M.E416

Reverse Soundtrack

Reverse Soundtrack

Teachers will select a piece of instrumental music of relatively short length (3-4 minutes) and play a recording for the class. The style of the piece should be connected to the context of the class setting: teachers of traditional ensembles might be more inclined (though not necessarily) to play a piece of Western art music, and teachers in non-ensemble settings (electronic music, for example) might play an instrumental example in a related style.

The student’s task is to imagine what sort of on-screen scene might accompany this music if this music were part of a movie soundtrack. The student’s response will contain three parts: a rough sketch/drawing depicting the movie scene, a brief description of the action taking place in the scene, and a description of at least two specific musical features that guided him or her toward the scene described.

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
  • Thoroughness of Movie Scene Description

  • Explanation of Relationship of Music to Scene

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Student’s response is incomplete or offers only a cursory sense of the scene being described.

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  • Student’s description of the movie scene is general and/or vague. Entire elements (setting, mood, characters, and action) may be omitted, and/or most of these elements lack detail in the description.

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  • Student’s description of the movie scene is adequate, but is somewhat lacing in detail. Student describes setting, mood, characters, and action, but these descriptions sometimes lack detail.

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  • Student’s description of the movie scene is detailed. Student richly describes the features of the scene, such as setting, mood, characters, and action in great detail.

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  • Student’s explanation is incomplete and unspecific, or student fail to identify any guiding musical features.

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  • Student identifies one musical feature that informed his/her imagination of the movie scene, but it is a global rather than specific descriptor,(i.e., suggesting that the music is “dark” without identifying specific musical features that make it seem dark).

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  • Student identifies two musical featured that informed his/her imagination of the movie scene. The descriptions are specific, use music terminology accurately, and link meaningfully to the movie scene.

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  • Student identifies more than two musical featured that informed his/her imagination of the movie scene. The descriptions are specific, use music terminology accurately, and link meaningfully to the movie scene.

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