• Offered by School of Music
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Music
  • Areas of interest Musicology, Music
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Thomas Laue
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

The Music Theory & Aural Skills courses are a series of courses compulsory for all Bachelor of Music students that develop core skills underpinning analytical and practical engagement in a variety of musical idioms, including common practice, jazz, and popular styles. This course introduces chromatic harmony and modulation, and advanced analytical techniques theory through the detailed study of music scores and excerpts. The theory component is complemented with the sequential and aligned development of relevant aural skills, including audiation (inner hearing) and aural awareness of advanced melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic structures, through individual and group listening, reading and performing (singing), dictation, and aural analysis activities.


Learning Outcomes

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

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

  1. Define and describe advanced elements of music, including those relating to pitch, melody, harmony, rhythm, and form.
  2. Apply theoretical knowledge of advanced chromatic and analytical techniques using advanced terminology and notation.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to fluently read and interpret advanced music notation, including inner hearing of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements, through sight-singing, sight-reading, and performance activities.
  4. Aurally identify and creative interpret advanced elements of music, including pitch, chords, and harmony in tonal and atonal contexts, and advanced rhythms and polyrhythms, as demonstrated through notation and performance tasks.

Indicative Assessment

40% Weekly in-class Activities and Assignments (LOs: 1,2,3,4)

20% Three in-class tests (LOs: 1,2,4)

20% Final written exam (LOs: 1,2,4)

10% Aural Viva Voce (LOs: 3,4)

10% Class Participation (LOs: 1,2,3)

Hurdle: achievement of 50% minimum in both the Aural and Theory components.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 48 hours of Theory & Aural workshops

b) 82 hours of independent study, including listening and written tasks, and practical exercises (e.g., sight-singing)

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed MUSI2204 or have equivalent level of musical proficiency as demonstrated by a placement test. Alternatively, you may gain permission of the Course Convenor to enrol in this course.

You will need to contact the School of Music to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Clendinning, J. P., & Marvin, E. W. (2011). The musician's guide to theory and analysis. New York: W.W. Norton.

Edlund, Lars (1990). Modus Novus: studies in reading atonal melodies. Stockholm: AB Nordiska Musikförlaget.

Edlund, Lars (1976). Modus Vetus. Stockholm: AB Nordiska Musikförlaget.

Palmqvist, Bengt-Olov (2006). Refinement of Rhythm, Vol. 2. Canberra: Bopac.




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
2017 $2652
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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
4878 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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