Comp/Musicology/Aural Diary :

Entry 1:

After listening to sountracks of my favourite movies on Apple Music, I decided to use the film; Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them for my arrangement assessment, because I love how the original Harry Potter theme was integrated into the first track of the movie and how the theme almost seamlessly allowed other themes to take place. Due to this, I am going to use the first track of the movie album for my arrangement, and I am going to select one specific theme from the track to work with. I also started up a musescore document, so I can start to notate my ideas and start experimenting with the theme.

 

I selected a range of instruments for my score, however I am not sure if I will end up using most of them as I have never written any music for most of those instruments before.

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 7.03.02 am.png

 

Entry 2:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a new fantasy film that is a new part of the Harry Potter Universe. The sountrack and film score was composed by American music producer, conductor and composer James Newton Howard who has written scores for many famous movies such as Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Hunger Games, Pretty Woman and The Bourne Legacy. Howard was not the composer for the original Harry Potter films, however he has used small snippets of theme songs in his scores, such as a single statement of ‘Hedwigs Theme’ , the most famous of the Harry Potter themes at the very start of his sountrack, which was played when the film title was shown on the movie screen, right at the beginning of the movie.

 

The piece that I arranged for this assessment is the first piece of the soundtrack called ‘Main Titles- Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’. The piece introduces and establishes the main themes for the sountrack and is written for a full orchestra. In my opinion, the piece fits in well with the original Harry Potter film scores and sound tracks due to its overall ‘majestic-ness’ through the use of thematic material and tone colour.

Here is a recording of the score and also a few other arrangements of the track and other tracks from the soundtrack that I found were really interesting, and could be something that I could get inspiration from.

This guitar cover was my favourite arrangement

 

Entry 3:

 

Today I decided on what theme of the track that I was going to use (see first line of this score) à as it personally seemed to be the most ‘iconic’ and memorable themes in the movie. I also love how simple, yet effective the theme is. The first line of the score only features the first half of the theme, but I think that I am going to develop this further into its own theme, then have the second part of the theme come in later as a theme B/ accompanying/ call and response theme.

 

I also started to experiment with what I could do with the accompaniment, so I made a new musescore document which is all in concert pitch, so it would be easier for me to use chords etc. I picked 4 flutes so I could have a melody, countermelody part, rhythmic part? And bass part, but this will probably change in the future.

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 7.03.10 am.png

Entry 4:

Today I developed my composition a little more, though starting to add more detail into my accompaniment, and then transferring this over to my original larger score. I added more detail mainly through doubling at the octave and semibreve notes, where I can experiment with rhythm etc later.

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 7.03.19 am.png

 

Entry 5:

 

 

Today I switched back to my 4 part flute score and started to create a simple rhythmic accompaniment for my piece. I took inspiration from one of the other themes in the piece, and used a simple arpeggio pattern for this accompaniment part. I then added in parts of the melody to see how it would all fit in together.

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 7.03.47 am.png

Entry 6

Today I started to add more detail to my score, particularly the beginning of my arrangement. I broke up the main theme into fragments and integrated it into the beginning of my arrangement in small sections, using a 4 and 8 bar phrasing. Each time the bar cycle repeats, I added in more parts of the theme until I got to the full theme.

 

I also added a quaver f to d repetitive figure in the bass part of the 4 flute arrangement, which provided me with some contrary motion, whilst still sticking with the main Bb chord.

 

I then started experimenting with the main theme (see bottom line of pic ß) through changing the overall pitch centre and raising the pitch of the whole theme. I am not sure if I will end up keeping this but it is a start.

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 7.04.26 am.png

 

Entry 7:

 

 

Today I started looking at adding in the second part of the theme and I started thinking about how I could link the A and B themes together, and how I could use these themes to frame the overall structure of the arrangement. I think that I will go with a classic ABA structure, with the second A section including small elements of the B section, but I will have to test it out.

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 7.04.33 am.png

 

In the screenshot above, I linked the A and B themes together though some longer and sustained notes. I am not sure if I will keep this, but it is definitely something that I can experiment with and take influence from.

