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


By embracing approaches from musicology, ethnomusicology and cultural history, this unit investigates some of the ways in which composers and performers have attempted to convey a sense of 'Australia' through musical means. Issues of national identity and belonging are integral concerns of the unit, with Indigenous responses to place examined alongside music from the Western instrumental, vocal, theatrical and media repertories. By drawing upon the work of many significant composers, including Percy Grainger, John Antill and Peter Sculthorpe, as well as examples specific to Indigenous, folk and popular genres, the unit aims to highlight the diversity of music inspired by the sights and sounds of Australia.

This is an elective 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 fulfil the prerequisites and who have an interest in music.

6 points
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate broad perspectives of the development of music inspired by the sights and sounds of Australia; (2) articulate, in verbal and written forms, information pertaining to specific musical case studies examined as part of the unit, and situate these within wider social, cultural and political contexts; and (3) devise, conduct and write up a research project focusing on a specific Australian composer or genre of 'Australian' music (e.g. Indigenous, folk or popular).


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) seminar participation; (2) a research essay; and (3) a written examination. 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 David Symons
Unit rules
any Level 2 MUSC unit
MUSC3130 Australian Art Music Since Federation
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours 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.