Demonstrate understanding of harmonic and tonal conventions in a range of music scores
NCEA LEVEL 3 MUSIC
AS 91421 RESOURCES
THOUGHTS ABOUT AS 91421
NZQA explains that the purpose of the NCEA L3 Music exam for AS91421 is to assess a student’s understanding of harmonic and tonal conventions in a range of scores and the exam contains questions related to three score extracts in the style NZQA specify here.
Past exams show that students demonstrate their level of understanding by responding to a range of questions which vary in difficulty.
The easiest questions assess a student’s ability to identify basic harmonic and tonal features in an extract, such as its key and chords. More difficult questions require students to analyse and harmonise music. These questions require a deeper understanding of how tonal music works and the ability to apply that understanding.
I've found that students are successful in this exam when they:
- Can readily recall the scope of knowledge NZQA outline in their achievement standard, assessment materials and conventions documentation.
- Know how to harmonise chorales and keyboard scores using the principles of good voice leading
- Have had practice analysing tonal music and have thought about how the notes in a piece of music function both melodically and harmonically to establish the key.
ABOUT THE RESOURCES FOR AS 91421
I've created a range of resources to support teaching and learning of the content and concepts in this achievement standard.
The full year learning programme is made up of a series of 7 online courses and delves deep into the underlying concepts which determine the way tonal music words as a language. It aims to give students a comprehensive understanding of tonal harmony that will allow them to:
a) make sense of the rules they encounter when completing harmonisations and
b) answer analytical questions with insight.
The programme is suitable for motivated, committed students who want to gain a deep knowledge of the subject area and who perhaps are considering studying music at tertiary level.
The Harmonisation and Analysis PDF workbook is a collection of 9 short score extracts with corresponding questions. It's designed to help teachers give students extra practice in answering questions similar in style to those which gather evidence needed for merit and excellence grades in the exam. The workbook is best used after students have already gained the theoretical knowledge they need for the standard.
The AS 91421 Exam prep online course gives students strategies and thinking processes they can use in the exam to help them answer exam questions well. It's suitable for students who have already completed a course of study where they've learnt the theory they need for the exam but are struggling to apply that knowledge to exam questions which refer to real score extracts. The course has a range of interactive elements, digital quizzes, video tutorials and harmonisation guides. It's available in Term 4.
The exam overview video and study checklist is a free resource which gives students a sense of the format / style of the exam and a basic list of the knowledge and skills students could review in their study towards the exam.