How to Create a “Concrete”

How to Create a “concrete”

Jennifer Raftery
[email protected]
Kent State University

Files for Use with this Lesson Plan

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:



High School


Music Theory


Audacity, free download ( -for MAC or PC


30 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Basic computer knowledge and information on “music concrete.”

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

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

NAfME 2014: Creating 

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

NAfME 2014: Responding 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture

NAfME 2014: Connections


Audacity and computer capabilities for using the software.


Students will research “concrete” music and submit a paragraph summery about the topic.

Students will use the software program Audacity and create their own “concrete.”

Students will be able to identify “concrete” music.


  1. Students will write a one paragraph essay about “concrete music.” They will submit this for a grade (25%) to the teacher as part of their assignment.
  2. The remaining grade (75%) will be based on their “concrete” piece they will play for the class.
  3. These are the steps that the students will follow for this assignment:
    1. Open audacity by clicking on the desktop icon.
    2. Once open, DRAG or DOUBLE CLICK the pre-existing file of a simple shareware file (ex. Cymbals.wav) into the Audacity screen:
    3. Your screen should look similar to this:
    4. The idea is to add to this piece by changing the original sounds in the file by manipulating them in any way found in the EFFECT column.
    5. Effect column options look like this:
    6. Once you highlight a section you can manipulate it to anything you may want to create. The sound waves can be clipped, reversed, augmented, etc.
    7. To make a new audio track, click on PROJECT then NEW AUDIO TRACK. This will produce a new audio track (under your original sound file) to add sound clips to your piece.
    8. Add, edit, copy and paste, these sounds to make a unique file for a grade.
    9. A partial display of a completed file may be as follows: (teacher will also provide a full pre-made example for students to work from or view for a guide)
  4. After everyone has completed this assignment, the teacher will play some clips from a few movies or commercials that have “concrete music” in the background.


The teacher and class will listen to the completed pieces and see that the student understands the concept. Students will receive a grade based on their work performed.

Follow Up:

Create another “concrete” to be burned to your own CD to take home.

Items to Purchase:

None, Audacity is a free download.
As for the follow up lesson, CDs need to be on hand.

When budget should be submitted:


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