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African Composing

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Composition
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  YEAR 8 UNIT 1  –  AFRICAN MUSIC W5 WWW.MUSICALCONTEXTS.CO.UK Name Form Now that you have learned about RHYTHMS, CYCLIC RHYTHMS, POLYRHYTHMS, SYNCOPATION  and CALL AND RESPONSE  as features used in African music, it ’ s time to compose your own African-inspired piece of music using these features. 1. Begin by composing your own RHYTHM . You can use some of the names of African countries, from the map below, to help you. Try to include some SYNCOPATION  and write your rhythm in the rhythm grid below.  YEAR 8 UNIT 1  –  AFRICAN MUSIC W5 WWW.MUSICALCONTEXTS.CO.UK 2. Next, think about which INSTRUMENT  you are going to perform your African rhythm on. If you ’ re performing it on an African drum, such as a DJEMBE , try to use BASS (B) , TONE (T)  and SLAP (S)  strokes to vary the sound adding the letters, B, T and S to your rhythm grid below. If you ’ re using a PITCHED  instrument such as a xylophone to imitate the  African BALAFON , work out which note names or PITCHES  you ’ ll use and write these on the rhythm grid below. My rhythm is being performed on 3. Practice repeating this rhythm over and over turning it into a CYCLIC RHYTHM. Tick the box when you have completed this. I have created my own rhythm, decided on which instrument to perform this and can repeat it as a CYCLIC RHYTHM . 4. Now, form a group of between 5 and 6 people. Share each other  ’ s rhythms by writing them on the rhythm grid below, together with the instrument they are using. 5. Create a POLYRHYTHMIC  texture by deciding who will start performing their CYCLIC  rhythm first and who will come in next and in what order. Also think about HOW MANY TIMES  each person is going to perform their rhythms. Add the numbers 1-6 against each row in the table above to help remind you on the order of the rhythms. Now, practice with each group member performing their rhythm at the correct time. Tick the box when your group have completed this. We have decided upon an order in which to perform each members CYCLIC RHYTHMS  and have rehearsed this creating a POLYRHYTHMIC  texture.  YEAR 8 UNIT 1  –  AFRICAN MUSIC W5 WWW.MUSICALCONTEXTS.CO.UK 6. Now it ’ s time to add some CALL AND RESPONSE  to your African-inspired piece. Decide on who will be the MASTER DRUMMER  and create a CALL  writing your rhythm in the box below, using words if this helps you remember it. Next, create a RESPONSE  which is performed by all the other members of the group and write this in the rhythm box below. You could also take it in turns being the MASTER DRUMMER  performing the CALL  and allowing each group member to IMPROVISE  a response which will be different each time. Tick the box when you have completed your call and response section. We have created a CALL   AND RESPONSE pattern and can perform this together as a group. 7. Putting your African piece together   Now that you each have a RHYTHM , can perform these as a POLYRHYTHM  and have a CALL AND RESPONSE  section. You need to put your piece together. Use the box below to work out a STRUCTURE  to your piece. Work out an INTRODUCTION  and ENDING  and decide when and how many times you will use your POLYRHYTHM  and CALL AND RESPONSE  sections. Also think about how you will move or change from section to section? Will you have a cue or signal? Use a different sound from an instrument or use vocal signals and shouts? Finally, think about a name or title for your piece
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