Phrases and Themes

Casey Hulick
chulick@ulster.net
Goshen Intermediate School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments
Notation
Multimedia/Digital Media

Level:

Elementary

Class:

General Music

Equipment:

Finale/Sibelius; Computer; Projecter/Screen; Speakers/Sound System for Playback; Handout with 2 blank measures in Common Time

Duration:

45 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Read and write basic notation (treble clef – simple rhythms); comprehension of harmonic and non-harmonic tones; knowledge of root, third and fifth intervals in simple chords

MENC Standards Addressed:

MENC 1: Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
MENC 4: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
MENC 5: Reading and notating music.
MENC 6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
MENC 7: Evaluating music and music performances.

Materials:

Finale/Sibelius; Computer; Projecter/Screen; Speakers/Sound System for Playback; Handout with 2 blank measures in Common Time; pencil

Objectives:

Given an assigned chord in a given key, students will compose a two measure phrase using harmonic and nonharmonic tones (nonharmonic tones may be used as passing tones, and as upper or lower neighbors. Various rhythmic note values and rests may be used.

Procedures:

 

  • Discuss and review harmonic tones in a triad (Root, third and fifth) Refer to appropriate lessons on Ricci Adam’s musictheory.net web site projected on screen.
  • Discuss and review use of nonharmonic tones as passing tones and upper and lower neighbors
  • Explain how each student should compose a two measure phrase based on a given chord symbol (C, F, G7, Am, Bb, C7, Dm, E7)
  • Hand out sheets w/two blank measures and chord symbol
  • Have students compose their phrases then collect
  • Teacher organizes phrases into simple themes in Keys of C, F, and a minor based on simple I IV V7 I chord progressions and enter into Finale projected on screen
  • Before playing the examples, take a few minutes to explain and discuss the process, procedure, and chord progressions to create themes.

Evaluation:

 

  • Evaluate the use of harmonic and nonharmonic tones for each phrase and the use of rhythm
  • Play examples – organize themes in various forms (binary, ternary, AABA, rondo, etc.)
  • Make any needed or desired corrections or changes
  • Students sing music projected on screen (note names, solfeggio, syllables, original lyrics, etc.)
  • Print out final pieces and make copies for students.

Follow Up:

 

  • Lesson could be repeated for better performance if needed
  • Additional chord symbols and keys could be used
  • Students could be given several chords to compose a complete theme
  • Lesson could be built upon for more extended compositions

Items to Purchase:

Computer; Finale or Sibelius; Internet access; Projector; Speakers/Sound System; Paper; Pencil

When budget should be submitted:

According to school district policy.

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