Creating an Arrangement or Variation Using Notation Software

Creating an Arrangement or Variation using Notation Software

Denise Perry
[email protected]
Wilde Lake High School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Notation Software


High School


Music Technology


Macintosh or Windows PC, Music Notation Software


3 50 min classes Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students have been exposed to Arrangements and Variations. Students have experience working in notation software regarding Setting up a document, Entering notes, Inserting measures, Choosing instruments, Adding staves

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.

NAfME 2914: Responding


Notation file for Dona Nobis Pacem (or any file of choice) created by the instructor and handed out to each student. Instructions will be included in the student handout. Listening examples of arrangements and variations of Dona Nobis as well as other musical examples of the instructor choice. MIDI File also available here.


1. Students will listen to examples of arrangements and variations. 2. Students will enter notation, choose key, time signature and staves correctly. 3. Students will choose instrument sounds to create an arrangement. 4. More advanced students will choose to create a variation to be added after measure 16. 5. Students will evaluate a student composition using a class-composed rubric.


Review Arrangement and Variation with the students. Play examples (include Dona Nobis) and lead a discussion with the class. Sample questions may include: What instruments are playing the melody; bass part; inner harmony? What choices do arrangers make when creating their version (arrangement)? How did the melody change in the first variation, etc? Did the rhythm change in the melody? Bass? Harmony? How did it change? Students will enter in the 16 measure example of Dona Nobis. (Day 2-3) Students will create their own arrangement or variation.


Students will save their file to disc. Student files will contain a completed arrangement or variation of Dona Nobis labeled with their name on the document

Follow Up:

Students will listen to student examples and discuss the decisions made and the differences between variation and arrangement. Students will evaluate compositions created by other students using a class-composed rubric. Other suggested lesson extension: These files can be also saved as Standard MIDI files and opened in a sequencing program for further exploration of adding effects, balancing of tracks, adding tempo or volume envelopes, etc.

Items to Purchase:

Notation software

When budget should be submitted:

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