MUSA334-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

Contemporary Music

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


An exploration of various 20th and 21st century Western art music styles and techniques. The course includes score analysis and aural recognition, and covers technological developments, political and social upheavals and the effects of these on composers and their output.

MUSA334 offers students an in-depth exploration of the trends and developments in Western Art Music from 1945 to the present day. It situates the music itself and the various ‘schools’ of composition within the wider socio-cultural and intellectual framework of the era.


Any 30 points at 200 level from MUSA, or
any 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the MusB or the Schedule V of the BA.


Course Coordinator

Mark Menzies


Essay 1 (20%)
An essay of 2500 words on a topic covered during Weeks 1–4 of the course.
Students will submit a draft of their essay by the end of Week 4 [Friday 9 August] (5% of final grade)
The drafts will be marked, and students sent feedback, in Week 5. This feedback will inform students' revisions for the final submission.
Final version due in at the end of Week 6 [Friday 23 August] (15% of final grade).

Imaginary Interview or Blog (20%)
(a) An imaginary interview with a composer/performer on a prescribed date. Prescribed people and dates will be given during the course.
(b) An imaginary blog post by a key figure in postwar Art Music in the wake of a significant event. A selection of scenarios will be given during the course.
In either case, while the interview or blog post itself is imagined, the facts and ideas in the assignment must be true-to-life and free from anachronisms.
Due date: End of Week 8 [Friday 20 September]

Essay 2 (25%)
An essay of 3000 words on a topic covered during weeks 5–10 of the course. Due date: End of Week 11 [Friday 11 October]

Contribution to class discussion (10%)
The tutorials will focus on class discussion of the weekly topics, including assigned readings and listening. Students will be assessed on the quality of their contribution to these discussions.

Listening Test (25%)
The listening test will take the place of the tutorial in Week 12. Students will be expected to aurally identify excerpts of works covered in the course, and to provide details and answer questions related to these works and associated topics. Students will also be required to describe 'what happens next', i.e., what happens musically/sonically after the played excerpt stops.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $877.00

International fee $4,200.00

* 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 and Creative Arts .

All MUSA334 Occurrences

  • MUSA334-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021