M.T303

Composing in ABA Form

Composing in ABA Form

Students will compose a 24-bar composition in ABA form, with eight measures in each section. Suggested keys for orchestra students are Concert C, G, D, F, or B-flat major; suggested keys for band students are Concert B-flat or E-flat major; suggested keys for choral students are B-flat, C, D, or E-flat major.

The composition should communicate contrasting ideas or emotions in each section, using the following parameters:
o appropriate key signature
o keys suggested above are used for orchestra, band, or choir students
o each section must start and end on the tonic
o range is restricted to one octave
o a variety of rhythm patterns are used

Students should use appropriate musical styles and expressive elements to demonstrate contrast. They must be able to perform their composition and then complete a brief reflective prompt about it. Performances will be audio recorded so that the teacher is able to determine the level of each performance when looking at and listening to the student compositions.

This item has been voluntarily field-tested by Michigan teachers with a non-representative sample of students.


This is an analytic rubric. The column on the left shows the dimension that is being measured in the student’s performance. The levels across the top row indicate the performance level in the dimensions. Occasionally all dimensions and performance levels are exemplified by multiple students in a single recording.

TEACHER SCORING RUBRIC

  • Dimension
  • ABA Composition: Criteria

  • ABA Composition (Performability)

  • Tonal Accuracy (Performance)

  • Rhythmic Accuracy (Performance)

  • Written Reflection

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Student demonstrates one or two of the criteria listed in the Checklist for ABA Composition.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student demonstrates three or four of the criteria listed in the Checklist for ABA Composition.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student demonstrates five or six of the criteria listed in the Checklist for ABA Composition.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student demonstrates seven or eight of the criteria listed in the Checklist for ABA Composition.

    N/A at this time.
  • The composition is extremely difficult and/or not able to be performed by the composer.

    N/A at this time.
  • One or more elements of the composition would make it difficult for the composer to perform it with technical accuracy.

    N/A at this time.
  • The composition could, most likely, be performed by the composer with technical accuracy.

    N/A at this time.
  • The composition could easily be performed by the composer with technical accuracy.

    View Exemplar
  • Student fails to performs correct pitches.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student performs some correct pitches.

    View Exemplar
  • Student usually performs correct pitches.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student consistently performs correct pitches with precision and accuracy.

    View Exemplar
  • Student fails to perform correct rhythms.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student occasionally performs correct rhythms.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student usually performs correct rhythms.

    View Exemplar
  • Student consistently performs correct rhythms with precision and accuracy.

    View Exemplar
  • Written reflection was not attempted.

    N/A at this time.
  • Written reflection is incomplete.

    N/A at this time.
  • Written reflection is done, showing some detail.

    N/A at this time.
  • Written reflection shows insight with much detail and correct musical terminology.

    View Exemplar
Having trouble viewing videos?

Leave Feedback for this Assessment

What did you like? Did you need to revise anything? How could we make this assessment better?
Our Assessments are written by teachers for you, so your feedback is important to us!

Comments about items may be moderated and/or reposted in the forums or blogs to aid item improvement and teacher learning. By leaving a comment, you agree that we can use your comment without attributing it to you.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with all of our assessments.

Sign Up Now!