• Class Number 6820
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Thomas Laue
    • Edward Neeman
  • 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. This course introduces students to various analytical approaches to 20th Century and contemporary music repertoire, both theoretical and aurally. The theory component is complemented with the sequential and aligned development of advanced aural skills, including audiation (inner hearing) and aural awareness of complex 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:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of highly advanced elements of music in both tonal and atonal contexts, including those relating to pitch, melody, harmony, rhythm, and form;
  2. reflect critically and apply theoretical knowledge of analytical approaches to 20th Century and contemporary music using professional-level terminology and notation;
  3. demonstrate a fluent ability to read and apply advanced music notation, including inner hearing of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements through sight-singing, sight-reading, and performance activities; and
  4. aurally identify and interpret with great fluency and creativity some of the more advanced elements of music in tonal and atonal contexts, including highly advanced rhythms and polyrhythms, as demonstrated through notation and performance tasks.

Research-Led Teaching

Music theory and aural skills pedagogy is a research-intensive discipline, led by contemporary enquiry into best practice in theoretical and performance-based approaches to developing musicianship skills. You will be exposed to research by leaders in the field of music theory and aural skills, informing your theoretical and aural studies and development in music. Recent peer-reviewed research on multi-stage assessments in Aural Skills can be found in the following publication: Laue, T. P. (2020). Collaborative multi-stage exams in aural skills education: Theoretical underpinnings and two proposed approaches. In A. Creech (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Society for Music Education 34th World Conference on Music Education: Online 3–7 August 2020 (pp. 234–243). Malvern, Victoria: International Society for Music Education. (Link)

Required Resources

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

Edlund, Lars. Modus Vetus: Sight Singing and Ear-Training in Major/Minor Tonality. Stockholm: AB Nordiska Musikförlaget, 1976.

Edlund, Lars. Modus Novus. Stockholm: AB Nordiska Musikförlaget, 1990.

Prescribed Texts:

  • Clendinning, Jane and Elizabeth Marvin. The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis, 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 2016.
  • Clendinning, Jane and Elizabeth Marvin. The Musician’s Guide to Theory and Analysis Workbook, 3rd ed. New York: Norton, 2016.
  • Lambert, P. Basic post-tonal theory and analysis, New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Palmqvist, Bengt-Olov. Refinement of Rhythm: Supplement for Rhythmic Dictation. Vol. 2, Canberra: Bopac, 2006.

All Required Resources, and the following list of books, will be put on reserve in the Art and Music Library.

  • Beach, David and McClelland, Ryan. Analysis of 18th- and 19th-century musical works in the classical tradition. Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2012. 
  • Beach, D. Schenkerian Analysis: Perspectives on Phrase Rhythm, Motive and Form. 2nd ed. Milton: Taylor & Francis Group, 2019.
  • Kopp, D. Chromatic transformations in nineteenth-century music. 1st ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 AURAL: Review Semester 1. Extended Syncopated Figures & Quintuple (RoR V2 Ch. 14c) (rhythm); THEORY: Chromatic modulations and voice leading
2 THEORY: Chromatic sequences; AURAL: Ch. 10 (Unaccented Beats) & Septuple metres (p. 129) (rhythm) Assessment Task 1, 2
3 AURAL: Extended Triplets (rhythm); THEORY: Introduction to pitch class and transformations Assessment Task 1, 2
4 THEORY: Introduction to Neo-Riemannian theory; AURAL: Triplets with Subdivisions, and Shifting Meters and Extension of Asymmetrical Meters (rhythm) Assessment Task 1, 2
5 AURAL: Triplets with extended subdivisions, and Variable beat values (rhythm); THEORY: Reductions & Schenkerian analysis Assessment Task 1, 2
6 Mid-Semester Review Assessment Task 1, 2
7 AURAL: Variable beat divisions with constant pulse, and triplets (3:2) with subdivisions (rhythm); THEORY: PC-sets and their properties Assessment Task 1, 2
8 THEORY: Analysis with modes and PC-sets; AURAL: Variable beat duration, and triplets (3:4) (rhythm) Assessment Task 1, 2
9 AURAL: Duplets, Quadruplets, Quintuplets (5:2) (rhythm); THEORY: Twelve-tone analysis Assessment Task 1, 2
10 THEORY: Serial analysis & extensions; AURAL: Quintuplets (5:3, 5:4) (rhythm) Assessment Task 1, 2
11 AURAL: Septuplets (rhythm); THEORY: Principles of analysis: an overview Assessment Task 1, 2
12 End of Semester Review

