A new Study Design for Music is being introduced in 2023. The structure of VCE Music has significantly changed; there are now four VCE Music options at the Unit 3&4 level.

  • Please note that the structure of VCE Music subjects in 2023 at PHSC will be based on enrolment numbers.
  • We are initially expecting that Music Inquiry could run as a composite class with Music Composition, and Music Contemporary will be paired with Music Repertoire.
  • It is also permitted for students to study multiple VCE Music Unit 3&4 sequences as part of their Year 12 program.

Music Inquiry Unit 3: Influence in music

Music Inquiry Unit 4: Project

What is it and why should I do it?

Music Inquiry is an updated and more accessible version of the former 'Music Investigation'. It is the most logical progression from Music Units 1&2 and offers a pathway for students whose main interest is in a combination of performing, composing/arranging, and investigating music through music making. Students will compose, arrange, interpret, re-imagine, improve, re-create, perform, and critique music in order to continue developing their musical knowledge and practical skills. For students who may be familiar with the former Music Investigation, it is important to note the following:

  • Unit 3: Influence in music, is designed to help students focus on connections between music created in different times and/or places, and the influences that may exist between one another.
    • Students will study set works designated by the teacher to expand they musical knowledge and experiences
    • Students will learn to perform and create musical works based on these set works
  • Unit 4: Project, builds on the experiences of Unit 3 and allows students to select their own area of musical interest for investigation.
    • This unit is most closely modelled on the former Music Investigation, however now condensed into a semesters worth of work.
    • Students complete a range of tasks, including performance/creative elements, to submit as an Externally Assessed Task (marked by VCAA, not by PHSC)

How much homework/study will I have?

All Unit 3 and 4 subjects require 3 - 5 hours of study per week.

It is expected that students will practise their chosen instrument/sound source for at least 2.5 hours per week (ie 5x 30min sessions) with a focus on the specific performance and creative outcomes of this study. However, students aiming to access the highest marks will often spend at least 5 hours per week on their chosen instrument/sound source.

  • For Digital Instrument (sound source) students, this may include incorporating the use and study of their chosen DAW software.

Students should also dedicate 1 - 2 hours per week practising general musical concepts/material studied in class.

We highly recommend that students enrol in one-on-one instrumental lessons. The PHSC Music Department provides access to highly experienced teachers across most instruments. Enrolment details can be found here:


What contributes to my study score?

Music Inquiry has a vastly different graded assessment structure compared to other VCE studies.

Unit 3 - SACs

Task DetailsMarks%

AoS1 | 3x tasks,

  1.  Live or video recorded performance of a work or musical excerpt on students chosen instrument (2.5mins max)
  2. Explanation of influences (Multimedia-style report)
  3. Composition of original musical work in an appropriate format (audio and/or video) with visual chart.


AoS2 | 2x tasks,

  1. Comparative analysis (how as one work influenced another - Multimedia-style report)
  2. Investigation Proposal (based on comparative analysis above) for Unit 4

TBC (expected to be based around preparing for the individual "Project" focus of Unit 4)

AoS3 | Unstudied works - traditional SAC format15

End of Year Exam

An end of year examination will be completed under the following conditions:

  • 60-minutes in duration
  • Part of the written exam period
  • Contribution of 15%

Further exam specifications are TBC.

Unit 4 - SAC

Task DetailsMarks%
AoS1 | NA

AoS2 | NA
AoS3 | Unstudied works - traditional SAC format15

Unit 4 - EAT (Externally Assessed Task)

Task DetailsMarks%

AoS 1&2 | A folio that contains documentation, audio/video performance recordings, and composition/arrangement works as relevant to the students area of investigation.

Expected to include either:

  • 1x performance/interpretation of existing work
  • 2x original music compositions


  • 2x performance/interpretation of existing works
  • 1x original music compositions




How do I satisfactorily complete the unit?

To pass any VCE unit you need to demonstrate that you have met the Outcomes for each Area of Study (Aos).

Area of StudyUnit 3 OutcomesUnit 4 Outcomes

1 | Music Making

Students will perform a short work selected from AoS2, explain how their performance relates to the relevant music style and/or creator, and create and/or arrange music and demonstrate the connection to the relevant music style and/or creator.Students will perform/create/arrange works and explain how their performance/composition/arrangement has been influenced by their selected music style and/or creator studied in AoS2.

2 | Analysing for music making

Students will analyse and describe the treatment of music elements, concepts, and compositional devices. Students will also present a proposal for an Area of Investigation in Unit 4.Students will analyse and describe the treatment of music elements, concepts, and compositional devices in two works from their Area of Investigation, and reflect on how this has influenced their own music making.

3 | Responding

Students will listen and respond to selected music excerpts from a range of styles and identify, describe, and discuss the musical characteristics of each, and compare similarities and differences.Students will identify, describe, and discuss musical characteristics of selected music excerpts and compare similarities and differences between them

Give me all the details I want to know more:

VCAA: Introduction to the new VCE Music Study Design

OLD: PHSC Music Investigations 3&4 Wiki Page

New Wiki page TBC

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