Stage 2 | Subject Outline | Versions control

Music Studies Stage 2
Subject outline

Version 2.0 - For teaching in 2022.
Accredited in June 2017 for teaching at Stage 2 from 2019.

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Stage 2 | Subject outline | Subject description

Subject description

Stage 2 Music Studies is a 20‑credit subject.

Music is a creative and expressive response to experiences and feelings, using sound as a medium. Music is the systematic organisation of sound patterns that have the potential to transform perceptions, emotions, and thoughts.

The study of music enables students to appreciate the world in unique ways, through aesthetic treatments of sound across cultures, times, places, and contexts. It forms a vital part of the transmission of histories, knowledge, and stories among generations. 

Through synthesising and applying their understanding of musical elements, students learn to manipulate sound and create musical works that express their ideas and emotions.

Students develop their critical and creative thinking, and their aesthetic appreciation of music, through exploring and responding to the music of others, and refining and presenting performances and/or compositions. These performances and/or compositions may include original works and/or presentations or arrangements of existing compositions.

Students experiment with, explore, and manipulate musical elements to learn the art of constructing and deconstructing music. They develop and extend their musical literacy and skills through understanding the structural and stylistic features and conventions of music, expressing their musical ideas, and reflecting on and critiquing their learning in music.

Through their learning, students engage with, gain insights into, and are inspired by the transformative powers of music.


Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities - UNIQUE

Capabilities

The capabilities connect student learning within and across subjects in a range of contexts. They include essential knowledge and skills that enable people to act in effective and successful ways.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Literacy

Literacy

In this subject students extend and apply their literacy capability by, for example:

  • applying their knowledge and understanding of the use of musical elements, including musical conventions and styles, to create and refine their musical works
  • developing their musical literacy through responding to and discussing their own and others’ works
  • refining their aural perception and notation skills to identify and apply musical elements in creating and responding to music
  • understanding the characteristics of musical styles, structures, and techniques to inform the processes they use to create performances or compositions
  • analysing, discussing, and manipulating musical elements to create musical works, respond to the works of others, and extend their musical literacy
  • commenting on how their understanding of the style, structure, and conventions of the repertoire informs their performance
  • extending their understanding of music theory, conventions, and skills in score reading 
  • understanding and incorporating appropriate terminology in their discussions and responses.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Numeracy

Numeracy

In this subject students extend and apply their numeracy capability by, for example:

  • understanding, analysing, and using numbers, patterns, and relationships in a musical context
  • understanding the relationship of standard and graphic notation to sound
  • exploring and applying musical conventions in their creative works
  • applying their understanding of the measurements of duration, pitch, volume, and tempo
  • using measurement to quantify intervals, chords, scales, beat, and rhythm.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | ICT capability

Information and communication technology (ICT) capability

In this subject students extend and apply their information and communication technology (ICT) capability by, for example:

  • performing, creating, and recreating music using audio and MIDI recordings
  • creating and performing music using technology and found sounds
  • notating music using software programs
  • exploring and experimenting with sources of music and sound production, and ways of making and recording music
  • using digital technologies in timing, sequencing, synchronising, experimenting with, and recording the creation and/or performance of musical works.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Critical and creative thinking

Critical and creative thinking

In this subject students extend and apply their critical and creative thinking capability by, for example:

  • thinking critically and creatively about the nature and scope of creating and performing music
  • applying their understanding of the nature and scope of music to make innovative choices in developing their own creative works
  • expressing their ideas creatively through performances and/or compositions
  • expressing their ideas critically in responding to their own creations and those of others
  • synthesising musical understanding, skills, and techniques
  • critiquing strategies for improving and refining their musical skills, technique, and accuracy
  • using initiative in collaborating with other musicians
  • applying their understanding of musical elements to deconstruct, analyse, and discuss how composers manipulate musical elements
  • exploring and experimenting with how music is made.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Personal and social capability

Personal and social capability

In this subject students extend and apply their personal and social capability by, for example:

