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HSC MUSIC 2 COMPOSITION PORTFOLIO SUGGESTION GUIDE

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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This document is not an instruction manual but rather a suggestion guide to give you ideas for the HSC Music 2 composition portfolio to try and reduce stress levels. Please do not think that these are your requirements. There are in fact no actual rules or requirements. Please do not use this format without first discussing it with your school Music teacher, as each school may interpret the HSC syllabus in their own way. However, please note that the portfolio is all about documenting your composition process. The first suggestion is that you should use the December/January break to research your composition and start putting your portfolio together. If you have no idea what you are going to do, the best way to get ideas is to look at sheet music and listen to as many recordings as possible. Visit libraries that have music and look at as many compositions as possible. The Australian Music Centre (AMCOZ) at 10 Hickson Road, The Rocks, Sydney is worth a visit if you are composing a piece with an Australian theme. The library is open during the week, but call before you go (02) 9247-4677. They have a large collection of both sheet music and recordings. CDs can be borrowed but remember to take your student card when you go. Most universities have large sections of sheet music and even if you are not a student at the university they will allow you to access the music. Most libraries are open 7 days a week but again you should call before you go. Not all the music can be borrowed, but you will be able to do research.

Good luck.

Information in this document can be found at: http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/ www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au If you have any further ideas for this guide, please send me an email to lizh4@hotmail.com

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. The definition of a portfolio and why you are required to do one

2. Suggestions for a format of the portfolio

3. The assessment criteria for your composition

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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1. The definition of a portfolio and why you are required to do one


As previously mentioned, the portfolio is a process of documenting your composition process. The definition of a portfolio as detailed in the Board of Studies (BOS) syllabus:
A portfolio is a collection of examples of students learning experiences and outcomes collected over a period of time. It may contain examples of the process towards a finished product or a series of tasks aimed at developing specific knowledge and skills, and a number of finished products.

How is the portfolio different from a process diary?


A process diary is a chronological record, whereas a portfolio has a broader focus. A portfolio highlights influences and significant musical turning points. It might include class activities, previously composed works and a process diary for a specific work. The same portfolio could be used for more than one composition, as a similar starting point can result in a number of quite different compositions. In addition to referring to the portfolio, a significant draft of the composition needs to be part of the assessment process in order to see the resolution of some of the musical influences and decisions represented in the portfolio. It is important to remember that portfolio-based assessment will now form the internal assessment mark.

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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CURRENT HSC BOARD OF STUDIES SYLLABUS REQUIREMENTS Core Composition Portfolio


School assessment must be based on the composition portfolio. This portfolio is developed and compiled by the student as part of the process that leads to the submission of a composition for external examination. The Composition portfolio will form the entire internal assessment. The final composition will be marked in the HSC examination.

Assessment of Composition Portfolios


Composition portfolios will not be examined externally. A Composition portfolio may, however be requested by the BOS as evidence to validate authorship of a candidates examination submission. The Composition portfolio must show evidence of the compositional process by containing details of:

draft compositions with annotations of teachers comments background listening, musicological observations and performance within the style the decision-making process the development of compositional skills performance considerations notational systems utilised, adapted and/or invented reflections on the composition evidence of technological processes used, e.g. audio tapes, video tapes, computer print-outs, if relevant appraisals of stages of own composition teacher appraisals

www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/pdf_doc/music2ext_syl.pdf (page 39)

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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A portfolio can take many forms:


Written notes, notation, annotation, sketches and reflections Audio recordings of ideas MIDI files CDs, scores, concert reviews A collection of motifs, exercises or compositions Background research, analysis and observations Recordings of discussions and interviews on compositions and compositional considerations

What does a composition portfolio document?


A developmental record of compositional skills, knowledge and abilities. Class-based exercises to develop skills and knowledge in composition Specific exercises undertaken that show knowledge of, or skills in, particular compositional techniques Exercises that explore the concepts of music and the relationship between them, in various styles, periods and genres A record of the planning involved with developing a composition Gathering of background information on compositional style, processes and compositional techniques relevant to the submitted work A journal of the development of a work in progress A record of ideas, used and unused Draft versions of compositions at various stages Annotated fragments of compositional ideas that have been used Annotated fragments of compositional ideas that have been rejected Experimentations and improvisations within selected styles, periods and genres A record of resolutions to musical problems. Journal entries detailing the use of material Annotated work showing the development of thematic, harmonic materials etc and the alterations made to ideas Reflections of their own work and the work of others Annotated evaluations of own work detailing the strengths and weaknesses of the work Annotated reflections of the compositions of other composers. Analysis of other composers' use of the concepts of music and compositional techniques. Aural analysis of musical works through listening, concert attendance, etc. Influences on compositional style Detailed descriptions of the intent of the compositions Details of compositional influences, eg listening works, compositions, performance repertoire Annotations of background reading in compositional techniques and practice in various styles, periods and genres

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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2. Suggestions for the format of the portfolio


Index:
1. HSC REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPOSITION 2. BACKGROUND LISTENING 3. MUSICOLOGY OBSERVATIONS AND PERFORMANCE WITHIN THE STYLE 4. DECISION-MAKING PROCESS 5. DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION SKILLS 6. NOTATIONAL SYSTEMS UTILISED, ADAPTED AND/OR INVENTED 7. REFLECTIONS ON THE COMPOSITION 8. EVIDENCE OF TECHNOLOGICAL PROCESSES USED COMPUTER PRINTOUTS 9. APPRAISALS OF STAGES OF OWN COMPOSITION 10. TEACHER APPRAISALS

