Music for Key Stage 3 by John Webb. KS3 Drama; Twins

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1 by John Webb KS3 Drama; Twins s, innit KS3 Music: Conducting

2 Introduction This pack aims to give teachers some easy to use resources for Key Stage 3 music classes. They consist of a set of short warm-ups that can be used at the start of lessons, and three longer activities that are covered in more depth. These resources give step-by-step detail about carrying out the activities as well as ideas for expansion. Teachers may need to modify them depending on what instruments they have available and students abilities. Naturally, teachers will need to decide the time-span allowed for each of the activities. Each longer activity also includes a student worksheet which contains the basics that students need to know, and which can be photocopied and given out. This pack contains the following activities: Warm-Ups Conducting Samba Gamelan The conducting and samba activities include some level of compositional work, so students can take more creative control of the skills outlined. There is less compositional opportunity in the Gamelan activity, as the ensemble skills in this are more demanding. Design: Studio EMMI Illustration: Spencer Wilson 01

3 Warm-Ups Warm-up games can be used with all ages to hone musical, vocal and ensemble skills, to encourage creativity and working together as a group. They re often great fun as well, which means participants lose their inhibitions and are able to develop key skills more quickly than they might otherwise do. When warm-ups are used well, they enable a class to access their musicality and to focus on the skills they need in order to think musically in preparation for the more demanding class activities you ll use later in the lesson. The warm-ups should be relevant to the main body of the lesson, for instance don t use a vocal warm-up if the lesson isn t singing based. However, some warm-ups improve skills pertinent to a variety of areas, so use your judgement when choosing them. Choose from the selection of warm-ups given, using one or two at the start of a lesson. For best effect, the warm-ups need to be used regularly, so that students have a chance to hone skills. There are also some suggestions to develop the warm-ups further, as students grasp the skills more fully, but feel free to adapt them to suit the needs and abilities of your group. By the same token, also be prepared to move on from a warm-up if students seem have to mastered it very quickly. Warm-ups in this section are grouped into: Working Together & Ensemble Skills Listening & Following Creating & Improvising Vocal Warm-Ups 02

4 Warm-Ups Working Together & Ensemble Skills These activities help students to understand the control needed to work together in an ensemble. Watching carefully, honing movements to match the rest of the group, being focussed and aware even when silent, are all vital skills for the musician and are developed by these warm-ups. Passing a clap round the circle 4 minutes The group form a circle, around which a clap is passed, from one person to the next. The result should be a regular pulse, no speeding up, slowing down, or irregularity. For this to happen, participants need to keep an internal pulse and be ready and focussed for their turn. Variation 1 The clap is passed round whilst a pulse is played on an instrument which can gradually change tempo. Participants should always clap on the pulse. Variation 2 The clap is passed in one direction, whilst a stamp is passed in the opposite direction simultaneously. As in Variation 1 the tempo can be changed. Hi-ya 2 minutes See Conducting section elsewhere in this pack. 03

5 Warm-Ups Minimalist clap 5 minutes This warm up serves as a good introduction to minimalist techniques, and pieces such as Steve Reich s Clapping Music and Piano Phase. Everyone claps the well known rhythm, repeating it a few times: Then everyone claps a slight variation, again repeating it a few times: The variation adds an extra beat to the original: this could either be silence, or a stamp to make sure everyone is in time. The group is split into two halves and both patterns are performed simultaneously, starting at the same moment, and repeating the patterns several times. The two rhythms cycle round until eventually they are again synchronised, which can create a real sense of resolution. The group may be interested to work out how many repeats are needed before the two patterns are once more in sync. Extension Ask smaller groups to create their own versions of the exercise with body percussion or on instruments: they need to create two almost identical rhythms, very slightly different in length. Words could also be included in students versions. The best could be taught to the whole class. 04