  • enriching their aesthetic appreciation of music
  • collaborating with others to perform music
  • reflecting on the appropriateness of their creative works to the intended purpose and context
  • reflecting on learning and feedback in making refinements to their creative works
  • reflecting on live music performances
  • reflecting on and critiquing their own performances or compositions and those of other students
  • refining their skills and understanding of their creative works to build confidence through diverse opportunities to practise and perform, and experiment and create
  • being responsive to other musicians
  • understanding and appreciating the aesthetic, stylistic, and technical dimensions of creating music
  • exploring how the music of others influences their experimentation with music.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Ethical understanding

Ethical understanding

In this subject students extend and apply their ethical understanding capability by, for example:

  • understanding the appropriate use of recorded works and compositions 
  • respecting the intellectual property rights of composers and performers
  • considering ethical strategies for working with individuals and groups
  • presenting the creative works of others with integrity
  • respecting the composer’s intent when interpreting music
  • discussing and evaluating the ethical issues surrounding recording and the use of recorded works
  • increasing their critical understanding of the appropriate and ethical uses of digital technologies.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Capabilities | Intercultural understanding

Intercultural understanding

In this subject students extend and apply their intercultural understanding capability by, for example:

  • understanding and appreciating that all music is a form of cultural expression
  • exploring, analysing, and interpreting genres, styles, and influences in music across times, locations, and cultures
  • exploring, discussing, and evaluating how music from different cultures influences their own creations
  • understanding and discussing the function of music in social and cultural contexts
  • identifying and analysing intercultural influences in music
  • interpreting and applying a variety of notations from different cultures and traditions.

Web Content Display (Global)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, cultures, and perspectives

In partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and schools and school sectors, the SACE Board of South Australia supports the development of high-quality learning and assessment design that respects the diverse knowledge, cultures, and perspectives of Indigenous Australians.

The SACE Board encourages teachers to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and perspectives in the design, delivery, and assessment of teaching and learning programs by:

  • providing opportunities in SACE subjects for students to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, and contemporary experiences
  • recognising and respecting the significant contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Australian society
  • drawing students’ attention to the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and perspectives from the past and the present
  • promoting the use of culturally appropriate protocols when engaging with and learning from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.  

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Learning requirements

Learning requirements

The learning requirements summarise the knowledge, skills, and understanding that students are expected to develop and demonstrate through their learning in Stage 2 Music Studies.

In this subject, students are expected to:

  1. apply knowledge and understanding of musical elements
  2. apply musical skills and techniques in developing, refining, and presenting creative works
  3. apply a range of musical literacy skills, including aural perception and notation
  4. deconstruct, analyse, and interpret musical works and styles, and manipulate musical elements
  5. synthesise findings and express musical ideas
  6. reflect on musical influences on own creative works.

Notes: For the purposes of this subject, ‘presenting’ refers to performing and/or composing music. A performer is an instrumentalist and/or a vocalist. A composer is a generator of original compositions or an arranger of existing compositions. Compositions may be original works or arrangements that are represented in notation or digital audio format.


Stage 2 | Subject outline | Content

Content

Stage 2 Music Studies is a 20‑credit subject that consists of the following strands:

  • understanding music
  • creating music 
  • responding to music.

The strands in Music Studies are interconnected and not intended to be taught independently. Students develop an understanding of selected musical works and styles, including how composers manipulate elements of music, and apply this understanding to creating their own music as performances or compositions. They develop and apply their musical literacy skills and express their musical ideas through responding to their own works, interpreting musical works, and/or manipulating musical elements. Students synthesise the findings of their study, and express their musical ideas through their creative works, responses, and reflections.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Content | Understanding music

Understanding Music

Understanding music is integral to student learning in this subject. Students:

  • understand and apply musical elements
  • understand and reflect on musical influences
  • think creatively and critically about musicianship and musicology
  • express musical ideas.

Understand and apply musical elements

Musical elements are integral to the learning in each of the three strands and are the building blocks of the subject.

Students apply their knowledge and understanding of the elements of music to deconstruct and analyse how composers manipulate these elements, respond to the works of others, and develop and extend their musical literacy skills.

