Semester 2, Academic Year 2020/2021

Two video lectures a week (BOTH to be viewed) to be viewed on YouTube

Lecturer: Prof Bernard Tan, email:
Tutor: Ms Lydia Lam, email:

Class tutorials will be held via zoom meetings as shown in the LumiNUS timetable>


From last semester (AY 2019/20 semester 1), the module has been presented as video lectures instead of live lectures in a lecture theatre. Hence no lecture theatre has been allocated for the module. However, you are to keep the lecture slot on Thursdays from 8am to 10am reserved for class tests.

Video lectures

All lectures will be presented in the form of video lectures. There will be a total of 22 video lectures. The PowerPoint slides for each week's lectures will be released before the corresponding video lectures. In general there will be two video lectures a week with a break for the mid-term test.

The video lectures will be viewed on YouTube, and the URL for each lecture will be released on the module webpage together with the corresponding PowerPoint slide. Each video will remain available on YouTube for the duration of the semester until the final examination.


The tutorials will be conducted via zoom meetings during even weeks as shown in the LumiNUS timetable. The class will be divided into groups of 20 students. Each tutorial group will attend one tutorial session every two weeks. There will be five tutorial sessions for each group over ten weeks.

If you are unable to register for the tutorial time-slot of your choice, we can manually insert you in your desired tutorial time slot after the on-line tutorial registration has ended.

The questions for each two-week tutorial cycle (which starts in week 3) will be made available on the module webpage a few days before each cycle begins.

The questions are for discussion during tutorials. Answers need not be handed up as no marks are allocated for tutorial answers.


Tutorial set no. 1 and the answers.

Tutorial set no. 2 and the answers.

Tutorial set no. 2.5 with answers.

Tutorial set no. 3 and the answers.

Tutorial set no. 4 and the answers.

Tutorial set no. 5 and the answers.

Tutorial set no. 6 with answers.


Mid-term Test

End-of-term Test answers.


Every student is required to submit an essay as an individual project.

The essay should be on the following topic:

Attend a musical concert or any live musical performance, which could be an SSO concert, a musical or an opera, a pop/rock concert, a jazz concert, a Chinese orchestra concert or any concert, performance or event in which the live performance of music is the main focus (this excludes plays or ballet/dance performances).Say in your own words how and why you have enjoyed (or not enjoyed) the performance. You should include some comments on how and why science and/or technology may have had an effect (positive or otherwise) on your musical experience and why, but the main focus of the essay should be on your personal views of the concert performance. The essay should be written from the point of view of a member of the audience, and NOT as one of the performers.

You may also write about a concert you have recently attended (within the last 3 months). This will include concerts during the months of October, November and December 2020. The concert should be a formal performance by live performers for an audience lasting at least 45 minutes. The concert may be either in an indoor or outdoor venue, and need not be a ticketed fee-paying performance.

In view of Covid-19 restrictions, the viewing of live online performances or recorded as well as videos of performances, including YouTube videos, may be substituted for live performances, as long as the performances are at least 45 minutes in length.

You need not confine your essay to the content of the lectures. The essay should express your own opinions, and will be graded on content and writing ability.

The essay should have a word count of at least 200 words but not exceeding 800 words and should be written in English. If other languages are used in, for example, titles of musical pieces, an English translation should be provided. The essay should consist only of text and should NOT include any photographs or illustrations. Any references or bibliography should be included in the word count.

Please mention the name of the performer or group performing and the venue and date of the concert. For an online performance, please include the url of the video viewed. Your essay MUST be entirely your own unaided work.

The essay should be submitted as a Microsoft Word file with the name:
where xxxxxxxxx is your matriculation number. Please put the number of words and your matric number at the end of your essay but do NOT include your name.

The submission deadline is at the end of week 10 of the semester, at the midnight of Saturday 27 March 2021, i.e. the midnight between Saturday 27 March and Sunday 28 March.

The LumiNUS workbin for the submission of the Essay project files will be open a few days before the submission deadline. Please do NOT email your essay files to me.


Every student is required to submit a MIDI music composition as an individual project.