6 Warm-Ups Listening & Following These games are for pairs of students, and help to build awareness of the nonverbal cues so often used by musicians when matching each other s playing. The second activity (Musical Mirroring) can easily encourage simple improvisation, as the focus of the activity is on the quality of the copying, not on the quality of the improvised musical idea being copied. Mirroring 5 minutes (10 minutes with Musical Mirroring) In pairs, students stand facing each other. One is A, the other B. A performs a series of actions, which are mirrored as closely as possible by B. The aim is to work together as a unit, with the outside observer unable to detect who is following and who is leading (in a variation, a third person could be observing and trying to work out who is copying and who is leading). Students explore the limits of what they can do: How fast can the movements be? How large? How many actions can be made simultaneously whilst still allowing the other person to follow? A and B then swap over: A follows B. Then, in the final variation, neither person is leading the whole time: the pair work together, leadership may spontaneously pass from one to another. 05

7 Warm-Ups ading header KS1 - reading header Musical mirroring 5 minutes A pair of students sit either side of a xylophone. A is the leader and creates a short melody on the xylophone. B plays it back. This is repeated with A changing and extending the melodic material they improvise. The roles are swapped, A copying B. In the final version, no one leads and the musical initiative can pass between the players. In this version the emphasis is no longer on copying, it is simply on playing sympathetically together, at any point one person or another may be playing melodic or accompanimental musical material. Variation 1 A starts off playing 1 note, then 2, 3 and so on, each time B copies back. How many notes can B remember and play back? Variation 2 Instead of a copying activity, B plays at the same time as A, the game more closely resembles the mirroring activity above. Extension Try the game on instruments the students are learning guitars, violins, etc. Often it will not be as obvious from watching what notes the leader of each pair is playing and so students will be forced to use their ears. wins KS3 Drama; LEMONS nducting KS3 Music: Musical Mirroring 06

8 Warm-Ups Creating & Improvising These warm-ups encourage students to improvise on their instruments. Successful improvisation involves fast response within certain rules (Clap-click encourages this) and to feel where/how their music should fit within a larger context (encouraged by Mama Don t Allow). Clap-click 5 minutes A call and response with a difference. The leader starts with a clap the group responds with a click. Or vice versa. It s important that the words clap and click are said at the same time as doing the actions. Other pairings are volunteered by the students: for instance one offers a stomp, and, as a response another suggests a jump. The leader (which could be a student) then has four to choose from: clap, click, stomp, jump. The group has to give the correct response. The game can be extended by adding further pairs of actions the sillier the better and also by leading short sequences of actions. For instance: clap, click, jump is answered with: click, clap, stomp. Mama Don t Allow 5 minutes An improvisation activity playing along to a song available on the Vocal Union website. The sheet music is at: The teacher sings the songs, encouraging students to improvise in the gaps (as indicated on the recording also on the website The words for each verse can be changed to indicate which instruments are going to improvise that time round. The improvisations can be really complicated or as simple as one note encourage students to try both extremes. 07

9 Warm-Ups Vocal Warm-Ups Singing does not happen from just the neck up. The whole body is involved: we need to feel relaxed, alert and confident to produce the best sounds. Silly games are therefore an important tool for releasing a singing voice if we re having fun, we relax, and can sing better. If we re nervous, tense and worried, it is far harder to sing well. These activities require concentration, and develop specific skills, but can also create a convivial atmosphere for the group. Tongue twisters 3 minutes These are really good for diction as they exercise the various ways in which tongues, lips and palate move to enunciate different words, for instance: Dentals: d, t, n Sibilants: sss, sh, zzz Dorsals: g, c Labial: m, p, b Try and encourage a spoken sound which is higher and projected when practising these. Many an anemone sees an enemy anemone Freshly fried flying fish Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches? Six sleek swans swam swiftly southwards Gobbling gargoyles gobbled gobbling goblins I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits (think hard before using this one) One-one was a race horse Two-two was one too One-one won one race and Two-two won one too 08

