Rainbow Tone Rows

My Year 6 music class experimented with serialism and tone-rows but using a diatonic scale (A B C D E F G) rather than a chromatic one (ie with all the semitones).

I used the phrase ‘Rainbow Tone Row’ to link in with out use of BoomWhackers.

Although this does somewhat negate serialsims goal of removing the influence of key from compositions, it allowed for easier composition and the use of our decidedly diatonic glockenspiels and BoomWhackers.

I demonstrated the technique on the board and then had students perform. The methods on the sheet (including writing the tune a third higher) are not authentically serialistic but the aim was to provide the students with readily accessible composing techniques. After students had tried their hand at writing and performing their (own diatonic) tone rows, we chose one student’s piece to perform using the performance grid. The class divided into four groups, with each group ‘soloing’ and performing with others.

Downloads

    

Extension

A quick search of YouTube will turn up many videos on serialism.

Advanced students may like to try composing the chromatic scale. There are lots of resources around but mostly aimed at secondary students. This 12 tone serialsim worksheet at TES.com might be useful.

Australian Curriculum links

  • Explore dynamics and expression, using aural skills to identify and perform rhythm and pitch patterns (ACAMUM088)
  • Develop technical and expressive skills in singing and playing instruments with understanding of rhythm, pitch and form in a range of pieces, including in music from the community (ACAMUM089)
  • Rehearse and perform music including music they have composed by improvising, sourcing and arranging ideas and making decisions to engage an audience (ACAMUM090)

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Music Essentials – Arranging

Cover of the book 'Music Essentials - Arranging'

Cover of Music Essentials - Arranging

Arranging is one of two creative secondary music titles I’ve written for Blake Education.

It was written with Year 9-10 in mind, but could be readily adpated for younger students with more music experience.

It’s fully photocopiable, so you can make your own arranging booklets or cherry-pick the material for inclusion in your own courses.

Chapter topics include:

Transposing, Chords, Keyboard Styles, Chord Inversions, Chord Inversions at Work, The Keyboard Accompaniment, Bass guitar, The Guitar Part, Guitar TAB, Drums, Counter Melody, Fills, Harmony, Finale Notepad, Templates and a Reference Page.

My aim for the book was for students to complete an actual arrangement, learning skills in transposing, writing accompaniments and creating melody fills. The book works equally well with paper or software and Finale Notepad which is mentioned in the book has now had some serious updates to it, as is once again free.

Here’s what Blake have to say about it:

Music Essentials: Arranging includes activities relating to arranging; transposing; chords and chord inversions; accompaniment styles; notation for guitar, bass and drums; and harmony and counter melodies. Creative approaches to learning the skills of songwriting and arranging that don’t require additional equipment and only basic note reading skills. Covers everything students need to start composing their own songs, including lyrics, tunes and chord progressions. Elements of music theory – such as major scales, blues scales and basic chord construction – are also woven into the activities to provide a solid theoretical foundation. A key feature of this series are the suggested ways in which to integrate notation software and freeware into music lessons.

Music Essentials – Arranging is available from www.blake.com.au for around $40

Key Signature Charts

Need to fill in a vacant board in the Music Room?

Try this 15 sheet set of key signature charts.

Each chart features the major and related minor key, the sharps / flats (in both symbols and letters) and a smart red border (very essential…). The last added sharp or flat is highlighted in red for easy spotting.

The charts look great mounted in a circle and you can elect to have the enharmonic keys included.


Key Signature Posters (493kb)