Aim: What musical ingredients give a piece a unique sound?
Summary: Students create arrangements of a melody and listen to recordings contrasting in style and genre.
Standards: US 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8; NYC 1, 2, 3
Modality: performing, responding, creating
Materials: recordings of different styles and genres, classroom instruments (if available)
Time Required: 20 minutes
- As a class, explore how ingredients give recipes their unique qualities.
What ingredients would you need for a chocolate sundae? What is a different kind of sundae you could make? What different ingredients would you need?
- Make connections between ingredients used in a recipe and in music.
Musicians also use different ingredients to give their music a unique sound. These include expressive qualities like tempo, dynamics, articulation, and instrumentation.
- What are some different musical ingredients that musicians might use?
- Review familiar expressive qualities with students.
- Have students choose a combination of expressive qualities from the Student Worksheet and apply them to a familiar song.
Download Student Worksheet
- Have students perform their arrangements for the class. Reflect.
Using classroom instruments, found objects, or body percussion, have students explore instrumentation with the arrangements they created in the activity above.
- Listen to different versions of the same piece in contrasting genres.
How would you compare these two versions?
- What is the same about them? What makes them different?
- How did the musical ingredients change?
Additional listening links: Please note that the resources below link to proprietary content.
"Little Fugue," performed by The Swingle Singers
"Little Fugue," performed by the American Youth Harp Ensemble