Thursday, 7 May 2015

How to write your composition analysis: A plan

Your composition review should be focused on the main elements of your piece and is suggested to be around 500 words. In those words you need to reveal the devices you have used in terms of developing harmony and melody. You could do a structure consisting of content such as:

1. What was your draft/assignment?
Were you writing for string quartet or for a solo instrument and piano? And what form did you write this in? (e.g. sonata form) This paragraph can also be used to reveal the structure of your composition itself (by showing where the development section or recapitulation section begins - provide figures/bar numbers to make this clear)

2. Discuss influences + content
Talk about the harmonic features you have used (give several examples) and in addition to this link it to the pieces that have assisted you in your ideas - was it a Mozart concerto or did you identify more closely with earlier works? By showing your influence, you can also reveal the instrumental techniques you may have attempted to implement in your own work - be that up bow staccato for Violin or Harp harmonics

3. What are you pleased with / What would you change?
If you are pleased with something, make sure that you show how you are pleased with it and why, by using examples. But also make sure you show what was difficult, what challenged you to work beyond your comfort zone - it could be something such as a time signature that you haven't worked with much before, or writing for an instrument you have little to no experience with. Discuss whether or not you would change this, or the things that you might change or do differently should you repeat this again.

Remember whilst you are writing to check grammar and punctuation, and also that your sentences are clear in meaning. The examiner will use your written piece in order analyse and mark the work you have done in terms of notation/performance for your piece. These suggestions mentioned above were mentioned by my teacher, and have served useful for my individual writing. Although they might be helpful to you, remember that there is no defined plan for your essay - you can write about the content you feel was important and wish to be observed on. And also ensure all of your written content is individual - not only is plagiarism wrong and unfair, but it is against the law and you will be disqualified when caught. But on a lighter note, if you have worked hard on your piece and are now up to the script writing, it is almost over - the deadline will be here quicker than you know it, so make the most of this time with your piece of music and make sure your do all your hard work justice.

Good luck!

Why Vote?

The past few weeks have been the source of much debate in terms of politics - everyone is talking to everyone about who is best to vote for, who they think is going to win and what policies will do to our society as a result. News sources claim that this will be the closest election for a generation, with the most number of people voting since 1950.

As students, there are many of us who have only just turned 18 who will be eager to vote, or to not vote, for the first time today. As one such student I implore all of you to consider this seriously and to think not only about yourself individually but about the whole population and how one vote could affect a government that will define people in our situation for the next five years in terms of education, in terms of employment, etc. They say that one vote doesn't make a difference - but it can. If everyone said that, then there would be no votes and no result. Consider your choice and remember:

1. It is about the issues that are important to you
It is a personal choice based on your opinions and beliefs - there will be a Party with some policies you agree with, even if you don't agree with all of them. Find the policies you agree with and compromise with those you don't if you think that it will be worthwhile and acceptable to have such policies enacted and coexisting with those that you do agree with.

2. It is private!
Your vote is individual and completely private - you don't have to tell anyone who you have voted for, if that is what you decide and what makes you feel more comfortable. No one should be targeted for their beliefs and everyone should have the option to maintain privacy if they so choose on personal decision. There are also many ways to vote - if you don't want to vote in a public place, you can always send in a postal vote.

3. Research is everything
Researching will make all of the above much easier, and will also result in you having a better idea of everything and a strong overview of public events, both past and present, in relation to those involved in the voting this year. Use newspapers, the internet and even debating with those such as friends and family to influence and build your own individual opinion.

As stated prior, your vote is personal and private - this article is not attempting to get you to vote for any party in particular but is encouraging you, from one student to another student, to consider the consequences of each individual vote. We are the next generation after all and we owe it to the prior to continue onwards with a strong sense of democracy used wisely.

Happy voting!