202: Composing Music (Style)

Demonstrate skills to create a finished musical work in a defined style, evaluating the results and own skill development.

Contents:

What do I need to do?

TASK 1: Write a composition, assess personal goals and uploaded your composition

  1. SWOT Analysis’ page: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats analysis of your skills as a composer
  2. Personal Goals and Targets’ page: Set individual goals for development as a composer, and set yourself targets of what you want to improve and why.
  3. Style Analysis’ page: Research your chosen style to find out how to compose music in that style. Write your research findings into your own words and Include links to websites that you have used.
  4. Composition Schedule’ page: write a one week Monday to Sunday timetable of when you have your music lessons, instrumental lesson and when you will work on your composition.
  5. Recordings’ page: The uploaded recording of your 2:30 to 3min song. The song needs to be in a specified style of music.
  6. Your song needs to include at least three of the following:
    • rhythm track;
    • bass line;
    • harmonic (chord) progression
;
    • melody;
    • lyrics.

TASK 2: Screenshot or written score of your composition

  1. You need to include a graphical representation of your composition identifying the structural and instrumental arrangement.
    It can take the form of:

    • graphic diagrams;

    • chord charts;

    • stave notation;

    • annotated sequencer (e.g. GarageBand) screenshot;
    • a combination of the above.

TASK 3: Review and evaluate your progress

  1. Composition Diary’ page: a weekly diary entry on what you have been working on that week, what went well, what didn’t go well, what you need to work on next week.
  2. Instrumental Lesson Diary’ page: a weekly diary entry on what you have been working with your instrumental teacher, and what you need to practice to improve.
  3. Comparison of my composition to another song in the same style’ page: compare your song to an existing song in the same style. What is similar? i.e. what makes your song fit into your chosen style?
  4. Term Review 1 (Christmas)’ page: a whole term review of your progress so far. State if you have achieved any of your targets or goals so far, and if they have changed. If you haven’t achieved any targets write what could you do to improve.
  5. Term Review 2 (Easter)’ page: a whole term review of your progress so far. State if you have achieved any of your targets or goals so far, and if they have changed. If you haven’t achieved any targets write what could you do to improve.
  6. Final Evaluation’ page: a final evaluation of your progress as a composer. Refer back to your targets and goals. Sate if and how you have achieved them and any reasons why you didn’t.
  7. On your ‘Final Evaluation’ page identify future areas for improvement. Would you have done anything differently?

Grading Criteria

Grading Criteria – Task 1:

Pass:

Show some good, basic compositional skills, which demonstrate some awareness of the requirements of a specific musical style, displaying some of the characteristics of that style. The composition would be a relatively convincing representation of the style at this at this level. They display an ability to work competently within the specifics of the brief and display good time management skills.

Merit:

Show good and competent compositional skills, which demonstrate an awareness of the requirements of a specific musical style, which display most of the characteristics of that style. The composition would be a relatively convincing representation of the style at this at this level. They display a good ability to work well within the specifics of the brief and display good time management skills.

Distinction:

Show excellent and inventive compositional skills, which demonstrate an awareness of the requirements of a specific musical style, which comprehensively display the characteristics of that style. The composition would be a convincing representation of the style at this at this level. They display a strong ability to work well within the specifics of the brief and display good time management skills.

Grading Criteria – Task 2:

Pass:

Demonstrate basic abilities at representing the compositions through notation, which may take the form of graphic notation or chord charts.

Merit:

Demonstrate clear abilities at representing the compositions through notation preferably notation that clearly indicates each part i.e. stave notation and a combination of other notation.

Distinction:

Demonstrate excellent abilities at representing the compositions through notation preferably notation that clearly indicates each part i.e. stave notation and a combination of other notation.

Grading Criteria – Task 3:

Pass:

Describe strengths and areas for development showing a basic understanding of their progress and developmental areas.

Merit:

Describe strengths and areas for development showing an understanding of progress, offering some solutions to areas for development.

Distinction:

Describe strengths and areas for development showing a greater understanding of progress, with a self- assessment style approach offering solutions to areas for development.

RSL Unit Documentation

Learning Outcome

Demonstrate skills to create a finished musical work in a defined style, evaluating the results and own skill development.

Brief

The Music Department is putting on a charity concert in the summer term and your class has been asked to contribute a selection of compositions. Each composition student must compose an original piece of music lasting a minimum of 2 minutes 30secs and a maximum of 3 minutes. This will be in a style of music defined through a conversation with the teacher and yourself.

Unit aims

The aim of this unit is to facilitate an awareness of compositional protocols in a specific musical style. The purpose of the unit is to create music, which is reflective (a pastiche) of existing work in the chosen style.

Throughout this project you will be expected to:

  • Clearly demonstrate your ability to compose music convincingly so that rhythmic, melodic and harmonic content are coherent and recognisable as being representative of a chosen style/genre.
  • Produce a score, chart, diagrams, screen shots etc. that must be clear and accurate. Where you have used music notation in your scores, this should be correctly presented, in line with convention.
  • The evaluation component should demonstrate your awareness of your own development and the success of your composition in relation to the brief.

You are required to keep a diary of your progress, setting yourself targets and reviewing them on a regular basis.

Evidence

1.1 An audio recording of an original composition lasting between 2:30 to 3:00 (2 and a half minutes minimum to 3 minutes maximum length) typical of the style it is written in. It must demonstrate at least three of the following:

  1. Rhythm track
  2. Bass line
  3. Harmonic progression
  4. Melody
  5. Lyrics

1.2 A description of the layout of the compose piece using either:

  1. Graphic diagrams
  2. Chord charts
  3. Stave notation
  4. Annotated sequencer screen shots
  5. Or a combination of the above, identifying the structural and instrumental arrangement.

1.3. Describe how the composition you have created relates to the specified critera and highlight strengths and areas for development. You should also document your composition skill development.

This unit links with your Year 11 external assessment composition 203 unit. It will prepare you to complete a collection of compositions set to a brief within the exam timeframe.

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