• Class Number 3344
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Thomas Laue
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
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 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:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of 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; and
  4. aurally identify and creatively interpret advanced musical elements, including pitch, chords, and harmony in tonal and non-tonal contexts, and 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. The course adopts the SOLO taxonomy (Biggs & Collins, 1982) and flipped mastery models of learning. You will be exposed to practice and 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)

Examination Material or equipment


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.

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.

Beach, David and McClelland, Ryan. Analysis of 18th- and 19th-century musical works in the classical tradition. Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2012. 

Palmqvist, Bengt-Olov. Refinement of Rhythm. Vol. 2, Supplement for Rhythmic Dictation Workbook, Canberra: Bopac, 2006.

Staff Feedback

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

  • verbal comments (in-class or recorded)
  • written comments (where appropriate)
  • 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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Hurdle Requirement

In order to successfully complete the course, a student must pass the hurdle requirement by achieving at least a pass mark (50%) in each of the two core components: (1) Aural Skills and (2) Music Theory. A student may fail an assessment item, provided that the overall mark in each core component is at least 50%.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course introduction, Diatonic modulation (Ch. 22), Subdivision of basic beat (RoR Vol. 2, Ch. 1), and singing / aurally identifying chord functions
2 Modal mixture (Ch. 26), Simple and extended dotted figures (Ch. 2, 3), Relative chord substitutions Tasks 1, 3
3 Small forms (Ch. 23) and Modal mixture Tasks 1, 3
4 Seventh chords review and Secondary dominants (harmony), Sonata & Rondo form (Ch. 32 & 33) Tasks 1, 3
5 Modulation to related keys, Phrase structure (Ch. 18), and Aural collaborative test Tasks 1, 3
6 Motivic development and cadences (Ch. 12-14) and first In-class Aural assessment Task 1, 2, 3
7 Neapolitan & Augmented sixth chords (Ch. 27), and alternative (jazz and functional-harmony) perspectives Tasks 1, 3
8 Chromatic Harmony (Ch. 30 & 31), conventional and unconventional understandings Tasks 1, 2, 3
9 Chromatic Harmony, continued explorations Tasks 1, 3
10 Motivic Transformation & Diminutions Tasks 1, 2, 3
11 Harmonic Analysis Review Tasks 1, 3
12 Final assessments and Aural Collaborative Test Tasks 1, 2, 3

Tutorial Registration

Only one tutorial per course component (Aural, Theory)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Class Participation and Peer Feedback 35 % 1,2,3,4
In-class Assessments 25 % 1,2,3,4
Written & Aural Tests 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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 classes. Attendance is a critically important component of learning in this course. A significant proportion of marks is allocated to in-class assessments. All in-class tests, in particular those in aural, are assessed synchronously with peer and lecturer feedback provided immediately during and after each completed task. Multi-stage tests require collaborative work small groups of no more than four students per group. If any circumstance precludes an individual student from engaging in collaborative group work, the student must inform the lecturer in writing at the earliest opportunity, by Thursday midday in Week 2 at the latest.


No final exams

Assessment Task 1

Value: 35 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Class Participation and Peer Feedback

This task comprises Theory tutorial participation and peer feedback (25%) and Aural Skills Tutorial peer feedback and self-reflection (10%). Due dates and times: Theory participation due Tuesday 11am (in-class) in Weeks 2–10. Aural participation due Tuesday 10am in Weeks 2–12. If absent for any reason, participation grade will be awarded upon written peer or class feedback provided by student via the course’s Teams portal. For Aural, feedback must be addressed to at least two separate students. Online feedback must be posted (shared publicly on Teams) within 48 hours after the end of the relevant tutorial. Return date: under 1 week after submission.



Clearly defined topic

Concise and specific description of clearly defined topic or study area encountered in the course

Fairly concise and specific description of clearly defined topic or study area encountered in the course

Limited description of clearly defined topic or study area encountered in the course

Insufficient or no clearly defined topic or study area

Clearly defined topic?