Students manipulate musical elements to create their own musical works. They select elements appropriate to the instrumentation and style chosen.

In developing and extending their musical literacy skills, students focus on standard notation.

In this subject, the elements for study include:

  • rhythm
  • pitch
  • dynamics and expression
  • form and structure
  • timbre
  • texture.

Refer to the Music Studies supporting document for articulation of the musical elements.

Understand and reflect on musical influences

Students extend their musical understanding and musical literacy through creating and responding to music, and by reflecting on how the music of others influences their own creations (performances and/or compositions).

Students apply their knowledge and understanding of the elements of music, and musical conventions and styles, to develop and refine their musical works, their musical imagination, and their own ideas about and appreciation of music.

Thinking creatively and critically about musicianship and musicology

Students think creatively and critically about the nature and scope of music, and apply this understanding to make informed and innovative choices in developing their own musical creations (performances and/or compositions).

Students:

  • extend and apply a critical understanding of style, structure, notation, and conventions in performing and/or composing
  • apply and refine their aural perception and notation skills in creating and responding to music 
  • extend their understanding and appreciation of the aesthetic, stylistic, technical, and musical demands of creating music as a performer (instrumentalist and/or vocalist) and/or composer
  • enrich their aesthetic appreciation of music and its transformative powers.

Express musical ideas

Students synthesise their learning through music to express their ideas:

  • creatively, through their performances and/or compositions
  • critically, in responding to their own creations and interpreting those of others.

They develop and extend their understanding of how learning in music is an iterative process, and how the knowledge and skills developed through deconstructing, analysing, and responding to musical works can refine their musical thinking and inform the choices they make in creating music.

Students reflect on the specific processes, skills, and techniques required to create and present music, and on their own development, application, and improvement of musical skills in the learning process.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Content | Creating music

Creating Music

Students develop and extend their practical music‑making skills through performing and/or composing works for instrument(s) and/or voice. They apply their musical understanding, skills, and techniques in developing, refining, and presenting their works.

Students:

  • understand the characteristics of musical styles, structures, and techniques to inform the process of creating their performance and/or composition
  • apply their musical literacy skills, including aural perception and notation, in developing and refining their own works
  • interpret musical works and manipulate musical elements
  • reflect on the appropriateness of a performance, composition, and/or arrangement to the intended purpose and context.

Students create and present music for a range of purposes and contexts, and may choose instruments (which may include technology and found sounds) and notation as appropriate to the focus of their learning. They may perform, write, or record works for solo instruments, including voice, and small or larger ensembles. Students may create and present music using standard and/or graphic notation or digital audio and MIDI recordings as appropriate.

Students experiment with the manipulation of rhythm, pitch, dynamics and expression, form and structure, timbre and texture, to create imaginative and individual performances, compositions, and/or arrangements, using musical elements appropriate to the instrumentation and style chosen.

In creating performances, students extend their specific technical and performance‑related skills on their chosen instrument(s), and apply this contextual learning to refine their musical expression.

In creating compositions and/or arrangements, students explore and apply different techniques, structures, and styles, and consider the application of pitch, rhythm, harmony, and other elements as appropriate.

As students develop and refine their performances, compositions, and/or arrangements (their creative works), they synthesise their musical understanding, skills, and techniques. They reflect on their learning, integrate and express their musical ideas, and make refinements to their creative works throughout the development process.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Content | Responding to music

Responding to Music

Students engage critically and creatively with music through responding to their own and others’ works.

Students develop and extend their skills in deconstructing and analysing stylistic and technical elements of creating music. They strengthen their musical literacy by, for example:

  • undertaking comparative analysis of the style, structure, and musical elements of two or more musical works
  • reflecting on live music performances
  • reflecting on their own performances, compositions, and/or arrangements, or those of other students
  • applying their musical literacy skills, including aural perception and notation, when responding to music.

Students develop and extend their understanding of music theory and conventions, and their skills in score reading and relating musical sounds to notation. They build confidence in using appropriate terminology to discuss the elements of music.

Students interpret musical works, and deconstruct and analyse genres, styles, techniques, and/or influences that enable them to engage critically with music across time, location, and culture.

