Jenny Gillan

Welcome to Jenny Gillan’s Music Education Resources.

Latest Articles & Posts

  • The third question in the 2016 VCE Music Style and Composition Exam. QUESTION 3   Excerpt: George Deryfus, Sextet for didjeridu and Wind Ensemble (10 Marks) https://youtu.be/Y51y3VJ7lIY?t=13m20s (1 minute 4 seconds) Discuss how contrast is used in this excerpt   The didgeridoo and woodwind instruments set up contrast immediately through articulation and tone colour. The didgeridoo has legato articulation of the drone which is ... Read more
  • The final analysis question of prerecorded music for the 2016 Music Style and Composition Exam. Sample responses by Jenny Gillan Question 4a.   Describe the treatment of melody in excerpt 4a   Hubert Giraud and Jean Drejac ‘Sous le ciel de Paris’   This question features two excerpts from this work – excerpts 4a and 4b.  4b includes all of excerpt 4a ... Read more
  • The second question in the 2016 Music Style and Composition exam.  These questions would also be worthwhile setting for Music Performance exam students as revision. QUESTION 2a. Excerpt: Mia Makaroff  ‘Butterfly’  (2 minutes 1 second) (10 Marks) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st4zI_37JtU Explain how the voices are used in this excerpt In the introductory chord of this excerpt voices are used in the manner of ... Read more
 

More Articles & Posts

  • It is the first year I’ve put my responses up for this subject, and may well not be a regular thing given the insanity of my timetable at this time of year but for your interest, here are my responses to the 2016 exam. Question 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGt000iascg   Excerpt: George Gershwin An American in Paris (1 minute 7 seconds) (10 Marks)   Discuss ...
  • Question 16  Work: ‘Deception Bay’ Artist: Boo Seeka   a) Describe how the vocalist uses tone colour to create expressive outcomes.  (4 marks) The expressive outcome, a laid-back, relaxed character. Tone colours are warm and mellow created through a male vocalist singing at comfortable register = relaxed   The overall approach to vocal tone colour remains stable. There are subtle changes but generally the tone colours ...
  • Question 17 Work: Wild Swans Concert Suite – Eliza Aria Composer: Elena Kats-Chernin Track from the album: Wild Swans (ABC Classics, 2007) (12 Marks) This excerpt has changing moods. Discuss how the performers create these moods using: blend and balance between voice and instruments articulation   The mood of this work is tranquil at points and more energetic at others. Blend and balance: In the opening tranquil sections the parts ...
  • In 2017 the VCE introduces a new syllabus for Music Performance.  To support teachers and students studying this new syllabus, Edition Three of ‘Listening Beyond Hearing’ is nearly complete!  I’m particularly excited about the Harmony chapter. Read More...
  • Here’s the fourth response to the ‘Babe’ question, together with my feedback,  as posted on the VCE Music Support Facebook page 2016.  Again, thank you for your time completing this analysis and courage to have it published.   This one is from Eliza O’Connor who’s getting much better don’t you think?!   How is tension created in this ...
  • Here’s the third response to the ‘Babe’ question, together with my feedback,  as posted on the VCE Music Support Facebook page 2016.  Again, thank you for your time completing this analysis and courage to have it published.    How is tension created in this piece? Analyse up until “Get yourself a dog, Hoggett”   A tense , suspenseful chaotic character is created ...
  • Here’s the second response to the ‘Babe’ question, together with my feedback,  as posted on the VCE Music Support Facebook page 2016 How is tension created in this piece? Analyse up until “Get yourself a dog, Hoggett”   Tension is created through the manipulation of the expressive elements by the players. The opening features the airy, aspirate flutes in their middle register, ...
  • Here’s the first response to the ‘Babe’ question as posted on the VCE Music Support Facebook page 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZcpUUiaFzE How is tension created in this piece? Analyse up until “Get yourself a dog, Hoggett” Response gratefully received from Steven Alesi   A tense and uneasy character is created in this work through a plethora of rhythmic, melodic and harmonic techniques that create ...
  • The third response to an analysis question set for the VCE Music Support Facebook page.  Thank you for your responses! The Lumineers – Ho Hey Question: Describe how only two of the following expressive devices contribute to character in this work: Tone Colour Blend and Balance Articulation Dynamics Rhythm Character: carefree, folksy, and spirited Jenn Gillan: Watch ‘folksy’ as a term here.  It’s ...
  • The Lumineers – Ho Hey Question: Describe how only two of the following expressive devices contribute to character in this work: Tone Colour Blend and Balance Articulation Dynamics Rhythm The overall character is laid back and joyous.   Jenn Gillan: In a case such as this, where only two elements are required according to the question, it’s wise to state which elements you’re dealing with ...
