Three listening tests (10 %, 10% and 15 % respectively), to be taken throughout the semester; a 10-minute class presentation (20 %) to be given in the second half of semester; a 2000-words essay (35%) due at the end of semester; attendance and positive participation in lectures and tutorials (10%). All assessment components must be attempted in order to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Forney, Kristine and Joseph Machlis. The Enjoyment of Music: An Introduction to Perceptive Listening. New York, NY: W. W. Norton, 2007. 10 shorter edition.

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 successful completion of the subject, students should have developed:

  • An ability to think critically
  • A capacity to communicate adequately in an academic context both in oral and written form
  • The ability to apply research skills to specific contexts.
Related Breadth Track(s): Studies in western music

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