Music resources

The appropriate syllabus and support materials including sample assessment schedules, HSC exam specifications, advice for HSC performances, marking guidelines for practical tasks, past HSC papers, standards packages and so on can be found on the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) music 1 and music 2 and extension pages.

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.

This assessment task can be adapted for students studying HSC Music 1. Students are required to research the music of a jazz band and discuss how they treat musical concepts and specific performance techniques as well as outlining the influences of jazz in the wider musical context.

Outcomes

Through activities in performance, composition, musicology and aural, a student:

P2 observes, reads, interprets and discusses simple music across characteristic of topics studies
P5 comments on and constructively discusses performances and compositions
P6 observes and discusses concepts of music in works representative of the topics studied
P7 understands the capabilities of performing media, explores and uses current technologies as appropriate to the topics studied.

© Board of Studies, Music 1 Stage 6 Syllabus, 2009

Task description

Research the music of a jazz band. Refer to at least two works to outline the distinctive characteristics of the band’s style.

  • Discuss the band's treatment of the musical concepts, including specific performance techniques.
  • Place the group in a wider musical context by outlining influences evident in its music.

This task is to be a class presentation. Students are required to illustrate points with musical examples. These may include sheet music, videos, and/or live demonstration of relevant excerpts.

Assessment criteria

Students will be assessed through:

  • use of appropriate musical examples
  • identification of stylistic characteristics
  • understanding of the treatment of musical concepts
  • knowledge of stylistic influences.

This portfolio assessment task for HSC music composition can be modified to suit the individual needs of a school.

Outcomes

Through activities in performance, composition, musicology and aural, a student:

H3 improvises and composes music using the range of concepts for familiar sound sources reflecting the cultural and historical contexts studied
H4 articulates an aural understanding of musical concepts and their relationships in a wide variety of musical styles
H5 critically evaluates and discusses performances and compositions
H8 identifies, recognises, experiments with, and discusses the use and effects of technology in music

© Board of Studies, Music 1 Stage 6 Syllabus, 2009

Task description

Present a score supported by a live performance or recording of your work in progress. Refer to both your draft composition and material from your portfolio to:

  • outline your influences and discuss how they are reflected in your portfolio and draft composition
  • show how the composition is evolving through discussion of your treatment of musical ideas
  • outline the plan and its progress
  • outline the challenges you have been faced with in developing this composition
  • explain ways in which you have resolved problems that have arisen
  • discuss the problems which you consider still require resolution.

Assessment criteria

Work in progress and material from the student portfolio will be marked using the criteria below:

  • communication of musical intent
  • awareness of musical context
  • idiomatic writing for performance media
  • communication of musical ideas through notation
  • evidence of pre-planning of composition
  • evidence of pre-working of the material.
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