• Class Number 6819
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Rachael Thoms
    • Rachael Thoms
    • Roya Safaei
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

The Aural Skills and Music Theory 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. In this course, students apply their analytical approaches to larger harmonic and formal frameworks while investigating more complex rhythmic, pitch, formal, and harmonic structures in music. The theory component is complemented with the sequential and aligned development of relevant aural skills, including audiation (inner hearing) and aural awareness of related melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic structures, through individual and group listening, reading and performing (singing), and dictation activities.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. demonstrate an understanding of more complex elements of music, including those relating to pitch, melody, harmony, rhythm, and form;
  2. fluently apply theoretical knowledge through analysis of music scores using more complex terminology and notation;
  3. demonstrate an ability to fluently read and interpret more complex music notation, including inner hearing of melody, harmony, and rhythm, through sight-singing, sight-reading, and performance activities; and
  4. aurally identify and creative interpret more complex elements of music, including pitch, chords, and harmony in major and minor keys, and more complex rhythms, as demonstrated through notation and performance tasks.

Research-Led Teaching

Lecturers in this course are working to lead the international conversation regarding the teaching and learning of theory and aural skills in the decolonising academy. We are in a constant state of reevaluating the materials, techniques and perspectives utilised in this course to reflect the dynamic postmodern cultural landscape of Australia and the

rest of the planet in the 21st Century. Students in this course are provided with a creative, playful and academically rigorous space in which to pursue their own autoethnographic

research-led praxis.

Field Trips

Students are encouraged to attend live and online concerts and other artistic and performative events throughout the semester, as well as trips to the library for research materials

and training sessions.

Examination Material or equipment

Manuscript paper, pencil and eraser, laptop, headphones. Further details will be provided on Wattle and discussed in lectures and tutorials and on the course Teams forum.

Required Resources

Notebook (digital or paper); headphones; access to a computer with a camera and microphone as well as notation software (Sibelius, Musescore, Finale), DAW (Logic, Reaper, ProTools, Ableton, etc.), video editing (iMovie, Final Cut, Openshot, etc.), metronome and other apps for your mobile phone (as discussed in class) -

More details regarding this list will be provided on Wattle and discussed in lectures and tutorials and on the course Teams forum.

Students will be provided with weekly resources and are also required to seek out resources from the library and various online sources throughout the semester.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Hurdle requirement: A minimum mark of 50% cumulatively across all assessment items in the aural component, and a minimum mark of 50% cumulatively across all assessment items in the theory component, is required to pass the course, regardless of performance in other items.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Aural: Revision of Sem 1 and intro compound intervals. Theory: Music Theory as Problem Solving
2 Aural: Revision and extension of triads, 4-note chords and inversions. Theory: Introduction to Four-Part Writing: SATB, Piano and Guitar Voicings
3 Aural: Hemiolas and Polyrhythms Theory: Practising Four-Part Writing and Understanding Percussion
4 Aural: Extending improvisation – revision and arpeggiated voice leading lines Theory: Writing for Bowed Strings
5 Aural: Revision (practice exam) Theory: Writing for Woodwinds and Brass
6 Aural: Mid-Semester Exam Theory: Scoring for Different Ensembles; Creating Piano Reductions A1 - Aural Exam: Identification of intervals (simple & compound), identification of triads and inversions, identification of 4-note chords and extensions, harmonic dictation, melodic and rhythmic dictation, improvisation strategies. T1 - Theory Assessment: Arranging Assignment
7 Aural: Slash chords and Polychords Theory: Improvisation in Jazz, Classical Music
8 Aural: Extending Improvisation – revision and chord/scale approach Theory: Transposition, Tonicisation and Modulation
9 Aural: Extending improvisation through transcription Theory: Motivic Development and Phrase Structure
10 Aural: Harmony – hearing extensions and functional chromatic harmony. Theory: Musical Form
11 Aural: Asymmetrical meters Theory: Revision (Practice Exam)
12 Aural: Revision/Sight Singing Exams Theory: Final Exam A2: Group Transcription Project & A3: Aural Skills Demonstration. T2: Summary Sheet/Video & T3: Theory Exam

Tutorial Registration

Students will have the opportunity to select an aural skills tutorial and a theory tutorial via the course Wattle site (each week you will be required to attend both aural skills and theory lectures and tutorials).

