Unit of competency details

CUSMLT601A - Analyse music (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 02/Nov/2011
(View details for release 1) Replaced29/Oct/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUAMLT601 - Analyse musicUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor edits to elements and performance criteria. 14/Jan/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUSMGE04A - Analyse musicUnit has been updated and is equivalent to CUSMGE04A. 28/Oct/2010


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100101 Music  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100101 Music  29/Oct/2010 
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Modification History



Release 2

Created to fix formatting errors only.

Released with CUS09 Music Training Package version 1.2

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to analyse the aesthetic, technical and expressive characteristics of music.

Application of the Unit

Performing musicians, music writers, music performance curators, and festival and concert programmers apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. At this level they are applying an advanced level of aesthetic and artistic sensibility to their professional practice. A well-developed appreciation of music is essential, along with high-level aural discrimination skills and sound artistic judgement.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

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


Not applicable

Employability Skills Information

Not applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

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. Clarify analysis requirements

1.1 Discuss with appropriate personnel  the purpose and scope  of the music analysis

1.2 Identify appropriate methodologies  for analysing music in the context of the required task

1.3 Identify the musical styles, genres or pieces to be analysed

1.4 Clarify timelines for completion of analysis and factors that may impact on the analysis

2. Identify aesthetic and expressive elements of music

2.1 Assess musical examples  to determine the overall style and character of the music

2.2 Analyse musical elements  for their expressive, aesthetic and technical qualities

2.3 Identify a sufficient range of functional musical elements to ensure that the analysis is accurate and comprehensive

2.4 Discuss aspects of work in progress with peers and incorporate different angles or ideas into the analysis as appropriate

3. Convey the musical analysis

3.1 Apply knowledge of music and related music vocabulary  to the analysis in an appropriate way

3.2 Ensure that all aspects of the musical examples are analysed or described to provide the required style and standard of analysis

3.3 Compile or synthesise conclusions of the musical analysis in the required format within agreed timelines and in a manner suited to the target audience 

3.4 Seek feedback on analysis from appropriate personnel and adjust conclusions as required

3.5 Evaluate analysis process and note areas for future improvement

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication and literacy skills sufficient to:
  • interpret and clarify written and verbal instructions
  • discuss music and musical ideas with peers
  • respond positively to constructive feedback
  • articulate music analysis accurately and appropriately using appropriate conventions of music writing and nomenclature
  • read music
  • use language appropriate to the intended audience
  • analytical skills sufficient to:
  • apply appropriate analytical methods of interpretation relevant to area of specialisation
  • retrieve and use appropriate resources to develop analysis
  • focus analysis on appropriate musical elements within compositions and/or performances
  • accurately analyse a variety of scales, chord sequences and music systems, including rhythms, time signatures, beat patterns or other elements of musical organisation
  • initiative and enterprise skills in the context of empathising with the creative work of composers and performers

Required knowledge 

  • well-developed understanding of music-related issues, including:
  • styles and genres, and musical forms and conventions relevant to analysis
  • music notation
  • techniques for discriminating music aurally to analyse music
  • repertoire relevant to chosen musical styles and genres
  • musical and cultural protocols
  • musical form and performance conventions
  • cultural circumstances of music performance and consumption
  • elements of musical organisation in relation to content of written work
  • technical processes and demands of composition and/or music performances
  • issues and challenges that arise when writing and talkingabout music
  • writing and communication principles for the relevant medium
  • written and aural-presentation techniques for the relevant medium

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:

  • complete at least three musical analyses that demonstratewell-developed understanding of the systems and musical elements being analysed
  • apply musical analysis to own professional practice
  • apply well-developed analytical, reflective, critical-listening and communication skills in the context of analysing music.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to printed scores or recorded performances as required by the specialisation to be assessed
  • opportunities to apply the analysis of harmony in a practical context
  • use of culturally appropriate processes, and techniques appropriate to the language and literacy capacity of the candidate and the work being performed.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are appropriate for this unit:

  • evaluation of musical analyses completed by the candidate
  • written or oral questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required knowledge section of this unit
  • case studies and scenarios as a basis for discussion of issues and challenges that arise in the context of analysing music for a range of purposes
  • authenticated details of relevant commercial or other examples of musical analyses.

Guidance information for assessment 

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

  • CUSIND501A Apply music knowledge and artistic judgement
  • CUSMCP601A Extend techniques for composing music
  • CUSMCP602A Extend techniques for arranging music
  • CUSMLT502A Apply concepts about the impact of music to professional practice
  • CUSMLT602A Analyse harmony
  • CUSWRT501A Write about music.

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.

Appropriate personnel  may include:

  • authors
  • composers
  • artists and performers
  • broadcasters
  • editors
  • writers
  • graphic designers
  • program or event managers
  • sound-production or recording personnel
  • record companies
  • directors
  • producers
  • programmers
  • academic supervisors
  • production managers
  • music promoters, agents and marketers.

Purpose and scope  may include:

  • analysis to determine the music's:
  • aesthetic qualities
  • technical qualities
  • expressive qualities
  • capacity for aesthetic and/or literal communication
  • creative and innovative qualities
  • expression of new ideas
  • capacity to reflect value systems
  • capacity for the aural transmission of knowledge and wisdom
  • research for:
  • performance
  • improvisation
  • academic purposes
  • written articles, program notes, criticism or marketing
  • educational purposes and materials
  • performance commentary
  • written or electronic media programs, presentations or live events.

Methodologies  for analysis may include:

  • reflective listening
  • study of music notation examples, including specific scores and texts
  • performance analysis
  • studying the representation of music as symbols
  • transcribing and analysing musical examples
  • investigating the use of conventions of notation and music nomenclature
  • debating ideas
  • reviewing and incorporating ideas from relevant literature and methodologies
  • cross-referencing compositional and performance examples.

Musical examples  may include:

  • music pieces
  • scores or charts
  • compositions and improvisations
  • recordings
  • other written examples and/or performances
  • styles and genres may include:
  • folk and traditional music forms, including European classical or traditional music of any other culture
  • all contemporary popular musical styles
  • jazz
  • world
  • country.

Musical elements  may include:

  • acoustics
  • aesthetic qualities
  • articulation
  • beat
  • cultural context
  • dynamics
  • expression
  • form/structure
  • genre
  • harmony/chords
  • instrumentation
  • interpretation
  • melody
  • notation
  • nuance
  • ornamentation
  • phrasing
  • pitch
  • relationship to text
  • rhythm
  • scales
  • sound production
  • style
  • tempo
  • texture
  • timbre/tone colour
  • time signatures
  • tonality.

Music vocabulary  may relate to elements, such as:

  • specialised knowledge of repertoire
  • specialised knowledge of artists
  • critical-listening skills
  • artistic judgement
  • music history
  • performance practice in a range of styles and customs
  • music technology
  • music texts
  • aural recognition and comprehension of musical devices and systems, including:
  • melody
  • harmony
  • timbre
  • attack
  • pitch
  • tempi
  • dynamics
  • expression
  • physics of music and sound production
  • technical requirements for a range of instruments in a range of musical styles and performance contexts
  • aural imagination and innovation
  • musical styles and genres.

Target audiences  may include:

  • peers and colleagues
  • authors
  • composers
  • artists and performers
  • editors
  • program or event managers
  • sound-production or recording personnel
  • record companies
  • directors
  • producers
  • media programmers
  • academic supervisors
  • production managers
  • tutors and teachers
  • mentors
  • presenters
  • general public.

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - music literacy.

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