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MUI1003 Musical Contexts 1: Turning Points in Western Music

Semester 2, 2019 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Musical Contexts 1 Turning Pnt
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Creative Arts
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100101 - Music
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Rhod McNeill

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


An understanding and meaningful engagement with the principal landmarks in the development of musical style can help to make sense of the unfolding of Western music history over the past millennium. This course will establish a framework on which to base subsequent studies in music context.


This course explores specific stages in music history at which significant and influential stylistic change occurred. These stages were usually marked by outstanding examples of originality and creativity. While giving primary emphasis to the 'change' events, the course will also place the stages within a 'before and after' context, showing why the innovations occurred and why they mattered.


On successful completion of this course students should have:

  1. demonstrated a working knowledge and experience of twelve major stylistic innovations within the history of Western music, and understand their contexts
  2. experienced and demonstrated an in-depth understanding of the key works that illustrate the stylistic innovations mentioned in objective 1
  3. demonstrated academic and professional literacy by establishing a framework for organising their thinking, listening and reading
  4. demonstrated academic and professional literacy by demonstrating fluency in reading and understanding musical scores
  5. demonstrated academic literacy by seeking relevant information sources and handling academic conventions in referencing that information
  6. demonstrated the capacity for musical discernment and criticism
  7. demonstrated competence in formal written and oral communication skills which can lead to formal writing in the future.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Monophonic repertoires 8.33
2. Early polyphony of the Medieval period 8.33
3. Establishment of triad-based modal polyphony 8.33
4. Pervading imitation and 16th century style 8.33
5. The birth of the Baroque and Music Theatre 8.33
6. Musical language of the high baroque 8.33
7. The Classical style 8.33
8. Beethoven - the colossus of the 19th century 8.33
9. The total art work – Wagner and music theatre post 1850 8.34
10. Tonality challenged – early 20th century modernism 8.34
11. isms' of the 20th century: expressionism, impressionism, neo-classicism, structuralism, nationalism, minimalism, post-modernism 8.34
12. Jazz and the growth of popular styles. 8.34

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Burkholder, J, Grout, D J & Palisca, C 2014, A history of western music, 9th edn, W.W. Norton, New York.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 26.00
Independent Study 139.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
SHORT ANALYSIS 100 20 19 Aug 2019
ESSAY 100 40 21 Oct 2019
EXAM 100 40 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. This will be a closed exam. The total working time for the exam is 2 hours. The exam date will be available via UConnect when the official exam timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

    External and Online:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    It is the students’ responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade, a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Closed Examination
    Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the Closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any deferred or supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.