Music of the Last 25 Years – Australian Focus

At least five works must be studied in this topic over the full year. The Australian focus means that works by international composers should not be ignored hence you are required to select at least one work that is not by an Australian composer. One work should also be in a genre other than Art Music. Further, you are required in this task to include at least one female composer. List the five works your students will study in the HSC year, and then choose one to focus on in this unit of work (although you can refer to others in the list or study related material as will be demonstrated in class).


Composer Date Work Title Genre Performing Media Country of Composition Work length
Anne Boyd 1993 Revelations of Divine Love Art Music Sextet of soloists – SSATBB Australia 17min
Miriama Young 2000 Speak Volumes Art Music Electro-acoustic music (saxophone, voice, radio clips and environmental sounds) New Zealand 8m
Deborah Chetham 2010 Pecan Summer Art Music Voice (Opera and Music Theatre styles, solo and chorus), Orchestra Australia 1m30s
Paul Stanhope 2003 Fantasia Art Music Orchestra + extended technique percussion such as water gong. Australia 17m
Beyonce 2016 Lemonade R&B Voice (sung and rapped), synths/keyboards, drums/drums tracks, horns/brass, strings, guitar and bass. America 45m40s


My focus piece is Revelations of Divine Love by Anne Boyd. The next Australian piece by a female composer is Deborah Chetham’s Pecan Summer Opera, which is available to view on SBS on Demand. I have chosen Paul Stanhope’s Fantasia on the theme by Vaughan Williams as not only is it a great piece and highlights extended playing techniques particularly in the percussion, but it’s roots in Vaughan William’s theme means it will link into the religious music unit with Anne Boyd’s piece. Finally I have chosen two pieces that aren’t Australian. Firstly a New Zealand piece. I have chosen this for a few reasons. Firstly it is a great example of Electro-Acoustic music. Secondly an incredible educational resource has been created specifically for this piece and other Electro-Acoustic pieces like it, which I will adapt and build off for my unit. Thirdly, although Miriama Young is a New Zealander, she is also currently a lecturer at Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (VCA and MCA).  The last piece I chose is Beyoncé’s Lemonade album, as an example of a modern concept album. This album will allow students to build on knowledge that they have learnt studying electroacoustic music and bring current pop culture and political discourse into the classroom.

In choosing my repertoire for the Music of the last 25 years: Australian Focus topic, I wanted to have a range of music from varying genres. It was important to me to also include music that doesn’t fit into the very narrow western art music genre, as there isn’t a lot a leeway to include music that is alternate to western art music in the HSC year, but it is still music that the students can learn from and will enjoy.


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