This unit introduces students to key concepts in functional music theory that musicians need to understand and apply in performance, composition, arrangement and musicological environments. This unit focuses on recognition and construction of melody, harmony and rhythm. Students learn chord nomenclature, chord construction, and how chords are derived from scale systems. Students learn to recognise interval usage in melody, chord voicings, key signatures, note values and time signatures. They also learn to understand melodic and motific development.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


Students must be enrolled in ABMC or ABMU Bachelor of Music.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Reflect and review upon the development and production of musical works;  
  2. Reflect and review upon goals and practice schedule;  
  3. Exhibit enhanced interpretative skills and overall musicianship within collaborative contexts;  
  4. Articulate intermediate musical nomenclature in relation to music theory and production activities;  
  5. Demonstrate enhanced knowledge of music equipment and music software in accordance with OHS requirements; and  
  6. Reflect and review upon musicological concepts in a range of musical contexts.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Applied theory and aural exercises 25%
Report Documenting of musical activities using a range of media 25%
Presentation Demonstrate basic operation of music equipment 25%
Performance Musical performance 25%
Total word limit is equivalent to 3000 words.

Required reading

Music theory: a practical guide for all musicians,
Tagliarino, B. 2006,
Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree. Learn more about single units of study at VU.

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