Musicianship Year One

Unit of Study - Musicianship 101

The following applies to Year One Bachelor of Music students.

Unit Outlines

Unit NameFoundational Harmony / Music In Contemporary Practice
Unit CodeMUSHIP101
Unit DescriptionIn this Unit students will:
• Explore the theoretical foundations of traditional and contemporary Western music.
• Analyse contemporary music examples for conformity to or variation from standard practice.
• Apply theoretical skills to create contemporary music.
• Understand variations encountered in professional practice.
• Clearly present musical ideas with notational software.
• Develop aural skills to identify and write intervals as well as contemporary styled melodies, rhythms and harmonies.
Award(s)Bachelor of Music
Unit Duration1 Semester (12 weeks)
Year LevelYear 1, Semester 1
Unit CoordinatorDr Matthew Field
Teaching StaffLecturer: Dr Matthew Field
Credit Points15 credit points
Mode of Deliveryx Face to face
x E-learning (online)
o Ontensive/block mode (where the unit or a face to face component is delivered in a block)
x Distance/independent learning (un-timetabled)
x Full-time
x Part-time
o External
o Fast track
Student Workload
Delivery/ Contact Hours
Number of timetabled hours per week
Live Lecture Theory – 1 hour
Live Lecture Aural – 1 hour
Tutorial – 1 hour
Personal Study recommended - 8 hours
Total hours per week - 11 hours
Resource Requirements• Computing resource requirements
• Fast and reliable internet connection
• Cloud Software
• Technical Help
Resources Provided• Moodle (included with registration)
• Noteflight (embedded into Moodle)
• Ear Master Pro (Cloud) [login provided]
• Moodle Quizzes (embedded into Moodle)
• Library resources (see prescribed or recommended texts below)

Unit Aims

In Musicianship 101 students will gain fundamental skills and knowledge in traditional and contemporary Western music theory.  This will be achieved through ensuring a solid and flexible foundation in the rudiments of music and then developing further study of melody, harmony and counterpoint through scaffolded and sequential learning tasks.  Knowledge will be directly applied to creating, arranging and harmonizing music in contemporary styles with specific and clear requirements to demonstrate competence in key areas.  Students will also develop their aural skills (‘inner ear’) and develop sight singing and rhythm skills as well as transcription skills applied to real-world situations.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of music theory rudiments including variations they may encounter in professional practice.
  2. Create functional harmonies suitable for use in contemporary and traditional music styles.
  3. Develop, research and evaluate melodic and harmonic techniques through exploration and creative practice.
  4. Evaluate music in their repertoire or in popular use regarding how various musical concepts are applied.
  5. Identify melodic and harmonic devices in diverse musical genres and styles.
  6. Vocalise intervals, harmonies, melodies and rhythms from selected examples.
  7. Transcribe rhythms, intervals, harmonies, progressions and melodies from selected examples.

Teaching Outline

Year 1
Semester 1
• Overview demonstrating unity of foundational concepts. Diatonic, scales, intervals, chords, functional harmony, key signatures.
• Learn key technologies. Noteflight, Moodle Quizzes, Ear Master Pro.
• Contemporary melody writing. Melodic devices, structure and analysis of contemporary song.
• Extending functional harmony with related chords, substitution to min7.
• V7 & resolution in four parts.
• Chord naming conventions. Contemporary symbols, historical forms including figured bass and variations found in professional practice.
• Time signatures, grouping and barring.
• Writing contemporary songs with notated melody and harmony.
• Four-part writing conventions: stem direction, spacing, voice leading, doubling.
• Cadences: Perfect, plagal, imperfect, interrupted. Minor keys.
• Using diminished chords as V form.
• Augmented chords in contemporary song.
• Writing and identifying compound ascending intervals.
• Longer form contemporary melody writing with chords.
• Extensive contemporary song analysis to identify and apply features learnt.
• Applying skills to rapidly sketch contemporary songs.
• Singing / identify major scale, natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor
• Singing / identifying ascending and descending intervals within octave
• Singing / identifying chords: Major, minor, Augmented, diminished
• Singing / identifying chord inversions: major, minor
• Sight clapping rhythms in common contemporary keys and syncopation
• Rhythm dictation in common contemporary keys and syncopation
• Melodic dictation with simple melody