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
A1: Aural Skills Exam 20 % 30/08/2022 1,2,4
T1: Theory - Arranging Assignment 20 % 05/09/2022 1,2,4
A2: Aural - Group Transcription Project 10 % 17/10/2022 1,2,4
T2: Theory - Summary Sheet/Video 20 % 24/10/2022 1,2,4
A3: Aural - Individual Aural Skills Demonstration: Improvisation or Sight Singing 15 % 25/10/2022 1,2,3,4
T3: Theory Exam 15 % 04/11/2022 1,2,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Students are expected to attend and participate in weekly lectures and tutorials as well as scheduled consultation times with lecturers/tutors. There will also be opportunities for communicating with, learning from and supporting your classmates online via Teams throughout the semester.


See Assessment Tasks for more information. All students are required to sit an Aural Skills exam and a Theory exam in Semester 2.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 30/08/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

A1: Aural Skills Exam

All students within this course must sit the mid-semester Aural Skills exam. The exam will consist of multiple-choice pre-recorded listening tests, notated responses to pre-recorded dictation examples, and a written and notated response to a question about improvisation.


Topics and skills assessed will include all materials covered so far in ASMT 1 and 2, with a focus on ASMT 2 weeks 1 – 6:


·     Identification of intervals (simple & compound)

·     Identification of triads and inversions

·     Identification of 4-note chords and extensions

·     Harmonic dictation

·     Melodic and Rhythmic dictation

·     Improvisation strategies


The exam will be submitted online or in-person at the end of the exam time. 

Assessment criteria/rubric: 

  1. Ability to identify, define and articulate (using notation) the primary parameters of music; specifically pitch, melody, harmony, and rhythm.
  2. Demonstrate the capacity to apply theoretical knowledge of core analytical techniques in music using appropriate terminology and notation.
  3. Ability to interpret various elements of music, including rhythm, pitch, and harmony in tonal contexts for the purpose of creative improvisation.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 05/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

T1: Theory - Arranging Assignment

Arrange one of the provided works (see Wattle) for an ensemble that includes at least three different instruments. Write a 500-800-word reflection with embedded score annotations that focuses on the process of arranging your chosen work. Your reflection must integrate the course content through the analysis of concepts/techniques like voicings, voice leading, rhythmic choices, etc. pertaining to your arrangement. The purpose of this assessment is to demonstrate your knowledge of arranging and writing for different instruments, using music theory to assist you with this process.



The following should be uploaded to wattle:

·     A PDF score of your arrangement (notated on a music software program such as Sibelius/Musescore - handwritten scores are not accepted).

·     A WAV file of your arrangement.

·     A PDF of your reflection


Assessment criteria/rubric:

1.    Demonstrated understanding of idiomatic writing/arranging for your chosen ensemble.

2.    Ability to reflect and link the arrangement process to the course content (music theory).

3.    Quality and clarity of the musical score (layout, format, neatness), embedded excerpts (annotations) and reflective essay (grammar, spelling, structure and referencing). 