The MIDI music composition is an electronic/computer music piece in MIDI format lasting at least 20 seconds, but not more than 60 seconds. MIDI files lasting less than 20 seconds and more than 60 seconds will be penalized.

The piece MUST be an original piece and NOT an arrangement of an existing piece of music.

It should be for at least two different General MIDI (GM) instruments, and for not more than five different General MIDI (GM) instruments. You are permitted to use any GM instruments except for instruments no. 121 to 128. Whatever number of GM instruments you choose to use from two to five, they should all be different instruments i.e. if you use the same instrument twice for more than one track/channel, it will be considered one instrument.

Your MIDI piece must begin with not more than two GM instruments, and continue thus for at least 8 seconds. Additional GM instruments should only enter the music after 8 seconds. (You are of course free to use only two instruments for the entire piece.)

If you intend to use the channel 10 percussion instruments, this will count as one instrument.

The list of GM instruments is in this file.

The piece MUST be entirely your own and unaided work.

The completed MIDI piece should be submitted in the form of a computer file in Standard MIDI format (SMF) with the name:


where xxxxxxxxx is your matriculation number.

You may use any music software to write the piece, as long as it is submitted as a MIDI in Standard MIDI format.

One freely available piece of software which you can use is Anvil Studio, which is only available for Windows. Mac OS X users can use MidiSwing or Melody Assistant (which is also available for Windows). To obtain these freeware/shareware software packages, please see the links below.
Please note that to export Melody Assistant files to MIDI format, you will need to register and pay a fee of US$20.

As many students have had difficulty viewing the MIDI tutorial videos, the submission deadline has been extended by one week to midnight of Saturday 24 April 2021 i.e. the midnight between Saturday 24 April and Sunday 25 April.

MIDI files are to be submitted into the Luminus MIDI workbin which will be open a few days before the submission deadline.

MIDI sequencers

Anvil Studio for Windows.

MidiSwing for Mac OS X.

Melody Assistant for Windows and Mac (OS 8, 9 and X).

MuseScore, a freeware music notation program with MIDI output.


Watch Anvil Studio getting started tutorial here or on YouTube.
Watch Anvil Studio tutorial on note entry
here or on YouTube.
Watch Anvil Studio tutorial on chord entry
here or on YouTube.
Watch Anvil Studio tutorial on creating a new track
here or on YouTube.
Watch Anvil Studio tutorial on creating a rhythm track
here or on YouTube.
Watch MidiSwing tutorial
here or on YouTube.


GEH1030 Mid-Term Test
Date: 11 March (Week 8)
Time: 8:20 am -- 9:20 am
Duration: 1 hour
Format: 25 Multiple Choice Questions (Open Book)
Scope: Lectures 1 to 12 (including Open and Closed Pipes)
Platform: LumiNUS Quiz

Open Book here means you could access your course materials (Lectures Notes and Tutorials only) stored in your computer or in print format. There will not be any formula sheet given. Make sure you could easily access important information (as i may have suggested to you during tutorials) such as notation, keyboard arrangement, scale chart, etc. since memorisation is not necessary.

As there is a need for proctoring of test, you are to log in by 8 am to prepare for the test. The test will only be open via LumiNUS Quiz from 8:20 am onwards. The details of the proctoring will be published in another announcement.


Lecture 1

Lecture 1 in
ppt format.
Video lecture no. 1 on YouTube.

Lecture 2

Lecture 2 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 2 on YouTube.

Lecture 3

Lecture 3 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 3 on YouTube.

Lecture 4

Lecture 4 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 4 on YouTube.

Lecture 5

Lecture 5 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 5 on YouTube.

Lecture 6

Lecture 6 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 6 on YouTube.
Commentary on slides 3 and 4.

Lecture 7

Lecture 7 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 7 on YouTube.

Lecture 8

Lecture 8 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 8 on YouTube.

Lecture 9

Lecture 9 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 9 on YouTube.

Lecture 10

Lecture 10 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 10 on YouTube.

Lecture 11

Lecture 11 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 11 on YouTube.

Lecture 12

Lecture 12 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 12 on YouTube.

