MUSSUPST 2110 - Music Theory and Analysis 2

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

The course takes both a theoretical and a practical approach to concepts characteristic of the music of the period 1900-2010, including: chromatic harmony and the progressive dissolution of tonality; atonality; polytonality; modality; complex chord structures; complex rhythms and rhythmic structures; new forms of polyphony; the exploration of timbre; new structural and formal concepts; the impact of technology; new performance concepts; new compositional methods including the twelve-tone method, integral serialism, chance procedures and indeterminacy.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MUSSUPST 2110
    Course Music Theory and Analysis 2
    Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Prerequisites MUSSUPST 1120
    Quota 100
    Assessment Aural assessment 30%, Analytical assignments 30%, Creative composition assignments 20%, Examination 20%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Stephen Whittington

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    The learning outcome of this course are to the development of:

    1. Understanding of the nature and value of music theory.
    2. Fluency in the use of theoretical terminology and musical notation in western music.
    3. Understanding of the changes in Western music in the later 19th and 20th centuries.
    4. Skills and fluency in working with the theoretical conventions of tonal music through the study of extended tonality, chromatic harmony, atonality, and new approaches to form.
    5. Skills in harmonic analysis through the study of scores of the set works.

    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
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,2,5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 4,5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources


    There is no set textbook for this course. Course material is available on MyUni.

    Set Works:

    Scores of Set Works will be available on MyUni. Recordings of all set works are available on Naxos Online, which can be accessed through the Library website. They can also be found in the CD collection of the Elder Music Library.

    Recommended Resources

     Oxford 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.

    e-learning resources - Students are encouraged to make use of the excellent online resources available through the Conservatorium’s subscription to “e-learning resources”. In addition to comprehensive information that is clearly presented, there are numerous practice questions for aural and theoretical questions, as well as a wide range of other support information.

    Online Learning

    The MyUni site for this course will contain various learning resources and course materials.

    There are self-testing assignments on MyUni, to assist you in consolidating your learning for this course.

    The Elder Music Library’s 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.

    Many musical scores have been digitised and can be accessed through the Petrucci Music Library - (can also be accessed via the Music Resources Guide).

    You can listen to an extensive range of works either on or off-campus through the library's Naxos subscription. Via the library catalogue, search using Naxos as the title and limit your search to ‘electronic resources’. You will be prompted to enter your uni ID number and password to access the Naxos catalogue and there is a wealth of material available for listening (but not downloading) via the internet. You can search for recordings many ways, such as by composer, performer or name of the work. The link to the Naxos catalogue is as follows:

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Lectures will explore a range of theoretical aspects related to Western art music.   The theory lectures will incorporate an analytical approach to thematic, harmonic, stylistic and formal aspects of various works. Theoretical topics will be explored through discussion of key concepts and through analysis of a range of set works by various composers including Schubert, Wagner, Liszt, Debussy, Satie, Mahler, Wolf, Schoenberg, Scriabin, Webern, Stravinsky, Bartok, Messiaen and Cage.

    Tutorials will extend and develop aural skills.


    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 3 contact hours per week, it is anticipated that students would spend 6-9 hours per week in reviewing lecture notes, preparing for aural classes, listening to repertoire, preparing assignments, undertaking suggested readings, and practising theoretical skills.

    Learning Activities Summary

    Lecture Topics

    Week 1

    Lecture 1

    Course Overview. What is theory? Different types of theory. Different types of analysis. The structure of the equal-tempered 12-step chromatic scale. The interval cycles and their relationships.

    Lecture 2

    Tonality in 19th century music; Classical clarity replaced by Romantic ambiguity; the mixing of major and minor; the displacement of the dominant function by median relationships; the importance of the appoggiatura.

    Week 2

    Lecture 1

    “Any chord can be connected to any other chord – but not with the same effect”; mediant progressions; alternative progressions of the dominant 7th chord;

    Lecture 2

    Techniques of modulation in chromatic music; the diminished 7th chord; augmented 6th chords;

    Week 3

    Lecture 1

    Application of modulatory techniques; Schubert: Piano Sonata in Bb major, 1st movement.

    Lecture 2

    Further applications of modulatory techniques: Wagner: Elsas Traum (Lohengrin) Liszt: Sonetto N.124 del Petrarca; Hugo Wolf: Mignons Lied.

    Week 4

    Lecture 1

    Modulating sequences: Wagner: Overture to Tannhäuser; Wagner: Prelude to Tristan und Isolde; Brahms: Symphony No.2 and No.4.

    Lecture 2

    How to write modulating sequences; imitative counterpoint and canon in modulatory sequences.

    Week 5

    Lecture 1

    Extended chords: 9th, 11th, 13th; the whole-tone scale and whole-tone harmonies; Liszt, Les jeux d’eau à la Villa d’Este; Debussy, Voiles;

    Lecture 2

    Chords voiced in 4ths; Scriabin’s ‘Mystic Chord’; Scriabin, Poème Op. 32 No.1, Poème Op.69 No.1;

    Week 6

    Lecture 1

    Pentatonics, modes, octatonic scales.

    Lecture 2

    The applications of pentatonic, chromatic, octatonic and whole-tone scales in the music of Debussy.

    Week 7

    Lecture 1

    Texture, timbre and form in Debussy, Satie and Ravel.

    Lecture 2

    The emancipation of dissonance and the dissolution of tonality in Schoenberg’s ‘atonal’ music.

    Week 8

    Lecture 1

    The twelve-tone method of composition in the music of Schoenberg.

    Lecture 2

    The twelve tone-method in Webern, Berg, and Hauer.

    Week 9

    Lecture 1

    Stravinsky’s innovations in rhythm, tonality, texture, structure and form in The Rite of Spring.

    Lecture 2

    Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Winds and the reinterpretation of the classical tradition in neo-classicism.

    Week 10

    Lecture 1

    Bartók’s harmonic, melodic, structural and formal innovations.

    Lecture 2

    Bartók’s compositional methods in Mikrokosmos and Concerto for Orchestra.

    Week 11

    Lecture 1

    Messiaen’s theories of modality, rhythm and form.

    Lecture 2

    Material and structure in Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.

    Week 12

    Lecture 1

    Timbre, texture, structure and form in the early works of John Cage.

    Lecture 2

    The aesthetic value of chance and indeterminacy.

  • 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 Tasks



    Learning Objective

    Analysis Assignment 1


    Available online on MyUni

    1, 2

    Composition Assignment 1


    Available online on MyUni

    3, 4

    Composition Assignment 2


    Available online on MyUni

    1, 2, 3

    Theory Exam




    Aural Class


    Ongoing assessments

    1, 2, 3

    Assessment Related Requirements

    Analysis Assignment – covering the topics from Weeks 1 – 4

    Composition Assignment 1 – application of theoretical concepts

    Composition Assignment 2 – application of theoretical concepts

    Theory Examination – analysis; application and explanation of theory and harmonisation concepts.

    Aural Assessments – ongoing class assessments.


    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    Assignments are generally submitted online through MyUni by the due date and time (usually midnight). In cases where that is not possible, hardcopy theory assignments are to be submitted (signed in) at the Elder Conservatorium office, level 2 Schulz Building, by 12 noon on the due date. Students are welcome to submit assignments well before the due date.

    Late assignment policy:

    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:

    Students will receive feedback on their assessment tasks. The Test may be taken again if students wish to improve their mark. The assignment will be returned within two weeks of the submission date. The marked examination will be returned after the examination period.

    Course Grading

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

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    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.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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