Technology Strategies -- National Music Standard #4

Grade Levels: K - 12

Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines


Student Use of Technology


Students can create (compose) original background sounds for classroom readings and dramatizations. There are software programs designed to be used specifically by young children. With these programs music can be composed using non-traditional means such as drawing lines to compose a melody. Students can arrange a piece of music using the MIDI sequencer to change timbres. They can also experiment with different combinations of sounds using a MIDI sequencer to alter the elements and characteristics of the music. Melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, and form, can be isolated, changed, and elements such as ritards, accelerandos, and crescendos can be created and controlled.

Notation software enables students to compose or arrange for voices and/or instruments. It provides a way to listen to a composition as it is being composed and print legible scores and parts. Compositions using a variety of instruments and ranges can be enhanced by using notation software. Students can play back their compositions using a variety of timbres. Notes can be entered in step time or real time.

Students can use software for editing and storing custom sounds. They can create and edit sounds for their compositions and arrangements. Some notation software have the built-in capability to manipulate music in many ways such as retrograde, inversion, augmentation, and diminution. With notation or MIDI sequencing programs, music can be copied and pasted into other parts of compositions creating musical forms such as ABA, AABA, and Rondo.

With an electronic controller and sound source (module), sounds can be created, edited, and stored. Some MIDI sequencing programs can generate time code used when synchronizing MIDI sequences with video and film. This software can be used to compose music to accompany videos and movie soundtracks. Using a MIDI sequencer with digital audio capability, sounds can be recorded and digitally edited for analysis or playback.

Student Activities for Standard #4


4.01 The student creates sound effects to accompany readings and dramatizations using an electronic sound source (MIDI keyboard, MIDI controller).
4.02 The student composes original compositions using software designed for younger students or non-music readers.
4.03 The student changes the timbres of one or more parts in a prerecorded MIDI sequence.
4.04 The student demonstrates the elements of music using a MIDI sequencer.
4.05 The student arranges pieces for various voices or instruments using a notation program.
4.06 The student composes pieces demonstrating the ranges of traditional instruments using a notation program or MIDI sequencing software.
4.07 The student records music in step time and real time using a MIDI sequencer or music notation program.
4.08 The student creates compositional forms using a sequencer or notation program.
4.09 The student creates, edits, and stores sounds using a MIDI instrument, a sound source, and editor/librarian software.
4.10 The student composes music using algorithmic composition software.
4.11 The student records a MIDI sequence and synchronizes it with a movie soundtrack, film, or video.
4.12 The student records and edits acoustic sounds using digital sound editing software.

Teacher Use of Technology


Teachers can create musical examples with a MIDI sequencer. For example, a sequence can play every part with the melody muted. Students can then compose a melody over the existing sequence. When teachers create custom examples for students, the compositional process is enhanced. Teachers can also create musically expressive sequences using MIDI controllers. Quality sounding sequences can be used to teach beginning and advanced compositional techniques. Some MIDI sequencers allow for complex editing, mixing, and digital audio. These tools can be used by teachers to create exercises to help students compose and arrange music within specified guidelines.

Teacher Strategies for Standard #4


4.13 The teacher creates multi-timbral musical examples using a MIDI sequencer.
4.14 The teacher creates musically expressive MIDI sequences using appropriate MIDI controllers.
4.15 The teacher edits and performs complex mixing processes, and integrates digital audio with MIDI sequences.

Excerpted from Technology Strategies for Music Education.

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