In this graduate diploma level music course, you’ll be provided with forward thinking, industry-relevant musical knowledge and skills across multiple genres, with a strong technology, cross-media, collaborative and interdisciplinary focus.
Designed to give you a high degree of advanced musical knowledge and skills, this course will enable you to gain a comprehensive, insightful and scholarly understanding of your specific area of musical practice.
Become an artistic leader through your practice, capable of solving complex artistic music issues and problems, in industry-relevant contexts. Gain the knowledge and skills that will fully prepare you for employment opportunities in a wide range of music and related fields.
By choosing this course as your preferred study pathway, you’ll be creating additional avenues to further study in master’s level qualifications.
16 Aug 2019 at 02:00PM AEST
Full time: 12 months (classes take place on weekdays)
The mode of delivery is mainly face to face and some occasional online learning.
After successful completion, you may wish to apply for various employment opportunities in a wide range of music and related fields such as:
The course aims to produce musicians who are equally at home in the worlds of composition, improvisation, performance, and production; have a fluid understanding of the world of contemporary critical theory as it applies to music and other art forms, and who can both interact with practitioners in other art forms, as well as exploring those art forms themselves.
This course takes place in the Nelson Campus, at the corner of Nelson and Whitehorse Roads in Box Hill, in our new state-of-the-art music facility.
International students must have completed:
You will be required to demonstrate competence in the English language prior to admission.
An interview with the Course Coordinator is also required for entry into the course. This can be in person or via Skype.
PLEASE NOTE: Box Hill Institute only accept enrolments from International students who are 18 years of age or above at the time of course commencement.
A minimum IELTS overall score of 6.5 (Academic) with no band less than 6.0. A minimum TOEFL score of 575 for paper examination;232 for computer based and 90 for Internet based, or approved equivalent.
For other accepted tests, please visit the English Language Requirements page.
International students please apply through:
As part of the entry procedure, an interview with the Course Coordinator will be required. This can be via Skype or other communications media. In the interview, the structure of the courses will be discussed, and the student will be asked how they feel their background and experiences would mesh with the content of the courses. Any work the candidate brings in to demonstrate their competency and areas of interest will be listened to and evaluated sympathetically. Since this course depends on each student developing their own unique interests and abilities, a common advanced standard for admission (apart from basic competencies) is not really possible to specify, but in consultation with the course coordinator, any gaps in the student's preparation will be identified, and remedial activities suggested.
Successful completion will enable you to apply for further studies, particularly in the fields of:
Upon graduation, you can apply for doctoral study in the core areas of your music specialisation, namely in performance, composition, audio production, music technologies, music theory, history and analysis.
You can also choose to apply to study a Masters of Music (Contemporary Practice) at Box Hill Institute.
This course is accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the qualification is aligned with the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 8 and Box Hill Institute Graduate Attributes.
|Tuition Fee Type||Estimated Annual Fee|
|Service Fees||Estimated Annual Fees|
|Service & Amenities*||$155.00|
|Core Skills Support**||$75.00|
|Annual Material Fees||No materials fee applies|
|Retain Course Items***||No fee applies|
Completion of 48 credit points. First year contains 6 subjects plus 2 electives.
In this subject you undertake an in-depth exploration of the use of technology for music creation. It introduces a range of the tools, programming languages, software environments, and working processes for creating music with technology. All students will gain knowledge and skills across real-time interactive performance systems, electro-acoustic music, acousmatic music (purely electronic) , and or sonic environments for design and media production. This subject is conducted as an artist's studio workshop, including discussion of material, individual studio work on specific music projects, as well as presentations and critiques. Principles and practices are explored and documented as a part of the project assessment. Works-in-progress on the projects are submitted for evaluation twice during the semester, with finished work expected by semester's end. Contact hours are 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Assessment: Assessment 1: Prepare and present a musical work that integrates your musical abilities with the concepts of the computer as a musical medium. This should demonstrate exploration in a previously unknown creative territory. Due Week 4, worth 30% Assessment 2: Prepare and present a musical work that integrates your musical abilities with the concepts of the computer as a musical instrument. This might include a live performance. Due Week 8, worth 30% Assessment 3: Prepare and present a musical work that integrates your musical abilities with the concepts of the computer as a musical partner. This should demonstrate how the computer is actively assisting you in your creative output. Worth 40%.
This subject is designed as an introduction to performance as a larger cultural concept. Class projects include 1) detailed analysis of an instance of contemporary performance, and 2) designing and implementing an experiment in performance, including short critical commentary. Multiple approaches and systems for music analysis are explored. Emphasis is on detailed methods for describing musical structures and for organising and scoring sound. Performance whether in the arts, in the public sphere, in personal life or in collective ritual has been the nexus of public meaning-making through the history of humankind. The act of performance as a primary human activity pre-dates writing, and many of our cultural artefacts are the traces of performances past. Increasingly, performance is enacted fully in the digital domain in contemporary life while retaining full individual and collective significance. To understand and employ a knowledge of the larger significance of performance opens up creative ideas and insights into one's own artistic practice. Contact hours are 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Assessment: Assessment 1: Detailed analysis of an instance of contemporary performance - description, analysis and contextualisation - Oral Presentation (15 minutes) with written paper (1000 words). Due Week 5. Worth 30% Assessment 2: Preliminary analysis project, focussed on the themes, concepts and application of skills that will be explored (in a practical sense) in the Performance Experiment in week 12 (1000 words). Due Week 7, Worth 10% Assessment 3: Design and implement a Performance Experiment (30 minutes), including short written critical commentary (1000 words) contextualising the ideas explored in relation to the themes and theories introduced in the classes and literature and reflection on what was learned from the process. Due Week 12. Worth 60%
This subject investigates the fertile ground of combined art forms and new media. Particularly, where sound and music are not in the 'accompanying' role, but rather as a part of a synergistic whole. This way of working can be traced back (in the Western art world) to the colours and music of Scriabin, the Varese, Xenakis, Le Corbusier sound and architecture collaborations in the 1950s, and the hyper-theatrical compositions of Wagner and Stockhausen, among others. A select grouping of prominent artists and their use of new media will be explored. Examples may be drawn from: drama, opera, 3D immersive environments, soundscapes and museum exhibition, environmental interaction, installation, projection, and the work of visual artists, acoustic engineers, composers, programmers, and animators. Some examples include but are not limited to: Bill Viola's immersive video art installations; Innovations in pop music and spectacle production; Lynette Wallworth's expanded cinema and environmental installations; Stelarc's robotic and body mechanical performances. This coursework includes analytical investigations, followed by the preparation of the design for an original creative intermedia mixed media work. Contact hours are 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Assessment: Assessment 1: Analysis of a current large scale media work - oral presentation, with written documentation (10 minutes, 1000 words). Due Week 6 Worth 40% Assessment 2: Create a plan, design, mockup, storyboard for an original intermedia, mixed media project. (2000 words equivalent). Due Week 12. Worth 40%. Assessment 3: Evaluation of major work and intermedia artists to inform the intermedia project (1000 words). Due Week 12. Worth 20%
This workshop explores the great potential for developing musical ideas in collaboration with other performers. Whether you consider yourself a performer, a composer, a music technologist, a sound designer or media artist - participants are expected to compose, perform and collaborate to generate new musical ideas. As an ensemble for exploring and testing original musical ideas, participants work in duets, trios, or larger groups. Innovative means of collaboration are encouraged; the aim is to provide musicians the opportunity to workshop intensively with other performers. Participants meet at least once per week for 3 hours duration in faculty-led groupings. The point is to expand one's way of making music through this working process. Constant documentation and reflection on the process is encouraged. Contact hours are 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Assessment: Assessment 1: Performance Document 1 including audio/video recording, individual annotations, scores and commentary (1000 words equivalent). Due Week 6. Worth 20% Assessment 2: Practice journal/workbook demonstrating personal musical development throughout semester (1000 words equivalent). Due Week 10. Worth 20% Assessment 3: Performance Document 2 including audio/video recording, individual annotations, scores and commentary (2000 words equivalent documentation - indicative load). Due Week 12. Worth 20% Assessment 4: Exam period: Public Performance based on Performance Document 2 (10 minutes performance). During Exam period. Worth 40%
This subject introduces you to academic research practice and explores interpretative, conceptual and methodological issues, which emerge in relation to specific research processes. It seeks to address and encourage a reflective approach to various research methodologies and techniques appropriate to postgraduate study, relevant to the music industry and applicable to music practice and music business. It will equip you with knowledge and skill necessary for successful completion of further research subjects for the Graduate Diploma or Masters qualification in the relevant field, and for subsequent creative or entrepreneurial endeavour in music or music business. Contact hours are 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Assessment: Assessment 1: Research activity via Facebook: Students critically review a relevant journal article and other student analyses in relation to relevant themes and criteria. This will take the form of individual and group interactive activities using an online forum format. Students are to demonstrate constructive critical analysis skills and knowledge of relevant theory and practice. Length: 150 words per review - Students review journal article by Sunday 11.55pm, and other student analyses by Wednesday 11.55pm of that same week. Due: Progressively each week in the semester. Worth 30% Assessment 2: Annotated Bibliography: Students identify a research topic and literature they consider relevant to this topic by using a research information planner template, which guides the research process and prompts identification of search concepts and strategies, and information sources and material types. Students produce an annotated bibliography using this method that provides a brief account of this available research literature on that topic. Due Week 6. Length: 1500 words. Worth 30% Assessment 3: Essay: Students identify literature they consider relevant to their topic, and critically review the research methods and analyses. The student reflects on research assumptions and impact on validity of conclusions, identifies weaknesses in terms of research questions and methods, used to apply to resolve those questions. Due Week 12. Length: 2000 words. Worth 40%.
This subject builds on MUS 513 Research Methods and offers students further skills to develop a scholarly approach to music based research, as they approach a research question that has practical implications for music related study. Students conduct a critical literature review, and subsequently present a research proposal for a larger project, which includes an annotated bibliography. Students are expected to identify and address any ethical risks of their research.Contact hours are 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Contemporary Composition Studies will advance students' ability to analyse, evaluate, compose and or arrange music in a contemporary setting. By the very nature of the subject, these settings will be varied, but could include: film scoring, gaming, popular song writing, contemporary 'classical' writing, electronic composition, writing for mixed ensemble and writing for traditional large ensemble. This subject builds on assumed theoretical knowledge and takes a more practical approach to learning compositional and scoring techniques. Students will study compositional techniques employed by various composers, and apply their knowledge in scoring a series of short filmic excerpts. Contact hours are 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Assessment: Assessment 1: Analysis of compositions assignment, essay equivalent of 1500 words. Due Week 5, Worth 30% Assessment 2: Submission of composition folio: drafts, equivalent to 1500 words. Due Week 8, Worth 30% Assessment 3: Submission of composition folio: final - and analysis, equivalent to 2000 words. Due Week 12, Worth 40%
Rehearsal Techniques and Methods will advance students’ ability to effectively prepare and rehearse an ensemble for performances in a contemporary setting. By the very nature of the subject, these settings will be varied, but could include small chamber ensembles, mid-size ensembles and large ensembles across a diverse spread of genres. Both instrumental and vocal rehearsal practices will be examined.
Students will critically analyse compositions and musical scores to discover techniques and devices pertinent to their personal objectives. It will advance their ability to analyse, evaluate, problem-solve and present contemporary music. This subject builds on assumed theoretical knowledge and takes a more practical approach to learning rehearsal and preparation techniques.
This unit examines the ways that improvisation is understood and practiced in a range of performance and compositional settings. Detailed analysis will inform students in processes and techniques, and help to define what improvisation in a contemporary setting means to the individual. Practical application of models, tools and devices will enable students to experience, analyse and reflect on the theoretical in action extending their own practice. Ideas covered in the course include, but are not limited to: Actualising an idea into a musical performance; Analysing styles, process, creativity and musicality; Contemporary improvisation in experimental and extraordinary mediums; Cultural diversity and interaction with contemporary music; Historical and current analysis of improvisation; Free jazz and improvisation genres; Electro-acoustic improvisation and music generation processes; Provocative and progressive thoughts challenging traditional notions of performance. Technical and performance facility on an instrument or voice equivalent to a completed undergraduate level is required to study this subject. Contemporary improvisation in experimental and extraordinary mediums; Cultural diversity and interaction with contemporary music; Historical and current analysis of improvisation; Free jazz and improvisation genres; Electro-acoustic improvisation and music generation processes; Provocative and progressive thoughts challenging traditional notions of performance. Technical and performance facility on an instrument or voice equivalent to a completed undergraduate level is required to study this subject. Contact hours are 3 hours per week for 12 weeks.
Assessment: Assessment 1: Position paper, with evidence of research and detailed understanding of contemporary trends. Equivalent to 1000 words. Due Week 6. Worth 20% Assessment 2: Analysis and performance project where the student devises their own performance strategies and then analyses the process and outcomes under the supervision of the teacher and their relationship with topics and issues raised in the class. Equivalent to 2000 words. Due Week 10. Worth 40% Assessment 3: Final performance, demonstrating repertoire research, specific improvisational techniques and practices and devices. 20 minutes. Due Week 12. Worth 40%
This subject offers an integrated analysis of the concepts, theories, viewpoints, practices and strategies that shape the contemporary music industry. Students analyse the latest developments in the industry, and evaluate the scope and implications of significant challenges. This subject considers local and international causes and influences, and consequent micro and macro environmental effects. Students evaluate the environmental influences and factors (social, technological, legal, economic, and cultural) on current issues, and the specific effects on the music and entertainment industries in order to develop their understanding of causes and influences, key questions, and the developmental direction of the music industry.Indicative student workload is 10 hours per week for 12 weeks.
This subject is the second of two subjects, in which students review and evaluate the concepts, theories, viewpoints, practices and strategies that shape the contemporary music industry. Students investigate, analyse and synthesise information relating to the latest developments in the music industry. Students evaluate the scope and implications of contemporary music industry issues in the context of the concepts and theories that are studied in the first year of the course including creative entrepreneurial endeavour. Students appraise local and international trends and consequent micro and macro environmental effects—social, technological, legal, economic and cultural factors—that influence issues which currently confront the industry.Indicative student workload is 10 hours per week for 12 weeks.
|Semester one / Full year intake - 2019|
Number of students
% of all students
(A) Higher education study (includes a bridging or enabling course)
(B) Vocational education and training (VET) study
(C) Work and life experience (admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
(D) Recent secondary education:
Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR (regardless of whether this includes the consideration of adjustment factors such as equity or subject bonus points)
Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was not a factor (e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation scheme with no minimum ATAR requirement)
We expect to enrol between 3 and 20 students.
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