Students synthesise the findings from their study and express their musical ideas through their creative works, responses, and reflections.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Content | Suggested teaching and learning strategies

Suggested teaching and learning strategies

The following teaching and learning strategies are suggested as possible approaches and contexts, and are neither comprehensive nor exclusive. Teachers and students may choose to select from these, and are encouraged to consider other strategies according to particular needs and interests.

Understanding music

Suggested teaching and learning strategies may include, but are not limited to:

  • aural perception practice
  • score reading and structural analysis of selected works, own performance repertoire, and own compositions/arrangements
  • harmonic analysis of selected works and own created works with score annotations as applicable
  • targeted theory tasks in which students make connections between selected repertoire for study and elemental concepts being learned
  • external sources (e.g. a symphony orchestra learning resources and events)
  • class discussions and activities focused on making:
    • elemental connections between disparate musical styles
    • conceptual connections between different subject areas (e.g. evidence of the Golden Ratio in mathematics and sonata form)
    • structural connections between different musical works.

Creating music

Students are encouraged to refine their skills and understanding of their creative work through building confidence and competence as a performer and/or composer or arranger. Schools should provide regular and diverse opportunities for students to practise their creative skills in front of an audience.

Suggested teaching and learning strategies may include, but are not limited to:

  • attending workshops and masterclasses (e.g. with externally sourced clinicians, or a symphony orchestra’s outreach program)
  • performing works in front of a range of audiences
  • building a folio of compositions
  • exploring and experimenting with compositional techniques
  • creating a composition in response to a text, image, or event
  • critiquing exemplary performances (live or online)
  • providing feedback (including peer feedback) on creative works
  • attending local performances (e.g. a symphony orchestra’s rehearsals)
  • participating in lunchtime concerts
  • presenting performances of students’ creative works at assemblies.

Responding to music

Suggestions for a comparative analysis study include, but are not limited to:

  • piano music by Australian composers (e.g. a work by Miriam Hyde and a work by Peter Sculthorpe)
  • American minimalism (e.g. a work by Philip Glass and a work by John Adams)
  • two songs from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein
  • two examples of traditional world music
  • A Day in the Life by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and Wouldn’t It Be Nice by Brian Wilson
  • OK Computer and Kid A by Radiohead
  • first movement of any piano sonata by Mozart and Beethoven
  • Lieder such as Der Erlkönig and Gretchen am Spinnrade by Schubert
  • two movements from Enigma Variations by Elgar
  • Anthropology by Charlie Parker and Petits Machins by Miles Davis
  • St Louis Blues by Bessie Smith and It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got That Swing by Ella Fitzgerald
  • a fugue by JS Bach and a fugue by Shostakovich
  • two songs from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin
  • Endtroducing by DJ Shadow and Play by Moby
  • a string quartet by Mozart and a string quartet by Haydn (select one by each composer)
  • Sweet Home Chicago by Robert Johnson and I’m Tore Down by Eric Clapton.

Study of the chosen topic should be assisted with relevant listening material and scores (where appropriate). This may include further relevant listening beyond the two selected works.

Students research, analyse, and interpret musical works from one or more styles and/or genres. They focus on stylistic and/or technical elements, through aural recognition and/or reading scores. 

Suggested areas of study may include, but are not limited to:

  • stylistic characteristics of different musical epochs (e.g. Baroque period, 20th century)
  • music of a particular culture
  • film scores
  • art songs
  • concept albums
  • works for a particular ensemble grouping (opera, symphony, concerto, music theatre, popular genres)
  • music for games
  • blues
  • jazz.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Evidence of learning

Evidence of learning

All Stage 2 subjects have a school assessment component and an external assessment component.

The following assessment types enable students to demonstrate their learning in Stage 2 Music Studies:

School assessment (70%)

  • Assessment Type 1: Creative Works (40%)
  • Assessment Type 2: Musical Literacy (30%).

External assessment (30%)

  • Assessment Type 3: Examination (30%).

