IB Diploma Programme: Music

Nature of subject

 

Music functions as a means of personal and communal identity and expression, and embodies the social and cultural values of individuals and communities. Through a study of music we learn to hear relationships of pitch in sound, pattern in rhythm and unfolding sonic structures.

 

Through participating in the study of music, we are able to explore the similarities, differences and links in music from within our own culture and that of others across time. Informed and active musical engagement allows us to explore and discover relationships between lived human experience and specific sound combinations and technologies, thus informing us more fully of the world around us, and the nature of humanity.

 

The Diploma Programme music course provides an appropriate foundation for further study in music at university level or in music career pathways. It also provides an enriching and valuable course of study for students who may pursue other careers. This course also provides all students with the opportunity to engage in the world of music as lifelong participants.

 

Both standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) music students are required to study

musical perception. All students therefore submit a musical links investigation and respond to a listening examination paper.

 

In the latter, HL students are required to answer one further question. This question requires students to investigate significant musical links through a comparative analysis of two pieces of music prescribed by the IB.

 

SL students in music are required to choose one of three options:

• SL creating (SLC)

• SL solo performing (SLS)

• SL group performing (SLG).

 

HL students are required to present both creating and solo performing.

 

For creating, SLC students are required to present two pieces of coursework, while HL students present three. This allows HL students to present work that either demonstrates contrasts in content, nature and intention or comes from a wider, and therefore more challenging, choice of creating options.

 

For solo performing, SLS students are required to present 15 minutes, while HL students present 20 minutes. This challenges HL students to present a performing programme that features more music of a contrasting nature.

 

For those students (SLG) presenting group performing, the requirement is 20–30 minutes.

 

Prior learning

 

While prior music experience is not mandatory at SL, it is recommended. At HL it is very strongly recommended.

 

Aims

To enable students to:

 

1. enjoy lifelong engagement with the arts

2. become informed, reflective and critical practitioners in the arts

3. understand the dynamic and changing nature of the arts

4. explore and value the diversity of the arts across time, place and cultures

5. express ideas with confidence and competence

6. develop perceptual and analytical skills.

7. develop their knowledge and potential as musicians, both personally and collaboratively.

 

Objectives

Having followed the music course at SL or HL, students will be expected to demonstrate:

 

1. knowledge, understanding and perception of music in relation to time, place and cultures

2. appropriate musical terminology to describe and reflect their critical understanding of music

3. comparative analysis of music in relation to time, place and cultures

4. creative skills through exploration, control and development of musical elements (SLC, HL)

5. performance skills through solo music making (SLS, HL) or group music making (SLG)

6. critical-thinking skills through reflective thought.

 

ATL objectives

While the syllabus sets out specific, formal requirements of study, the flexibility of the music course allows for a variety of approaches and teaching styles. However, it is important that students become responsible for their own learning through an active approach.

 

Throughout the course students will be encouraged to engage with music that is familiar and unfamiliar to them, from a range of times, places and cultures. During their study of the various parts of the course students will develop their understanding of music as a whole. Throughout the course they will be encouraged to develop critical thinking and participate in inquiry-based learning. Students will work both individually and collaboratively, working towards informed engagement.

 

A varied range of activities will be introduced to encourage students to:

• engage with music from different times, places and cultures

• critically appraise music and use appropriate musical terminology

• develop techniques for comparative analysis

• develop investigative and thinking skills

• learn to create music

• learn to perform music

• work both independently and collaboratively

• develop reflection techniques for monitoring their work over time.

 

Syllabus content

Musical perception—SL and HL

Study, analysis and examination, comparing and contrasting of musical cultures. Students will actively listen to a wide range of music from different:

• parts of the world

• musical cultures

• time periods

Through this study, students develop their aural perception and understanding of music by learning about:

• musical elements, including form and structure

• notations

• musical terminology

• context.

