PERF 1024 Music Theory and Songwriting

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102770

Coordinator Clare Maclean Opens in new window

Description This subject studies harmony and musical techniques used in a variety of styles, and applies these in the development of song-writing and composition skills. Keyboard and aural classes include practical musicianship training related to the lectures.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Music

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 2 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Pre-requisite(s) PERF 1001 OR
PERF 1015

Equivalent Subjects PERF 1004 - Composition Craft and Theory 2 LGYA 6571 - Music Craft and Theory 2 PERF 1002 - Composition Craft and Theory PERF 1017 - Songwriting and Music Theory

Assumed Knowledge

Students must have completed the prerequisite subject, or demonstrate an understanding of key signatures, intervals, triad chord structures, meter and rhythm, through a music theory screening test to be administered by the Subject Coordinator.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Write a song using at least two contrasting sections
  2. Write a composition in an existing or original/free style
  3. Undertake harmonic analysis of music in different styles
  4. Harmonise a tonal melody
  5. Read and play simple melodies and harmony at the keyboard
  6. Notate from aural dictation: intervals, chords, inversions, rhythms, simple melodies and harmonic progressions
  7. Notate music with Finale or other notation software
  8. 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

  • Skills in style-composition, free composition and song-writing
  • Theoretical knowledge of modes and harmonic analysis of different styles of music
  • Skills in aural recognition of short melodic, harmonic and rhythmic dictations
  • Musicianship skills (keyboard, music reading and sight-singing)
  • 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.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Quiz 10-20 minutes each 30 N Individual
Practical Compositions: 32 bars each. Tests: 3 mins each. 40 N Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 30 N Individual
Participation Minimum 2 hrs per fortnight S/U Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • N/A

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Clare Maclean Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Spring (2024)

Penrith (Kingswood)


Subject Contact Clare Maclean Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window