Students provide evidence of their learning through five assessments, including the external assessment component. Students complete:

  • one portfolio of creative works
  • three musical literacy tasks
  • one examination.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Assessment design criteria

Assessment design criteria

The assessment design criteria are based on the learning requirements and are used by:

  • teachers to clarify for students what they need to learn
  • teachers and assessors to design opportunities for students to provide evidence of their learning at the highest possible level of achievement.

The assessment design criteria consist of specific features that:

  • students should demonstrate in their learning
  • teachers and assessors look for as evidence that students have met the learning requirements.

For this subject the assessment design criteria are:

  • understanding music
  • creating music
  • responding to music.

The specific features of these criteria are described below.

The set of assessments, as a whole, must give students opportunities to demonstrate each of the specific features by the completion of study of the subject.

Understanding Music 

The specific features are as follows:

UM1  Reflection on musical influences on own original creations.
UM2  Synthesis of findings and expression of musical ideas. 

Creating Music 

The specific features are as follows:

CM1  Application of knowledge and understanding of musical elements.
CM2  Application of musical skills and techniques in developing, refining, and presenting creative works.
CM3  Interpretation of musical works.
CM4  Manipulation of musical elements. 

Responding to Music 

The specific features are as follows:

RM1  Application of a range of musical literacy skills, including aural perception and notation.
RM2  Deconstruction and analysis of musical works and/or styles.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | School assessment

School assessment

The school assessment component for Stage 2 Music Studies consists of two assessment types:

  • Assessment Type 1: Creative Works
  • Assessment Type 2: Musical Literacy.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | School assessment | Assessment Type 1: Creative Works

Assessment Type 1: Creative Works (40%)

Students present a portfolio consisting of:

  • their own creative works, which may be a performance or performances, a composition or compositions, or an arrangement or arrangements
  • a creator’s statement in which they reflect on their creative works.

Students may present one work or a set of works. In a performance or arrangement, the set of works may be by one or more composers.

Students apply their musical understanding, skills, and techniques to develop, refine, and present their works. The creative work or works may be in a single style or in a variety of styles.

In the creator’s statement, students provide evidence of their learning, through a reflection on the musical influences on their own creative works. This reflection may refer, for example, to use of standard and/or graphic notation, instrumentation, and use of technology, found sounds, and/or digital audio recordings.

A creative work that is a performance or set of performances should be presented to a live audience. All performances must be recorded for assessment. A performance or set of performances should be 10 to 12 minutes.

If a performance is within an ensemble, students provide additional evidence of their contribution to the ensemble through individual part‑testing in their portfolio.

A creative work may be a composition or set of compositions. It may be a notated work or in digital audio format. Notated works should be submitted with a score using standard notation (including the transposed score if transposing instruments have been used). A recording in digital audio format may be included. A composition or set of compositions should be 5 to 6 minutes.

The creator’s statement that accompanies the creative work or set of works should be to a maximum of 5 minutes if oral, 750 words if written, or the equivalent in multimodal form.

For this assessment type, students provide evidence of their learning primarily in relation to the following assessment design criteria:

  • understanding music
  • creating music.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | School assessment | Assessment Type 2: Musical Literacy

Assessment Type 2: Musical Literacy (30%)

Students complete three musical literacy tasks.

As a set, the musical literacy tasks should enable students to:

  • manipulate musical elements
  • apply and refine their musical literacy skills, including aural perception and notation
  • deconstruct and analyse musical works and/or styles
  • synthesise their findings.

At least one task should be a practical application of students’ skills in manipulating elements of music using standard notation, in a composition or arrangement of approximately 2 minutes. This could be, for example, a harmonisation or melodic extension task.

The remaining musical literacy tasks could include (but are not restricted to), for example:

  • a comparative analysis of two or more works
  • an analysis of style, structure, and musical elements of one or more works
  • a creative application of students’ skills in aural recognition, musical techniques, and score reading across at least two styles or genres
  • a composition, arrangement, or harmonisation of a melody taken from an existing work (of approximately 2 minutes in standard and/or graphic notation)
  • adding an extension to a core harmony
  • an analysis of the musical aspects of the performance of others.

