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Contemporary Music Major


An intensive, performance-based major that centres on ensemble studies, where students develop advanced instrumental and performance skills on their chosen instrument (vocal, guitar, bass, keyboard, drum-set).

Students receive individual lessons, attend instrumental workshops and are a part of a repertoire-intense, performing ensemble. Additional ensemble-based performances with composition students allow for creative work to be undertaken. Other classes include arranging, history, theory, rhythm, aural, improvisation and second study. Performances are undertaken regularly throughout the course and the final year culminates in a professional recital.

Why ECU?

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    For the fifth year in a row, ECU has received the top undergraduate teaching quality ranking of all 37 public universities in Australia.

    ECU was also the top-ranked public university in Australia for undergraduate skills development for the sixth year in a row.

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    The 5-star rating for undergraduate teaching quality has now been achieved for 14 straight years.

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Unit set overview



Availability & Campus

JO - Joondalup BU - South West ML - Mount Lawley OL - Online



Year 1 - Semester 1
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
MUS1425Contemporary Principal Study 115
MUS1426Contemporary Ensemble 115
MUS1407Contemporary History and Culture 15
MUS1408Contemporary Aural 15
MUS1409Contemporary Music Theory 15
MUS1410Contemporary Music Techniques 15
MUS1412Contemporary Large Ensemble 15
MUS1413Contemporary Extension Study 15
Year 1 - Semester 2
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
MUS1427Contemporary Principal Study 215
MUS1428Contemporary Ensemble 215
MUS1417Contemporary History and Culture 25
MUS1418Contemporary Aural 25
MUS1419Contemporary Music Theory 25
MUS1420Contemporary Music Techniques 25
MUS1422Contemporary Large Ensemble 25
MUS1423Contemporary Extension Study 25
Year 2 - Semester 1
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
MUS2425Contemporary Principal Study 315
MUS2426Contemporary Ensemble 315
MUS2407Contemporary History & Culture 35
MUS2408Contemporary Aural 35
MUS2409Contemporary Music Theory 35
MUS2410Contemporary Music Techniques 35
MUS2412Contemporary Large Ensemble 35
MUS2413Contemporary Extension Study 35
Year 2 - Semester 2
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
MUS2427Contemporary Principal Study 415
MUS2428Contemporary Ensemble 415
MUS2417Contemporary History and Culture 45
MUS2418Contemporary Aural 45
MUS2419Contemporary Music Theory 45
MUS2420Contemporary Music Techniques 45
MUS2422Contemporary Large Ensemble 45
MUS2423Contemporary Extension Study 45
Year 3 - Semester 1
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
MUS3425Contemporary Principal Study 515
MUS3426Contemporary Ensemble 515
MUS3407Contemporary History and Culture 55
MUS3408Contemporary Aural 55
MUS3409Contemporary Music Theory 55
MUS3410Contemporary Music Techniques 55
MUS3412Contemporary Large Ensemble 55
MUS3413Extension Study 55
Year 3 - Semester 2
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
MUS3427Contemporary Principal Study 615
MUS3428Contemporary Ensemble 615
MUS3417Contemporary History and Culture 65
MUS3418Contemporary Aural 65
MUS3419Contemporary Music Theory 65
MUS3420Contemporary Music Techniques 65
MUS3422Contemporary Large Ensemble 65
MUS3423Contemporary Extension Study 65
Year 4 - Semester 1
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
MUS4421Contemporary Principal Study 715
MUS4406Contemporary Ensemble 715
MUS3312Jazz Professional Management Skills 15
MUS4422Contemporary Aural 75
MUS4423Contemporary Theory 75
MUS4408Contemporary Music Techniques 75
MUS4410Contemporary Large Ensemble 75
MUS4411Extension Study 75
Year 4 - Semester 2
Unit Code Unit Title Credit Points
MUS4424Contemporary Principal Study 815
MUS4414Contemporary Ensemble 815
MUS3320Jazz Professional Management Skills 25
MUS4425Contemporary Aural 85
MUS4426Contemporary Theory 85
MUS4427Contemporary Music Techniques 85
MUS4418Contemporary Large Ensemble 85
MUS4419Extension Study 85

For more detailed unit information for this Major take a look at our Handbook. To organise your life for next semester visit the Semester timetable.

Student handbook


Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a broad and coherent body of knowledge with depth in the underlying principles, concepts and theories of Contemporary Music.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge with depth of the definitive contemporary music styles and techniques and its relationship to history culture and music.
  3. Demonstrate cross cultural, social and ethical awareness, including indigenous cultural competence and apply a local and international perspective to practice.
  4. Review, analyse, and synthesise knowledge of instrumental, improvisation, interpretation, memorisation, evaluation, and technical techniques to inform performance practice.
  5. Review, analyse and synthesise the concepts and techniques in contemporary music for performances.
  6. Exercise critical thinking and judgement to identify and sustainably solve problems during composition and arrangement.
  7. Apply trans literacy skills to successfully communicate knowledge and ideas through the development of creative works within a contemporary music context for professional and non-professional audiences.
  8. Adapt knowledge and skills in diverse contexts to create a practice and performance repertoire, recital or ensemble.
  9. Demonstrate advanced instrumental, improvisational, interpretive and technical performance skills to present professional level contemporary music performances.
  10. Demonstrate creativity, initiative and judgement to plan, problem-solve and make decisions in professional practice in accordance with professional industry standards.
  11. Demonstrate responsibility and accountability for professional development in contemporary music through creative, critical and reflective thinking and practice, in both individual and group settings.

Career Opportunities

Possible future job titles

Performer, Artist, Songwriter, Arranger, Producer

This Major can be studied in the following courses

Need some help deciding what to study?

Our future student events include a mix of on-campus and online sessions designed to help you decide what to study at ECU.

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