In this unit you will develop musical ideas in the form of original
compositions and compositional techniques exercises.
Study for this unit should include:
The development of a wider music vocabulary.
The use of appropriate forms of notation and/or
technology to record and communicate ideas.
The cultivation of an awareness of the capabilities
of different instruments.
Where possible, you are encouraged to cultivate
an awareness on technological hardware and software, which may
include the production of a printed score using a scorewriting
package and/or the production of a recording.
Planning and evaluative skills.
You study ONE of the following topics. There are opportunities
to relate composition and/or composition techniques to Areas of
Study (Unit 3).
When composing in response to one of the following
topics, you may find it useful to listen to some of the examples
from existing repertoire, such as the following:
||Variations by Bach,
Mozart, Haydn, twentieth-century composers might include
Ives and Webern, variation-related forms might include the
chaconne and passacaglia.
Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Grieg.
pieces by, for example, Stravinsky, Hindemith, Bartok and
Shostakovitch using forms that might include dance
movements, sonata structures and fugues.
||Works of the
post-war Avant-garde, which might include the return to
diatonicism (Tavaner, Gorecki and minimalism), multimedia
and instillations, community projects, computer games music
and Internet art.
||Songs covering the
development of style and form from Blues through the 32-var
jazz standard (for example, Gershwin, Carole King and the
Beatles) to chorus structures (for example, Tamla Mowtown
and Oasis) and riff-based songs, (for example, Led Zeppelin and
dance and hip-hop
the technical procedures of sampling, sequencing and
remixing and their application to current work in addition
to the historical development from early rap and club
||Fusions of popular
styles (which might include Celtic rock, reggae, Bhangra and
salsa), examples of world music influences on popular music
and jazz (which might include Paul Simon, Miles Davis,
Santana) and examples of Western classical music and popular
music fusions (which might include Peter Maxwell Davies,
themes, cartoons and adverts with reference to the work of
composers who might include Bernard Herrmann, Jerry
Goldsmith, John Williams, James Horner and the Disney
Cooperation, and to the television composers George Fenton,
Stephen Warbeck and Rachel Portman.
ballads, choruses and ensemble pieces in a wide range of
styles, which may include opera, experimental music theatre
You will develop your musical vocabulary
and confidence in handling compositional techniques, use appropriate
forms of notation and/or technology to record and communicate ideas
and gain an awareness of the capabilities of different instruments
and/or technological hardware and software.
You will choose TWO of the following topics,
noting that each topic also includes a choice. There are
opportunities to relate composition techniques to Areas if
Study. Where composers are named below, this does not preclude
the examiners from choosing similar works by the contemporaries of
||In general, the combination of
melodic material and ostinati and the management of
In particular, two-part Baroque
counterpoint as exemplified in the work of Corelli and
Handel, or minimalism as exemplified in the work or
Reich and Glass.
||In general, the management and
grammar of chord progression and voice leading.
In particular, chorale harmonisation, in
the manner of J.S.Bach, or, 32-bar song form as
exemplified in the songs of Gershwin and the Beatles.
modes and series
||In general, the structure and
associated compositional grammar of scale, modes and note
In particular, Renaissance counterpoint,
as exemplified in the work of Palestrina, or 12-note
composition as exemplified in the work of the Second
Viennese School and late Stravinksy.
||In general, the management of
the acoustic characteristics of instruments and ensembles
and the use of technology to synthesise and manipulate
In particular, the use of extended vocal
and instrumental techniques in the work of Cathy Berberian,
Berio and Cage, or, the electronic manipulation of
sound in the work of Brian Eno, Trevor Wishart and