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GCSE MUSIC Composition Written Account

This is provided instead of a traditional written full score (notation). This is a compulsory part for your GCSE composition submission. You must complete a written account for BOTH compositions, Unit 2 and Unit 4. It must provide the kind of detailed information a score would, it is a written account of everything that happens in your composition. You must use musical vocabulary to describe the musical events. There is a full list of appropriate musical vocabulary at the end of this document. I have outlined below a list of musical elements that you can write about in your commentary. Clearly there may be some aspects that are not applicable to your style of song/piece but you should be able to comment on most of the bullet points. Your written account must include the following three aspects. The first two paragraphs can be written as bullet points or in continuous prose: You should write your account using Word. Once complete it should be uploaded to your Numu artist page and labeled Unit 2 Written Account or Unit 4 Written Account. 1. Paragraph 1 Overall elements (Style/time sig./tempo/key/structure) What style/genre is your composition in? What is the time signature of your piece? What tempo is your piece? Does the tempo vary? What key (or keys) is your piece in? Detail of the structure of the piece. What sections there are and in what order also include timings in this format 2:30 (this is 2 minutes 30 seconds), or you could use bar numbers i.e. intro is bars 1-9.

2. Paragraph 2 Instrumental information (Instrumentation/performance techniques/dynamics/FX.) All instrumentation included in the piece be precise, i.e. if drums are used are they rock drums, a jazz brush kit, Sampled kit sounds, drum machine etc. Any specific performance instructions again be totally precise, if using guitars is the part using a pick, fingerstyle, strumming, single note lines. Also include any use of effects/automation etc. Please also ensure that you mention any changes in performance technique in the relevant section, i.e. overdrive used on electric guitar 1 in first chorus at 2:20

GCSE MUSIC Composition Written Account


3. Provide a full account of what happens musically in your piece. This should include information on all the following aspects: Melody is the melody major or minor? What instrument/s play melodic parts? How does the melody change in different sections? How have you used contrasting melodies? Is the melody scalic/triadic/chromatic? Does it have big interval leaps or move stepwise up/down a scale? Is there any countermelody/call and response? Have you doubled the melody? Harmony what chord sequences are used? Have you used block chords/broken chords/arpeggios? Have you changed key (modulated)?, what role does the bass have is it playing root notes, chord tones, octaves? Rhythm Include information on both how drums/percussion are used and also any key rhythmic parts (that might include riffs or important chord rhythms). Have you developed your rhythm track from a one or two bar repeated groove? How does this develop throughout your piece? Are there drum fills? How did you create the drum parts? Instrumentation make sure you outline all the instruments that are used and any performance techniques that are included i.e. staccato/pizzicato/legato strings or strummed/picked/fingerpicked guitar parts. Dynamics how have you used dynamics to create contrast/interest/variety?

Please make sure you include information about all musical events; when an instrument is introduced or drops out, if there are any changes in an instrumental part, any use of effects, change in dynamics etc. It is a good idea to include some notated/tab element this could be for chord rhythms, melody line, chord sequences etc. Please see Mr Thomas or Mr Fisher if you need any help transcribing parts. MUSICAL VOCABULARY AoS1: Rhythm & Metre Time signature Pulse Syncopation Cross-rhythms Tempo Ritardando (rit/rall) slow down Simple time Compound time

GCSE MUSIC Composition Written Account


Accentuation Drum fills Groove

AoS2: Harmony and Tonality Key signature Major, minor, modal Modulation changing key Drone, pedal Cadences perfect, plagal, imperfect, interrupted, Tierce de Picardie Chords Chord sequence Major Minor discords sevenths power chords inversions note clusters dissonant consonant harmonic rhythm AoS3: Texture and Melody Texture Monophonic - describes music consisting of a single melodic line. Whether it is sung/played by one person or many, as long as the same notes and rhythms are being performed, monophonic texture results. Homophonic this texture consists of a single, dominating melody that is accompanied by chords. Sometimes the chords move at the same rhythm as the melody; other times the chords are made up of voices that move in counterpoint to each other. The important aspect is that the chords are subservient to the

GCSE MUSIC Composition Written Account


melody. Polyphonic - a musical texture in which two or more melodic lines of relatively equal importance are performed simultaneously

Melody intervals within the octave conjunct - Smooth, connected melody that moves principally by small intervals. Disjunct - Disjointed or disconnected melody with many leaps. triadic using notes from a triad (three note chord) broken chords scalic arpeggio passing notes acciaccaturas a note played as quickly as possible before the note that follows it. appoggiaturas blue notes diatonic within the key chromatic pentatonic five note scale (i.e. A minor pentatonic is A, C, D, E, G) whole tone modal augmentation - Statement of a melody in longer note values, often twice as slow as the original. diminution sequence - a repeated phrase that might be based on a rhythmic idea that is developed. inversion slide/glissando/portamento ornamentation ostinato repeated musical phrase riff

GCSE MUSIC Composition Written Account


phrasing articulation pitch bend improvisation AoS4: Timbre and Dynamics Timbre acapella unaccompanied singing instrumental techniques including con arco/with a bow pizzicato/plucked con sordino/muted double-stopping tremolo/tremolando, legato, staccato Guitar picked, strummed, fingerpicking, harmonics, palm mute, Guitar use of FX, distortion/overdrive, delay, chorus, wah-wah etc. Bass guitar slapping, fingerstyle, also use of FX vocal ranges and techniques such as falsetto and vibrato Synth sounds use of FX Samples, Loops Dynamics pp p ff f mf mp sf Pianissimo: very quiet Piano: quiet Fortissimo: very loud Forte: loud Mezzo forte: fairly loud Mezzo piano: fairly quiet Sforzando: sudden accent (just on that note) > (marked near note head) Accent: emphasis on a particular note