• Offered by School of Music
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Music

This course will introduce students to Indigenous epistemologies of music in Australia. It will examine the roles in Indigenous societies of music and cognate media in both classical and post-classical contexts. It will specifically explore the relationships of music to social structures, spiritual beliefs, the ceremonial arts, and country among Indigenous communities of central Australia and Arnhem Land, and will examine issues relating to changing contexts in Aboriginal societies nationwide. Relationships between music, media, identity, and place will also be examined. Students will participate in an intensive course that will develop their intercultural understandings through cultural immersion and excursions to nearby national institutions. In keeping with Indigenous epistemologies, they will learn musical structures through the logic of ceremonial structures and traditional dance.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  1. understand Indigenous epistemologies of music and cognate media in Australia from several theoretical perspectives
  2. apply these theoretical perspectives to a number of specific musical and cross-arts cases
  3. demonstrate a familiarity with Indigenous musical and ceremonial practices
  4. demonstrate a developed awareness of the roles that music and media play in shaping Indigenous societies
  5. demonstrate listening and intercultural awareness skills through the participatory study and discussion of selected musical and cross-arts cases
  6. employ research, analysis, discussion, and writing skills through written assessment tasks

Indicative Assessment

  • Written project (3000–4000 words) (60%), [Learning Outcomes 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  • Oral examination (40%), [Learning Outcomes 1,2,3.4,5,6]

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A mixture of seminars and workshops equivalent to three hours per week, plus seven hours of independent study per week.

Prescribed Texts

  • Corn, A 2009 Reflections and Voices (Sydney, SUP).
  • —— 2010 ‘Land, Song, Constitution’ Popular Music 29: 81–102.
  • Corn, A & JN Gumbula 2006 ‘Rom and the Academy Repositioned’ in L Russell (ed.), Boundary Writing (Honolulu, UHP) pp. 170–97.
  • —— 2007 ‘Budutthun Ratja Wiyinymirri’ Australian Aboriginal Studies 2007.2: 116–27.
  • Patrick, S, M Holmes & A Box 2008 Ngurra-kurlu (Alice Springs, Desert Knowledge CRC).




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4881 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

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