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Handbook Music ANU

School of Music

Entries for Bachelor of Music in Composition in the The Australian National University Institute of the Arts Handbook 1994 ISSN 1037-5082 November 1993

By way of introduction...
These pages outline the Bachelor of Music (Composition) degree course taught at the School of Music, Institute of the Arts, Australian National University during the 1990s.

This material is from the Institute's Handbook entries for the School's Courses and Unit Outlines for the year 1994. The 1994 Handbook was chosen because it contained both texts and references, a practice later disbanded in favour of short descriptions that were supplemented with detailed handouts to students enrolled in particular units.

Units with a code  ACATxxxx were taught for the School of Music by the Australian Centre for the Arts and Technology, a concurrent outline of which is available here.

[Introductory Pages 49-51]
Study program-Composition
Honours in Composition-Application for entry to the Honours stream should be made at the end of second year.  Students seeking to enter the Honours stream must achieve a grade of High Distinction or Distinction in the units Instrumental and Vocal Composition 2, Electroacoustic Composition 2 and Composition Seminar 2. To remain in the Honours stream similar results must be achieved in third-year Composition units.  Additionally, satisfactory grades are required in two of the following by the end of second year-Harmony and Counterpoint 2, Aural 2 and History (two one-semester units).

[Structure of the Undergraduate Major]

Code Unit Contact hours per week Point value
Year 1      
MUSM1015 Instrumental and Vocal Composition 1 1 9
ACAT1003 Physics and Psychophysics of Music 2 2
ACAT1002 Electroacoustic Composition 1 2 1
MUSM1011 Composition Seminar 1 2 2
MUSM1002 Aural 1 4 3
MUSM1013 Harmony and Counterpoint 1 2 2
MUSM1034 Outline of Music History and Method 2 3
MUSM1024 Either: Keyboard    
MUSM1025 Or: Keyboard Musicianship 1 1 2
  Total for Year 1 16 24
Year 2      
MUSM2019 Instrumental and Vocal Composition 2 1 4
ACAT1011 Fundamentals of Computer Music 2 2
ACAT2004 Electroacoustic Composition 2 2 2
ACAT2002 Computer Programming A 2 2
ACAT2003 Computer Programming B 2 2
MUSM2013 Composition Seminar 2 2 2
MUSM2002 Aural 2 4 2
MUSM2016 Harmony and Counterpoint 2 2 2
  One History unit each semester 2 2
MUSM1024 Either: Keyboard    
MUSM2029 Or: Keyboard Musicianship 2 1 2
  One Elective unit each semester 2 2
  Total for Year  2 22 24
Year 3      
MUSM3016 Instrumental and Vocal Composition 3 1 10
ACAT3001 Algorithmic Composition 1 1 2
ACAT3002 Electroacoustic Composition 3 2 2
ACAT3003 Electronics A 2 2
ACAT3004 Electronics B 2 2
MUSM3011 Composition Seminar 3 2 2
  One History unit each semester 2 2
  One Elective unit each semester 2 2
  Total for Year  3 14 24
Year 4 (Pass degree)    
MUSM4013 Instrumental and Vocal Composition 4 1 9
ACAT4001 Algorithmic Composition 2 1 2
ACAT4002 Electroacoustic Composition 4 2 2
MUSM4008 Composition: Final Work 2 8
MUSM4009 Composition Seminar 4 2 2
  One semester History unit 2 1
  Total for Year  4 10 24
Year 4 (Honours degree)    
MUSM4032 Instrumental and Vocal Composition 4 (Honours) 1 9
ACAT4001 Algorithmic Composition 2 1 2
ACAT4002 Electroacoustic Composition 4 2 2
MUSM4008 Composition: Final Work 2 8
MUSM4009 Composition Seminar 4 2 2
  One semester History unit 2 1
  Total for Year  4 10 24


  1. A student majoring in Composition is not required to study an instrument, but may do so as an elective. If an instrument is studied as an elective, the student will need to undertake the elective in consecutive years, choosing either Years 1 and 2, or Years 2 and 3.
  2. History units–All students are required to complete the unit Outline of Music History and Method in the first year. Students in the B.Mus. Composition major are required subsequently to undertake 5 semester-length History units (or their equivalent). Details are set out in the List of Electives on pages 67-9.
  3. Keyboard–There is provision to examine out of this unit during the first two years.
  4. Elective–Students will receive counselling in their selection of this unit. The recommendation of both the lecturer supervising the major and the lecturer of the elective unit is required. Details are set out with the List of Electives.
  5. Aural 2 and Harmony and Counterpoint 2–Students may undertake AMT Aural 2, AMT Harmony 2 and AMT Counterpoint 2 as a substitute for Aural 2 and Harmony and Counterpoint 2, as recommended by the Head of Department of Literature and Materials of Music.