  • The first response to the Facebook page analysis question.  Thank you, Eliza O’Connor again for your work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCBSSwgtg4 The Lumineers – Ho Hey Question: Describe how only two of the following expressive devices contribute to character in this work: Tone Colour Blend and Balance Articulation Dynamics Rhythm     The character of this piece is reflective, joyful and peaceful.   The Blend and Balance of the work is ...
  • The second sample response gratefully received.  Please keep ’em coming and thank you for taking the risk.  It’s a brave thing to do! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRmlXFxqLcI Listen to the first 1 min 35 seconds. Question: How is character expressed in this work?   An overall energetic character is expressed in this work:   Jenn Gillan: Good choice of character word. Is the character the same ...
  •   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRmlXFxqLcI Listen to the first 1 min 35 seconds.   Question: How is character expressed in this work? Thank you to Eliza O’Connor for this response. Character = lively, energetic, frantic, chaotic, urgent Jenn Gillan:  A lot of character words.  Maybe one or two fewer?   Cluster like chords happen frantically lending the piece to feel urgent Jenn Gillan:   Needs a little more ...
  • Question 17  Work: ‘The Brumbies from ‘The Man From Snowy River’ Artist/Composer: Bruce Rowland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw6nB1_E4GA 2 minutes 8 seconds How do performers manipulate expressive elements to communicate tension within this work? In your response refer to at least two of the following: Articulation Dynamic Range Tempo Choice Tone Colour   Tone colour:   The introductory low, rumbling, reverberant drone immediately creates a tense character through extremely low pitch ...
  • Question 16  Work: ‘The Village’ (excerpt) Artist: Boy and Bear Track from the album: The Moonfire 1 minute 35 seconds. a) Describe how the performers create character in the vocal parts of this work.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RxaRKEaLzc An energetic yet relaxed character is created through varying vocal techniques which create a wide variety of tone colours.  Sudden changes in approach to rhythm and tone colour also ...
  • Thanks all those who attended the VCE Aural and Analysis skills day yesterday.  We had such a responsive group, it was a real pleasure to work with you all. Nothing warms an educator’s heart quite like a room full of students asking lots of questions! Read More...
  • It was great to network and share some robust discussion at the aMuse VCE Conference once more. Thank you to all who came and participated.   In my session we began but did not complete the guided listening sheet for tone colour in Iain Grandage’s, Travelling from ‘Remember Me’ Iain Grandage is an Australian composer so this work fits in with ...
  • New Chapters   I’m excited to be working with some ex students and current colleagues preparing new chapters for my analysis book, Listening Beyond Hearing.   New chapters which will (hopefully!) be ready for next year’s change to the VCE Syllabus: Harmony Articulation Form Comparison of works More analysis questions   I am currently in the process of collating and editing sample harmonic analysis from my past Victorian ...
  • When I First Came To This Land Trad. American folk song. Game by Jenny Gillan & Deborah Smith   Thanks to my students at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and to James Lauritz for their work on this project. We had a lot of fun.   https://vimeo.com/165124230 When I First Came to This Land from Jennifer Gillan on Vimeo.       Verse 2: When I ...
  • Back to Back Canon Canon and game by Jenny Gillan   https://vimeo.com/165219424 Back to Back Canon from Jennifer Gillan on Vimeo.   I have the pleasure of working with the talented Musicianship students at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.  Our most recent project has been recording videos to release to teachers to support the Secondary Classroom Music Program.   My deepest ...
  • There has been some question as to whether vibrato is considered part of articulation. I have had many discussions with many colleagues about this and some feel it is and some feel it isn’t!! If this teaches me anything it’s that there can be many approaches to a question and that the music and academic world ...
  • Question 17a  Work: ‘Sharpen the Battle Claws’ Artist: David Hirschfelder Track from the album: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’ Hoole (Water Tower Music, 2010)   a. Describe two ways in which performers use articulation to create character in this excerpt. Performer use vibrato to create character. Sometimes the vibrato is used sparingly. In the introduction there is limited vibrato in ...
  • Question 16  Work: ‘Stakeout’ Artist: The Tango Saloon Track from the album: Shadows & Fog (Newmarket Music, 2012)    Explain the performers’ use of instrumental timbre and the blend of instrumental lines to create a sense of character in this performance.    Initial Character – reflective with restless undertones. A reflective character is created through use of stable approach to timbre (tone colour). The woodblock and ...
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA54NBtPKdI Question: How are musical elements used to develop character in this work?   Chord progressions from the acoustic guitar introduces a blissful character during the intro.   Jenn Gillan: This would be more powerful if you mentioned the sorts of harmonies used. Chord progressions are used everywhere and they don’t necessarily = bliss. A little more needed here.   The vocalist ...
