Music - Composing and Arranging


In Composing and Arranging students develop their musical imagination and creativity by composing and/or arranging musical works.

About the subject

They explore a range of techniques and styles, and develop an appreciation of arranging and/or composing as a creative music-making process. Students learn to analyse and present their own compositions and/or arrangements clearly and confidently

In Stage 2 Composing and Arranging the following two areas of study must be covered:

  • Folio of Minor Works with Commentary
  • Major Work with Analysis


Students demonstrate evidence of their learning through the following assessment types:

School-based AssessmentWeighting
Folio of Minor Works50%
External Assessment 
Major Work30%

Information on the External Assessment

Students complete a work for any medium or ensemble with a minimum of three parts (e.g. melody, bass, accompanying melody/figures) with an analysis. The assessment component consists of two parts:

  • Part 1: Major Work – A Composition or an Arrangement
  • Part 2: Analysis of the Major Work.

Part 1: Major Work – A Composition or an Arrangement

The composition/arrangement must be the work of the student. Computer-generated instrumental/vocal parts or pre existing midi, etc., must not be included. Synthesised sounds may be used in the recording of students’ works if instruments are not available.

Students submit a score and recording of the work. A printed or recorded copy of the original music/melody must be included for every theme used in an arrangement.

Part 2: Analysis of the Major Work

Students present an oral or written analysis of their major work. An oral analysis may be up to a maximum of 6 minutes (not including musical examples) and should be supported by backup work. A written analysis may be up to a maximum of 1000 words (not including musical examples) and may include complete sentences, dot points, diagrams, and notated musical examples.

The Major Work is double graded, firstly by the student’s teacher and secondly by an external assessor appointed by the SACE Board. The teacher and the external assessor make a decision about the quality of the Major Work with reference to performance standards.

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