Details:
1. HSC REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPOSITION This section should contain: a copy of your requirements from your school and class music teacher a copy of the requirements detailed in the Board of Studies syllabus specific for your year. If you print these and read them carefully, you should have no misunderstanding of your requirements any other notes or instructions such as assessment notifications 2. BACKGROUND LISTENING You should listen to as many recordings of pieces of music that have been written for your chosen genre/period and style of the piece that you are composing Create a spreadsheet/table with the details of the pieces that you have listened to. Suggestions of details: Date listened to Name of piece of music Composer Media that piece was recorded onto Comments/your thoughts

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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3. MUSICOLOGY OBSERVATIONS AND PERFORMANCE WITHIN THE STYLE Research the genre of your composition. e.g. Jazz, Ragtime, Australian Music in the last 25 years, Baroque etc. You should look for good descriptions, elements, music components, style, instruments, composers and any other useful notes that you may find You need quality notes not every article that has ever been written maximum 15 pages Analyse the 10 best pieces that you find and detail your findings in a spreadsheet: Date Title of piece Composer Source Specific listening focus e.g. for composition ideas and structure Critical comments e.g. components (analysis of piece) This section can also include sheet music of pieces that you find. However, please remember that the portfolio is kept by your school and you will not get this music back. 4. DECISION-MAKING PROCESS This section is your process diary and the decisions that you make while writing your composition. It should be in date sequence (like a diary) and should include sections (where possible) of your composition to explain your decisions. Discuss: How you arrived at the style/genre that you chose Your choice of performing media what affect it creates Development of skills (e.g. transformation, inversions, layering, retrogressions, fragmentation, etc.) Why you have made the decisions while composing and what effect/impact they create in the music.

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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You should include examples like this.

Include where possible details like these:

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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Try and include notes as detailed below:

5. DEVELOPMENT OF COMPOSITION SKILLS This section should include a discussion of the composition skills that you used in your composition. You should try and talk about the techniques that suit your particular performing media, creating variety to add interest through the use of expressive techniques, elaborating on the motif used, harmony, dynamics, texture and duration in your composition. Some examples are: Transformation Inversions Layering Retrogressions Fragmentation Ranges Colours You should also include performance considerations such as the use of different instruments e.g. the harp

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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6. NOTATIONAL SYSTEMS UTILISED, ADAPTED AND/OR INVENTED Notation systems used: Computer (e.g. Sibelius, Finale, Cakewalk, MIDIS) Hand written Three types of notation: o Graphic o Electronic o Acoustic Time - seconds and bars should both be shown

7. REFLECTIONS ON THE COMPOSITION In this section you should reflect on your composition. This should include your feelings, thoughts and reflections on your complete or almost complete composition - both the positive and negative thoughts and feelings of your compositional process. This section is normally written once the composition is complete, but remember to do it before you hand in your portfolio for the final appraisal. 8. EVIDENCE OF TECHNOLOGICAL PROCESSES USED COMPUTER PRINTOUTS This section should include printouts of your actual composition if you use one of the computer systems. 9. APPRAISALS OF STAGES OF OWN COMPOSITION This section should include any appraisals that you receive. This can include appraisals from peers. Be careful how you view appraisals from friends and family. Remember not everyone has the same taste of music as you and some excellent compositions have been abandoned in the past because a friend has not liked the style. 10. TEACHER APPRAISALS This section should include all the appraisals that you receive from your class music teacher.

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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3. The assessment criteria for your composition


Material selected from the Portfolio that demonstrates: the intent of the composition (e.g. original ideas and motifs used, the influences of others works, the melodic, harmonic, structure, tone colour, rhythmic and textural decisions made and reasons for these decisions) evidence of experimentation (e.g. experiments with the various concepts and the combinations of concepts) the development of ideas (e.g. annotated drafts of compositions detailing the decisions made and the development of musical material, the ideas accepted and rejected) the resolution of ideas (e.g. evidence of the solving of musical problems, resolution of musical ideas in the composition, how the concepts of music were used in isolation and combination)

Assessment criteria
Compositions will be assessed on how well they demonstrate: Understanding of musical concepts and the relationships between them Stylistic understanding Knowledge of score conventions and performance directions Ability to establish and sustain musical ideas A sense of personal compositional style

Further Assessment criteria:


Melodic ideas notated and/or recorded examples of melodies, melodic fragments, exercise in melodic development (e.g. experimenting with devices such as repetition, sequence, augmentation, diminution, phrasing, etc.) Harmony and harmonic devices notated or recorded examples of experiments with various chord progressions, exercises in varying chord progressions, exercises in harmonic development (e.g. modulation, change of tonality, etc.) Notational systems and devices included with the performing media experimentation with notational systems appropriate to the composition (e.g. traditional, graphic, tablature, etc), reasons for choosing this system, experiments with using notational devices (e.g. performance directions, structural directions, etc.)

From the Marking Guide:


A Composition portfolio is to be developed as part of the process that leads to the submission of the composition. This portfolio forms the entire internal assessment for this elective and should be assessed at two different stages during the course. The portfolio may be requested by the Board of Studies to validate authorship of the composition

Suggestions for the HSC Music 2 Composition portfolio

Liz H

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