Tutorial Registration

Please discuss all Theory and Aural tutorial sign-up changes or issues with lecturers directly.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
In-class Activities and Assignments 30 % 1, 2, 3, 4
In-class Tests 30 % 1, 2, 3, 4
Final Written Exams 40 % 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.


In-person participation is expected for all face-to-face classes. Attendance is a critically important component of learning in this course. A significant proportion of marks is allocated to in-class assessments, and naturally, in-class activities directly feed into in-class assessment outcomes. All in-class tests, in particular those in Aural Skills, are assessed in-class with peer and lecturer feedback provided immediately after each completed task. Aural weekly in-class participation comprises participation in both lectures and tutorials. All multi-stage exams require collaborative work small groups of no more than four students, and participation may include live online communications or incorporate social- distancing where required or deemed necessary at the time. If any reason precludes a student from engaging in collaborative group work, the student must inform the lecturer in writing at the earliest opportunity, and no later than the end of Week 2 (Friday).


Two final written exams (Assessment Task 3), plus a short (15 minute or shorter) Viva Voce assessment during the exam period (Assessment Task 1). 

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

In-class Activities and Assignments

This task comprises two Aural In-class presentations (10%), Aural weekly practical in-class activities and participation, including pre-assigned harmony, singing and rhythm exercises (10%), and Theory weekly in-class & online participation (10%). Due dates and times: Aural In-class Presentations due in Weeks 2–5 and 7–10 (individually scheduled); Aural in-class activities and participation are due Weeks 2–11 during tutorials and lectures (online submissions via Teams due 48 hours from the end of the tutorial/lecture); Theory Participation due one week after three assigned peers’ presentations. Return date: 2 weeks after submission.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

In-class Tests

This task comprises Weekly Theory tests (20%) and Aural multi-stage collaborative tests (10%). Due dates and times: Ten Theory tests due each week between Week 1–5, 7–11; Aural transcription quiz in Week 6, in-class (during lecture). Return date: 2 weeks after submission.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4

Final Written Exams

This task comprises a Theory exam (20%) and Aural Multi-stage exam (10%) and an Aural Skills Viva Voce (10%). Due dates and times: Exam period as scheduled by the Examinations Office. Aural Viva Voce due during exam period (individually scheduled).

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 each specific Assessment Submission page listed on Wattle under the heading 'Assessments'. Submission of hand-written work must be scanned (including photographed) at a high enough image resolution to ensure that visual clarity is excellent and to eliminate any ambiguity due to poor image quality. The scanned image or PDF file must not be subsequently edited other than overall adjustments such as cropping or exposure settings. It is the student's responsibility to confirm that final visual quality of the scanned image is more than adequate for assessment purposes, and to discuss any issues relating to electronically scanning (including photographing) hand-written work for assessments at least seven days prior to the due date of the relevant assessment task.

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

Late submission not permitted for Examinations and In-Class Assessments. If submission of examinations or in-class assessments without an extension occurs after the due date and time, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

  • Late submission permitted for Assignments. Late submission of assignments (including presentation-related 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

Submitted assignments will be made available for reviewing by individual students either in-class, by appointment during office-hours, or electronically where necessary or required.

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

Resubmission of assignments are not permitted in this course. Students should bring all submission-related questions to the attention of the lecturer in the relevant class, as early as possible and prior to the submission due date.

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).

Dr Thomas Laue

Research Interests

music theory, aural skills pedagogy, music theory pedagogy, psychoacoustics, campanology

Dr Thomas Laue

Monday 10:30 11:30
Thursday 14:00 14:30
Edward Neeman

Research Interests

Edward Neeman

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