This unit introduces students to the nature and function of musicology, through history and development of western popular music styles from the late 19th century to the early 21st century. Students are encouraged to explore these styles in both academic and practical contexts. The unit covers seminal popular music styles from blues, country and western and jazz through to funk, rock and commercial pop, including relevant sub genres and styles. Popular music styles are examined from aesthetic, historical, local and international perspectives and are illustrated in particular through critical listening of musical works as well as by collaborative musical interpretation. There is an emphasis on the different and complex ways in which music develops stylistically to inform, and form, new musical genres, including aspects of music theory and music production. Students will be encouraged to use and demonstrate knowledge and techniques learned from various styles and eras covered in their own practice and performance routines.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Identify and discern between popular musical styles through the development and production of musical works;  
  2. Exhibit interpretative skills and overall musicianship in a variety of musical genres;  
  3. Articulate musical nomenclature in relation to popular music styles and theoretical concepts;  
  4. Operate recording equipment and software in the creation of stylistic interpretations;  
  5. Apply musicological concepts in a range of musical contexts.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Applied theory and aural exercises 25%
Presentation Interactive timeline of a genre or issue 25%
Project Application of software, technology and/or equipment 25%
Performance Musical performance 25%

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.

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