 

Entry 8:

 

Today I went back and looked at the very start of my arrangement. I decided that since it was so repetitive, I needed to change the accompaniment section to make it build up, the same way the Theme A builds up from a 1 bar to a 8 bar theme. I did this through changing the quaver f to d pattern to crotchets, which eventually turns into quavers. I also took away most of the flute 3 bars with the BDF pattern, so the pattern can build up at the beginning of the piece, instead of being there from the start.

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 7.04.41 am.png

Entry 9:

 

Today I started to work on a counter melody/ accompaniment/ new melody for my arrangement. I took inspiration from Theme A and B and created a 4 bar phrase.

 

I then altered the phrase slightly, through simplifying the first bar and putting the phrase up one octave. I did this so that it could be in the same range as Theme A and B. I then incorporated the descending figure from Theme A into the end of my new theme, so I could experiment with how I could make the themes work together.

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 7.04.47 am.png

Entry 9:

 

Today I started to work on a counter melody/ accompaniment/ new melody for my arrangement. I took inspiration from Theme A and B and created a 4 bar phrase.

 

 

I then altered the phrase slightly, through simplifying the first bar and putting the phrase up one octave. I did this so that it could be in the same range as Theme A and B. I then incorporated the descending figure from Theme A into the end of my new theme, so I could experiment with how I could make the themes work together.

Entry 10:

 

Today I worked more on filling in the accompaniment parts and fixing up any wrong notes or notes that didn’t fit in the chord/that I didn’t want. I also experimented a lot with my bottom bass voice and tried to see if I could put any rhythmic cells there, or if I should leave it as a drone- type bass line. I think that I am nearly finished with my arrangement. I now just need to switch the instrumentation back to the flute/clarinet idea that I wanted to use previously.

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 7.05.30 am.png

Entry 11:

 

Today I switched my instrumentation over and I picked the flute, Bb clarinet, Bass Clarinet and the Trombone. I am very familiar with the first 2 instruments, but I will need to do some research on the trombone and writing for trombone. I picked the trombone for its tone colour and timbre and I wanted a bass instrument to contrast against the Bb clarinet and the Flute and to work with the Bass Clarinet.

 

Because I switched from flute to clarinets and trombone, I now need to go through and fix up any pitch range issues.

 

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 7.21.59 am.pngScreen Shot 2019-04-18 at 7.22.03 am.png

Entry 12:

 

I have finished my arrangement! I decided to not use the trombone as I have no experience writing for it or playing it and I changed it to another Bass Clarinet so my instrumentation now consists of 1x flute, 1x Bb clarinet and 2x Bass Clarinets. Over the past week I have gone through (and played the arrangement on my instrument) and added any phrasing, articulation and tempo markings that I wanted to have and I experimented a lot with these on my instrument as I wanted to use them to create interest but also support the thematic material in my composition.

Screen Shot 2019-04-18 at 6.31.55 am.png

 

 

The End

After a long semester of packed schedules, late night classes and 7 weeks of practical experience, I have finally finished my 6th semester /3rd year of my course. Only one more year to go.

 

I have learnt so much this semester, particularly more practical and hands on aspects vs the theory side, which can be attributed to my vocal and ensemble pedagogy classes, my prac experience at NBCS, composition in music ed and (most importantly) this subject ; technology in music education.

 

I have written lots of blog posts on every class in thie subject if you want to read them below, but I just wanted to summarise the most important things (that I learnt/took away) from this course

 