Contains concise and thorough critiques of self and/or peers that cites specific activities or events during the week, both in-class and out-of-class (e.g., constructive critique, opportunities for improvement) including detailing specific actions undertaken to improve in specific areas

Contains some instances of detailed self-critiquing and/or peer feedback (e.g., constructive commentary, exploring opportunities for improvement), including some descriptions of actions undertaken to improve in specific areas

Contains limited instances of detailed self-critiquing and/or peer feedback, with few references to specific actions for improvement

Contains insufficient instances of self assessments, with no details of specific actions undertaken to improve in specific areas

Contextualisation of course material

Makes explicit the link between set weekly tasks/topic and learning/music experiences outside of the course in self-reflective commentary (e.g., discussions or learning activities associated with other courses, external endeavours in music such as musical performance or composition, other private study or research)

Identifies some links between set weekly tasks/topic and learning/music experiences outside of the course in self-reflective commentary (e.g., discussions or learning activities associated with other courses, external endeavours in music such as musical performance or composition, other private study or research)

Identifies limited connections between set weekly tasks/topic and learning/music experiences outside of the course.

Does not demonstrate awareness of connections between set weekly tasks/topic and learning/music experiences outside of the course.


Consistently articulating weekly SMART goals and demonstrating consistency in the learning process, including strong links between the reviewing of previous weeks’ goals with the setting of new goals.

Occasionally articulating SMART goals that review previous weeks’ goals as well as setting new goals.

Occasionally articulating goals for self-study that demonstrate limited linkages between previous weeks’ goals and upcoming weeks’ goals.

Insufficient on inarticulate setting of goals for self-study that fail to demonstrate the links between previous weeks’ goals and upcoming weeks’ goals.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

In-class Assessments

This task comprises Aural practical assigned activities and participation. Due dates and times: Aural tutorial due over 4 weeks (Weeks 6, 8, 10 and 12). The lowest grade (out of the four) will not count towards final grade. Contemporaneous feedback provided (i.e., during the tutorial). Return date: On the day


Tasks involving pitchHDDCrPN


Intonation is perfectly executed throughout

Intonation is almost always correct

Intonation is mostly correct

Intonation is somewhat correct

Intonation is mostly not accurately performed

Relative pitch accuracy

A solid sense of the tonal space is supported by a highly precise and musical performance of the notated melody or harmony, with virtually no errors or deviations

A mostly accurate performance of the notated melody or harmony with no more than two errors or deviations

A somewhat accurate performance of the notated melody or harmony (usually no more than four errors or deviations)

The notated melody or harmony is accurately performed for at least 75% of the total duration (usually with no more than five (5) errors or deviations) 

The notated melody or harmony is accurately performed for only less than 75% of the total duration.


There are no interruptions or pauses throughout

One instance of stopping or pausing

Up to two instances of stopping or pausing

Up to three instances of stopping or pausing

Multiple (usually four or more) instances of stopping or pausing, and/or with frequent interruptions


The performance is highly musical and expressive, with excellent phrasing (and tone) throughout

The performance is expressive overall; phrasing is appropriate overall

The performance is somewhat expressive; there are some instances of appropriate phrasing

The performance is rarely expressive; there are only a few instances of appropriate phrasing

The performance is rarely expressive and there are few to no instances of appropriate phrasing

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Written & Aural Tests

This task comprises Theory Online Quizzes (15%), a Theory Test (10%), and two Aural Transcription Tests (15%). Due dates and times: Theory Online Quizzes due each week on Fridays 9am in Weeks 1–11. Theory in-class Test is run in the Week 11 Theory Tutorial. Collaborative Transcription Tests are run in Weeks 5 (5%) and 12 (10%). Return date: 2 weeks after submission.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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 and music notation, 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. All hardcopy work submitted electronically should adhere to the advice given under the Online Submission section of this document.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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

aural skills pedagogy, music theory pedagogy, music theory, campanology, bell synthesis

Dr Thomas Laue

Monday 12:00 13:00
Tuesday 12:00 12:30

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