Thursday, May 22, 2008

Using Twinkle to Introduce Song Form

One of the best decisions we made for our General Music program was to transform it into a Music Technology Lab. The next best thing was to adopt the loop-based software program Sony Acid as a significant part of the student music experience.

But where to begin? And how do musical concepts get taught/learned?-especially FORM.

Here's how we begin the process:

  • We create a midi file of twinkle twinkle little star (student's use Finale Print Music to create the melody and export it as a mid file).
  • Using Sony Acid, import the Twinkle midi file as a track.
  • Explain that Twinkle will be the Chorus of the Song and it needs to be heard in it's entirety.
  • What's needed now is an introduction, verses, possibly a bridge and an "outro".
  • Use the Twinkle melody itself to explain ABBA form.
A-Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.....
B-Up Above the World So High
B-Like a Diamond..
A-Twinkle Twinkle.....

Then provide a few examples of variations on this using popular songs. (I like to use Blake Lewis' song End of The World because the Form is clear: 4 bar intro/add voice/add drums/verse 1/chorus/verse 2/chorus/bridge/chorus/chorus/fade out.

Students are in good shape to begin the process of creating their own loop-based compositions at this point. (Obviously, use of Sony Acid is a pre-requisite to this project.)

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