Music- Final MYP Reflection

Over the last two years, I have had many musical experience in and out of class. The best music experience outside of class would have to be performing with the Bangkok Charity Orchestra. Performing with an orchestra is very different from playing alone. The players in the orchestra are of a high level so it helped push me forward. I also got exposed to a lot of different major symphonies and concertos and got to play with some professional violin and piano soloists. In class, there were two major music experience that I will cherish deeply. First was when I got a chance to write my own song. I have always wanted to write a song and I finally got a chance to do so here. The other experience is during the jazz unit. I have only been exposed to classical music, but after this unit I got a better idea of Jazz and learned to appreciate it more.

I think the greatest success in music was learning about the different types of music, such as Jazz and African Music. Also now that I have matured and be able to approach a new piece of music without the help of my teacher. This skill will be very important for me when I no longer have a teacher but still need to play big pieces. Playing pieces with Tobias helped me get an idea of playing a duet and the skills that is needed to do so. A failure of mine would be that I didn’t actually play a wide range of pieces, I am much more focused on classical pieces but should think about playing different styles of pieces.

Music helped me develop me as a person. I learnt to enjoy and love classical pieces and also appreciate them for what they are. I have learnt the theory of music and now sometimes if I am bored I can just analyze the music that I hear. It is quite a fun thing to do. It will play a major role in the future for me. I could be playing in a bar to make some extra money on the side or just playing for the joy of my self. In my spare time I also wish to compose music and maybe have the possibility as a future career option. Music will forever be part of my life and I will definitely look back at the two years of MYP music that I had.

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Music- Plan

Group Members: Tobias and Zeyu

Instruments: Violin and Piano

Music: The Butterfly Lover Violin Concerto

Origin: Chinese

Plan:

  1. Practice separately so each part is known
  2. Work in sections and try get through the piece
  3. Rehearse together combining the sections
  4. Run through the piece from top to bottom

 

Music- Composition Investigation

The Oscar nominated musical Les Misérables hit the cinemas on Christmas Day last year, reviving a long lost musical. With the movie came the beautifully original French songs by by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel then translated into English by Herbert Kretzmer. A famous song from this musical is “I Dreamed a Dream”, sang by Fatine in the first act of the musical. Throughout the years multiple cover versions of the song has been produced, making it the best known song from the musical.

This song is structured in an A-B-C-D-E format, with the same sort of rhythmic pattern repeating and different variations of the main melody which comes in at part B. First the song starts off very slowly, which a vocal introduction where the words are almost said then sung. All of the notes are E and even though a rhythm is written on the music, but it is not generally followed by the singer as this helps to express her emotions even better. The singing begins in at B with a 3 bar instrumental introduction. The piano plays a counter melody here helping to bring out the real melody. The main melody has a dotted rhythm, helping to push the music forward. As the melody is playing the piano plays a counter melody that fits nicely in the background. At part C, the first chord has an E sharp in it, which is very curious. This is because it doesn’t fit the chords that the songs has been be playing before. As this section goes on, the audience gets use to this new melody line. This section ends with the singer holding a very long note, creating a crescendo as she tries to hold her breath. This increases the energy level of this song and then with the fermata at the end, it controls this energy again. The next section goes back into the part B melody but is cut short as the orchestra comes in and plays a two bar transition for the modulation which happens at the start of part E. This modulation brings much more energy into the music, where the climax of the whole song is reached. The song then quickly reduces itself to the previous state and ends with a piano playing a short motif.

How the song is laid out helps to convey the true purpose of the song. Fatine was dying, thrown out into the streets and became a prostitute trying to earn money for her daughter. She tries to think back to her happier days and wonders about her life. The song is very sad and it helps Fatine to express her true feelings. She is accompanied by an orchestra which can produce a range of sounds. The woodwinds mainly plays in the part A, while the brass fully joined in part E where the climax of the piece. Generally Fatine was accompanied by strings and keyboard, creating a very soft and sad sound. This acts like the bass line to the singer. Percussion was never used in this music except in the climax to enhance and empathize the music even more. The lyrics itself is also empowering and before with the audience viewing the series of steps that led Fatine to become this way, the song really impacts them, could bring a tear to their eyes while watching the movie.

From this research, I can relate quite a few things to my own composition. Even though this song and my composition are from quite different genres but the central ideas are all the same, to enhance and help convey a message to the audience. Apart from that, there is quite a few things that is similar between the two pieces. First I used a dotted melody like the one in this song. This helps to make a simple melodic line much more complex and interesting. Next I used chords to help accent the strong beats in each bar. This is what happens in the climax of the song increasing the energy level.

Every instrument has purpose but if it is played alone, it would song very dry and bare. It is when all the instruments are combined together that truly makes this music a master piece. With over 30 covers of this song made, the number would continue to rise over the next years, keeping this legendary piece of music alive.

