Sequencing Made Easy

Sequencing Made Easy

Ace Martin
[email protected]
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments
Notation Software
Music Production



Music Technology


Various available Software and Hardware can be used for this lesson from use sequencing software such as FreeStyle, Garage Band, Logic Express, Digital Performer, Cakewalk, and other sequencing software. If sequencing software is not available then music notation software can also be used such as Finale, Print Music, Allegro, and Sibelius. Teacher/students have access to a midi capable keyboard with at least general midi sounds.


40-50 mins. Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Knowledge of basic keyboard skills and the overall knowledge of how to operate sequencing software in record mode.

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 


Teacher may want to put the basic one line melody of: Are You Sleeping? on the board or overhead projector.


Electronic Music students will be identifing and creating a well know melody and harmony through the use of making a round. But each entrance of the round will be by a different sound. Preferably trying to make quartets of like instrument sounds such as 4 brass instruments, woodwind instruments, string instruments. So students can understand timbres of like instrument sounds generated on a electronic instrument for future use in other projects


1. Have students get to know sounds on their keyboard by suggesting to them that they find 4 string instrument, 4 brass, 4 woodwind, and 4 electronic sounds (electric guitar, bass, lead synth, and etc.)10 minutes

2. Have students play the 8 bar melody Are You Sleeping? With one of the sounds suggested above.

3. Once students are at ease playing the melody have them record in the 8 bar melody on their computer using the sequencing software or notation software avaiable.

4. When track 1 is recorded then have students record a different like instrument sound on track 2. But the melody will start on measure 3 for track 2 in forming the round. Now students will start to hear thirds/harmony in their sequence.

5. When 2 tracks are completed then have the melody on a different like instrument start on measure 5. Now students will begina noticing they have more fuller harmony now with the creation of triads from 3 parts being laid done in the sequencing program.

6. When 3 tracks are complete then add the melody again at measure 7 and finish the piece with this statement of the 8 bar melody.

7. If students are having trouble rhythmically laying down the track – then make use of quantize button.

8. Once students have completed one set sequence of 4 like instruments such as string instruments on a electronic instrument. (Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass) Then go to other like instruments such as brass – (Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Woodwind (Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bass Clarinet)- Then have some fun with electronci instruments such as (Lead Guitar, Lead Synth, Hammond Organ, Electric Bass)


1. Students will be able to identify with the common folk melody.

2. Students will have a basic understanding of how to input midi information through the use of a midi keyboard and record multiple tracks in sequende/notation program.

3. Basic understand on how to quickly hear and build harmony through a simple folk melody in a round.

4. Hearing various types of timbres and how the sound alone and with other instrument sounds for future projects

5. With just a simple melody one can be up and running doing projects just from this one quick easy lesson.

6. With the use of quantization students can quickly fix rhythmic problems in their sequences.

7. If students are using a notation program to build tracks/score, then students will be able to print out and have live instruments play their sequence.

Follow Up:

1. Add drum track both melodic and percussion tracks
2. Take the simple folk melody Are You Sleepig and jazz the rhythm to make it sound more in a jazz or rock style.
3. Add drum grooves to the sequence.

Items to Purchase:

Computer, sequencing or notation software, midi interface, midi keyboard or controller depending on what software synths are available on computer.

When budget should be submitted:

Budget must be submitted prior to building a lab at school. If the school has a prexisting lab then a budget would be based on the need for keyboard(s), software, midi interface,printer, and basic needs for the production of this lesson.

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