In their responses, students synthesise their findings and express their musical ideas in multimodal, oral, and/or written form.

As a set, the three responses should be to the equivalent in multimodal form of a maximum of 15 minutes presented orally, or 2400 words.

For this assessment type, students provide evidence of their learning primarily in relation to the following assessment design criteria:

  • understanding music
  • creating music
  • responding to music.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | External assessment

External assessment

The external assessment component for Stage 2 consists of an examination.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | External assessment | Assessment Type 3: Examination

Assessment Type 3: Examination (30%)

Students complete a 130‑minute examination in which they apply their knowledge and understanding of musical elements and their musicianship skills in creative and innovative ways, to:

  • deconstruct, analyse, and interpret musical works 
  • manipulate musical elements
  • synthesise and express musical literacy and musical ideas.

To enable students to focus on the application of their learning, a sheet with standard chord progressions and key signatures will be provided.

Questions may include, for example:

  • notating part of a melody
  • completing a given melody using appropriate conventions
  • decoding aural rhythms and pitch
  • adding extensions to core harmonies
  • explaining harmonic structures and stylistic features (e.g. baroque, swing)
  • harmonising part of a melody
  • extending a melody in a new direction
  • analysing and comparing two unfamiliar works (similarities, differences, viewpoints on elements).

The following specific features of the assessment design criteria for this subject are assessed in the examination:

  • understanding music — UM2
  • creating music — CM1, CM3, CM4
  • responding to music — RM1, RM2.

Web Content Display (Global)

Performance standards

The performance standards describe five levels of achievement, A to E. 

Each level of achievement describes the knowledge, skills, and understanding that teachers and assessors refer to in deciding how well students have demonstrated their learning on the basis of the evidence provided. 

During the teaching and learning program the teacher gives students feedback on their learning, with reference to the performance standards.

At the student’s completion of study of each school assessment type, the teacher makes a decision about the quality of the student’s learning by:

  • referring to the performance standards
  • assigning a grade between A+ and E– for the assessment type.  

The student’s school assessment and external assessment are combined for a final result, which is reported as a grade between A+ and E–.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Performance standards

Performance standards

Stage 2 performance standards for Music Studies can be viewed below. You can also download in Word format [DOC 238KB].

To learn more about what performance standards are, how they are used, and other general information, see performance standards and grades

  Understanding Music Creating Music Responding to Music
A

Insightful and coherent reflection on musical influences on own original creations.

Insightful synthesis of findings, and creative and coherent expression of musical ideas.

Perceptive and creative application of knowledge and understanding of musical elements.

Proficient application of musical skills and techniques in developing, refining, and presenting creative works.

Accurate interpretation of musical works.

Highly creative manipulation of musical elements.

Focused and sustained application of a range of musical literacy skills, including aural perception and notation.

Perceptive and in‑depth deconstruction and analysis of musical works and/or styles.
 
B

Coherent reflection on musical influences on own original creations, with some insights.

Synthesis of findings, and generally creative and coherent expression of musical ideas.

Mostly creative application of knowledge and understanding of musical elements, with some perceptiveness.

Generally proficient application of musical skills and techniques in developing, refining, and presenting creative works.

Mostly accurate interpretation of musical works.

Creative manipulation of musical elements.

Mostly sustained application of a range of musical literacy skills, including aural perception and notation.

Some perceptiveness and depth in deconstruction and analysis of musical works and/or styles.
C

Generally coherent reflection on musical influences on own original creations.

Synthesis of some findings, and generally coherent expression of musical ideas, with some creativity.

Some creativity in application of knowledge and understanding of musical elements.

Competent application of musical skills and techniques in developing, refining, and presenting creative works.

Generally accurate interpretation of musical works.

Some creative manipulation of musical elements.

Generally competent application of a range of musical literacy skills, including aural perception and notation.

Generally competent deconstruction, with some analysis, of musical works and/or styles.
D

Some description of a musical influence on own original creations.

Some communication of findings and basic musical ideas.

Some application of basic knowledge and understanding of musical elements.

Some application of basic musical skills and techniques in developing and presenting creative works, with attempted refinement.

