Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit provides students with an introduction to communication skills in music. By teaching through music, rather than just about it, the unit deals intrinsically with musical thinking and its 'translation' into the written and spoken word. Through a series of interrelated lectures and workshops, students learn how to converse and write about various forms of music notation and music research, present performance/composition program notes, write concert and CD reviews, as well as use specialised music indexes, catalogues and electronic databases [e.g. Repertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM), Repertoire International de la Litterature Musicale (RILM), Heyer and Duckles]. The unit is designed to provide skills that may be applied to, and further developed in, a range of subsequent units within the Music Studies major. This is a compulsory unit in the Music Studies major in the Bachelor of Arts degree. It is also open to students enrolled in other majors and degree pathways who have an interest in music.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate a high level of music notation, critical reading and critical thinking skills in relation to music-specific subject matter; (2) translate musical ideas in relation to music performance and composition, and communicate them effectively in verbal and written spheres; (3) develop the necessary skills to research and present music-specific texts, for example, CD and concert reviews, and/or musically-informed program notes pertaining to a set work performed by the UWA Symphony Orchestra; and (4) apply Harvard and Chicago referencing methodologies as appropriate for the various sub-disciplines of music, for example, music notation, musicology, ethnomusicology and music psychology. (Note: As an academic discipline, music is unusual given that music sub-disciplines use various forms of the Harvard and Chicago referencing systems).


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a quiz; (2) a coursework portfolio; and (3) workshop participation and presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Sarah Collins
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hour per week
workshops: 1 hour per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.