4.    Demonstrated understanding of topics through regular participation in tutorial activities and discussions.  

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 17/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

A2: Aural - Group Transcription Project

For this project, students will form groups of 4 people (unless otherwise agreed with the Lecturer/Course Convenor) and select a piece of music from the list provided (see Wattle) to transcribe. The following requirements apply:


·     Demonstrated ability to make a fair, equitable and respectful contribution to the group

·     Demonstrated ability to use techniques and concepts from ASMT 1 & 2 to analyse and notate the piece

·     The transcription should include at least 4 distinct voices

·     The group is required to transcribe an excerpt of minimum 32 bars, focusing on a section of the piece that has particular significance to the group (ie inclusion of improvisation, density/complexity, instrumentation etc)

·     Demonstrated ability to annotate the score identifying key center, harmonic analysis (roman numerals – not figured bass), sequences, phrases, motives, structure, melodic analysis (chord/scale relationship)



Each individual from the group will upload the following collated files and documents to Wattle:

·     Annotated PDF of your score in standard notation (using Musescore or Sibelius)

·     WAV file of a MIDI or other realisation of your transcription (from notation software, DAW or similar)

·     An 800 - word document outlining the members of the group, a statement detailing each person’s contribution to the transcription, reasons for the selection of your chosen work, discussion of problems encountered, and how individuals worked with the group to resolve them.

Assessment criteria/rubric:  


  1. Appropriateness of the chosen work
  2. Clarity, neatness and quality of notation, with the appropriate audio file
  3. Demonstrated ability to accurately/appropriately notate and analyse the chosen piece
  4. Demonstrated ability to work within and contribute to the group (participation)   
  5. Grammar, spelling, quality of the writing and academic referencing (where applicable).

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 24/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

T2: Theory - Summary Sheet/Video

 Choose either a) or b):

a)    Summarise?in your own words (dot points are acceptable) two of the topics/concepts covered in weeks 7-10 and following this, construct a critical, original question for each topic (two in total) that demonstrates an applied understanding of the concepts. Provide the answers to your questions and a brief explanation of how you worked these out. The summary sheet should not exceed one A4 page. 


b)   Create a YouTube-style tutorial video summarising two of the topics/concepts covered in weeks 7-10 by constructing a critical, original question for each topic (two in total) and explaining how these theoretical concepts are applied. Your video should focus on the process of answering these questions, explaining the key concepts along the way. You must provide the answers to your questions at some point in the video. It is important to note that the content of the video will be considered but not the production quality. The video should not exceed five minutes.



The following should be uploaded to Wattle: 


·       A single A4 sheet (in PDF form) of your summary and questions. 


·       A five-minute video (mp4) that explains the answers to your constructed questions.

Assessment Criteria/Rubric:  

  1. Ability to summarise/present information clearly and succinctly (in your own words). 
  2. Demonstrated ability to construct original questions that apply relevant theoretical concepts from the course.  
  3. Clarity and accuracy of your answers to the constructed questions. 
  4. Demonstration of in-depth knowledge pertaining to the chosen topics through assessment quality. 
  5. Demonstrated understanding of topics through regular participation in tutorial activities and discussions.  

Assessment Task 5

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 25/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

A3: Aural - Individual Aural Skills Demonstration: Improvisation or Sight Singing

For this task you may choose between a pre-recorded improvisation demonstration or an in-person sight-singing demonstration.


Improvisation – You will nominate in Week Seven and have until the end of Week 12 to prepare, record, and submit your demonstration and related materials.


You will select a lead sheet/reduction from a provided list of options and prepare and present a notated harmonic security worksheet working through the following steps:

·     A guide tone line

·     An arpeggiated voice-leading line

·     A continuous scale or mode practice drill


Your worksheet will also include harmonic analysis and the names of a mode/scale that can be applied and practised with each chord.


You will create a video recording of:

·     a sung demonstration of one of the three steps included in your worksheet

·     an improvisation, sung or played on a melodic instrument (ie not drum kit or unpitched percussion) of your choosing, which demonstrates your ability to audiate and create a musically salient performance of new melodic and rhythmic material.

·     Your improvisation should include strong voice leading principles and examples of the rhythmic and melodic devices and phrasing that are covered in the course (examples will be provided)

·     Your demonstration will be performed using a pre-recorded accompaniment that will be provided.


Sight Singing – you will nominate in Week Seven and be assigned a time for your in-person demonstration


·     You will perform two 16-bar sight-singing exercises in an in-person exam. Your performance will be video recorded for marking and archival purposes.