  1. Blog posts : although they were annoying at times, it is really nice to be able to go back and reflect on what I learnt, and it also has allowed me to do a bit of further, deeper thinking after each class as I had to go and find extra resources etc.
  2. BYOD: as I mentioned in one of my blogs, I started with the byod program when I entered year 7 and my high school was the only school that I knew that had started to implement it – 8 years from then I think I will be surprised to find a school that didn’t implement some sort of byod program (or at least a school in my local area). This subject in particular introduced me to the idea of ipads as BYOD devices. I knew that some students used them of course, but I had never really thought about them and the countless apps that are on the Apple Store which can be used within all subjects, not just music ed
  3. The maker movement and the hands on experience: it was refreshing to have a couple of classes where we could sit individualy or with a partner and figure things out, such as the launchpads and some of the ipad apps. This has given me many ideas for future lesson ideas
  4. And finally : the project I did with K. I learnt so much during the time that we did our garageband project together, not just the countless hours that I spent on hype, googledocs and screenflow, but the time management skills and the countless failures allowed me to grow as a educator, and also allowed me to learn skills which I can use in future assignments, and future classroom lessons. Presenting our project on Friday night to future and current music educators was a wonderful experience, which left me with so much to reflect upon, as there were so many teachers from so many different types of schools that said that they could see our project working in various unique ways that I had never thought of – (i.e using our project as a resource for older teachers to learn about garageband, so they can set an assignment on recording or remixes)

 

That’s all for now!

 

I will see you again next year for more music education packed blog posts !

 

Louise

Comp Diary:

Blog Post 1: 12/10

 

The third and final assignment for my composition in music education class consists of composing an original piece for 2-3 minutes based off the previous assignment (Baby Steps) Although I have not yet completed my baby step assignment as it is not due for about another week, I need to get started on my composition as firstly: I have no idea how to write one and secondly : where do I even start.

 

My baby steps assignment consists of composing several short ostinatos or melodies and expanding on them, with opportunities to layer and also possibly a improvisation section at the very end, but I am not entirely sure if I will do that yet. The baby steps assignment is based off a composition by Bree van Reyk called

Light for the First Time (for Small Ensemble and Auxiliary Players) and although it the piece is heavily based off expressive techniques, I have decided to base my baby steps of the smaller, more subtle elements of the piece :

 

I took my inspiration from these two excerpts from the piece, where the ideas/ fragments of ostinatos occur , specifically in the violin part.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.52.52 pmScreen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.02 pm

 

Blog Post 2: 16/10

 

I have finally finished my Baby Steps assessment resource. As I said before, I based my steps off ostinatos. Here is a quick summary of the steps that I made :

 

  1. Learning about and identifying ostinatos
  2. Playing ostinatos
  3. Looking at how we can develop ostinatos
  4. Making your own rhythmic ostinato
  5. Adding pitch to your ostinato
  6. Recording your ostinato
  7. Layering another ostinato (and recording it)
  8. Improvising over your ostinatos

 

I am now going to start making my own composition. I have decided to follow through on my own baby steps (specifically steps 4, 5 and 8).

 

Blog Post 3: 23/10

 

I just had a 5-minute composition tutorial with the comp tutor, who gave me lots of feedback. I think that even I can agree that what I put up wasn’t my best work, but I honestly don’t know what to write for. The tutor gave me some very valuable advice: go home, get out your clarinet and improvise a small ostinato that you could work with.

 

This is what I came up with:

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.07 pm

I then extended it through layering (exactly like my baby step number 7)

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.15 pm

I am now going to work on this, and see how far I can extend it.

 

Blog Post 4: 25/10

I have changed around my comp a little bit, and have decided to put the first section in unison, then develop the ostinato into more of a melodic line (starting bar 5)

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.22 pm

I then repeated the motif again, with the intention of now adding a brand new section to it as a B section. I have also started to add bass notes on the Clarinet 2 part, to experiment with what I could do as an accompanying part. I probably wont have this on here by the end result, but it is good to experiment.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.28 pm

Blog Post 5: 27/10

 

 

I have now added an extension of the melody through experimenting with off beat and on beat pairs of quavers. I did this to add a slight off the beat/jazzy feel which I may possibly extend to changing time signatures or possibly experimenting with rubato – possibly something with off the beat looping, but I am not exactly sure yet.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.33 pm

Blog Post 6: 28/10

 