10 Warm-Ups 1, minutes This song is also available on the Sing Up website: It is great for practising pitching the whole scale, concentration and part singing. Once learnt, students can decide on 2 numbers which will be silent in the next sing through this takes a surprising amount of concentration to get right. Performing it as a round at 2 beats distance is also a challenge, but provides the opportunity for more able students to lead a group. The Grand Old Duke of York 2 minutes The traditional song, but first time miss out all the ups, second time miss out all the downs and the ups. Third time - swap over the downs and ups. 09

11 Conducting This section aims to develop: An understanding of the conductor s role Some basic conducting skills using body language to communicate musical control Ensemble skills being able to interpret a conductor s body language The activities lead students through basic ideas about conducting and should therefore be approached in the order given. You will need to be flexible with the space you have, moving tables and chairs as necessary, as the activities require a variety of formations: small group work, whole class working together in a circle, group discussion, etc. For Hi-ya with instruments you will need a variety of instruments available. A mix of pitched and unpitched percussion would be suitable, and even some melodic instruments played by the students. For Drone, Ostinato, Melody melodic instruments are required be they pitched percussion or students own instruments. Introductory discussion Start off with a discussion about the role of the conductor. Teachers may feel it useful to show students a clip of a conductor at work (lots available on YouTube, or similar) to focus on what their role and skills are. Here are some prompts: What does a conductor do? What control does he have over the musicians? How does he use his hands, arms, facial expressions, etc, to communicate with them? These are some of the points which may be discussed the list is not comprehensive and students may well suggest other possibilities. Solely through their movements conductors can: Show how fast the music should go Speed up or slow down during the music Change the dynamic (volume) Show when to begin Affect the articulation of a note Cue individuals or groups of players to play their next passage They also rehearse the ensemble, making sure everyone knows their part, when to come in and how each passage should be played. However, this is not rigid conductors may make subtle changes during the performance. 10

12 Conducting Hi-ya: a game developing ensemble skills This can also be used as a warm up, perhaps over several sessions to ease students into thinking about conducting. The whole class stands in a circle making sure that everyone can see everyone else. The leader shows a hi-ya action (a karate chop) with their arm, saying the words hi-ya at the same time. Everyone else must do their hi-ya at the same time as the leader. The leader does several, they can be: Regularly spaced Irregular, trying to catch people out Different dynamics (loud or quiet) Different energies (eg calm or energetic) The aim of the game is for everyone to be exactly together, matching the conductor s movements and energy. The group has to be with the conductor, but also the conductor has to be really clear with their signals and not trick the group so much that he/she is impossible to follow. Discussion Which leader was easiest to follow? Why? What sort of actions does the conductor need to make to be clear? Extension Once the group has played the game a few times, perhaps as a brief warm-up over several sessions, try a version where no one is leading, but anyone can. Participants have to be much more aware of the group as a whole for this to work. Everyone must use their peripheral vision to see where the next hi-ya is coming from. And everyone KS3 has Drama; to be Twins really aware of timing so that their hi-ya s don t overlap. 11

13 Conducting Hi-ya with instruments Whole group. A mixture of instruments is needed. These can be unpitched percussion or melodic, but if the former, there needs to be a mix of potential sounds, with some instruments being able to play long sustained notes as well as short ones. Everyone in the group chooses an instrument to play. A conductor is chosen, who shows a hi-ya but without making any verbal sounds. Everyone plays on the downbeat (the ya part of hi-ya ). As with the previous game, the conductor can use hi-ya s of different speeds, dynamics and energies. The group s role is to follow as best they can. Discussion When is it easiest to play together on the downbeat? Extension Explore the movements needed to create: A short sound from the ensemble Sustained sounds Sustained sounds with some movement (eg trills) High sounds Low sounds Fast and rhythmic sounds Slow and calm sounds Keeping one sort of sound going in one part of the ensemble and using a different type of sound elsewhere. Stopping the sound Discussion How can the conductor create different sorts of sounds simultaneously in the orchestra? 12

14 Conducting Drone, Ostinato, Melody Full class demonstration followed by smaller group exploration. Melodic instruments are required for everyone, either pitched percussion or instruments students are learning. Everyone sits in a circle with their instrument. Everyone needs to learn a scale. Any scale will do, but pentatonic is probably the easiest initial choice: C D E G A (for Bb instruments: D E F# A B) Individually everyone should practice the scale getting a feel for it, and being able to play it without looking at their fingers. They can try going up and down it in step at different speeds or going up/down using alternating notes. They should also try to improvise an ostinato (a 3 or 4 note repeated pattern) and a melody. The teacher should demonstrate the activity with the whole class as an orchestra, all sitting in a circle, using gestures to indicate to individuals whether they should play a drone, an ostinato or a melody. A texture is built up from these various elements, with the conductor starting and stopping them as and when he/she wishes. Possible hand gestures are indicated below, though you and the class may want to explore other possibilities. Drone: Conductor s hand shows a flat line. This is a long held note, chosen by the player from the scale until the conductor indicates stopping. Ostinato: Conductor makes a circle with a finger of one hand. The player plays a short, repeated pattern of 3 or 4 pitches over and over again until the conductor shows when to stop. Melody: Conductor wiggles fingers at the player. Player improvises a melody using the notes from the chosen scale until the conductor shows when to stop. Having demonstrated the activity, students can explore it further in small groups (7-8 people), each taking it in turns to be the conductor. Conductors: Should be prepared to stop the players as well as starting them, but giving players enough time to get into the section they re playing before they do. They can also attempt to shape the music in other ways: Dynamics (volume) Articulation, for instance staccato (spiky), legato (smooth) Tempo (speed) Ensemble: Should follow the conductor as closely as possible, though sometimes it might not be clear what s required. They should interpret conductor s signals as best they can (ie. without stopping to ask questions) as this forces the conductor to be clearer next time. 13

15 Conducting Discussion Which conductors were clearest and why? How can the ensemble improve its responses to the conductor? (eg making sure eye contact is made before playing) Extension Though these activities have focussed on conducting, they also explore some of the basic musical building blocks melody, accompaniment and sustained harmonies. A further extension would involve small groups moving from experimentation to creating a piece of music with a beginning, middle and end. The conductor will still cue material, but the group will have decided upon what material is heard when and how the piece grows. To help start this process, the following prompts could be helpful: Discussion Which combinations of sounds worked best, and why? Did everyone use very similar musical ideas or were they very different? How could you create a piece of music from this? What would be the beginning, middle and end? 14

16 Student worksheet: Conducting Introduction What does a conductor do? What control does he have over the musicians? How does he use his hands, arms, facial expressions, etc, to communicate with them? The Hi-ya game Everyone stands in a circle. Someone is chosen as a conductor, they show a hi-ya (karate chop) with their arm saying the words as well. Everyone has to do the hi-ya at the same time. The conductor has several goes before another takes over. Discussion Which leader was easiest to follow? Why? What sort of actions does the conductor need to make to be clear? The Hi-ya game with instruments Everyone chooses an instrument to play. These should be a mixture of sounds, and if using percussion make sure some have instruments which make a long sounds, others have ones making short sounds. The conductor shows another hi-ya and everyone plays on the ya the down beat. Try this several times and with several conductors. Discussion When is it easiest to play together on the downbeat? Extension The conductors should try exploring using their movements to get different sounds from the group. What sort of movements would get: Sustained sounds Sustained sounds with some movement (eg trills) High sounds Low sounds Fast and rhythmic sounds Slow and calm sounds Discussion How can the conductor create different sorts of sounds simultaneously in the orchestra? 15

