PERF 1015 Music Theory Fundamentals

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102564

Coordinator Hilary Maclean Opens in new window

Description This unit introduces basic theoretical knowledge such as scales, intervals, chords and progressions. It provides musicianship training in aural, reading and keyboard skills and an introduction to Finale software. Students will learn to analyse harmony and to compose melodies and simple chordal accompaniments in song and theme and variation forms. Keyboard and aural classes will build on the theoretical content presented in lectures.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Equivalent Subjects PERF 1003 - Composition Craft and Theory 1 PERF 1001 - Basic Composition Craft and Theory

Restrictions Students undertake audition/interview.

Assumed Knowledge

It is assumed that students have had experience with music either as performers, composers and song writers or through music technology. While an understanding of music theory is advisable, experience working aurally with these concepts is acceptable.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Write a simple composition in song or variation form, using 4 or more chords and simple accompaniment textures.
  2. Notate from aural dictation: intervals, chords, inversions, rhythms, simple melodies and harmonic progressions.
  3. Notate and analyse chords, inversions, cadences, harmonic progressions, and non-harmonic notes.
  4. Harmonise a melody using diatonic functional harmony.
  5. Notate music with Finale or other notation software.
  6. Read and play simple melodies and harmony at the keyboard.
  7. Those attending Art of Sound will be able to: Participate meaningfully in Art of Sound activities and projects, working with students across the Music program to develop collaborative, technical and performance skills.

Subject Content

Theoretical knowledge of scales, intervals, chords and simple chord progressions using functional harmony.
Skills in aural recognition of short melodic, harmonic and rhythmic dictations.
Preliminary musicianship skills (keyboard, music reading and sight-singing) skills.
Composition skills using diatonic melodies and harmony, with simple accompaniment textures.
Skills in Finale or other notation software.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Short answer 1. 20 minutes each 2. 15 minutes each 30 N Individual
Practical 1. 16 bars of music each 2. 3 minutes each 40 N Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 30 N Individual

Teaching Periods

2022 Semester 1

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Hilary Maclean Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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