·     Two contrasting options will be provided from a selection that includes various keys, tonalities, ranges, and clefs.

·     Sight-singing will be unaccompanied, with a starting pitch only to be provided on the piano.

·     Rhythmic and melodic accuracy, awareness of tonality, key centre, and intonation will be assessed. Vocal quality will not be assessed.




Improvisation demonstration:

·     A PDF version of your notated harmonic security worksheet, exported from your music notation software. An example will be provided.

·     A video recording of your demonstration. Further instructions will be provided.


Sight Singing:

·     This will be a 5-minute in-person exam. No submission is required. An archival video will be created by the lecturer during your exam.

Individual sight-singing exams will be booked in 5-minute intervals during regular lecture and tutorial times: 25 – 27th October


Assessment criteria/rubric: 



  • Appropriateness of the nominated aural skills demonstration
  • Demonstrated understanding of relevant aural skills/concepts through regular participation in tutorial activities and discussion. 


Improvisation task:

  • Clarity, neatness, and quality of music notation (Sibelius/Musescore etc) with appropriate and accurate analysis, labelling, and annotation (improvisation)
  • Demonstrated awareness of voice leading principals, chord/scale relationships, harmonic security, and melodic and rhythmic phrasing concepts (improvisation)


Sight-reading task:

  • Rhythmic and melodic accuracy, consistent tempo, awareness of tonality, key signature, meter, and intonation
  • Demonstrated awareness of indicated dynamics, accents, articulations, phrasing, and expressive devices

Assessment Task 6

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 04/11/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

T3: Theory Exam

All students in this course must attempt the theory exam. The exam will be conducted in week 12. Topics and skills assessed will include all the materials covered so far in ASMT 1 & 2, with a particular focus on weeks 7-10. There will be 3 sections: 

Section 1: Multiple-Choice (25 marks)

5 multiple-choice questions worth 5 marks each. 

You will be asked to identify and interpret various elements of music.


 Section 2: Analysis/Long Response (45 marks)

1 long response question comprised of multiple parts and worth a total of 45 marks. 

You will analyse a musical excerpt and discuss certain musical elements in greater depth. Your contributions in class activities will be considered in the marking of this section. 


Section 3: Notated Response (30 marks)

2 notated response questions worth 15 marks each.  This must be handwritten. 

You may be asked to write out a chord progression, create a piano reduction, harmonise a melody/bassline or develop a motivic idea.



The exam will be submitted online or in-person at the end of the exam time. 

Assessment criteria/rubric:  

  1. Ability to define and describe the core elements of music, including those relating to pitch, melody, harmony, rhythm, and form.
  2. The capacity to apply theoretical knowledge of core analytical techniques in music using appropriate terminology and notation.  
  3. Demonstration of fluency in reading and interpreting music. 
  4. Ability to creatively interpret various elements of music, including rhythm, pitch, chords, and harmony in tonal contexts, as demonstrated through notation tasks. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Feedback and marks will be provided within two weeks of the assessment submission.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

In exceptional circumstances, an amended assessment task may be set for resubmission in place of the original assignment. You must consult with the Course Convenor and Lecturer for the assessment task in question to apply and your request will be considered. Timeline on due dates for any approved resubmission will be considered on a case by case basis depending on the student's circumstances.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Rachael Thoms
6125 6336

Research Interests

Vocal Pedagogy, Voice Science, Improvisation, Hyrbid Performance, Performance, Jazz Performance, Classical Voice, Jazz and CCM Voice, Aural Skills, Gender and Intersectional Feminism in Music

Rachael Thoms

Tuesday 10:00 11:00
Tuesday 10:00 11:00
Wednesday 10:00 11:00
Rachael Thoms

Research Interests

Rachael Thoms

Tuesday 10:00 11:00
Tuesday 10:00 11:00
Wednesday 10:00 11:00
Roya Safaei

Research Interests

Roya Safaei

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions