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.
B-Up Above the World So High
B-Like a Diamond..
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.)