I decided that the last part of the comp was a bit to slow, and I wanted to stick with a fast tempo and a constantly moving pace throughout my work. Keeping with the theme of composing ostinatos/melodies and layering/developing them (from my baby steps.) I composed another descending line to be my next motif /melody

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.38 pm

 

I got this idea from this piece: as I was browsing through scores and youtube videos of clarinet duets

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.48 pm

I have also started to look at some other pieces for inspiration. I know it’s a bit late – but better late then never. I found this piece whilst searching for inspiration on youtube and decided that I really liked the first 45 secs of it and then from 1:10-35 (before it turns all jazzy) and there are several things that I could pull out from it :

which are :

  • The low pitched quaver movement
  • The flowing higher pitched melodyScreen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.55 pm

 

  • The intertwining of parts (1 clarinet has the melodic movement while the other has the long notes – then it switches to and forth)Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.59 pm
  • The simple yet beautiful melodic movement with the simple accompaniment

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.03 pm

Blog Post 7: 30/10

 

I have changed my mind (yet again) and I have decided to base my composition off a basic ABA structure, with a fast section at the start, followed by a slower section in the middle, then the first section returns. I did this to show the different tone qualities that a clarinet can produce.

 

In this screenshot, you can see that I have started to compose a slower B section, which I did by making a rhythmic ostinato by using crotchets and minims. Then I experimented with pitch using my clarinet . i will now start to figure out how my sections will connect.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.09 pm

Upon researching for inspiration I also found a few other pieces, which I could pick apart. I took inspiration from this piece:

which features a very slow section and then a faster quaver section.

 

I also looked at this for inspiration as the both of the clarinet parts at the start look like they could have been inspired by ostinatos (just like in my baby steps assignment)

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.14 pm

I also found a very similar piece which does nearly the same thing :

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.18 pm

Blog Post 8: 01/11

 

Here is a overview of my whole composition so far. Since I last wrote on this blog, I have tried to connect the B and 2nd A section. I have also added some more low notes (just like what I did at the beginning) to begin to show the full pitch range of the Clarinet. I think I will also take the slow part up an 8ve, to show the range but I have to figure out a way in which the two parts wont sound completely separate.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.22 pm

Blog Post 9: 3/11

 

Yesterday, as a part of the course (and the assignment) I presented the 2 minutes of my comp to the class to gain feedback. This is a summary of what I got back:

  • Nice melody – catchy and sounds nice on the clarinet
  • you could add some articulation and dynamics
  • I don’t know if you’ve made the decision, but it feels like clarinet 1 has more material and clarinet 2 is like the countermelody/accompaniment figure.
  • The interplay between the two parts is fun.
  • Add more range of the clarinet
  • Add more diverse motivic material, it all starts to sound the same towards the end.
  • Lovely energy! Make sure you mark up both parts with lots of dynamics, articulation marks and gestures. Writing for 2 parts is actually much harder that writing for 3 because harmony. So, you need to make up for that by really exploring the full range of the instruments, and the different timbres they can produce (or, add in a third instrument!).
  • You set up the great energy at the start, but the middle section around bar 29 really loses it, and even when we come back to the more rhythmic stuff we’re a bit flat … again, I think you can get this back by really thinking about texture and timbre!

 

 

I an going to respond to this feedback in small chunks. I am firstly going to look at what I could do with the second slow section. I decided to take the notes and make another fast section with it. This is what I came up with so far:

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.30 pm

I then decided to see if I could make a new section of the piece that was inspired based off the starting melody. I did this through taking the very first section and then creating a faster counterpart. I don’t know if I will keep this but it is good to experiment.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.33 pm

I then expanded the ideas more across both of the clarinets:

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.38 pm

Here is a overview of my piece so far:

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.42 pm

Blog Post 10: 06/11

 

After going over the feedback that I gained from my peers, I have decided to experiment more with the pitch range of the clarinet. Instead of using that fast part that I just made, I have decided to experiment with the lower range of the clarinet, particularly with the lowest note of the clarinet (low E) I got out my clarinet and went back to my baby step assignment and I improvised this small melodic line /ostinato, which I like a lot better than what I had written down before

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.47 pm

I then expanded the melody I created, and experimented with a way that I could connect it to my first section (see the highlighted part). I will now look at how I can expand this throughout my piece.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.51 pm

I have also started looking at some more inspiration for my piece. I found this piece:

…which has a constantly moving quaver figure in the second clarinet part, which switches to the first clarinet part whilst the second clarinet has the melody. This is sort of similar to what I already have, and I will explore this further in my own comp.