17 Student worksheet: Conducting Drone, Ostinato, Melody Everyone in the class chooses a pitched instrument to play a mixture of pitched percussion and melodic instruments are fine. Individually practice playing the following notes C D E G A (for Bb instruments: D E F# A B) These are the notes you ll use in this activity no others! When individually practicing the notes, have a go at improvising a repeated pattern (ostinato) of 3 or 4 pitches, and a melody. In groups of 7 or 8 people, choose a conductor. They must point to individuals and show them whether they need to play: A drone a held note An ostinato a short repeated pattern of 3 or 4 notes An improvised melody Conductors: What actions will you use to clearly indicate drone, ostinato or melody? Be prepared to stop the players as well as starting them, but give players enough time to get into the section they re playing before you do stop them. Can you also create these changes using just your hand signals? Dynamic (volume) Articulation - staccato (spiky), legato (smooth) Tempo (speed) Ensemble: Follow the conductor as closely as you can, though sometimes it might not be clear what they want just interpret their signals as best you can, without stopping to ask questions (this forces them to be clearer next time). Make sure everyone takes a turn at conducting. 16

18 Student worksheet: Conducting Discussion Which conductors were clearest and why? How can the ensemble improve their responses to the conductor? Extension Though these activities have focussed on conducting, they also explore some of the basic musical building blocks melody, accompaniment patterns and sustained notes. Can you create a piece of music from these conducting experiments? Something which has a beginning, middle and end? The conductor will still cue material, but the group needs to decide what material is heard when and how the piece grows. To help start this process, the questions below may help: Discussion Which combinations of sounds worked best, and why? Did everyone use very similar musical ideas or were they very different? How could you create a piece of music from this? What would be the beginning, middle and end? 17

19 Samba Samba is a popular Brazilian musical form. Although the style is used for instrumental music, song and dance, we re going to explore the percussive samba. The percussive samba is a series of rhythmic patterns layered on top of each other. As with much music, people adapt and change it according to whatever is available, so use whatever instruments you have to hand. This Samba will work as a small group or a larger one. You might hear the percussive samba played by Brazilian Samba Schools. These are clubs which, during the Carneval celebration, will parade through the streets performing. The parades can be massive, involving thousands of people. If the class is quite self-motivated they may be able to work quite independently in small groups, otherwise start with everyone sitting in a circle, with the four groups of instruments given out roughly equally. The rhythms can then be learnt together, before breaking off to work in smaller groups. Teaching aims: For students to play rhythmically together To follow a leader s musical signals, and directions for dynamics What you ll need You ll need four groups of unpitched percussion instruments as detailed below It s possible to use body percussion instead of instruments, but make sure that the four sounds used are quite distinctive if all the rhythms are clapped in the same way, the piece loses textural interest. Group 1 Shakers/maracas. Group 2 Instruments which make a short, loud sound. Traditionally claves (pronounced clah-vay), are used, but wood blocks are fine. Don t use instruments which ring on, like triangles. Group 3 Instruments which can make two short sounds. Traditionally agogo bells (two metal bells on a wire frame, with the hand holding them damping the bells). Wooden agogos are fine, or even triangles when the player can quickly move between open to damped sounds. Group 4 Low drums for keeping the pulse. These can be played with hands or a soft stick. If you don t have enough of the same type of instrument for each group, include other instruments but try and keep the sound of each group unified. For instance rather than using triangles in both groups 2 & 3, only use them in one of the groups. 18

20 Samba Learning the patterns The patterns can be learnt in any order, but it s easiest to start with group 4 and add the other parts on top of it. The words are given only to help players remember the pattern and should be dropped when the rhythms are confidently established. 19

21 Samba Leading and breaks A key element of samba is the break, when most of the ensemble stops, allowing one instrument or group of instruments a solo (which can be improvised or just a solo continuation of what they were already playing). A leader, initially the teacher, needs to cue this break. The suggested cue below can be played and spoken, or just spoken. Do this a few times, cueing different groups for their solo. Ready, steady. Lets go shakers could be used to cue the shaker group. Ready, steady, off we go could be used to cue the full band back in: The leader can also show when the band plays loud (arms wide apart) and quiet (hands close together). Students may want to take turns leading the whole class, cueing in different instruments. 20

