The Contemporary Composer
This unit combines exploration of some significant pieces of music in pop, rock and jazz music with the development of theoretical skills and creative work using digital technology. A flexible approach is taken to build on the interests and musical skills of the students in the class.
Students explore a number of pieces of music across a range of genres. Pieces are analysed so as to gain an understanding of what makes them so musically effective. Students further develop their understanding of musical theory.
Students create original music, some improvised and some scored. They have access to iMac workstations equipped with musical keyboards, using Sibelius and GarageBand software for composing, arranging and editing music. Group work enables performance activities to be matched to the available musical skills.
Some assessment is made during class time through listening, theory tests and set exercises. There are two extended tasks each semester; one is a musical analysis, the other is a creative composition assignment.