Student Assessment

Assessment TypeWhen assessedWeightingLearning Outcomes Assessed
Assessment 1a
Type: Active Learning
The Active Learning 1 assessment gauges the students’ active participation in the class and ‘non-graded’ coursework. These activities are not individually graded rather a student will gain a mark based on the evidence of their active participation with the class.
The student will receive an Active Learning mark based on a combination of:
- Completion of practice activities
- Weekly activities as set
- Engagement with the teacher
- Attendance online or live (including
watching training videos)
- Forum posts
(equivalent to 225 words)
Week 1 - 7 5%1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7
Assessment 1b
Type: Workbook 1
Workbook 1 is an open-book assessment designed to ensure students understand and can apply the knowledge learnt. Students may ask for help and access resources while completing the Workbook. They may also ask for their work to be reviewed with feedback from the teacher. The Workbooks are very similar to the tests that follow and are therefore designed as excellent preparation for the timed tests.

The Workbooks are to be completed fully online using the technologies employed throughout the course.

Workbook 1 will include aspects of all materials covered in the first 5 weeks of the course.
(equivalent to 900 words)
Week 620%1, 2, 3, 6, 7
Assessment 1c
Type: Test 1 (90 minutes)
The Musicianship Test 1 will cover all materials from the first six weeks of the course. This Test will be similar to the previous Workbook but will be closed book and have a strict time limit.
(equivalent to 1125 words)
Week 725%1, 2, 3, 6, 7
Assessment 1d
Type: Active Learning 2
The Active Learning 2 assessment shares the same assessment criteria as Assessment 1a (Active Learning 1.1). See above for details.
(equivalent to 225 words)
Week 145%1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Assessment 1e
Type: Workbook 2

Workbook 2 is an open book assessment sharing the same parameters as Assessment 1b (Musicianship Workbook 1). See above for details.

Workbook 2 will include aspects of all materials covered in the first 11 weeks of the course.
(equivalent to 900 words)

Week 1220%1, 2, 3, 6, 7
Assessment 1f
Type: Test 2 (90 minutes)
The Musicianship Test 2 will cover all materials from Semester 1. This Test will be similar to the previous Workbook but will be closed book and have a strict time limit.
(equivalent to 1125 words)
Week 1425%1, 2, 3, 6, 7

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Reading List

Clendinning, J. P. & Marvin, E. W. (2016). The musician’s guide to theory and analysis. (3rd ed.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Required Software

  • Moodle (included with registration)
  • Noteflight (embedded into Moodle)
  • Ear Master Pro Cloud (login provided with registration)
  • Moodle Quizzes (embedded into Moodle)

Reference Materials

Exploring Theory with Practica Musica. (n. d.). Retrieved from [login required], Ars Nova

Field, M. (2015). Music Foundations [Video series]. Retrieved from [login required]

Murphy, P., Phillips, J., Marvin, E. W., & Clendinning, J. P. (2016). The musician’s guide to aural skills. (3rd ed.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Course Outcomes

 Course Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should be able to demonstrate:
Unit Learning OutcomesAssessments
1A broad knowledge of the applied, theoretical and historical basis of the discipline1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 71a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f
2A depth of disciplinary knowledge in a professionally applicable specialisation1, 2, 31a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f
3An understanding of the processes of musical scholarship and research31a, 1d
4The ability to work both independently and collaboratively in diverse and complex musical settings3, 41a, 1d
5Effective written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills3, 41a, 1d
6Critical thinking and analytical skills appropriate to a range of contexts including further study3, 41a, 1d
7The ability to apply specific musical skills to a wide range of professional contexts1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 71a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f
8The capacity to apply technological and creative solutions to contemporary musical practices1, 2, 3, 4, 51a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f
9The ability to incorporate knowledge from the business and legal fields to a portfolio career in the music profession

Graduate Attributes

 Graduate Attribute
Successful completion of this unit will contribute to the attainment of the following graduate attributes:
Unit Learning OutcomesCourse Learning OutcomesAssessments
1Deep disciplinary knowledge1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 71, 21a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f
2The ability to apply knowledge and skills in innovative ways2, 3, 45, 71a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f
3A commitment to lifelong learning3, 4, 54, 5, 6, 71a, 1d
4Effective communication skills for diverse contexts24, 5, 71a, 1d
5The capacity to work independently and collaboratively2, 341a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f