International Baccalaureate Music
Like all things with the IB, the composition portfolio is a serious matter.
For 12th grader Elliot Hughes, it comprises 50% of his overall grade. To
complicate matters, his works are sent to an external examiner where they
are assessed next to those by all other IB music students from around the
world. Each work is assessed using six criteria: control and development
of musical elements, musical coherence, idiomatic understanding of
instruments, sound quality, overall impression, and written reflection.
Elliot chose to write strictly electronic music compositions, but his path to
music technology was not unusual. He started his IB course focusing on
performance, because of the ensemble programs at ASB. In an interview, he
stated, “that I love playing the baritone and I did really enjoy singing too, but
I found music technology really grasped my attention…” His first attempt at
composition took place early in the IB music course. He goes on to describe
this process and his discovery of electronic composition: