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Music, Technology, Culture Sample Grading Criteria

The following examples illustrate the types of grading criteria that are used for assignments in the semester-long introductory music appreciation course led by Dr. Sharon Graf and Mr. Brian Pryor. Additional information on assignments and grading criteria can be found in the sample syllabus (PDF).

Build an Instrument (10% of course grade)

Grading Criteria Description %
a) proposal (see course calendar for due date) Proposal must be submitted by _____[due date]____ and contain a materials list, tools list, an explanation of how you will construct the instrument, a description of how you would like the instrument to sound and look. What performance context will the instrument work best in?
20
b) project construction You complete the construction of an instrument by __[due date]__. The instrument makes sounds and shows that you have considered visual appearance in your design.
25
c) artistic rationale/inspiration Readme file includes a documentation of your creative process, giving specific examples of who and what inspired you and why you made the choices that resulted in this instrument connecting these ideas to specific course materials and discussions. Discuss playing techniques for the instrument you have created. Include an explanation of which ideas worked well and which ones remain problematic. What musical task does your finished instrument carry out? Who is the intended consumer?
45
d) class demonstration You demonstrate your instrument in a five minute class presentation, highlighting the inspiration for the instrument, and its design features and construction process.
10

Final Composition Project (15% of course grade)

Grading Criteria Description %
a) proposal (to be submitted before project due date—see course calendar) Proposal must be submitted by _____[due date]____ and explain the type and form of music you will compose. For example, will you use ABA, ABAB, through composed, blues form, or another? Which instruments will you perform on? Which instruments will you use in the soundtrack portions of the composition? What tempo, meter, length, scales, texture, and other musical qualities will you incorporate? What is the function of your composition, including the intended consumer?
10
b) composition You include your original instrument in the composition. You complete the composition by __[due date]__.
The instrument performances and soundtrack are multi-tracked and mixed (no less than 2 and no more than 4 minutes). The composition is made up of at least 3 tracks.
30
c) master folder The master folder contains all project files, i.e. Sonar control file, audio folder, with audio files and the final mix track. Copyrighted materials are properly cited.
10
d) summary of artistic rationale/inspiration Readme file includes a documentation of your creative process, giving specific examples of who and what inspired you and why you made the choices that resulted in this composition, connecting these ideas to specific course materials and discussions. Include an explanation of which ideas worked well and which ones remain problematic. What cultural task does your finished composition carry out? Who is the intended consumer?
40
e) class demonstration You play your final composition (up to a 2 minute excerpt) in a five minute class presentation, in which you highlight your compositional process.
10

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Syllabus (pdf)
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