Composing in Simple and Compound Meters
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Aim: How can we create and perform rhythmic patterns in simple and compound meters?
Summary: Students compose and notate short rhythms in 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8 meters across multiple class periods.
Standards: US 2, 3, 4, 5; NYC 1, 2, 3
Concept: Rhythm & Meter, Form
Artistic Process: performing, creating
Materials: Student Worksheets
Time Required: 20 minutes
- Listen to musical examples featuring 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8 time and direct students to move to the beat.
- Review time signatures and note values using the worksheets below.
Download Teacher Worksheet (PDF)
- As a class, create several examples of 4/4, 3/4, and/or 6/8 rhythmic patterns by getting suggestions from individual students. Write out each pattern on the board and then practice clapping and repeating the rhythm as a class.
- Have students work in small groups to compose their own 4/4, 3/4, or 6/8 measures by completing the Student Worksheet below. Invite students to teach their rhythms to the class.
Download Student Worksheet (PDF)
- Have each small group add body percussion to their rhythms (e.g., snap for quarter-notes, pat shoulders for eighth-notes, etc.).
- Try clapping all of the newly composed 4/4, 3/4, or 6/8 measures in a row without repeats. Decide on an order that seems the most interesting and musically rich.
- Have students add pitches to their rhythms to create melodic compositions.