IB Music Syllabus – Year 2

IB Music Syllabus: Year 2                                                                                                      Instructor: Lauren McCoy Borodenko

2012-2013                                                                                                                               July 28, 2012


Year 2 of the IB Music program will include the completion of several large projects and assessments.  In preparation for completion of the program, by the end of this year each student will complete the following internal and external assessments:


Solo Performance

  • HL Candidates must perform 20 minutes of varied repertoire (from a range of genres)
  • SL Candidates must perform 15 minutes of varied repertoire (from a range of genres)


  • HL Candidates must produce 3 pieces of coursework.  Each piece must be in the 3-6 minute range.  See the IB guide for creating options
  • SL candidates must produce 2 pieces of coursework.  Each piece must be in the 3-6 minute range.  See the IB guide for creating options


Music Links Investigation

Through the study of pieces from different musical cultures students are encouraged to explore, analyse and examine the musical connections existing between two (or more) pieces of music from two distinct musical cultures*. Through investigative study and analysis of the similarities and differences between the selected pieces of music, students learn to demonstrate significant musical links.

Musical Perception Exam

The External exam for musical perception will address the two prescribed works as well as several unknown works that may come from any musical genre, time period, or place.

HL candidates will answer 7 musical perception questions and have 3 hours

SL candidates will answer 5 musical perception questions and have 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Expectations for Year 2 Students:

  1.  Performance
    1. 1st Semester: students will perform in class 3 times during the semester.  Additionally each student will schedule a solo mini-recital to be completed by the end of the first semester (December 15th). Repertoire will be chosen by the student and approved by the instructor.  All repertoire must be chosen and approved by Friday, August 24th.
    2. 2nd Semester: students who will need additional performance opportunities to complete the performance part of their internal assessment may schedule a formal recital time to be completed by March 15th. For each piece of music performed, students will be expected to give a brief synopsis of the piece, the composer and the musical context.

Creation and Theory – IB year 2 students will apply their knowledge of music theory through: a. the study of two prescribed works as determined by the IB Music Guide b. a Music Links Investigation paper and c. original compositions chosen to complete the creation component of the IB curriculum.

    1. All HL candidates and SLC candidates should organize a performance and recording of their work if possible (if musicians and performance space is available).  All Recorded coursework should be complete by March 15th, 2013
  1.  Music Links Investigation paper

3.a. Students will choose two distinct musical cultures and use pieces from those cultures to explore, analyze, and examine the musical connections.

3.b. The nature and structure of the project will be decided by the student and formulated in the first semester. The first draft will be due in December and the final draft, due in February.

  1.   Listening / Analysis

a. Students will submit regular listening perception papers that give an analysis of listening selections chosen by the instructor.         The music chosen will cover the range of music discussed over the full length of the course. This is in preparation for the IB          listening exam in May.

b.  The Year 2 curriculum will emphasize world and contemporary music and the 2 prescribed works for the 2013 exam;      Prokofiev’s “Classical” Symphony and Xian’s Yellow River Piano Concerto.



Students will be assessed on a 1-7 scale according to standard IB assessment procedures. All of the rubrics for the assignments described above will be drawn directly from the IB Music curriculum.


Grading Structure

HL candidates:                       SL candidates:

Perception     50%                   Perception                               50%

Creating        25%                   Creating  or Performing:         50%

Performance 25%


OVERVIEW of the first 12 weeks



Material Covered



Blues and Jazz in America Week 1-2 (August 6-17th) Blues origins and form


Context and Impact

Jazz timeline


New Orleans-style jazz

Swing/Big Band Era


Cool Jazz

Fusion (Afro-Cuban)

Free Jazz

Media presentation on Jazz artist of student choice.


Listening analyses of several selected examples


Short Essay questions assigned over the summer

The Enjoyment of Music, Chapter 40 (pages 346-356)


Summer 2012 handout and readings (Grove dictionary articles on Blues and Jazz)



Theory Review (Concurrent with Blues and JAzz) Week 1-2 (August 6-17th) intervals, chords, scales, inversions, transposition, modulation, harmonic analysis In class and take home exercises Handouts from The Music Kit


Staff Paper


Provided musical examples and scores

Modernism in Concert Music Week 3-5 (August 20-Sept.7) Impressionism


Neo Classism


Aleatoric Music

Second Viennese School


12 tone technique exercises and composition


Listening analyses of several selected examples



Presentation on contemporary composer and/or style


The Enjoyment of Music, Part 6

Chapters 34, 35, 36, 37, and 38

(pages 284-339)


Music scores (found on www.imslp.org)



Prokofiev: Classical Sympony Week 6-8 (September 10-28) Prokoviev biography and background




Classical influence and structure


Harmonic structure and analysis


Musical Elements



Harmonic analysis


Composer biography


Selected perception question responses


Graphic representation of symphony (student media choice)

Prokofiev Score






Grove Online Dictionary



Xian: Yellow River Piano Concerto Week 9-11 (October 1-19) Xian background


Yellow River Cantata


Folk Song influence


Chinese Context


Harmonic analysis


Musical elements

Harmonic analysis


Composer biography


Selected perception question responses


Graphic representation of concerto (student media choice)

Yellow River Score





Music Links Investigation Week 12-13 (October 29-Nov. 9) Development of topic


Guiding questions


What is a musical link?


Completion of preliminary draft and outline Specific to each investigation
World Music Unit Week 12-15 (October 29-November 23) Indian Classical Music

Indonesian Gamelan

Japanese Taiko Drumming

Traditional Chinese Songs

Irish traditional songs

South America

West African Drumming

South African a cappella

Individual media projects






Weekly online discussions


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