Tag Archives: UNIT 4

Unit 4 Composition Brief

To begin your composition, we would like you first to decide on a style to compose in. Please choose from this list:

  • ROCK – with vocal or guitar melody
  • REGGAE – with vocal or horn melody
  • INDIE/FOLK – with vocal melody
  • POP – with vocal melody
  • INSTRUMENTAL – CLASSICAL, WORLD MUSIC OR JAZZ – with vocal or instrumental melody
  • R’N’B/DANCE STYLES (DUBSTEP, HOUSE ETC) – with vocal or synth melody

All Unit 4 compositions must:

  • be between 3 and 4 minutes long
  • have at least four instruments
  • have a clear melody line
  • have at least two different chord sequences
  • have a range of texture

As your composition develops we will then speak to you individually and choose TWO Areas Of Study to focus the piece on. You might want to consider the Areas Of Study as your piece grows.

AoS 1 – Rhythm & Metre

AoS 2 – Harmony & Tonality

AoS 3 – Texture & Melody

AoS 4 – Timbre & Dynamics

AoS5 – Structure & Form

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Preparing to start your Unit 4 composition

In order to make decision about how to develop a composition it is vital to know what style(s) you are working in.

To begin your composition please find TWO reference tracks on youtube in the style that you would like to work in. 
Please complete the form below with detailes of your two choices..

If you have a clear stylistic aim in mind you can then listen to example of music in that style and analyse the composition in terms of:

  • INSTRUMENTATION – what instruments are typical of the chosen style?
  • RHYTHM – what time signature(s) are common to the style? What tempo would be appropriate? What kind of drum tracks are used, are they live drums, electronic drums, samples, percussion? What are the grooves like – practice copying beats that you like from other tunes.
  • HARMONY – what kind of feel do you want, major (happy) or minor (sad)? How many chords do you hear in your reference track chord sequences?
  • MELODY – what kind of melodies are used? Are they songs with male or female singers? Are the phrases short or long? Are big interval jumps used or small stepwise?
  • TEXTURE – how do your examples create variety in texture? One way to explore this is to look at two similar sections in a song (i.e. verse one and verse two) and listen to how they vary…maybe there is a new guitar part in the second verse, perhaps the drum groove changes, the melody might develop.
  • PRODUCTION/FINAL MIX – are any FX used like delay (echo), reverb or distortion in your reference tracks? Which instruments are loudest, which are quietest? Does this change during the piece?

Click HERE to see your answers..