Unit of competency details

CUADLT402A - Explore the relationship between music and dance (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUADLT402 - Explore the relationship between music and danceUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 20/Nov/2013

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 06/Oct/2011


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100105 Dance  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100105 Dance  12/Apr/2012 
The content being displayed has been produced by a third party, while all attempts have been made to make this content as accessible as possible it cannot be guaranteed. If you are encountering issues following the content on this page please consider downloading the content in its original form

Modification History




This version first released with CUA11 Live Performance Training Package version 1.0

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to apply the concepts and terminology of music to dance performances.

Application of the Unit

Dancers, choreographers and dance teachers apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. They could be exploring the relationship between music and dance in the context of dance teaching, improving their own dance technique, devising dance sequences or reviewing dance performances.

Work is usually undertaken under some supervision, though autonomy and judgement can be expected given the nature of the process of reflecting and analysing performances.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Develop an understanding of standard music notation

1.1. Become familiar with signs used to interpret  the rhythm  of musical pieces

1.2. Become familiar with signs used to interpret the pitch  of musical pieces

1.3. Become familiar with directions and markings  for expression, volume and phrasing

1.4. Distinguish the major characteristics of music from various musical styles  with reference to their notation

1.5. Discuss issues of music notation and how they inform the process of analysing dance with relevant personnel 

2. Make connections between movement and music in a cultural context

2.1. Distinguish between music from different cultural contexts 

2.2. Contrast aspects  of different styles of music

2.3. Analyse musical forms characteristically used to structure music in dance works from different cultural contexts

2.4. Analyse the relationship between movement and music in dance works from different cultural contexts

2.5. Define the relationship between the expressive qualities of movement and accompanying sound sources 

3. Apply skills of musical analysis to dance performances

3.1. Evaluate the effectiveness of music scores in enhancing the narrative of dance works

3.2. Evaluate the effectiveness of the relationship between music and dance in a range of performances 

3.3. Interpret rhythm from written notation and observe accented beats in responding to works

3.4. Identify the choreographic devices  that have been used to structure the dance work and evaluate their effectiveness in meeting the music’s demands

3.5. Apply appropriate music and dance terminology in detailing the relationship between the use of music and the dance work narrative

3.6. Seek feedback from relevant personnel on own ability to detail the relationship between music and dance and note areas for future improvement

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • discuss aspects of music theory, such as:
  • accent
  • metre
  • tempo
  • rhythm
  • respond appropriately to feedback on own skill development
  • initiative and enterprise skills to:
  • make connections between music and movement
  • apply critical listening skills
  • engage in a creative thinking process
  • learning skills to increase aural recognition of variety of musical forms
  • teamwork skills to work collaboratively with others involved in dance activities.

Required knowledge 

  • well-developed knowledge of:
  • music and dance terminology
  • choreographic devices
  • working knowledge of music from a range of cultural contexts, such as:
  • classical music
  • folk music
  • Indigenous music
  • popular music
  • theatrical music
  • world music
  • social contexts of musical and dance performances
  • basic composition forms, including variations in the format of notation used
  • theories on rhythmic and structural composition.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • recognise the source and style of a range of musical pieces
  • apply a knowledge of standard musical notation to interpret music
  • relate choreography to musical accompaniment
  • analyse the effectiveness of dance performances in terms of their relationship to music.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to opportunities to work with others to explore the relationship between music and dance.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence
  • third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • evaluation of a journal kept to analyse dance performances
  • verbal or written questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit
  • case studies and scenarios as a basis for discussion of issues and challenges that arise in the context of exploring the relationship between music and dance
  • analysis of reviews of dance performances prepared
  • direct observation of candidate’s contribution to discussion concerning the relationship of music to dance.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy) and the needs of particular groups (e.g. people with disabilities and people who may have literacy or numeracy difficulties, such as speakers of languages other than English, remote communities and those with interrupted schooling).

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • CUADLT301A Develop basic dance analysis skills
  • CUAWRT501A Write about dance
  • CUSMLT302A Develop and apply aural perception skills.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Signs used to interpret :

  • rhythm of musical pieces, including:
  • bar lines
  • dots
  • note durations
  • rests
  • ties
  • time signatures
  • pitch of musical pieces, including:
  • accidentals
  • clefs
  • key signatures
  • ledger lines
  • lines and spaces of the stave
  • melodic motifs and phrases
  • melody lines
  • position of notes on the staves.

Directions and markings  may include:

  • ornamentation
  • phrasing and expression
  • special effects
  • speed
  • volume.

Musical styles  may include:

  • traditional music of any culture
  • European classical
  • all contemporary musical styles, including:
  • country
  • folk
  • jazz
  • popular
  • world
  • all other musical styles, genres or traditions.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • choreographers
  • community members
  • critics
  • directors
  • elders
  • manager
  • mentors
  • performers
  • musicians
  • reviewers
  • supervisor.

Cultural contexts  may include:

  • classical music
  • folk music
  • Indigenous music
  • popular music
  • theatrical music
  • world music.

Aspects  may include:

  • dynamics or volume
  • instrumental or vocal styles of playing
  • instruments or voices used
  • structure and form of the music
  • texture and tone or colours.

Aspects of musical forms  may include:

  • accent
  • metre
  • rhythm
  • tempo.

Accompanying sound sources  may include:

  • Indigenous rhythmic devices, such as clap sticks
  • instrumental accompaniment
  • live performances
  • orchestral accompaniment
  • prepared music
  • recorded music
  • vocal accompaniment.

Performances  may be:

  • live
  • recorded.

Choreographic devices  may include:

  • canon
  • fugue
  • inversion
  • repetition
  • retrograde
  • rondo
  • theme and variation.

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - dance literacy

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.