Open-ended exercises

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This page is about creating a specific type of exercise. If you are preparing your own exercise, we recommend you read Setup basics first.
In terms of setup, open-ended exercises are extensions of other types of exercises, either melody, rhythm, or multipart. More thorough explanations are provided in the respective articles about each type of exercise.

Open-ended exercises leave some part of the notation blank, so that students choose what to perform in the blank parts. This facilitates improvisation or filling in blanks, especially where there is more than one possible answer. There is a separate article about using blank notation when there is one specific right answer; see Hidden answers.

Ground bass score resized.png
A ground bass improvisation assignment from the second semester, Schulich School of Music, McGill University, with two different students’ submissions.

Setup basics

Open-ended exercises have no fixed answer for the software to assess, so assessment is not necessarily used. Using the solo type of file in Classic SmartMusic completely bypasses assessment and is a common way of creating open-ended assignments. However, using the assessment type of file in Classic SmartMusic allows students, instructors, and teaching assistants to see as well as hear student solutions, which can facilitate their own assessment and evaluation. In this case, students should be instructed to ignore the assessment score, which will be rather low. Some instructors may find this feature distracting.

Exercises with more than one staff

Open-ended exercises with more than one staff on screen can be created using the solo type of file in Classic SmartMusic. Basic setup is described in the article about Multipart exercises. Portions of the score can be made blank using hidden rests or blank Staff Styles in Finale. The assessment type of file in Classic SmartMusic may also be used.

Single-line exercises

Open-ended exercises using a single staff can be created as solo files in Classic SmartMusic. Setup is similar to that described in Melody exercises, except that you choose the solo type of file instead of an assessment file when exporting from Finale. The assessment type of file in Classic SmartMusic may also be used, or exercises for single-line instruments with blanks in the notation in the New SmartMusic. [1]

Additional examples

Please share your examples here.