MUSA100-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Essentials in Music Techniques

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


This course provides students with skills in musicianship, music theory & creative composition. Students will have a good understanding of chords and chord progressions, melodic patterns and notation systems, and will have acquired skills in sight singing and melodic dictation.

This course will introduce students to the building blocks of music. After completing this course, you will have a firm understanding of the fundamentals of rhythm, melody, harmony, and creative composition. In the course, you will learn to compose and harmonise melodies, sight-sing from notation, notate the music you hear, and analyse and use chord structures. These skills are applicable to all genres and styles of music.
MUSA100 is a core course in the MusB and in the BA in Music. It is also a gateway to the higher level theory, musicianship, and composition courses. Many students from other programmes also take MUSA100 as a standalone course, and you are very welcome to do this.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand fundamentals of music theory and notation (modes, scales, keys, intervals, triads and seventh chords);
  • Read and use musical shorthand (figured bass, lead sheets);
  • Use diatonic chords to harmonise major and minor melodies following the logic of common-practice harmony;
  • Understand phrases and cadences in a common-practice context;
  • Use sol-fa as a tool for developing the inner ear and for sight-singing simple melodies
  • Notate simple melodies played at the piano;
  • Combine the elements of music in a creative composition which students notate in staff notation.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.



Timetable Note

Student workload (150 hours) will be allocated to:
• 24 hours attending lectures
• 11 hours attending tutorials
• 20 hours completing the Practical Musicianship Tasks
• 20 hours completing the Composition project
• 20 hours preparing for written tests
• 55 hours self-directed study

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Francis Yapp


Reuben de Lautour


Courtney Hickmott


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Practical Musicianship Task 1 10%
Practical Musicianship Task 2 10%
Practical Musicianship Task 3 10%
Practical Musicianship Task 4 10%
Written Test 1 15%
Written Test 2 15%
Composition Project 30%

Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Ralph Turek and Daniel McCarthy; Workbook to Accompany Theory for Today’s Musician, ; 3rd Ed; Routledge, 2019.

Turek, Ralph , McCarthy, Daniel William; Theory for today's musician ; Third edition; Routledge, 2019 (These books can be bought from the University Bookshop; there are also copies in the UC Library. The textbook (not workbook) is available as an eBook from the UC Library).

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $916.00

International fee $4,488.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All MUSA100 Occurrences

  • MUSA100-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023