Course Outline



Keep track of your progress with this overview of the course  



  Index of your course requirements:

  Current priorities

This week  - Aug. 4, 2003

  1. Discuss 'Minimalist' article.
  2. Improvise 'Blues' and 'Jazz No. 1' frequently through the week.
  3. Begin Analysis Project2.
  4. Work due. Arrangement 2.

Next week

  1. Minimalist Analysis due (Aug 16th.)
  2. TBA
  3. TBA


 Monday 8/10/03, 1:30 pm

Concert Performance.
Location: main conference room.

 Friday 8/11/03, 10:00 am

Recording Demo.
Location: Recording studio.

 Due Dates:


  • TBA


  • Major work
    • Proposal: Due Sept 1, 2003
    • Final score: Due Oct 1, 2003
    • Recording complete: Due Nov 1, 2003

Discussion projects


 Description of Composing and Arranging Course.

 What you will do:

  • Creative activities:

    • inventing, improvising, composing, and arranging musical works;

    • rehearsing, interpreting, and developing a performance;

    • exploring musical ideas and modes of expression.

  • Analysis:

    • listening to and score-reading a range of music in various styles and media;

    • keep a Journal of works studied

  • Composition process:

    • at least one weekly composition or arranging session;

    • regularly producing work for feedback, including works-in-progress;

    • hearing works played, while still in the developmental stages,

  • Presentation:

    • Have works performed in a concert

    • Record performances of works

    • Give a 5 minute oral presentation about your major composition.


This unit is designed for the development of:

  • musical imagination and creativity
  • appreciation of arranging and composing as creative music-making
  • exploration of a range of techniques and styles in composition and/or arranging
  • ability to communicate musical ideas and ideas about music
  • work habits and discipline required to pursue composing or arranging in further study or as a career

 Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course in Composing and Arranging, students should be able to:

  • use compositional or arranging techniques

  • be aware of various compositional or arranging techniques through listening to music

  • compose and/or arrange music in a chosen style or in an original style

  • notate the compositions and/or arrangements in traditional, non-traditional, or contemporary idioms as appropriate

  • complete and record a range of compositions and/or arrangements

  • discuss and present their ideas about their work, and the work of others, clearly and confidently

 Requirements:  (50 to 60 hours of programmed time)

  1. Folio of Works

  2. Each student will be required to submit a folio of arrangements or compositions, or a combination of both, written during the current unit of study, with recordings of each work.  The total duration of the works should be 8 to 10 minutes.

    The folio must contain at least three works to meet the following requirements:

    1. One major composition or arrangement

    • Minimum duration 3 minutes.

    • A minimum of three parts for any medium or ensemble.

    1. At least two other compositions and/or arrangements to complete the requirement of works totalling 8 to 10 minutesí duration.

    Students are encouraged not to limit themselves to one style for their compositions and/or arrangements.

    Within this unit, a student should experiment with the manipulation of rhythm, melody, harmony, form and structure, texture, and choice of medium to create imaginative and individual compositions and/or arrangements.



    There are no prescribed styles or types of music required for this unit. 
    Projects suitable for submission as compositions and/or arrangements could include:

    • A piece for school ensemble (e.g. school band, string ensemble, jazz or rock band).

    • A poem set for school choir (e.g. SAB, SATB, SSA).

    • Incidental music for a scene from a play.

    • A work for any solo instrument or voice with or without accompaniment.

    • A work for electronic instruments (e.g. synthesiser, sampler, sequencer).

    • A work based on an existing structure or form (e.g. theme and variations, 12-bar blues, a standard song form, ground bass, rondo, minuet, and trio).

    • A soundscape using conventional and/or unconventional sound sources.


  3. Journal

Each student is required to keep a journal, the entries for which must be verified by a teacher involved in the assessment of the student.  In the journal the student must document the following aspects:

  1. Preparatory Listening assignments

  • Title of work(s).

  • Composer or arranger.

  • Brief comments on the work (style, structure, techniques, and ideas used).

  • Approximately five examples will be expected.

  1. Analysis of Submitted Works

  • A brief analysis of each of the works in the studentís folio, excluding the major work (details of the hardware and software of any electronic media used should be included).

  1. Scripted Oral Presentation

Students are required to give an oral presentation to their class on the major composition or arrangement.  The oral presentation should be approximately 5 minutes long and must include a brief analysis.

A script of the oral presentation is to be submitted for moderation at the end of the unit.

 Assessment Criteria

  1. Presentation of scores:
  • use of appropriate notation

  • accuracy (pitch, rhythm, groupings of notes and rests, stem directions, accidentals, correct transpositions)

  • legibility

  • score layout (order of instruments, alignment, use of terminology, signs, and conventions).

  1.  Originality and style of compositions or arrangements:
  • the creation of musical ideas;

  • quality and implementation of original ideas;

  • overall musical sense and structure;

  • effectiveness of writing;

  • choice and use of instruments or media;

  • appropriateness of writing for the instruments selected;

  • the use of compositional or arranging techniques;

  • the use of performance indications (tempo markings, dynamics, phrasing, articulation, descriptive directions);

  • musical imagination and individuality.

  1. Journal and scripted oral presentation:

  • clarity and effective communication of ideas;

  • the use of appropriate terminology;

  • the extent of their background listening;

  • the extent of their research into other works;

  • clarity of analysis of the submitted works.

Go to activities:

Analyse    Improvise   Compose     Record      Discuss



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