Suggested reading for Composition students


Boulez, P., Boulez on Music Today, Harvard University Press, 1971.
Brindle Smith, R., Serial Composition, Oxford University Press, 1966.
Cage, J., Silence: Lectures and Writings, Cambridge University Press, 1961.
Cage, J., A Year ftom Monday: New Lectures and Writings, Wesleyan University Press, 1967.
Cage, J., M: Writings '67 - '72, Calders & Boyars, 1973.
Cage, J., For the Birds: In Conversation with Daniel Charles, Marion Boyars Publishers, 1981.
Erickson, E., Sound Structure in Music, University of California Press, 1975.
Hindemith, P, The Craft of Musical Composition, Associated Music Press, 1945.
Messiaen, O., tr.  Satterfield, The Technique of My Musical Language, Leduc, 1956.
Perle, G., Serial Composition and Atonality, Faber and Faber, 1962.
Reti, R., Tonality, Atonality, Pantonality: A Study of Some Trends in Twentieth Century Music, Greenwood Press, 1978.
Reynolds, R., Mind Models, Praeger Publishers, 1975.
Rufer, J., tr.  H. Searle, Composition with 12 Tones, Barrie & Rockliff, 1965.
Scherchen, J., The Nature of Music, Scholarly Press, 1972.
Schoenberg, A., ed.  L. Stein, tr.  L. Black, Structural Functions of Harmony, 2nd edn, Benn, 1969.
Schoenberg, A., Models for Beginners in Composition, Schirmer, 1943.
Xenakis, I., Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition, Indiana University Press, 1971.

Orchestration and Instrumentation

Blades, J., Orchestral Percussion Techniques, Oxford University Press, 1961.
Brindle Smith, IZ., Contemporary Percussion, Oxford University Press, 1970.
Jacob, G., Orchestral Technique, Oxford University Press, 1970.
Karkoschika, E., tr.  R- Koenig, Notation in New Music: A Critical Guide to Interpretation and Realisation, Universal Edition, 1972.
Piston, W, Orchestration, Norton, 1955.
Read, G., Thesaurus of Orchestral Devices, Greenwood, 1969.
Rimsky-Korsakov, N., ed.  M. Steinberg. tr.  E. Agate, Principles of Orchestration, Dover, 1964.
Risatti, H. New Music Vocabulary: A Guide to Notational Signs for Contemporary Music, University of Illinois Press, 1975.
Wagner, J., Orchestration: A Practical Handbook, McGraw-Hill, 1959.

Acoustics and Psychoacoustics

Helmholtz, H.L.E, On the Sensation of Tone, 2nd edn, Dover, 1954.
Olson, H.E, Music, Physics and Engineering, 2nd edn, Dover, 1967.
The Physics of Music, Readings from Scientific American, Freeman, 1978.
Partch, H., Genesis of a Music, 2nd edn, Da Capo Press, 1974.
Rigden, J.S., Physics and the Sound of Music, Wiley, 1977.
Roederer, J.G., Introduction to the Physics and Psychophysics of Music, 2nd edn (Heidelburg Science Library), Springer-Verlag, 1975.
Seashore, C.E., The Psychology of Music, Dover, 1967.
Winckel, F., Music, Sound and Sensation, Dover, 1967.

Musique Concrète and Voltage Control

Appleton, J.H., and Perera, R.C. (eds), The Development and Practice of Electronic Music, Prentice-Hall, 1975.
Dwyer, T., Composing with Tape Recorders, Oxford University Press, 1971.
Flind, A.J., Electronic Projects in Music, Butterworth, 1979.
Griffiths, R, A Guide to Electronic Music for Schools, Cambridge University Press, 1981.
Schrader, B., Introduction to Electro-acoustic Music, Prentice-Hall, 1982.
Truax, B. (ed.), Handbook for Acoustic Ecology, No. 5 in the Music of the Environment Series, ARC Publications, n.d.

Computer Music

IBM, APL: An Introduction, IBM, 1985.
Carlos, M., and Stewart, T., Fairlight Users Manual, Fairlight Instruments, 1985.
Lincoln, H.B. (ed.), The Computer and Music, Cornell University Press, 1970.
McCauley, C.S., Computers and Creativity, Praeger Publishers, New York, 1974.
Risset, J.C., An Introductory Catalogue of Computer Synthesised Sounds, Private Monograph, n.d.
Worrall, D., MPL Reference Manual, Melbourne University, 1984.
Worrall, D., Tutorial Introductions to MPL, Melbourne University, 1984.

Journals and Periodicals

Analog Sounds
Computer Music journal
Die Riehe
Electronic Music Review (Institute of Sonology, Utrecht)
Journal of Music Theory
Perspectives of New Music


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