Some basic interpretation of a musical work.

Basic manipulation of some musical elements.

Some application of a narrow range of musical literacy skills, which may include aural perception and/or notation skills.

Partial deconstruction and description of one or more musical works and/or styles.
E

Emerging recognition of a musical influence in attempting own original creation.

Attempted communication of one or more findings, and of a basic musical idea.

Some basic recognition and attempted application of a narrow range of some musical elements.

Attempted application of some basic musical skills and techniques to develop or present a creative work.

Attempted interpretation of a basic musical work.

Attempted manipulation of a narrow range of musical elements.

Attempted application of very basic musical literacy skills.

Attempted description of a musical work and/or style.

Stage 2 | Subject outline | Subject changes

Subject changes

Any changes to this subject will be recorded here.


Stage 2 | Subject outline | Supporting document

Music Studies supporting document

Elements Theoretical concepts


Rhythm

  • Notes and rests: whole note to 1/16 note (semibreve to semiquavers), dots and ties, tuplets
  • Simple meter (e.g. 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 3/8, 2/2, 3/2)
  • Irregular meter (e.g. 5/4, 7/8) 
  • Compound meter (e.g. 6/8, 9/8, 12/8, 6/4)
  • Understanding of beat groupings for notes and rests
  • Syncopation
  • Tempo and pulse
  • Rhythmic setting of text
  • Rhythmic fragmentation and extension


Pitch

  • Treble, alto and bass clefs; percussion clef
  • Major and minor scales (harmonic, natural, melodic), blues scale, pentatonic scale and modes
  • Diatonic and chromatic intervals and their inversions
  • Melodic contour, climax points
  • Melodic fragmentation and extension
  • Balanced phrasing and irregular phrase lengths
  • Countermelodies (similar, contrary, parallel and oblique motion)
  • Counter lines and melodic fills
  • Melodic setting of text
  • Transposition
  • Perfect, imperfect, plagal, and interrupted cadences
  • Chord nomenclature (Roman numerals or chord symbols using slash notation)
  • Writing and identifying triads in root position and inversions (e.g. C major, C minor, C diminished, C augmented)
  • Writing and identifying the dominant 7th chord in root position and inversions
  • Secondary dominant chords
  • Chord extensions (e.g. to the 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th) 
  • Altered dominant chords (e.g. b9, #5)
  • Chord-voicing, voice-leading
  • Chord and non-chord notes (e.g. Passing, Neighbour, Anticipation, Escape, Appoggiatura)
  • Conventional chord progressions of either traditional or jazz‑related harmony
  • Passing 6/4 and cadential 6/4 progressions
  • Modulation to closely related keys
  • Consonance and dissonance
  • Ostinati, pedal notes, drones


Dynamics and expression

  • Understanding of all terminology relating to chosen repertoire and works studied
  • Dynamic shaping and associated markings (symbols)
  • Expressive articulation and associated markings (symbols)
  • Tempo indications (e.g. quarter note = 120 BPM and terms related to speed found in the chosen repertoire)


Form and structure

  • Binary, ternary, ritornello, fugue, ground bass, strophic (song), sonata, rondo, through-composed, theme and variations, sectional
  • Aleatoric/chance
  • Dance forms
  • Introductions, codas, musical shape
  • Development of musical material
  • Live loop recording


Timbre

  • Pitched and unpitched instruments (instrument families)
  • Traditional acoustic instruments, including vocal and instrumental ranges
  • Tone colour of individual instruments and instrumental combinations (including voices and FX processing)
  • Standard score order for instruments and voices in a range of ensembles (big band, choir, chamber ensembles, concert band, orchestra)
  • Blend of instrumental groupings
  • Non-conventional ensembles or instrumentations
  • Capabilities, transpositions, and style of writing for voices and instruments

Texture
  • Layering and blending of musical lines (melodic and rhythmic)
  • Varied combinations of single lines and blocks of sound or between simple and complex layering (e.g. monophonic, homophonic, polyphonic, multi-layered and heterophonic textures)
  • Balance between parts