Choosing Your Brief

In by phoenixgreen

For Task 3C you have a choice of three briefs, it is important that you choose the brief that best suits your style of music production, arrangement, and composition. Make sure you give yourself lots of time to complete this task as the research aspect alone can be time-consuming.


For this course I will be demonstration my workflow and thought process for Brief 3: The Long Walk to Freedom but you are free you follow along with any of these brief as a lot of the discussion will crossover.


Task 3C: Composing Using Music Technology (2014 – 15)

Choose ONE of the following briefs, and compose an original piece as instructed.

The composition must contain at least SIX separate vocal/instrumental/sample based parts.


You may use any combination of:

  • MIDI-controlled timbres
  • samples
  • live recorded audio
  • atmospheric sounds and electro-acoustic effects.

You must:

  • use original sound design (synthesis/sample manipulation/creative effects)
  • produce a high-quality stereo recording of your composition that pays attention to all aspects of production – capture, balance, blend, EQ, dynamics, stereo field and effects.


Candidates are reminded that this is a composition task, not a remix or arrangement task. Any samples that you have used should be credited in your Logbook with details of any processing, and the source of the samples (whether they are from a commercial set or are self-recorded).

You should submit your completed composition as track 3 on your Music Technology Portfolio 2 CD.



City by the Sea by Sergio Pedrianes


You have been commissioned to compose the music for this video. Your composition should reflect the action, emotions and pace of the film, and be timed to accurately sync with the scenes and images. You must use the movie file located on the Edexcel website and not any other version:

To locate the movie file, copy and paste or type this link into the address bar on your internet browser.


You must not sample audio from any version of the movie.

Your composition must be THREE MINUTES AND TEN SECONDS long.




The Long Walk to Freedom


Create a composition using the extract taken from The Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela. The meaning of the text must be reflected in the music. Your composition may take the form of a song (which must include recorded vocals), or a piece of contemporary music using audio samples created from recorded extracts of the text. You may adapt or re-order the words.


Your composition must be THREE MINUTES long.


The Long Walk to Freedom (extract)

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.


I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.

Nelson Mandela



Where are you from?

What is special about where you live? Every place has its own features and sounds, whether in a city or town, in a village or way out in the country, on the coast or in the mountains.

Create an original composition that makes use of a minimum of SIX samples of words, phrases or sounds that represent the place where you live, or have a strong connection to.


Your composition must be THREE MINUTES long.

You may use one or more of the following themes:

  • The place where you live or were born, or are connected to through family
  • A city, town, region, district or country
  • The way people speak (accents and dialects)
  • The sounds of everyday life (day and night)