Music History

Music has been a constant of human history.  This subject explores key music histories as they relate to Australian and Australia/European history.  First, Western Art Music history is explored from the middle ages to the present.  Second, an overview of Popular Music History is provided.  Finally, Australian indigenous music and its history is explored.

Quick Info

  • Currently offered by Alphacrucis: Yes
  • Course code: MUS401
  • Credit points: 10
  • Subject coordinator: Daniel Thornton



Awards offering Music History

This unit is offered as a part of the following awards:

Unit Content


  1. Describe Australian indigenous music in the context of other world musics;
  2. Explain the key genres of Western popular music and their evolution; 
  3. Summarise the major stages of Western art music history; and
  4. Synthesise diverse musical histories to account for the human-musical phenomenon.

Subject Content

  • Introduction to Indigenous, popular, and Western Art music history
  • Australian indigenous music and music of ancient cultures
  • Early 20th Century popular music – Big Band, Jazz, Blues
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll, Country, and Soul – 1950s-1960s
  • Disco, heavier popular styles, and pop music – 1970s-1980s
  • EDM, boy/girl bands, and singer-songwriters – 1990s-present
  • Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music
  • Classical period
  • Romantic and Post-romantic periods
  • Impressionism, Serialism, and Art music in the 20th and 21st Centuries
  • 21st Century art music, film and television music, and world music
  • The human-music obsession, and music history revision

This course may be offered in the following formats

  • Face to Face (on site)
  • E-learning (online)
  • Intensive

Please consult your course prospectus or enquire about how and when this course will be offered next at Alphacrucis University College.

Assessment Methods

  • Oral Presentation (25%)
  • Exam (25%)
  • Major Essay (50%)

Prescribed Text

  • Griffiths, P. (2009) A Concise History of Western Music. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

Please consult your instructor before purchasing any textbooks