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.

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Unit Overview


Women have played significant roles in all aspects of music throughout history. This unit explores women's musical activities in a wide variety of roles including composer, performer, patron, teacher, critic, and musical object and symbol. Students study gender ideologies in various historical times, geographic locations, and culturally diverse contexts, and examine their effect on the ways in which women have been able to participate in music. Study also takes into account how related constructions of identity (such as class, ethnicity and race) intersect with issues of gender and sexuality. Topics covered are drawn from different musical genres, historical periods and places, for example: representations of women in nineteenth-century opera; African American Blues Queens of the 1920s; the role of women in the anti-apartheid protest movement; and female performers in Chinese courts.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Music and Society major sequence
  • Level 1 elective

Students are able to (1) identify important women in music history and articulate their significance; (2) identify places and contexts in which women have traditionally been musically active; (3) demonstrate understanding of social, cultural and political constructions of gender and their impact on the roles women played in music; (4) describe women's experiences and accomplishments in a variety of musical roles in several musical genres; and (5) discuss a number of compositions by women composers.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) participation and tests; (2) concert review projects; and (3) assignments. 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 Cecilia Sun
Contact hours
seminars: 2 hours per week
No formal music training is necessary for this unit.
  • 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.