 

Also, I really like the contrast between the low pitch range of the 2nd clarinet vs the higher pitch of the clarinet as I have also started within this in my own comp, I think I will keep it and expand on it.

Blog Post 11: 09/11

 

After reflecting back on the feedback that I got from my peers, I have decided that I will add a 3rd clarinet part, to focus more on harmony and add more intertwining of parts.

For now, I have put a couple of low notes in the 3rd part, to fill in the rests from the melody. I think that I will keep the 3rd clarinet in the lower octave as I would love to experiment with contrast of pitch octaves across all the parts.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.56 pm

I then added in some low notes to experiment for the rest of the piece.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.00 pm

 

Then I started to experiment with basic rhythmic ostinatos in the third clarinet part (just like my baby step assignment)

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.05 pm

Blog Post 12: 10/11

As I was looking at my comp, I came to the realisation that I was stretching my material too far and that my clarinet 2 part was basically in unison with clarinet 1, and clarinet 3 was the ostinato backing figures. Because clarinet 2 was so similar to clarinet 1 I decided to go back to my original idea of having 2 clarinets. Because I previously had the issue of clarinet 1 having all the glory of having the main part. I have decided that I will let clarinet 2 have the main part in my second section. I also did a little bit more of experimentation with rhythm for my clarinet 2 ostinato part.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.09 pm

Blog Post 13: 12/11

 

I have worked a little bit more on my 2nd part of my ABA structure and I am now looking at how I can connect the 2nd part with my final section/coda. The highlighted section of the score shows how I have created a long D with a rhythmic attack to connect the two parts, however I am not sure if I will keep it – but it is a good starting point.

 

I also added some more ostinato inspired rhythmic patterns from bar 45 in the 2nd clarinet part. I have also decided to keep the last 2 bars of the piece in rhythmic unison, to reflect the unison segment at the beginning of the piece.

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.13 pm

 

Blog Post 14: 13/11

 

I have decided to keep the descending scalic figure inspired motif for my second section, and I have expanded it throughout the middle part of my song. I moved some parts around (so I added in a extra empty part so I don’t loose anything and I have some space to experiment with) and I have given the bottom clarinet the main melodic line (at the bottom) I also decided to see how I could add the ostinato rhythmic figure into my comp (see bar 29)

This is a overview of my comp so far:

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.34 pm

Blog Post 15: 14/11

I have spent a bit of time filling in the spare parts. So far all I have added is a unison section and then a long note descending line over the top (to see what I like best or to see if I could possibly make a mix of the two parts)

 

I then split the descending melodic across the two instruments and continued with my previous idea of having one line stop as the other starts, to create a ongoing melodic phrase. I also added some rhythmic ostinato parts on the spare (top) part, to see what I could do when the 2 parts aren’t playing the melodic idea.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.44 pm

I did this by first creating this rhythmic ostinato (just like my baby steps):

 

Blog Post 16: 15/11

Here is a full version of the score so far – I think that I am coming to the end of it. All I need to do now is go over everything, fix up some dodgy notation, fill in the middle section and add lots and lots of dynamics and expressive techniques. However, I think that I might play through the comp on my clarinet once it has finished and add the techniques and dynamics as I am playing – so I can logically see where they should be placed. The next step is filling these in, then recording !