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgkHd6eBfoE Question: Explain how dynamics and blend and balance of instrumental voices are used to contribute to expressiveness in the following work: Cat Empire, Wine Song * Please only analyse the first two minutes Sample Response II By Hayley Witmore   Lyrical and Passionate, Reflective, Somber character:   Jenn Gillan: Lyrical is not really a character word. Reflective and passionate contrasting words? Is passionate ...
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DQnS18EeWM Sinead O’Connor, She Moved Through the Fair   Sample Response V   How is character created in the vocal part of this work?     The vocalist uses a warm, slightly breathy TC to create an atmosphere of longing, adding to the wistful character   The vocalist’s melody has a flowing contour that mostly ascends over a wide range and then descends again at ...
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DQnS18EeWM Sinead O’Connor, She Moved Through the Fair Sample Response IV   How is character created in the vocal part of this work?   The vocalist uses a warm, slightly breathy TC to create an atmosphere of longing, adding to the wistful character   The vocalist’s melody has a flowing contour that mostly ascends over a wide range and then descends again at ...
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DQnS18EeWM Sinead O’Connor, She Moved Through the Fair Sample Response III How is character created in the vocal part of this work?     the vocal part, which delivers the main melodic line establishes a relaxed yet longing character through the medium-high register, which sounds to be comfortable and thus relaxed in the lower range, however is more forced as the ...
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8v3HL9cv_I Brenton Broadstock Symphony No. 2 Stars in a Dark Night Sample Response III Discuss how tension is created in the work. In your answer, refer to only 2 musical elements from the following list: Tone colour Blend of instrumental voices Dynamics Articulation ARTICULATION/DYNAMICS Jenn Gillan: Firstly I would make sure I used headings to point out really obviously what you were talking about. Not ...
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DQnS18EeWM Sinead O’Connor, She Moved Through the Fair Sample Response II How is character created in the vocal part of this work? The vocalist creates a serene, relaxed character through: 1. the use of held phrase ending which end in a vibrato fade, meaning that there are no harsh endings 2. the vocalist also uses a soft dynamic towards the beginning ...
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DQnS18EeWM Sinead O’Connor, She Moved Through the Fair Sample Response I By Hayley Witmore  How is character created in the vocal part of this work? Strenuous,genuine,vulnerable character created through:   Use of lots of air across the vocal chords in the high head voice at a soft dynamic creates a vulnerable character and establishes the accepting and reflecting atmosphere that has been ...
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8v3HL9cv_I Brenton Broadstock Symphony No. 2 Stars in a Dark Night Sample Response II By Linda Burchett Discuss how tension is created in the work. In your answer, refer to only 2 musical elements from the following list: Tone colour Blend of instrumental voices Dynamics Articulation Tone Colour The sharp, biting TC of the trumpets with straight mutes in the opening of the excerpt creates an uncomfortable ...
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8v3HL9cv_I Brenton Broadstock Symphony No. 2 Stars in a Dark Night Sample Response I By Hayley Witmore  Discuss how tension is created in this work. *only analyse the first two minutes of the work. In your answer refer to only two musical elements from the following list Tone colour Blend of instrumental voices Dynamics Articulation Unsettled, frantic and worry some character Use of slowly growing dynamics within ...
  • The Church – Under the Milky Way Sample Response II, By Hayley Witmore  Question: How are musical elements used to develop character in this work? Easy going and relaxed character established at the beginning by: Moderate tempo – not rushed but give a drive with emphasis on beats 1, 3 and 4 in Common time is predictable and ...
  • The Church – Under the Milky Way Sample Response I Question: How are musical elements used to develop character in this work?  Character: mysterious, brooding The male vocalist’s warm, resonant TC and the reverberation effect used create a sense of space, adding to the mysterious character At the beginning of the excerpt, the sparse homophonic texture of the acoustic guitarist ...
  • Music is everywhere—it is all pervasive. Never before has so much music been so accessible. Yet how well do we listen to music? How often do we take the time to really hear it from the inside out? The 2nd Edition of Music Analysis: Listening Beyond Hearing eBook has just been released and is available for ...
  • AMuse-VCE-Conference-Notes-2015 For those of you who missed it or would like the notes from my presentation, here they are. Read More...
  • The results of the AMuse 2015 VCE Music Conference. Brain storming how musical elements could create an Ominous Character.  This Mind Map was made using the ‘Mindnode’ app which is available for Apple Mac computers. There are other mind mapping applications/programs that can be found easily doing a simple google search. Ominous-mind-map pdf (25kb)   Read More...