Lecture 13

Lecture 13 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 13 on YouTube.

Lecture 14

Lecture 14 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 14 on YouTube.

Lecture 15

Lecture 15 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 15 on YouTube.

Lecture 16

Lecture 16 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 16 on YouTube.

Lecture 17

Lecture 17 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 17 on YouTube.

Lecture 18

Lecture 18 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 18 on YouTube.

Lecture 19

Lecture 19 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 19 on YouTube.

Lecture 20

Lecture 20 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 20 on YouTube.

Lecture 21

Lecture 21 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 21 on YouTube.

Lecture 22

Lecture 22 in ppt format.
Video lecture no. 22 on YouTube.

Musical Examples from YouTube

Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, 1st Movement.
Performance by BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
Performance by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

Example of 3/4 time signature: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, 3rd Movement.
Performed by Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra conducted by Peter Santa.

Example of 5/4 time signature: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, 2nd Movement.
Performed by State Symphony Orchestra of Tatarstan conducted by Feodor Gluschenko.
Performed by Orchestra del Teatro alLa Scala Milan Tatarstan conducted by Yuri Temirkanov.

Example of 5/4 time signature in jazz: Take Five.
Dave Brubeck Quartet (1961).

Example of melody with several notes of the same pitch: One Note Samba by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Performed by Sharon Clark Quintet.

Example of choral piece demonstrating unison singing: Khwaja Mere Khwaja by A R Rahman.
Excerpt from movie Jodhaa Akbar.

Example of choral piece demonstrating harmonic and contrapuntal aspects of music: Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah
Performance showing musical score.
Performance by Choir of King's College Cambridge.
Performance by Kampong Kapor Methodist Church Chancel Choir.

Example of how music is built from notes of a scale:
Do Re Mi from Rodger's and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music sung by Julie Andrews.

Online Webpianos

88-key realistic virtual piano.

Webpiano for online piano lessons using Macromedia flash.

Tuning and Temperament webpages

What are musical scales?

Alternate Temperaments: Theory and Philosophy.

Just Temperament and Others.

The Theory Behind Chinese Music.

Listening to Balinese Gamelan.

Indian classical music.

Links to piano action diagrams and animations

YouTube video of Cristofori piano action.

K. Wayne Land's piano action page.

Upright piano action.

Steve's Piano Service piano action page.

Physics and sound webpages

University of New South Wales webpage on Physics of Music.

Website on the Mexican wave (La Ola).

Beats demonstration.

Video demonstration on beats.

The Pitch Helix

Two diagrams showing the pitch helix are here.

Sounds and demos on intervals and tuning

Equal-tempered fifth followed by Pythagorean/Just fifth

Pythagorean scale
Just scale
Equal-tempered scale

Musical examples from the dulcimer, clavichord, harpsichord and fortepiano and videos of buskers

YouTube video by David Schrader comparing the clavichord, harpsichord and piano.

The Classical Harpsichord Music Page.

Cimbalom player in Salzburg, September 2009.

Cimbalon player in Vienna, September 2010.

Bottle organ/marimba player in Vienna, September 2011.

Barrel organ player in Prague, September 2011.

Trio consisting of cimbalon, contrabass balalaika and accordion in Vienna, September 2012.

Automatic pianos at the Musee Mecanique, San Francisco (2004)

A player piano showing its mechanism.

Close-up of the paper roll mechanism.

Another view of the paper roll.

Another player piano, with the paper roll in place of the keyboard.

Musee Mecanique website.

Youtube video on manufacture of player piano rolls.

Miscellaneous photographs of exhibits at the Haus der Musik (House of Music) Vienna (2009)

A dancing master's violin.

A square piano with a keyboard of 5 and half octaves, probably dating from the time of Beethoven.

An early six-string guitar dating from the time of Schubert.

A mechanical music box cylinder mechanism with the music of a Viennese waltz.

Weblink to the Haus der Musik (House of Music), Vienna.

YouTube videos on music boxes

How a music box works.

Reuge 72 note 15 song music box .

Reuge 144 note Grand Cartel music box.

Paper roll music box.

Back to Bernard Tan's home page