22 Samba Extensions Having learnt the basic samba as a whole class, students can break off into smaller groups, with one person in each group being the leader, and then work on some of these more creative elements. Create an introduction This could be a call and response, using different rhythms from those in the main samba. Here s a good one play the rhythms of the words on the instruments: Leader: I want a cup of tea. Leader: I want a cup of tea. Leader: I want a cup of, I want a cup of, I want a cup of tea. Everyone: Me too! Everyone: Me too! Everyone: Me too! Cueing breaks Instead of using verbal cues for the breaks, students devise a series of different rhythmic patterns which can be played by the leader, each one signalling a different instrumental break. Initially words could be used to help, but the aim would be for everyone to learn the instrumental cue alone and to know to which instrument it refers. Create a new samba A samba is a series of rhythmic patterns layered on top of each other. The basic pulse isn t too fast, but the patterns can be made of quite short notes, and can be quite syncopated (ie including off-beats). Importantly, make sure the rhythms of each layer are quite different. Students could use their own names as a starting point, but really try to make sure the rhythms used are interesting. Instead of: use: Have a look at the Potter Puppets The Mysterious Ticking Noise on YouTube, which is a simple samba using the characters names. Conclusion Share the small group work with the whole class. Can each groups ideas be incorporated into a large-scale samba for everyone? This could become a performance piece for an assembly or school concert. Ideas for combining the small group work: Vote on the best introduction to use. Incorporate a variety of rhythmic cues to indicate breaks students can vote on which they think are the easiest to follow, having listened to all the possibilities. If students have created their own samba patterns (eg using names), these can be played consecutively, perhaps alternating with the full class samba. Can rhythmic cues be developed to start and stop these? 21

23 Student worksheet: Samba Instruments Gather your unpitched percussion instruments, and break into 4 groups. Group 1 Shakers/maracas Group 2 Instruments which make one short sound (eg wood blocks, claves) Group 3 Instruments which make 2 short sounds (eg agogo bells) Group 4 Drums the lower the better. Play with hands or a soft stick Learn the patterns Learn the patterns starting with Group 4, and gradually adding the others. Words are given as a help to remember the rhythm say them out loud without instruments at first, then say them and play the instruments. Finally, just play the instruments. 22

24 Student worksheet: Samba Leading and breaks A leader for the samba can show when to play loudly or quietly. They can also cue breaks: when most of the group stops, but one instrument or group continues either playing their samba rhythm or improvising. Here s an example you can use, or make up your own: KS3 - reading header KS1 - reading header 23

25 Student worksheet: Samba Create an introduction Create your own call and response introduction to the samba between the leader and the rest of the group. Here s a suggestion. Words are given to help learn the rhythm, but these are only to help remember it. Can you make up your own? Leader: I want a cup of tea. Leader: I want a cup of tea. Leader: I want a cup of, I want a cup of, I want a cup of tea. Everyone: Me too! Everyone: Me too! Everyone: Me too! Be creative Make your own samba using people s names. Try and use interesting rhythms for instance, instead of: use: The second rhythm above is syncopated it doesn t fit regularly with the pulse, but includes emphasised off-beats. Bringing it all together If you ve been working in different groups, how can your ideas be combined into one whole class samba? Vote on the best introduction to use. Incorporate a variety of rhythmic cues to indicate breaks vote on which you think are the easiest to follow, having listened to all the possibilities. If you have created your own samba patterns (eg using names), these can be played consecutively, perhaps alternating with the full class samba. Can rhythmic cues be developed to start and stop these? 24

26 Gamelan The Gamelan orchestra is a percussion ensemble originating in Indonesia. This worksheet is based on Javanese Gamelan, and some of the principals behind it. The Javanese have two scales open to them pelog (7 notes) and slendro (5 notes). The tunings are unique to each individual Gamelan ensemble, and do not generally match western tuning. The melody we re learning is composed for workshop use and uses a pentatonic (5 note) scale. The activity is quite a long one involving everyone learning a simple melody, developing faster-moving melodic patterns which decorate this, and also a pattern of unpitched percussive punctuation. To bring all this together may require teachers to work over several lessons. Briefly, the stages you will need to work through are: 1. Skeleton Melody Everyone learning the skeleton melody (balungan). Those playing it on pitched percussion instruments will need to learn it on those instruments. Others need know it to understand how their parts co-ordinate with it, so can learn it through singing. 2. Pitched Percussion Pitched percussion work on damping techniques and decorative patterns to add to the balungan. 3. Unpitched Percussion Punctuation patterns learnt, adding one at a time, whilst balungan is played by pitched percussion. 4. The Drummer Drummers role identified and practised The balungan is reapeated as many times as required to create the full piece. What you ll need Pitched percussion instruments xylophones, glockenspiels and chime bars organised by pitch into high, middle and low groups. A drum for keeping a steady beat and leading the ensemble Other unpitched instruments: a mixture of instruments which make sustained sounds, such as triangles, gongs and cymbals; and ones which make short sounds, such as wood blocks and claves. Organising the instruments The pitched instruments need to be organised into three groups according to their pitch. Highest: Decorative patterns Middle: Decoration and melody Lowest: Melody The unpitched instruments are divided into groups according to the length of their sustain. You can experiment with these groupings when you work through section three. 25

27 Gamelan 1. The Skeleton Melody (Balungan) Everyone must learn the melody, preferably on instruments, but if there aren t enough, those playing unpitched percussion should sing (some words are given below which can be used if required). Often Javanese balungan are quite simple to allow for extensive decoration. The melody is repeated as many times as required. If using the words, the last bar (the word dead ) is also the point where the melody repeats. 26

28 Gamelan 2. Pitched Percussion The lowest and some of the middle instruments play the skeleton melody (balungan). To avoid every note in the melody resonating after playing it, the non-beater hand needs to damp each note when the next is played. This can take some practice the damping hand follows the playing hand at one beat s distance. Middle instrument decoration This is the simplest form of decoration: the entire melody is played in quavers, each note repeated twice. The first line becomes: It is still important to dampen the notes when pitches change so that previous pitches do not continue to resonate. High instrument decoration These instruments play more elaborate patterns based on the notes used in each bar. In gamelan theory there are rules for this, but I suggest that this decoration is worked out fairly freely. But make sure: It s in quavers 2 or 4 note patterns repeat for at least a bar before changing Base the pattern on the balungan (skeleton melody) notes in that bar (i.e. in the melody on the previous page, the note A should be avoided in the first 8 bars, until it is introduced to the melody in bar 9) Decoration for the tune in bars 1 and 2 could be something like this: Extension To extend this activity further, this pattern is often split between 2 players, one on the beat, the other off a real challenge! The result looks like: Again damping notes when the next is played is important in this part to make the line sound melodic. 27

29 Gamelan 3. Unpitched Percussion See the percussion pattern on the next page (also included in the student notes). The unpitched instruments are used to punctuate the repeated melody, marking the beginning of each repeat, start of each phrase, mid-way point through each phrase, etc. These instruments can be organised according to the length of sustain they have. The longer they sustain, the less they play (but in Gamelan, the more important they are). So, a large cymbal or gong is suitable for group 1 below, whilst a wood block would be good for group 6. One instrument plays in each of the following places: Group 1 1st note bar 1 marking the repeat of each cycle. In Java this would be the largest gong Group 2 1st note bar 5, 1st note bar 9 marking the beginning of each phrase Group 3 1st note bars 3, 7 and 11 marking half way through each phrase Group 4 1st note bar 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 & 12 marking quarter-way through each phrase Group 5 3rd beat every bar Group 6 2nd & 4th beat every bar This whole group forms an interlocking texture in which someone is playing on every beat. 4. The Drummer The drummer leads the ensemble. They can develop a simple introduction which cues the whole band. They play along with the piece, quietly improvising and keeping a steady pulse. To end, the drummer slows down the tempo in bars 11 and 12. At the end of bar 12, there is a pause, during which the big gong plays (the instrument in group 1). After this everyone plays their final note, which doesn t have to be together. The Drummer can also change the tempo during the piece. It is worth experimenting with the group to see how the drummer can affect the piece. Extension Once you and your students have worked through this activity together, students can then carry out the same process in smaller groups of 10 students: 1 person on each instrument (3 pitched percussion, 6 unpitched, 1 drummer). Once they have mastered it in smaller groups, they could create their own balungan melody and accompaniment. 28

