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Edexcel Level 3 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Music (Composing)


Edexcel Level 3 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Music (Composing)

Edexcel Level 3 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Music (Composing)


Morpeth School

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music (Composing)

Edexcel 30 Credits


Assignment Tasks for Unit 20, 32 and 37


Ms. J. Paradise & Mr M. Keil

Lead/Internal Verifier:

Ms. J. Paradise & Mr M. Keil

Date Set:

29th September 2015

Submission Date & Time:

12th November 2015 - 3pm





Self Check

1. Complete an equipment test, setting up audio and MIDI hardware.

Unit 32

P1, M1, D1

Video of Test

Tutor Observation

15th October 20153pm

2. Complete a basic keyboard capability test

Unit 37

P1, M1, D1

Video of Test

Tutor Observation

22nd October 20153pm

3. Create a tutorial video explaining the different functions or a synthesiser

Unit 37

P2, M2, D2

Video RecordingNotes

5th November 2015


4. Give a presentation on audio and visual elements of different moving image productions

Unit 20

P1, M1, D1

PowerPoint/Prezi/Keynote file

Video of presentation


12th November 2015


Internal Verification

This assignment Brief has been internally verified before being issued to students and the activity recorded on a BTEC Assignment Brief Verification Form. The Internal Verifier will verify a sample of assessment decisions and record this activity on a BTEC Assessment Decisions Verification Form.

Task 1 & 3

Assessor: Ms. J. Paradise

Lead/Internal Verifier: Mr. M. Keil

Date: 16th September 2015

Task 2 & 4

Assessor: Mr. M. Keil

Lead/Internal Verifier: Ms. J. Paradise

Date: 16th September 2015

BTEC Assignment Guide

Students must do all of the following:

1. Keep work in a folder on the school network. This can be emailed home. Keep a paper copy, which is stored by the teacher/department.

2. Produce work that meets the assessment criteria given for each assignment brief.

3. Manage and organize own time to complete all tasks.

4. Submit work by the deadline given.

5. Use the checklist to ensure you have completed all tasks.

Assessment Procedure

Marking Assignments

Your work will be marked using assessment and grading criteria; all decisions made are impartial, valid and reliable and will not disadvantage or advantage any group of learners or individuals.

A detailed record of assessment decisions will be kept and used during internal verification (checked by another teacher).

Your work may be part of the National Standards Sampling required by Edexcel.


You will be told about how to avoid potential malpractice and the penalties for attempted and actual incidents of malpractice.

You will learn the appropriate formats of how to record cited texts and other materials of information sources and provide evidence that they have acknowledged any sources used.

You must be able to declare that your work is your own.

If you break any of these rules, an investigation following the policy procedure will be carried out. Any sanction awarded will be in accordance with the policy and Edexcel.

You must not do any of the following:

Plagiarize material of any nature (copying, stealing, breach of copyright, use illegally).

Working collaboratively with other learners to produce work that is submitted as individual learner work.

Copying (including the use of ICT to aid copying).

Deliberately destroy another students work.

Fabricate (make up) results or evidence.

Declare it is your work when it is not.

Impersonate or pretend to be someone else in order to produce the work for another student or arrange for another student to take your place during an assessment.

Unit Introduction

The digital age has seen computers take centre stage in music production environments. The wealth of software tools and the power of computer-based systems has led to virtual studio environments capable of producing recordings of a quality only previously available from expensive hardwarebased systems, and at a fraction of the cost. However it is still vitally important music technologist to be able to connect and configure the additional hardware required to sequence successfully, including external sound sources.

MIDI and audio sequencing tools have put a vast range of creative possibilities into the hands of composers and performers of music, and created an environment where, alongside traditional composition methods, the manipulation of pre-existing sound is accepted as valid starting point for original creation.

In this unit learners will create a portfolio of music using the tools available with the major sequencing software packages. Learners will work with MIDI and audio-based sequencing, each of which has a vast range of techniques that can be utilised in the production of modern music. Learners will be expected to create a range of music that demonstrates how these tools can be applied. It is expected that those attempting this unit will be musically creative and can originate ideas using the software and hardware explored in this unit. They should be able to create musical ideas from a blank canvas, as well as manipulate pre-existing musical ideas with the intention of putting their individual stamp on the material they had been given to work with. As they create their portfolios, learners will develop their knowledge by incorporating a wide range of sequencing techniques, and will be able to make decisions as to the correct tool or skill for each situation.

Aim of Assignment

The aim of this unit is to develop learners knowledge of music sequencing software and the transferable skills that facilitate the realisation of musical ideas in both audio and MIDI environments. Learners will develop the skills to set up, use and discuss sequencing systems and techniques.

Learning Outcomes

Unit 20 LO1: Understand the components of a musical product based on a moving image

Unit 32 LO1: Be able to set up a computer and peripheral MIDI hardware safely

Unit 37 LO1: Be able to use basic techniques when playing the keyboard

Unit 37 LO2: Know the functions of the keyboard


Task 1

Unit 32 P1, M1, D1

As part of your journey to becoming a sound designer, producer and composer, you will be tested on your ability to set up and test a computer based digital audio workstation including MIDI hardware. Your ability to follow relevant health and safety procedures will also be monitored and assessed. You will have opportunities to practice this before the deadline date. Your final assessment must be completed before the deadline date listed on page one of this assignment brief. The assessment will be filmed and will form part of the evidence for this assignment.


Hardware: eg keyboard, sound module, MIDI interface, controller keyboard, mixer, cables, computer, MIDI sequencing software


Unit 32

P1 set up a computer and peripheral MIDI hardware safely and competently with limited tutor support

M1 set up a computer and peripheral MIDI hardware safely and competently with total independence

D1 set up a computer and peripheral MIDI hardware safely and competently demonstrating mastery of the processes involved

Task 2

Unit 37 P1, M1, D1

To prepare you for upcoming work as a sound designer and a composer, you will be required to learn the basics of operating a MIDI keyboard and demonstrate good playing technique. After learning some basic techniques such as playing chords, you will have the opportunity to learn a simple piece of music using the MIDI keyboard.

The purpose of this assignment is for you to understand how the MIDI keyboard is a useful tool when creating soundtracks for moving image.

When ready, you will take part in a simple test of your skills, which will be filmed and assessed by your tutor.


Basic technique: correct hand position; appropriate posture at the keyboard; rhythm exercises; technical exercises; practise with single hands; practise with both hands; using simple chord progressions


Unit 37

P1 perform technical exercises competently, with few errors

M1 perform technical exercises competently and accurately

D1 perform technical exercises accurately and fluently

Task 3

Unit 37 P2, M2, D2

Part of your training towards becoming a composer, producer and sound designer is being able to shape sounds using hardware. The synthesizer is an important piece of hardware, used by many professionals to manipulate sounds as they see fit.

You have been asked by a popular YouTube channel to produce a video tutorial on how to use a synthesizer, demonstrating how to use the different functions available as well as how it might be used with MIDI.

The video must be between 6 and 10 minutes in length.


Functions in performance: solo instrument; effects; accompanying instrument eg chord sequences and common progressions; adding chorus to lines; single-finger chord functions; programming keyboard with samples; choosing and using different keyboard voices


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