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32 Bar Sequence Composition Assessment: outline

Composition Assessment
© Goldsmiths, University of London

Task: Compose a 32 bar sequence of the form AABA in any key, any time signature, any tempo

  1. submit a lead sheet (i.e. top line and chords) as a pdf created using the music notation system MuseScore (or similar package)

  2. perform your composition as a solo (i.e. in root position) and submit a recording of the performance as an mp3

The performance is to help the assessor interpret the chart. It can be in time or out of time. There is no merit for the performance itself, but clearly the more musical it is the easier it will be for the assessor to interpret the chart. You can download a pdf of a page of manuscript paper to help you write out your composition for your own use at the bottom of this article.

Assessment Criteria:

There are 3 marks available of 0, 1, or 2 for the following four aspects of composition. The performance of the composition is purely to help the assessor interpret the chart.

(i) Musical notation

This should be accurate and readable because the purpose of the chart is to communicate the composition.

  • 0 – Nothing submitted or unreadable
  • 1 – Includes two or more basic errors of notation
  • 2 – Largely error free

(ii) Consistency

Are the notes in a bar consistent with the chord for that bar?

  • 0 – Nothing submitted or unreadable
  • 1 – Includes two or more inconsistencies
  • 2 – Largely consistent

(iii) Phrasing

Does the tune contain identifiable “musical phrases”?

  • 0 – Nothing submitted or unreadable
  • 1 – Does not appear to include any obvious identifiable musical phrases
  • 2 – Acceptable

(iv) Singability

How “singable” is the tune?

  • 0 – Nothing submitted or unreadable
  • 1 – Appears difficult to sing
  • 2 – Acceptable
© Goldsmiths, University of London
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