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MUSI301 Materials of Music

An in-depth study of micro- and macro-structures of music, including analysis and criticism of post-tonal music, and incorporating examples from a wide variety of genres.

This paper provides students with advanced knowledge of looking at, and understanding, musical works from all types of genres and styles. Building on knowledge developed in MUSI 101 and 201, it applies more advanced analytical techniques to music to reveal deeper levels of understanding. The course asks students to demonstrate this musical knowledge through writing critically about music and its meaning. It is essential for students of composition, songwriting and musicology, and very useful for performance students.

Paper title Materials of Music
Paper code MUSI301
Subject Music
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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MUSI 201
MUSI 401
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

Convenor: Professor Peter Adams

Teaching Staff:
Professor Anthony Ritchie
Professor Peter Adams
Dr Ian Chapman

A course reader and study materials will be handed out in the first class of each module.
Course outline

Please contact the School of Performing Arts office ( for a copy of the most recent paper profile.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students will gain a greater understanding of musical works and the ways to examine them. Students who successfully complete this paper will have an enhanced ability to:

  1. Interpret details within a piece (or pieces) of music
  2. Place the music in its cultural and historical context
  3. Formulate cogent arguments as to musical meaning or the composer’s/artist’s intentions
  4. Penetrate below the surface of the musical work to reveal hidden relationships in the music
  5. Develop a good understanding of harmonic practices and musical organisation through analysis of musical scores, using a variety of analytical strategies

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system