Music Style and Composition Units 3 and 4


Music Style and Compositionstrong> is the VCE music subject ideal for those who love to create their own music, and investigate how other music is put together.

There are three main areas: Responding, Exploring and Creating.

In Responding to music, your job is to listen and respond to music from a range of different eras, locations, and styles: Medieval chant, jazz recorded last year, traditional music from Peru, Beethoven string quartets, songs by Radiohead.

In Exploringstrong> the organisation and context of music works, we put specific pieces of music under the microscope and explore how they are constructed. In Unit 3, we explore a Mozart movement and a short work by Australian composer Matthew Hindson. In Unit 4 we study one more contemporary piece.

And in Creating, you get a chance to create your own music. Unit 3 requires two very short exercises in response to the music we cover. In Unit 4, you create a music piece of 2 to 4 minutes. The style is up to you, as long as you meet some specific guidelines.

Who is it for?

Music Style and Composition is ideal for every student who loves music. You are not assessed on performance at all, but on the music you create and how much you “get” the music you study and listen to.

What do you do?

Activities you will engage in include:

  • writing responses to short extracts from a huge range of music in every style imaginable
  • delving in depth into two musical works in different styles and writing about what you learn
  • creating short musical compostions using some discovered techniques (then there’s a major 2 to 4 minute composition in Unit 4).

What skills do you need?

There are no prerequisites, however you do need:

  • open, non-judgemental ears
  • a willingness to go deep into musical works
  • a need to explore music creatively
  • some performance ability and some theoretical knowledge is an advantage.

What skills do you develop?

Students develop a variety of skills including:
You will develop skills including:

  • active and focussed listening and response strategies
  • music analysis
  • compositional techniques and creative reflection.




You must have access to the internet in order to access this course. All weekly work will be completed and submitted online.

Recording / notation software for creating original music is required. Creative submission must include some form of notation.

Things to think about

Creative work is assessed externally by the VCAA, and that means creative work needs to follow specific guidelines. There is some freedom, as long as certain criteria are being met.

Reading music is a distinct advantage, as is some music theory knowledge.

Things you can do now

The main thing you can do now is to listen and immerse yourself in a wide variety of music.

The more you think about how different music “works”, the more you are prepared.

Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.





Things to have a look at

Music Style and Composition

Past students talk about studying the subject.