Year 9 have been working hard on learning how to create a successful rap, from writing lyrics, to making a backing and then rapping their lyrics in time over this. They have wrestled with the technicalities of flow, beat and enunciation but the hard work has paid off. Have a listen to some of the products of their labour:
Year 7 have been composing using a pentatonic scale as the basis for their piece. This means just 5 notes to choose from rather than the more usual 8 – the most obvious example of a ready made pentatonic scale is to play the black notes on a keyboard. Alternatively in GarageBand you can select a pentatonic scale and the keyboard will be automatically reconfigured to use just those 5 notes. Sounds a bit restrictive? Not if these creations are anything to go by:
Post-Christmas blues has prevailed in Year 9 music as they have been looking at The Blues from its origins in the US to it’s modern renditions by the likes of Eric Clapton and Jools Holland. Students all learnt to play the 12 bar blues chord pattern on keyboards before embarking on their own blues compositions. Here is a small taste of the varied and imaginative music they created. The first was composed on an iPad and the second is a live blues improvisation on electric guitar.
If you missed our school carol service on 12 December you may like to listen to some highlights: Vocal solos by two talented Year 8 students and readings by students, a parent and a member of staff.
Year 8 have been responding to a composing brief, focusing especially on texture, timbre and pitch: ‘Compose a piece of music that takes the listener on a journey from the centre of the earth to the edge of space.’
Here are some of their creations:
Year 7 have spent the last two lessons exploring graphic scores – trying to visualise in shape and colour the sounds they are listening to, as well as turning a series of shapes and symbols into musical sound.
Here’s what they were working from:
Year 8 have been focusing on the musical element of texture and the effect changing textures can have on a piece of music. Whilst general descriptive words can be used to talk about texture in music such as ‘sparse’, or ‘full’, there are some technical terms which are useful to know and understand so students have been getting to grips with monophonic (a single line), homophonic (chordal, blocks of sound) and polyphonic (interweaving melody lines) textures. They put their knowledge and understanding into practice by devising a composition that includes all three types of texture.
Here are some of their pieces:
With Move Up Day happening this week, students all moved up to the year they will be coming back into in September to get a feel for what it will be like. Year 9 students were able to go to some of their option choices including music. We jumped straight into the musical action with a composing challenge: compose a song (a verse or chorus) from scratch including a chord pattern, melody, bass line and beat. Impressively, here’s the collaborative result which took just under an hour to create:
Year 9 have been learning about Rap, not only its history but also the technical ins and outs – the flow, delivery, enunciation and style. After spending some time listening to classics such as Grandmaster Flash and Puff Daddy, they set about writing their own rap from scratch, starting with devising their own lyrics. Subjects varied from Communism and Feminism to Trump and rabbits… – you can never tell where inspiration will strike! They then had to compose a backing track and rap their lyrics over this. The whole process showed them that rap is a lot more complicated than it might appear. Here are some examples of their work:
The Prep School had a rousing start to their week recently when two drummers from Year 9 performed a duet for them. The students, who are both set to do GCSE Music, devised the whole thing themselves, drawing on rhythms they had learnt in drum lessons and material they had experimented with in their jamming sessions at school. They thought carefully about how to make best use of the entire kit, including two snare drums and they included a section which exploits the different timbre (sound) that can be achieved through rim shots. The texture of the piece is varied and the tempo also changes to help create a sense of build up and excitement. They even thought about the visual aspect of their performance by swapping places halfway through whilst still keeping the rhythms going! Unfortunately you won’t be able to see this but you can listen to an audio clip of their impressive piece here: