Maryanne Variations

Maryanne Variations

Neal Smith
[email protected]
Millikin University

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments


7-12 Instrumental




45 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

1. Intermediate proficiency on instruments
2. Ability to improvise melodic patterns using tonic and dominant harmonies
3. Familiarity with Caribbean Folk Song “Maryanne”

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 1: Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
MENC 2: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
MENC 3: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
MENC 5: Reading and notating music.
MENC 7: Evaluating music and music performances.
MENC 9: Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture


1. Computer with Band in the Box installed and equipped with speakers
2. Band in the Box song file with harmonic changes for Maryanne entered(Bb/Bb/F7/F7/F7/F7/Bb/Bb/Bb/Bb/F7/F7/F7/F7/Bb/Bb) and set to loop three times.
3. Notation software with template created for key, time signature, and harmony of Maryanne (optional).


1. Students will improvise variations of Maryanne with their voice and instrument while adhering to the harmonic changes in Bb major.
2. Students will improvise using various Latin styles included in Band in a Box as an accompaniment
3. Student will compare accompaniment styles and decide which one is most appropriate for their variation
4. Students will identify the cultural origins of Maryanne
5. Students will notate their variation using notation software (optional)


1. Students review melodic patterns in Bb Major using tonic and dominant harmonies.
2. Students review “Maryanne” on voices and instruments.
3. Sing tune using Band in the Box as accompaniment (select Latin style such as Maraco, Salsa, Havana, or Caribbean and set tempo to 140-150)
4. Ask students to audiate a variation on Maryanne while listening to various styles of accompaniment
5. Select some students to sing their variation using one of the accompaniment styles
6. Students select their favorite accompaniment style
7. Teacher selects students to play their variation using their selected accompaniment style
8. Teacher asks students where they think the song may have originated and gives students background information on that culture (location, history, ethnic make-up, language, etc.)
9. Students can notate their variations using notation software.


Students will be assessed on the following
1. Instrumental proficiency of their performance
2. Familiarity with the song and harmonic changes
3. Creativity of their variation
4. Accuracy of notation

Follow Up:

Students could later create additional parts for their variation — bass lines, counter melodies.

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