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Advice for teachers -

Developing a program

The central focus of Music Style and Composition Units 1 to 4 is the exploration of the way sound can be organised in music. Students are asked to examine specific works in different styles, explore and respond to a wide range of other music via aural analysis, and create music in response to their study of the work of music creators across time and place. Three broad areas are covered across all four units:

  • Responding to music: where students experience a wide range of music works in different styles and build skills in aural analysis and critical response.
  • Organisation and context: where there is a focused study of specific works, which are analysed in terms of their musical characteristics and stylistic context.
  • Creative responses/processes: where students create music in response to the musical ideas uncovered in the music they have studied and document the processes used.

The basis of all analysis of musical characteristics throughout the four units is a development of understanding about the treatment of the elements of music and the use of compositional devices.

It is essential that both teachers and students have a firm understanding of the nature of these two fundamentals.

In Units 1, 3 and 4, the works selected for Area of Study 2 should be short works, single movements and/or small collection/s of minor works, for example, a movement of a symphonic work or two to three songs from the same artist or two to three pieces from a geographical location. Students should focus on the musical characteristics of the work rather than undertaking any comprehensive analysis of the style from which it comes.

In Unit 2, works from two different multidisciplinary forms must be used in Area of Study 2. The music selected for study should be small selections of music from each form, for example, two to three pieces of underscore from a film or an aria, a recitative and a chorus from an opera or two to three songs from a musical.

In Unit 3, one work must be Australian. In Unit 4, one work must have been created after 1950.

For Area of Study 3 in Units 1 and 3, students make creative responses which may be defined as short musical exercises created in response to a given musical idea or task, for example, exploring an idea from a work studied in Areas of Study 1 and 2. They also need to document the links between their music and the music studied.

For Area of Study 3 in Units 2 and 4, students are required to take part in a creative process that will lead to a completed short work. They are also required to document the processes used to arrive at the end result.

  • Assessment requirements for the Externally-assessed Task must be considered when planning teaching and learning activities for Outcome 3 in Unit 3 and Outcome 3 in Unit 4.​


Connecting Areas of study (docx - 69.95kb)

Teaching roles and communication (docx - 70.24kb)

Composition, improvisation and arrangement in VCE Music (docx - 70.51kb)​

Cross-study specifications (docx - 71.13kb)

Context (docx - 67.19kb)

Authentication (docx - 68.08kb)