IB Music Syllabus & Assessment

The course comprises both internal and external assessments with various components covering musical perception and analysis, performance, and composition.

Type of Assessment Format of Assessment Further Information Weightage (%)
External 50
Listening Paper 4 extracts with musical perception questions

2 Set Work questions

2.5 hour IBDP exam paper; topics include a wide range of Western classical and world music traditions as well as set work 30
Musical Links Investigation A written media script of 2000 words or less, investigating the significant musical links between 2 or more pieces from distinct musical cultures 20
Internal 50
Creating 3 pieces of coursework with recordings and scores of written work Includes composition of a chorale in the style of Bach, a composition in genre and style of student’s choice, and an arrangement of existing piece or song. 25
Performing A recording selected from pieces presented during one or more public performances Total performance duration of about 20 minutes 25


Assessment Objectives:  Students will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge, understanding and perception of music in relation to time, place and cultures
  • Appropriate musical terminology to describe and reflect their critical understanding of music
  • Comparative analysis of music in relation to time, place and cultures
  • Creative skills through exploration, control and development of musical elements
  • Performance skills through solo music making
  • Critical-thinking skills through reflective thought

Note: IBDP students who wish to pursue research in music may do so through a 4000-word Extended Essay in Music.