MUSICOL 1000A - Musicology Foundations Part 1

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course surveys a range of concepts, techniques, and methods of music research as encountered in the co-disciplines of musicology and ethnomusicology, including music analysis. Theoretical material is linked to examples of research pertaining both to Western music (classical and popular forms) and non-Western music.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MUSICOL 1000A
    Course Musicology Foundations Part 1
    Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Contact Up to 2 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge Ability to read music notation
    Assessment Music CD review 1000 words 25%, music transcription/analysis exercises 30%, Oral presentation on assigned readings 20%, end of semester open book exam 80 mins 25%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Steven Knopoff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Steven Knopoff

    Course Workshops are taken by:
    Steven knopoff  (
    Assoc Prof Kimi Coaldrake (
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Understanding of varied approaches to music research through consideration of case studies of Western and non-Western, notated and oral, and traditional and contemporary music practices.

    2. Development of aural and analytical skills through assessed work in written critiques of music and in transcription and analysis of recorded music.

    3. Development of music research skills related to planning essays and confidence in written and oral communication.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 2, 3
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1, 2, 3
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 2, 3
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1, 2, 3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Cook, Nicholas. 1998. Music: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Harper-Scott, J P E and Jim Sampson, eds. 2009. An Introduction to Music Studies. Cambridge:
    Cambridge University Press. Available for purchase at UniBooks
    Recommended Resources
    The electronic Music Resources Guide ( ) contains quick links to key music databases for scholarly research and online listening. It also contains links to websites of publicly available online scores, collected editions, and professional associations. Here too you can find a regularly updated list of new books, scores, CDs and DVDs available in the Elder Music Library.

    Music Online is a portal that enables searching in Grove Music Online and other Oxford reference content in the one location. Students can access Oxford Music Online which houses Grove Music Online through the link on the Elder Music Library website at:
    Grove music online [electronic resource] can also be located as a title search through the library catalogue. The 29-volume print copy is available from the Elder Music Library's reserve collection.
    Online Learning
    Course documents, assignment instructions and other information will be available in the MyUni course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Workshops will address the information and aims set out in the Course Description. Workshops will be structured to allow students to develop analytical and written/oral presentational skills through in-class discussion and formal presentations.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    In addition to the 2 contact hours per week, it is anticipated that students would spend 3-4 hours per week in reviewing in-class notes, preparing the readings and other assignments, and revising for the end-of-semester exam.
    Learning Activities Summary

    The following schedule is indicative. Some specific topics and ordering of topics may vary 
    Week 1 Introduction to the Course
    Week 2 Musicology and Music History
    Week 3 Musicology and Music History, continued
    Week 4 Music Theory and Analysis
    Week 5 Music Notation
    Week 6 Transcription of Recorded Performance
    Week 7 Sociology of Music; Psychology of Music
    Week 8 Music Aesthetics and Critical Theory
    Week 9 Music and Gender
    Week 10 Popular Music
    Week 11 Analysis of Popular Music
    Week 12 Analysis of Popular Music, continued
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting Date Learning Outcome
    Written Assignment (800-1000 words):
    A short discussion concerning the use of different types of sources when writing music history
    30% Set in Week 2

    DUE in Week 4
    1, 2, 3
    Music Transcription Assignment:
    Students to choose one of two exercises involving prescriptive notation of recorded performance
    30% Set in Week 5

    DUE in Week 7
    1, 2
    Oral Presentation (4-6 mins): 
    A brief prepared discussion of one or more of the concepts covered in the week's reading, drawing upon examples of music/context familiar to the student. 

    10% All students to present during Weeks 7-10 2, 3
    End-of-Semester Open-book Exam (90 mins) 30% Examination period 1, 3

    The first and third assessments are formative in that students will get feedback on their work and a better understanding of how to approach these written and oral skills in future work. The music transcription assignment and course exam are summative in nature.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Active and positive participation in 100% of workshops is expected, excluding absence due to certified
    medical illness or on compassionate grounds cleared in advance with the course
    Assessment Detail
    WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT (30% weighting)
    This assignment concerns how to incorporate different types of sources and perspectives when researching and writing music history. Detailed instructions for this assignment will be distributed in class in Week 2.

    Class sessions during Weeks 4-6 will include explanations of and practice in some of the techniques used when transcribing music from audio recordings. The assignment itself will comprise some brief exercises in the transcription of recorded excerpts of single- and multi-part vocal music. Assignments will be assessed in terms of accuracy of notated pitch and rhythm. Detailed instructions for this assignment will be distributed in class on Wednesday Week 5.

    ORAL PRESENTATION (10% weighting)
    Each student will give one brief (4-6 min) oral presentation during one of the five class sessions in Weeks 7-10. The objective of the brief presentations is to discuss some of the concepts covered in a given week's reading with reference to music or musical contexts that the student is familiar with. For these brief presentations students are not expected to conduct any research apart from the assigned readings: Students are encouraged to use relevant audio-visual illustrations to help reinforce verbal content of their presentation. Presentations will be assessed both in terms of their content and professionalism of the presentation itself. Detailed instructions for this assignment will be distributed together with a schedule of all the available presentation topics/dates in class in Week 5. Students will then be able to sign up on a first come/first served basis for their preferred topics/dates. The schedule of presentations will be finalised by the time of our class session in Week 6.

    END-OF-SEMESTER OPEN-BOOK EXAM (30% weighting)
    Date: The course exam will take place during the final exam period as determined by the Examinations Office. The exam will require students to answer two or three questions (or sets of related questions). Answers to each question (or set of questions) should run about 300-400 words. This is an open-book exam, allowing for text books and any notes the student may have prepared. Answers will be marked both on clarity of writing and on demonstration of an understanding of relevant concepts and ideas presented in the course. A set of practice questions will be distributed in class in Week 12.
    Assignments are to be submitted electronically by 5:00 p.m. on the due date via the Assignments
    folder of the MyUni course. PDF is the required format for all assignment submissions. For
    assistance in converting your assignment file to PDF please see
    You can also scan to PDF in the Library from the Library printers. Please note that submission must be via MyUni, not via email.

    Extensions are only granted when supporting documentation can be provided and then, and only then, by arrangement with the course lecturer prior to the due date and time. Extensions will not be
    granted under any other circumstance. Assessed work that is submitted late (after the due date and
    time) will not be examined for assessment or feedback. In the case of illness this will require a medical
    certificate, and in the case of personal (non-medical) circumstances you will need a letter of support
    from a University Student Counsellor. For further information please refer to the following website:
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    NOG (No Grade Associated)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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