Rhythmic Composition

Rhythmic Composition

Janelle Lutz
[email protected]

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:



Middle School


General Music


Computer Lab, Printer, MIDI Keyboard, Headphones, Finale or other notation software


at least 5- 45 min. lessons Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students have worked with rhythms in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4. Students are also familiar with expression and articulation marks and their meanings.

NAfME Standard of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standard of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014; Performing 

NAfME Standard of 1994: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
NAfME Standard of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standard of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 

NAfME Standard of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
NAfME Standard of 1994: Evaluating music and music performances.

NAfME 2014: Responding 


You might want to print out a worksheet with the speedy entry shortcuts on it and one that shows the General MIDI standard percussion note assignments. You also need access to some instruments such as drums, bells, or other percussion.


Students will be able to create and notate their own composition of 8 measures in length with two (2) instruments which you have access to in your classroom. They will be able to use a 2/4, 3/4, or 4/4 time signature in Finale and perform from the printed copy.


Each student picks an instrument. Each student picks a partner. Set up a piece in Finale (Title, Composer, and Copyright), instruments, time signature, etc.. Each student enters their measures by Simple or Speedy Entry Methods. Students then add expression/ articulation marks by using those tools. Students then adjust the page layout with the correct number of measures and make any other necessary changes with the teacher’s assistance. Print 3 copies when complete. One for each student and one for the teacher. Set aside one or two days for performances.


Music printed accurately
Rhythms performed correctly
Explanations of articulations and expressions
Describing or analyzing other performances

Follow Up:

Alterations: Different lengths for other age groups or for another assignment, different requirements for the assingment such as writing in ABA form, using one percussion and one melodic instrument, demonstrate use of Mass Edit tool to copy measures which repeat, etc.

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