  • Thank you to all who came to my lecture at the AMuse conference this weekend. Here is the guided listening sheet we completed, Magpie by English Singer/Songwriter Beth Orton. I shall put up the one we started to write together when I’ve tweaked it a little. Read More...
  • From the 2014 VCE Music Performance Exam. Question 17. Ross Edwards: Maninyas violin Concerto, movement 3 (excerpt) – Discuss ways in which expressive elements of music are interpreted to achieve expressive outcomes in the performance of this excerpt. Read More...
  • One Hundred Thousand – ‘Explain how the vocal and instrumental lines create mood and character in this excerpt.’ Read More...
  • A sample response to a question posed on the VCE Music Student Support Facebook page. Question: Explain how dynamics and blend and balance of instrumental voices are used to contribute to expressiveness in the following work: Cat Empire, Wine Song Read More...
  • The third sample response to a question posed on the VCE Music Student Support Facebook page. Question: Discuss how expressive devices create tension in the following work. Read More...
  • The second sample response to a question posed on the VCE Music Student Support Facebook page. Question: Discuss how expressive devices create tension in the following work. Read More...
  • A sample response to question posed on the VCE Music Student Support Facebook page. Question: Discuss how expressive devices create tension in the following work. Read More...
  • Fourth sample response to question posed on the VCE Music Student Support Facebook page. Question: How does tone colour and articulation contribute to creating the character of this work? Read More...
  • Third sample response to question posed on the VCE Music Student Support Facebook page. Question: How does tone colour and articulation contribute to creating the character of this work? Read More...
  • Second sample response to question posed on the VCE Music Student Support Facebook page. Question: How does tone colour and articulation contribute to creating the character of this work? Read More...
  • Sample response to question posed on the VCE Music Student Support Facebook page. Question: How does tone colour and articulation contribute to creating the character of this work? Read More...
  • An interesting conversation yesterday with Trevor Jones bought back to me issues which have become common trends in my observances of my students.  “I’ve been noticing more and more that our students don’t know how to fail! We don’t teach them how to fail.” How true this is. I’m not a psychologist but I see over and ...
  • Parts One and Two (Melody and Rhythm) of my new eBook: Music Analysis: Listening Beyond Hearing has just been released. Published by Deborah Smith www.dsmusic.com.au  The ebook includes practice questions, appropriate vocabulary, activities for teaching and learning these skills and samples of music analysis relating to Melody and Rhythm.   I am currently working on the third part to this ...
  • Guided Listening Worksheet 1 – Tenterfield Saddler Guided-Listening-Sheet-1-Tenterfield-Saddler (PDF – 49KB) This is a rhythmic focussed guided listening worksheet.  Peter Allan is an Australian composer/performer so the song fits in with the post 1910 guidelines.   Read More...
  • In my session at the AMuse VCE Conference this past weekend I presented a workshop on Listening analysis for previously unheard works. In discussion we came up with some questions that we help focus students’ listening. As promised, I have completed a Guided Listening analysis sheet for the song “The 5 Thing” by ...
  • Analyse ways in which expressive elements of music are used in this excerpt. In your answer you must refer to at least TWO of the following: tone colour, blend of instruments, articulation, dynamics Read More...
  • Describe interpretive decisions the two vocalists have made to achieve an expressive outcome in the performance of this excerpt. Read More...
  • My new eBook: Music Analysis: Listening Beyond Hearing has just been released in Victoria. Published by Deborah Smith www.dsmusic.com.au it has already received a very warm welcome. The ebook includes practice questions, appropriate vocabulary, activities for teaching and learning these skills and samples of music analysis.   I am currently working on the second part to this ...
  • Venue: South Yarra Baptist Church Hall, 12 Surrey Rd, South Yarra. April Term One Holidays 2013 Covering Listening analysis and aural skills required on the Victorian Certificate of Education Music Performance Exam. A lovely group of students who have been receptive but also daunted by the scope of what is required in the final exam. Kodaly says a ...
  • “If we taught calculus in the way many teach melodic dictation, very few people would ever grasp these skills!” When Maths, English or other subjects impart knowledge they TEACH the skills first before assessing students’ knowledge. Melodic dictation is a form of assessment. It is an activity designed to ascertain whether students can write down what ...
  • Up until the end of term 3, I had no chance of passing the written Music Solo Performance VCE exam. I had not learnt any more than 10% of the content, and only half of that was from what I had learnt in music class, so we decided to get a tutor in an attempt ...
  • 2 & 3 March 2013: Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. I will be presenting a lecture on Outcome Three of the Music Performance exam – Analysis of Australian works post 1910 Read More...
  • Welcome to Jenny Gillan’s Music Education Resources. Read More...