Semester 1, Academic Year 2021/2022

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 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 Wednesdays from 12 noon to 2 pm 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.


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 May, June and July 2021. 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 23 October 2021, i.e. the midnight between Saturday 23 October and Sunday 24 October.

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.


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.

Musical Examples from YouTube

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

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.

Physics and sound webpages

University of New South Wales webpage on Physics of Music.

Website on the Mexican wave.

Beats demonstration.

Video demonstration on beats.

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.

Sounds and demos on intervals and tuning

Equal-tempered fifth followed by Pythagorean/Just fifth

Pythagorean scale
Just scale
Equal-tempered scale

The Pitch Helix

Two diagrams showing the pitch helix are here.

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