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MHS Library | Music

Assessment Tasks

Task: You are to answer ONE of the following questions: 

  1. What is the role of the musician in society? Choose a society/culture/time period to explore.
  2. Discuss the evolution of a particular style/genre/time period. Think about what happened in society and science and technology at the time to enhance its evolution.

Your report must be 800 words in length (+/- 10%). Your bibliography is NOT included in the word count.

Your report will be done at home, not during class time. 

You must include an accurate and correctly presented bibliography with your report. Please note that any bibliography consisting of URLs only is not acceptable. See the Bibliography tab for help with using referencing systems.

Due date: To be advised

Australian Music Centre

Visit the Australian Music Centre to investigate themes and influences in Australian music, as well as the timeline of Australian music. 

Music at School

Browse Music at School (Cams Hill) for information about Indian music, African music, Minimalism, Film music and more. See navigation below.

Composers' Timeline (interactive)

Composers' Timeline allows you to see composers in context of time and links to audio files of their music.

Visual map - thanks Mr Brown

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

A good start to your research would be to browse The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians in the Reference section of the library. These volumes are located on the low shelves in the middle of the library. You cannot borrow them but you can copy (not more than 10%) the pages you need.

Can I use Wikipedia?

You need to think about how to use Wikipedia. It's okay to use it as a starting point to get your bearings, browse different sections to get an overview of the general content, then look at the sources used. 

See the guide for using Wikipedia in your research.

Ideas on the run

Early music: 

  • Vivaldi's music was for the church
  • Bach - organ

Classical era: Age of Enlightenment

  • the middle class
  • opera and classical music for entertainment

Romantic: changed the Classical form

The Industrial Revolution 1760 - 1840: new manufacturing processes

Negro spirituals - slavery in America

Blues/Jazz (America - see Smithsonian Institution)

Rock - electric guitars 1950s

  • Buddy Holly
  • Elvis Presley


  • Bob Dylan
  • Rolling Stone
  • Beatles

Woodstock   - sexual revolution; the Vietnam War​

  • Disco: Saturday Night Fever
  • Michael Jackson
  • Stevie Wonder

People compose for different reasons:

Collaboration - Australian Chamber Orchestra; Phillip Glass

Film music: 

  • John Williams
  • Nigel Westlake (Babe)
  • Moricone

Australian composers:

  • Peter Sculthorpe
  • Percy Grainger

Themes: Australian Chamber Orchestra - Gallipoli/World War


flute - pipe - wooden - few keys - many keys

drums - eg Africa

Stringed instruments - gut strings originally

Dieter Moebius - German experimental music