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VCE Performing Arts

Music Investigation Unit 4


Satisfactory completion of Music Investigation Unit 3.

Course Description

In this unit students continue the exploration within the focus area they began in Unit 3. In Unit 4 the investigation involves the preparation of program notes to accompany their end-of-year performance. The study of composition, improvisation, arrangement involves creating and performing a composition, improvisation or arrangement that draws on musical characteristics of the focus area. This composition, arrangement or improvisation builds on and extends exercises completed in Unit 3.

Students rehearse and perform works for inclusion in a performance program of works that relates to the focus area. They develop mastery of relevant instrumental techniques and apply advanced performance conventions to realise their intended interpretations of each work. They continue to use skills in aural awareness, transcription, and music theory and analysis to support their work.

Essential Questions

  • How can I make the links through the research and works selected for performance stronger and clearer?
  • What is the best way to present my performance program and what is the best program order to present my focus area in performance?
  • What is the best way to design my printed concert program?
  • How can I best present my strengths in performance, research and work in organisation of sound?
  • What new technical work do I need to set in order to achieve the best accuracy and clarity in performing a wide variety of styles and characters?
  • How can I take advantage of what is idiomatic to each of the instruments I have chosen for my organisation of sound work in order to make the composition effective yet easy to do?

Areas of Study


  • Further research to reflect on and evaluate interpretive approaches to the music works being prepared for performance.
  • The possibilities for performance that balance relevant personal, stylistic, practical, technological, historical and cultural influences.
  • Program notes based on the research and evaluation that may be used to introduce the outcome three performance recital.

Composition, Improvisation, Arrangement

  • Completing composition, improvisation and/or arranging tasks commenced in Unit 3.
  • Creation of a score or recording that is used to prepare the work for performance.
  • Performance of the composition, arrangement or improvisation.
  • Explanation of its context in relation to the focus area.


  • Preparation and presentation of a program of works of diverse character that are relevant to the selected focus area.
  • Regular class concerts and master classes. 
  • Analysis of structural characteristics and use of the elements of music in the works.
  • Research and evaluation of a range of existing interpretations to enhance awareness of the variety of possible approaches.
  • Regular practice in both solo work and ensemble skills though rehearsal with other musicians.


  •  Technical work and exercises to support preparation of the performance program. 


Outcomes Assessment Tasks Marks Allocated
(school-assessed coursework)
Compose, Improvise, Arrange and perform an original music work.

A work which uses performance techniques based on the focus area.  An explanation of the links between the techniques used in the work and the focus area (oral or multimedia)


Performance Recital A recital of 10-15 minutes duration. S/N
Total Marks 100

Overall Final Assessment

Graded Assessment Title Assessment Exam Duration Contribution to Study Score (%)
1 Unit 3 Coursework School-assessed   30
2 Unit 4 Coursework School-assessed   20
3 Performance Examination October 25 mins 50


Reproduced by permission of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: