Today, we visited the students in the Wind Ensemble at Marlborough High School for a second session on composing. First we reviewed the elements in a composer’s toolbox from our last visit.
In the last session, we did some melodic improvisation with student volunteers. We brought back snippets of those melodic improvisations today to use in a piece that we then created together at the end of class.
We took a look at form/shape and how that can be used by a composer when starting to write a piece of music. We included an example of J.S. Bach’s Canon alla Ottava, which we performed for the students. We also created some rhythms together.
Then we set out to compose a short piece that depicted a thunderstorm. First, we talked about the shape of a thunderstorm in sound and how you could portray different parts of a thunderstorm (rain, wind, thunder, lightning, etc.) with instruments and other sounds (snaps, shuffling feet, etc.). Then we combined our sounds, rhythm, harmony, dynamics and melodies to compose a thunderstorm, which you can hear below: