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Composing Music at KS3

Price: £25.00
Age Range: KS3

This pack is designed to develop students skills in composition, as outlined in the National Curriculum. It is divided into seven themed sections and is accompanied by an audio CD containing simple tunes for students to respond to. Themes include: Jungle; Shock-horror; Spy theme; Calypso; RAMPS composition.

Topics include: Experimenting with sound and pitch; Composing an ostenato; Composing a 16-bar calypso in ternary form; Composing a chart song with melody and lyrics.

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Size: 64 Pages
ISBN: 978 1 86025 277 8
Code: COMU
Popularity rank: 164

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Contents List



THEME 1: JUNGLE COMPOSITION Programme music (sound story) on the theme of the jungle using percussion and/or keyboards which could include sound effects.

  • 7 ALONE IN THE JUNGLE Students experiment with sounds to represent a variety of events.
  • 9 THE JUNGLE STORY Students begin composing by developing their sounds into a sound story.
  • 11 JUNGLE WRITING Students are introduced to notation as they devise graphic notation scores for their sound stories.

THEME 2: SHOCK-HORROR! COMPOSITION An atmospheric piece of music building suspense using a number of repeated phrases in different tempos and sound effects.

  • 13 SHOCK-HORROR! Students focus on how music can create suspense, and plan the shape of their own piece to include suspense-building, tension and shocks.
  • 15 A HORRIBLE BEGINNING Students learn to play a repeated phrase before composing their own.
  • 17 HORROR UPON HORROR Students experiment with pitch, voice and duration to compose two more phrases for their Shock-Horror compositions.
  • 19 THE HORROR GETS CLOSER Students learn how to create a variation on one of their phrases to create a new effect, and are introduced to chords.
  • 21 THE FINAL SHOCK Students build their final composition, experimenting with a wide range of technical elements.

THEME 3: SPY THEME COMPOSITION A piece of theme music suitable for a spy film in the Rondo form, using an ostinato and the Dorian mode.

  • 23 SPY THEME - MISSION ONE Students are introduced to ostinati and compose an ostinato suitable for a spy film theme.
  • 25 SPY THEME - MISSION TWO Students learn how to compose a melody using the first half of the Dorian mode and a four-phrase melodic pattern.
  • 27 SPY THEME - MISSION THREE Students compose a second melody, repeating the shape of the first melody but using the second half of the Dorian mode.
  • 29 SPY THEME - MISSION FOUR Students learn about the Dorian mode and compose a third melody using all its notes.
  • 31 SPY THEME - FINAL MISSION Students learn about Rondo form, and put together their ostinato and three melodies to produce a completed composition in Rondo form.

THEME 4: UNKNOWN TERRITORY A composition in Ternary form using the Aeolian mode with a harmonic backing.

  • 33 UNKNOWN TERRITORY - DAY ONE Students learn how to create atmosphere using a four-chord sequence and a written description.
  • 35 UNKNOWN TERRITORY - DAY TWO Students experiment with improvisation over backing music.
  • 37 UNKNOWN TERRITORY - DAY THREE Students write the melody for Section A of their unknown territory composition and play it with the harmonic backing.
  • 39 UNKNOWN TERRITORY - DAY FOUR Students learn a new harmonic ostinato and write a contrasting melody for Section B of their composition.
  • 41 UNKNOWN TERRITORY - DAY FIVE Students use information about the Ternary form and the use of repeats to finish their composition.

THEME 5: CALYPSO COMPOSITION A Calypso composition in extended Ternary form.

  • 43 CALYPSO RHYTHMS Students explore Calypso music and experiment with the rhythms involved.
  • 45 CALYPSO MELODY Students compose a 16-bar Calypso in Ternary form.
  • 47 CALYPSO CALL Students extend the composition and enrich the texture by adding a second instrument.

THEME 6: RAMPS COMPOSITION A composition with lyrics inspired by chart music, focusing on the use of rhythms.

  • 49 CHART RAMPS Students analyse examples of chart music using a 'burger' analogy to identify sounds and instruments commonly used.
  • 51 RHYTHMIC RAMPS Students learn how to build up layers of different rhythms over a harmonic backing to create a chart music backing track.
  • 53 ROMANTIC RAMPS Students complete their chart song by writing a melody and lyrics to go over their backing track.

THEME 7: GROUND COMPOSITION A composition built up from a classical Ground Bass, an air and a melody, in the style of a chart music song.

  • 55 GROUND LEVEL Students find out about the use of Bass Grounds and learn to play one.
  • 57 AIR ON THE GROUND Students compose a simple air to go over Bach's Ground Bass, experimenting with rhythm, style and tone.
  • 59 FLYING OVER THE GROUND Students compose a melody, lyrics and other finishing touches, and are encouraged to listen out for what works and what doesn't.
  • 61 EVALUATION Students are led through a series of questions enabling them to evaluate their own work, and the composition they have produced. This could be followed by individual written evaluations.



Tom Deveson at Times Educational Supplement

Simple is best
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Helen Wilson at DATA Journal

The pack would indeed be a useful additional resource for teachers developing schemes of work for Key Stage 4 courses in textiles technology.
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