Unit description

Extends the theory concepts presented in MUS00620 - Contemporary Music Theory I, focuses on harmonic relationships, extended chords and voicings and groove construction; and applies these theoretical concepts to composition and performance in a variety of contemporary music styles.

Unit content

  • Four- and five-note chords built from the major scale
  • Chords built from ‘church’ modes and minor scales
  • Basic chord voicing and voice-leading principles
  • The concepts of plurality and diatonic chord substitution
  • Secondary dominant and diminished chords
  • Tritone substitution
  • Analysing key areas
  • Common drum and bass patterns
  • Rhythmic counterpoint and the creation of contemporary grooves
  • Advanced scales and their application for improvisation
  • Quartal (fourth-based) harmony
  • Two- and three-part sectional writing

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial on-site 1 hour (12 weeks)
Exam: closed book40%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2017 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.