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MUSI401 Materials of Music (Advanced)

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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.

MUSI 401 provides students with an advanced knowledge of analysing and understanding musical works from all types of genres and styles. The course will cover post-tonal analysis, song analysis, iconography and music reviewing. There will be different foci from each lecturer: there is equal coverage in this paper of both analytical strategies (including harmonic function, motivic and structural organisation, etc.) and other parameters that contribute to understanding works of music (hermeneutics, text, iconography, political and historical context etc.). At this higher 400-level, a greater range and depth of analysis will be required, including consideration of aesthetics. This course also becomes an important stepping stone for those wishing to pursue postgraduate study in music analysis and composition.

Paper title Materials of Music (Advanced)
Paper code MUSI401
Subject Music
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,371.61
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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MUSI 201
MUSI 301
Limited to
BA(Hons), MusB(Hons), PGDipArts, PGDipMus

Teaching staff

Paper co-ordinator: Associate Professor Peter Adams
Teaching staff: Associate Professor Peter Adams
Professor Anthony Ritchie
Dr Ian Chapman


Please contact the School of Performing Arts for information about required readings.

Course outline

Please contact the School of Performing Arts for a copy of the 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. Successful completion of this paper will enhance a student's ability to

  • Interpret details within a piece (or pieces) of music
  • Place the music in its cultural and historical context
  • Formulate cogent arguments as to musical meaning or the composer's/artist's intentions, and comment on the musical aesthetics involved
  • Penetrate below the surface of the musical work to reveal hidden relationships in the music and commnet on deeper levels of musical process and understanding
  • 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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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 09:00-09:50 28, 31, 36, 40