 

Study of two prescribed works

The IBO publishes two prescribed pieces of music that change every two years. Students at HL study both works; A choice of one of the two is studied at SL.

All students are required to analyse and examine the prescribed work(s). HL students are further required to investigate significant musical links by comparing and/or contrasting the two prescribed works.

 

Musical Links Investigation

Through the study of pieces from different musical cultures students will explore, analyse and examine the musical connections existing between two (or more) pieces of music from two distinct musical cultures. Through investigative study and analysis of the similarities and differences between the selected pieces of music, students learn to demonstrate significant musical links.

 

Creating – SLC, HL

During this study students will aim to develop creative skills through exploration, control and development of musical elements.

SLC students are required to submit two pieces of coursework; HL students must submit three.

The following options are available:

• composing

• music technology composing

• arranging

• improvising

• stylistic techniques.

 

Students may choose sounds from a wide range of media, including traditional instruments, voices and/or electronically or computer-generated sounds. Students must demonstrate understanding of the technical capabilities (and limitations) of chosen instruments.

Each music composition must be completed with notation. This may be handwritten or notated using a suitable computer software program.

Students must submit the final notated version of each music composition and a recording.

SL students may submit one or two music compositions; HL students may submit one, two or three. A music composition must be 3–6 minutes in length.

 

In addition to the music composition, students are required to provide evidence of a

reflective process. The written reflective statement requires the student to convey an understanding of the intention, process and outcome of the piece

 

Solo performing—SLS, HL

The student is required to submit a recording selected from pieces presented during one or more public performance(s). The total performance time must be:

• SL—15 minutes

• HL—20 minutes.

In performing their pieces students may use any instrument and/or voice, or the computer as a musical instrument.

Students may not present a combination of 1 and 2.

 

Group performing—SLG

Students following this SL option are expected to be active, participating members of a musical group that performs on a regular basis in public during the course. A group may be composed entirely or partially of Diploma Programme music students.

Examples of musical groups (any size or style) include, but are not limited to:

• choir

• orchestra

• concert/wind band

• rock/pop band

• chamber group.

The recordings must be of the same group in two or more public performances.

The total performance time must be 20–30 minutes.

 

 

Assessment

 

Music SL

 

External assessment

Listening paper: Four musical perception questions

  1. Section A (Students answer one question)

Question 1 or 2

  1. Section B (Students answer three questions)

Question 3 or 4

Question 5

Question 6

 

Musical links investigation: A written media script of no more than 2,000 words, investigating the significant musical links between two (or more) pieces from distinct musical cultures

50%

30%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20%

Internal assessment

Students choose one of the following options:

 

Creating (SLC): Two pieces of coursework, with recordings and written work

Solo performing (SLS): A recording selected from pieces presented during one or more public performance(s), 15 minutes

Group performing (SLG): A recording selected from pieces presented during two or more public performances,

20–30 minutes

50%

 

 

 

Music HL

 

External assessment

Listening paper: Five musical perception questions

  1. Section A (Students answer two questions)

Question 1 or 2 and

Question 3

  1. Section B (Students answer three questions)

Question 4 or 5

Question 6

Question 7

 

Musical links investigation: A written media script of no more than 2,000 words, investigating the significant musical links between two (or more) pieces from distinct musical cultures

50%

30%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20%

Internal assessment

Students submit work in both options:

 

Creating (SLC): three pieces of coursework, with recordings and written work

Solo performing (SLS): A recording selected from pieces presented during one or more public performance(s), 20 minutes

50%

 

 

25%

 

25%

 

 

 

Academic honesty

Students are ultimately responsible for ensuring that all work submitted for assessment is authentic, with the work or ideas of others fully and correctly acknowledged. Every student must also sign a declaration on the coversheet that is attached to their work. In addition, teachers are required to sign the musical links investigation coversheet to confirm that, to the best of their knowledge, the work of each student is his or her own work and constitutes the final version of that work.