Course Title: Maintain and expand music knowledge and critical listening skills

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2007

Course Code: PERF5050C

Course Title: Maintain and expand music knowledge and critical listening skills

School: 345T Creative Media

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4128 - Certificate IV in Music Industry (Technical Production)

Course Contact : Adam Lovell

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4676

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 72

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This course covers the skills required to maintain and apply knowledge of music styles, trends, artists and repertoire to music industry work and learning, and to develop critical listening skills.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUSMGE12A Maintain and expand music knowledge and critical listening skills


Maintain and develop music knowledge

Performance Criteria:

Monitor music information needs based on areas of interest, work and/or learning
Identify and use strategies to review and maintain knowledge of musical styles, artists and/or repertoire relevant to selected music industry contexts
Monitor and use information on relevant music styles or specialisations to maintain current music knowledge
Maintain and increase music knowledge and understanding to continuously improve capacity to analyse music for its artistic and commercial qualities and features
Discuss music performances with colleagues and mentors to develop knowledge and capacity to analyse music artists, repertoire and trends


Maintain understanding of relevant musical styles and genres

Performance Criteria:

Identify and use reliable sources of information for a selected musical style or styles to monitor and maintain awareness of artists and repertoire
Research artists and repertoire in those styles in their contemporary and/or historical contexts to inform work and learning
Use knowledge of styles and repertoire to contribute to own musical development
Use opportunities to develop and maintain productive relationships with artists relevant to identified music industry contexts
 Where appropriate and/or relevant maintain own practice in music writing and/or performance


Use listening skills to analyse music

Performance Criteria:

Determine music areas that are most relevant for critical listening and assessment
Communicate with musicians and/or other reliable industry sources to continuously assess, maintain and extend own critical listening skills
Maintain critical listening to live and recorded music appropriate to identified music industry contexts
Listen critically to identified artists and repertoire to measure performance against artistic and/or commercial standards and potential
Listen to a range of music both live and recorded to analyse the contribution of technical and sound production to the success of the product

Learning Outcomes


Details of Learning Activities

Learning for this course is achieved through:

1    Face to face teaching (30 hours)
2    Structured practical demonstrations
3    Project  work completed by students throughout the semester. (42 hours)

Assessment  for this course is primarily undertaken through the following:

Lecture, assignment, examination, and self–directed study as appropriate, group discussion and practical listening exercises in class, to introduce the student to various criteria by which a recording may be assessed, including:

*    Style (genre)
*    Stereo image (panning)
*    Signal processing (usage and suitability)
*    Noise and distortion
*    Technical problems in addition to the ones listed above
*    Instrumentation
*    Recording techniques employed

Teaching Schedule

Week 1:     Introduction, module overview and assignment  handout
                    Demonstration of requirements for student oral presentation
                    Genre study - Early recorded music (circa 1900) , blues, jazz, early folk  (1920’s –1930’s), blues, jazz, early folk  (1920’s –1930’s)

Week 2:     History and development of recorded sound Part 1
                    Genre study - Gospel, doowop, R+B, rock and roll (1940’s and 1950’s)

Week 3:     Musical concepts & structures – analysis & terminology
                    Genre study – 1960’s British pop / rock, “progressive” rock

Week 4:     Instrumental analysis
                    History of sound part 2
                    Genre study – 1970’s funk, disco, punk, reggae

Week 5:     Influential producers – history and legacy, and the role of the producer
                    Genre study – 1980’s “New Wave”, Heavy Metal, Rap

Week 6:      Assessing and solving technical problems in recording
                    Genre study –1990’s electronic / dance, grunge, alternative / indy pop

Week 7:      Preproduction and production techniques
                    Genre study – Classical music & instruments
                    Genre Study – Music & instruments of the world

Week 8:      Mastering recordings
                    Genre Study – Music of the world continued
                    Genre study –the naughties - innovative trends of the 21st century

Week 9:     Module revision
                    Genre study – Australian music

Week10:    Examination

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

  •  Internet Access is essential either through RMIT or home accounts.
  • The teacher will provide an updated set of references for the internet at the beginning of the course.
  • Please supply one blank CD on which to record audio tracks for completion of assignment No 2 - the material to be analysed will be available for copying

Overview of Assessment

Oral Presentation   -   20%
Written assignment  -    20%
Group participation  -  10%
Examination  -  50%

Assessment Tasks

Assignment 1 - Oral Presentation
Percentage weighting:    20%
Individual Assignment    Yes
Assignment Brief -Students will deliver a 10 - 15 minute presentation comparing the same song recorded by 2 different artists.
Assignment tasks - The discussion should address production and rearrangement techniques employed to manipulate the original composition.
Assignment deliverables - Oral presentation with audio examples
Assignment Criteria
    You will be assessed individually on the basis of your ability to examine and compare the following:
*    Genre
*    Structural differences
*    Feel / Rhythm
*    Hooks & Melody
*    Comparison of key / pitch
*    Vocal tone & presentation
*    Use of song’s key signiature elements
*    Instrumentation employed
*    Signal processing used
*    Likely recording techniques

Assignment 2 - Written Assignment
Percentage weighting:    20%
Individual Assignment    Yes
Assignment Brief - You will be presented with a CD of audio tracks to analyse.
Assignment tasks - You will answer a series of questions on a questionnaire relating to the audio recordings
Assignment deliverables - Completed questionnaire
Assignment Criteria:
 You will be assessed individually on the basis of your ability to assess the recording and identify elements such as instrumentation, genre and recording techniques as discussed in module classes.

Assignment 3 - Class involvement
Percentage weighting:    10%
Individual Assignment    Yes
Assignment tasks
    Active involvement and presence in class
Assignment Criteria
    You will be assessed individually on the basis of:
    Your ability to actively participate in classes.

Assignment 4 - Examination
Percentage weighting:    50%
Individual Assignment:    Yes
Assignment Brief
    You will sit an in class examination in three sections, with a total of 2.5 hours time allowed for completion.
Assignment tasks
Part 1    Aural Creative Listening
    *    You will be presented with music recordings which you will analyse and identify particular elements of.

Part 2    General Knowledge
    *    You will answer a series of music production questions relating to topics covered in class.

Part 3    Musical Concepts & Structures
    *    You will answer a series of music structure questions relating to topics covered in class.

Assignment deliverables
    Completed examination paper to be handed in at the end of class
Assignment Criteria
    You will be assessed individually on the basis of your ability to
    *    Correctly identify music and sound elements
    *    Correctly answer examination questions

Assessment Matrix

Not applicable

Course Overview: Access Course Overview