This unit further develops key concepts in functional music theory that musicians need to understand and apply in performance, composition, arrangement and musicological environments. It focuses on further analysis and construction of melody, harmony and rhythm. Students learn advanced transposition techniques, further analysing chords and their relationship to scale systems and cadences. Students learn to recognise and construct polyrhythms and polymeter and to understand and construct counterpoint and polyphony. Students also learn how to transcribe basic melody and rhythm.

Unit details

Study level:
Undergraduate
Credit points:
12
Unit code:
ACO3014

Prerequisites

ACO2009 - Music Theory 2

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse and interpret major and minor triads, extended, augmented and diminished chords, and cadences;  
  2. Analyse and interpret polyrhythms and polymeter;  
  3. Apply advanced transposition techniques;  
  4. Analyse and interpret syncopation, accent and feel within the context of a notated score;  
  5. Contextualise melodic development and stylistic characteristics within a notated score; and  
  6. Transcribe melodies and rhythms.  

Assessment

Assessment type Description Grade
Test 5 x 5% progressive in-class tests week 2-6 (equivalent to 750 words). 25%
Test 5 x 5% progressive in-class tests week 7-11 (equivalent to 750 words). 25%
Examination Written and aural examination (120 minutes, equivalent to 1500 words). 50%

Required reading

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

A geometry of music: harmony and counterpoint in the extended common practice,
Tymoczko, D. 2011,
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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 may be available as a single unit of study.

Find out more about how to apply for single units of study at VU.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.