Music 2

The syllabus intends to develop the knowledge and skills of students who are interested in pursuing employment in the classical and professional music industry and tertiary institutions.

Music 2 is one of 3 Stage 6 music courses. The syllabus intends to develop the knowledge and skills of students who are interested in pursuing employment in the classical and professional music industry and tertiary institutions through the study of the social, cultural and societal impacts, functions and contributions of music around the world. Designed to build on the learning in the mandatory 7-10 course, students in music 2 are encouraged to have completed an elective music course and be involved in after-school music activities. Students should also have a particular interest in Western art music. An acceptable level of understanding in notation is expected prior to commencing the course.

Music 2 students will build on their prior knowledge of the concepts of music through the learning experiences of performance, composition, musicology and aural to manipulate and understand the concepts of music in varying musical contexts.

Scope and sequence

The sample scope and sequence (DOCX 49 KB) has been provided to assist teachers in planning and structuring their Stage 6 music 2 programs and units of work.

HSC resources

Assessment in the HSC (Music 2)

The Assessment in the HSCExternal link resource is designed to provide Stage 6 teachers with opportunities to develop their understanding of the assessment requirements for the practical and performance works in the HSC music 1, music 2 and music extension courses. It has been written to support and compliment the NESA Creative Arts Assessment and Reporting in Stage 6 music 2External link advice and requirements.

HSC music 2 teachers can use this resource to:

  • familiarise themselves with the requirements of each practical and performance component
  • develop their understanding of the language of the NESA assessment criteria for each of the practical and performance works
  • develop confidence in applying assessment criteria through identification and analysis of work sample characteristics
  • assist Year 12 students in making informed choices when selecting course options
  • build student confidence and knowledge of success in each practical and performance work.

Music of the last 25 years

This resource explores the fourth movement of Australian composer Jim Coyle’s ‘Death in Sidmouth’ titled ‘November’ with text by English poet Thomas Hood. Compositional features used within the work including atonality, string techniques, modes, dissonance, rhythmic ostinatos and angular melodic writing, form the basis of the classroom activities contained within the unit. This resource contains a full listening guide according to the concepts of music, learning activites, classroom arrangements of the work, extension activites and literacy tasks.


This resource explores the work 'Diminishing Species' by Australian composer Jessica Wells, performed by Australia's leading art music ensemble, 'Ensemble Offspring'. This engaging work for marimba, two guitars, bass clarinet, violin, piano, double bass and percussion represents the extinction of animals in the 1990's through the manipulation of musical concepts including pitch, texture, tone colour and dynamics and expressive techniques. This resource contains sequenced learning activities in performance, composition, aural and musicology, and explores the musical features of the work through the concepts of music.


This Stage 6 HSC music 2 resource for the mandatory topic explores the work 'Bend/Boogie/Break' by Holly Harrison performed by Ensemble Offspring.


  • BBC music is an interactive site including music radio and television programs on demand.
  • Big ears is an online aural drill for practising interval recognition. Suitable for Stages 4 to 6.
  • Glencoe online contains five interactive music projects with background information, worksheets, composition activities and links. Covers a range of styles including hip-hop and west African drumming. Uses streaming audio. Suitable for Stages 4 to 6.
  • Finale notepad is a free download which provides an easy introduction to computer music notation. A simpler version of the full Finale program, it is available for Windows and Macintosh. Finale is easy to use – notes are dragged and dropped onto the staff, lyrics can be added, the music can be played back, printed and saved. Suitable for Stages 3 to 6.

Student guided online learning sequences to support learning from home or in the classroom.

Stage 6 music projects

The Stage 6 music projects online resource contains a self-guided project and two units of work on Baroque rocks and the Australian composition Eliza Aria. Baroque rocks allows Music 1 or Music 2 students to complete a group or individual project on Baroque music that could take from 2-4 weeks. Eliza Aria allows Music 1 or Music 2 students to complete online work for the topic of Australian Music or for Music 2 mandatory topic Music of the Last 25 years (Australian focus). This also could take 2-4 weeks to complete. An Eliza Aria Answers (DOCX 70.91 KB) is an accompanying teacher resources that provides answers to various questions asked in this unit. The final module is a self-guided project for students undertaking the Music 1 Stage 6 syllabus topic of An instrument and its repertoire.


The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Music 2 Stage 6 Syllabus (2009) page contains the syllabus and helpful materials including a sample assessment schedule, HSC advice, specimen exams, HSC marking guidelines, standards materials, past papers additional support information.

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