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.52 pm

Blog Post 17: 16/11

 

Setback! I have managed to injure my hand involving an unfortunate incident whilst making tea at my Saturday morning coffee shop. I was hoping to record my comp myself, but now its too late for me to do that and I will have to ask a peer or one of my students to do that. However I can still go through and half play my comp, so I can place all the dynamics and expressive techniques into it – so not all is lost.

IMG_4667IMG_4668

 

Blog Post 18: 16/11

 

Recording complete!

 

Today I sat down and recorded my comp with one of my year 11 students. I borrowed one of the zoom recorders from the library and I bought a sd card to use, and it worked great!

 

Since some of the rhythms are a bit tricky it did take us a while (and I have 21 audio clips to now go through) but in my opinion, anything is better than the midi files on Sibelius.

 

Overall this has been both a very challenging and rewarding experience. There are so many things that I would change if I started again, but I am happy with what the final score is, and I am happy with how often I incorporated my baby steps into my assignment, and how multiple steps are reflected both within the piece and in the process of the piece (i.e improvising over ostinatos or improvising with the ostinatos to create a counter/part b ostinato)

 

Blog Post 18: 16/11

 

Recording complete!

 

Today I sat down and recorded my comp with one of my year 11 students. I borrowed one of the zoom recorders from the library and I bought a sd card to use, and it worked great!

 

Since some of the rhythms are a bit tricky it did take us a while (and I have 21 audio clips to now go through) but in my opinion, anything is better than the midi files on Sibelius.

 

Overall this has been both a very challenging and rewarding experience. There are so many things that I would change if I started again, but I am happy with what the final score is, and I am happy with how often I incorporated my baby steps into my assignment, and how multiple steps are reflected both within the piece and in the process of the piece (i.e improvising over ostinatos or improvising with the ostinatos to create a counter/part b ostinato)

Untitled

Project Blog Post #13

 

WE HAVE FINISHED

 

After a long and exhausting semester and probably about 100 hours (im not exaggerating ) of work on this assignment we have finally got it up and running !

 

Our lecturer was the absolute biggest legend and allowed us access so that our project could be placed onto his website for everyone to view.

 

There is a link to it right HERE.

 

We still have a couple of tiny, tiny, tiny things to upload (ie. The first link has the wrong tutorial on it, but we have asked the lecturer to upload a new source that we have given him) but I can finally say that we have finished and it has been well worth the hassle and I am extremely proud of K and I for achieving and creating such a complex project.

 

I have a couple of resources that I made to go along with my blog posts that I will make in a googledrive here. I have made videos of me recording the tutorials, using ScreenFlow to edit, crop and export the videos etc. Check it out!

 

I will do one final post on here after K and I present our project to the world on our presentation of learning night.

 

Goodbye GarageBand, Reflector, ScreenFlow and all the other programs that we used for our project, thank you for all the things you have taught me and the many, many hours of trial and error that made this project as amazing at is is!

 

 

Lecture 12: Final provocations

 

Todays lecture was the last lecture of our Technology in Music Education course and also the final lecture of my 6th semester of my degree. Looking back to the beginning of the semester and what I knew, I feel so much happier and more experienced with technology in the classroom and I really, really, really appreciate all the practical and informal learning aspects that were within this course (they weren’t just educational, they were fun and almost made me feel like a kid again.)

 

Whilst the lecturer did do a final lecture about the course, I want to talk about the very ending , where we talked about mindfulness, organisation and stress levels. This semester I will admit that I definitely have not been the most organised with my assignments, as having the 7 week block of prac in the middle of uni has really thrown me off.. especially with basically all the assignments for the semester all being due in a 3 week block, however I pushed past it and I am very thankful that K and I completed our assignment for this class during our prac experience block.

 

One important time management tip that I learnt from this lecture, wasn’t actually a tip – it was a program that the lecturer uses called Wunderlist (see a link here)

 

Which helps you break down your tasks into smaller chunks, making you work more efficiently. I also love the super handy element of putting in reminders or pushing back tasks to further dates – as it is something I do all the time, and I always forget to write them down. I will be downloading Wunderlist before my exams and I really hope that it will be a massive help now and in my future.