Music- Composition Reflection 5

There is only one more music lesson before the holidays. Today in class I realized that I have finished my whole composition. After showing Mr. David, he suggested that I do some minor adjustments in some places of the piece but other than that it is fine. The whole piece consists of two sections, the long introduction and the story of Tom and Jerry. Using the instruments I have chosen, I think I have successfully set the mood for the clip that I have chosen. The first introduction part I gave each cat a different theme. This was synced to what they were doing and if just by listening to the music it would sound quite chaotic but with the video everything would make sense. The second part is like a conversation between the clarinet and oboe. By using different notes, I managed to create a different feel. Like in the last part when Tom blows Jerry up, I used an arpeggio scale and when Jerry was flying wildly 32th notes were used to create the flying affect. My next step is try to enhance the sound quality from Sibelius. This would require a number of steps and Mr. David said he will help me with this next lesson.

Music- Composition Reflection 4

Today was quite a productive lesson, I made quite a few changes to my score and I believe the changes made the composition much better. First of all Tom’s theme could not be played on the violin. It couldn’t be heard above all of the other woodwind and brass instruments that I have used. Tom’s instrument has been changed from a violin to the oboe, this choice was made because the oboe is low and high but it gives a feeling like that the note always has a base. This is what I would like people to hear when the piece is heard. Jerry’s instrument has also been changed because the Saxophone doesn’t have a wide range of notes and also it didn’t really fit the feeling of Jerry that I was trying to get across. I went back to the clarinet, which produced the sound that I wanted. With that old type of feeling incorporated into it. I have also started to work on my composition a bit at home, this helps me to move forward with my composition and hopefully finish it before the holidays.

Music- Composition Reflection 3

After last lesson, I sent my work in to Mr. David for him to check my composition. After receiving feed back from him, I changed my composition accordingly. First I changed the introduction of my composition to 5/4. This is an odd time signature and it helps me fit the strange rhythm that I have created at the start. I have synced a instrument with each specific cat in the beginning of the clip. Then in the middle of the composition I switched into a compound beat the 6/8. This switch was made because I wanted a much more gentle feel to my music. This could be done with this compound two time beat. I decide to have Tom to be played on the violin as I want to make sound quite relaxed and soft, even though later on in the clip he gets pretty violent. Jerry will be played using the tenor saxophone. This choice was made because unlike Tom, I wanted Jerry to be quite playful and I thought the saxophone can do that job. I still have quite a lot to do, I am also starting to do some work at home, which would hopefully let me catch up with where I want to be.

Music- Composition Reflection 2

Today was quite a productive lesson. I liked what I started off doing last lesson so I am going along with this idea and continuing to develop on it. The Alto Saxophone plays the melody line for my composition. I gave the Saxophone the main part because the timbre it produces gives everyone a very relaxed mood with a bit of feeling. It gives the beach atmosphere which is where this Tom and Jerry video is set. As the video pans across the beach, there are a few characters that show up. I have matched a sound with each individual or group of cats working out. The first cat that shows I added a very high piano key. This sounds like the sets of weights crashing against each other. Next character I originally went for the tuba because the cat was big and bouncy but this since it is also a brass instrument conflicted with the melody. So I decided to go high with the piccolo  instead to spread out the difference. Next lesson I would try to match the other characters with music. This would be so much easier if the program wouldn’t lag my video. In order to fix the problem, I had to restart my computer and work the program again to prevent any lag.

Music- Composition Reflection 1

Today I decided to crap my old composition as it didn’t take me anywhere and decided to start a new one. This time instead of adding all the instruments that I want all at once, I decided to just start with the piano and a few percussion instruments. Then after developing the melody and the base on the piano, I pictured what insturnments would go well with the melody then experimented by adding to it. This makes it much more logical and easier for me to continue with my melody without worrying with what insturnments I should place it as. I believe that I shall continue to use this method to complete my composition. The melody is going strong and I am trying to sync the music with the video right now. 

 

Music- Research Notes

The function of music in film
Music can be used to depict time and place of the setting
Convey character ideas
Highlight mood or atmosphere
To communicate to the audience
Changing emotions
Manipulating sounds within silence
Qualities and characteristics of the sound
Pitch, volume, duration, and timbre
Choose sound qualities with care
Four qualities of the sound
Tempo and texture
Different themes for different scenes.
Variations of the themes

Orchestra
Enormous range of size
Range of emotions
1930s and 1940s
Spectacular sounds are expected for spectacular scenes

The Entertainer
Radio
The Sting
Marvin Hamlisch
Rag Time
1800-1930
Marching tempo
Syncopated right hand melody
Two beats per bar
Left hand rhythm
Clarinet tuba piano trumpet drums
Prohibition era
5 sections Rondo ABACA
Syncopation
Rhythmic pattern
Tied notes being accented
Semiquavers rest on the first beat of the bar
Not groupings of semiquavers and quavers create crochet beats
Simple duplo
2/4
Two crochet beats in a bar
Plot of the sting
1996