30 Gamelan Gamelan unpitched punctuation patterns When choosing instruments for these 6 parts, the instrument with the longest sustain should play the first part; the one with the shortest (eg a wood block or clave) should play parts 5 & 6. Grade the other groups accordingly, but try and make sure each part has a distinctive sound one type of instrument per part. 29

31 Student worksheet: Gamelan The Gamelan orchestra is a percussion ensemble originating in Indonesia. This worksheet is based on Javanese Gamelan, and some of the principals behind it. The Javanese use two scales: pelog (7 notes) and slendro (5 notes). The tunings are unique to each individual Gamelan ensemble, and do not generally match western tuning. The melody we re learning is composed for workshop use and uses a pentatonic (5 note) scale. Gather your instruments You ll need: Pitched percussion: xylophones, glockenspiels, chime bars Unpitched percussion: cymbals, gongs, wood blocks, triangles, etc A drum Organising the instruments The pitched instruments need to be organised into three groups according to their pitch. Highest: Decorative patterns Middle: Decoration and melody Lowest: Melody The unpitched instruments are divided into groups according to the length of their sustain. You can experiment with these groupings when you work through the appropriate section. The Skeleton Melody (Balungan) If there are enough pitched percussion instruments available for everyone, everyone should learn the balungan (skeleton melody). If there aren t, the people who will play pitched instruments must learn to play it on them, and those who will play unpitched ones should learn to sing it. Everyone needs to know the tune to be able to feel it s structure. 30

32 Student work sheet: Gamelan Pitched Percussion Low group and some of the middle group: learn to play the melody as written, but the hand without the beater should damp each note as the next is struck. Rest of middle group: play melody in quavers (as bars 1-4 below show) Highest group: develop decorative patterns around the music in each bar. These should be in quavers, be short repeated patterns 2 or 4 note patterns, and be based on the balungan for that bar. For instance, bars 1 & 2 could be: KS3 - writing header KS1 - writing header 31

33 Student worksheet: Gamelan Unpitched Percussion Organise the instruments according to the length of the notes they play. The longest play least (1 below), the shortest play most (6 below). In Gamelan, the instrument which plays at the beginning of each repeat is the most important, as from it everyone knows where they are. One instrument/type of instrument plays in each of the following places: Group 1 1st note bar 1 marking the repeat of each cycle. In Java this would be the largest gong Group 2 1st note bar 5, 1st note bar 9 marking the beginning of each phrase Group 3 1st note bars 3, 7 and 11 marking half way through each phrase Group 4 1st note bar 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 & 12 marking quarter-way through each phrase Group 5 3rd beat every bar Group 6 2nd & 4th beat every bar This whole group forms an interlocking texture in which someone is playing on every beat. There is a score of this pattern on the next page. The piece is repeated as many times as you want. The Drummer The drummer leads the ensemble. They can develop a simple introduction which cues in the whole band. They play along with the piece, quietly improvising and keeping a steady pulse. To end, the drummer slows down the tempo in bars 11 and 12. At the end of bar 12, there is a pause, during which the big gong plays. After this everyone plays their final note, which doesn t have to be together. The Drummer can also change the tempo during the piece. Practice with your drummer to perfect this. Extension Can you create your own skeleton melody, and surround it with decorative patterning? 32

34 Student worksheet: Gamelan Gamelan unpitched punctuation patterns When choosing instruments for these 6 parts, the instrument with the longest sustain should play the first part; the one with the shortest (eg a wood block or clave) should play parts 5 & 6. Grade the other groups accordingly, but try and make sure each part has a distinctive sound one type of instrument per part. 33

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