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IB Music Syllabus Content

IB Music Standard Level


There are three elements to Standard Level Music:

1. Listening Paper (30%) This is a 2¼ hour exam paper at the end of the course, and is the main focus for much
of the lesson time. We study two set works in detail for this exam. They are usually very contrasting works,
one of which is a substantial piece of Western Classical music. Students are asked to place them in their
musical and historical context and will need to be able to analyse and compare them in detail. The
remainder of the exam is one of the most interesting parts of the course: a number of short extracts of
music from different time periods and places are played and students will be asked to comment on them.
Some may be known to them, but most will not be! It is essential to build up analytical skills during the
course to deal with any music that crops up.
2. Musical Investigation (20%) A written media script of around 2000 words investigating the relationship
between two musical genres.
3. One of the following options: (50%)
a) Solo Performance - A solo recital of approximately 15 minutes
b) Group Performance - A recital as a member of an ensemble lasting between 15 and 30 minutes
c) Creating -Two contrasting compositions with recordings and a written statement

IB Music Higher Level


Higher Level Sections:

(1) and (2) of Higher Level are the same as the corresponding sections of Standard Level, except that: Higher Level
candidates must answer extra questions in the listening exam. There are no choices at Higher Level – both solo
performance and composition are compulsory.

1. Listening Paper (30%) This is a 3-hour exam paper at the end of the course, and is the main focus for much
of the lesson time. We study two set works in detail for this exam. They are usually very contrasting works,
one of which is a substantial piece of classical music. Boys are asked to place them in their musical and
historical context and will need to be able to analyse and compare them in detail. The remainder of the
exam is one of the most interesting parts of the course: a number of short extracts of music from different
time periods and places are played and boys will be asked to comment on them. Some may be known to
them, but most will not be! It is essential to build up analytical skills during the course to deal with any music
that crops up.
2. Musical Investigation (20%) A written media script of around 2000 words investigating the relationship
between two musical genres.
3. Solo Performing (25%) A solo recital of approximately 20 minutes.
4. Creating (25%) Composition portfolio (incorporating stylistic techniques) with recordings and a written
statement.

Coursework
SL: Musical investigation and the performance/composition option are completed as coursework.

HL: Musical investigation, solo performance and composition are coursework.

Assessment
Internally assessed: 50%, externally assessed: 50%