Fees: IB Exam Fee as appropriate

Learning Recommendations: Successful completion of MUS551 - Songwriting and Sequencing

General Description: This course will familiarize students with music composition techniques and music notation and recording technology. Students will be introduced to music composition and arranging techniques from many diverse genres and time periods and their application to making electronic and acoustic compositions and recordings. Students will investigate and analyze music from different time periods from around the world. Students taking this class must also take 8MUS03/05 - IB Music SL Seminar, which meets after school on Tuesdays, September through May. The IB Seminar teaches students the theory, music history and listening skills they will need to be successful on the IB exam.

The recommended sequence of classes to prepare for IB Music - Composition and Creation is as follows:

  • Grade 9 or 10:  Take Songwriting and Sequencing (1 semester in length)
  • Grade 11 or 12: Take IB Music - Composition and Creation (1 semester in length) along with the after school IB Music Seminar which meets one day a week following the normal school day


  • Composing:  the creation of musical works through the manipulation of musical elements
  • Arranging:  the process of drawing on music that is already in existence and manipulating it
  • Improvising:  spontaneous musical expression in response to a musical or non-musical stimulus
  • Stylistic Techniques:  the study of the compositional styles of others

Strategies: Students will develop creative skills through the exploration, control, and use of musical elements. These elements include:

  • Beat and Rhythm
  • Pitch and Melody
  • Harmony, Texture, and Timbre/Tone Color
  • Form
  • Expression:  Dynamics, Style, Tempo, Phrasing
  • Stylistic Techniques from around the world

Equipment to be provided by Student: Ear buds or headphones and a USB drive for holding arrangements, scores and reflections