Why another film score article?
There are so many different sources when it comes to soundtracks. So many interviews, tips and tricks, breakdowns and so on. Still, when I started planning my unit on film music, I felt that it was difficult to find small practical tasks. Since the population of my music classes is quite diverse, I wanted to create a framework that would allow students to do well with little knowledge. I also wanted to make sure that any kind of musical style would be acceptable.
Can you “hear” the picture?
For some students, creating film scores can be quite intimidating. Especially if they lack keyboard skills, this can discourage and discourage students. I decided to start with the bigger picture – how to translate an image into music and vice versa. I usually have a good mix of musical preferences in my classes, so this question finally caters to the more classically inclined students with Beethoven's Pastorale. I have chosen various examples from the symphony - from very simple (birds) to a bit more challenging.
Be creative with the first mini task.
I'm a big fan of "mini tasks". Composition exercise in the range of 15 to 30 seconds. They are ideal for students' short attention spans and allow them to explore a wide range of musical styles, tasks and compositions. If they are not satisfied with the result, Mp3 download songs they can always try again. In this case, I showed them a picture of the Helenen valley, where Beethoven liked to go for walks. Students had the choice of playing acoustic instruments, using a DAW, or a combination of both. An easy but beautiful combination was to include recorded nature sounds and add them to the composition.
Start of lesson:
When it comes to film music, students are often unaware of the wide variety of musical styles used in films. This lesson got them thinking:
So far, every class has been quite surprised by the number of films with Beethoven's music. This regularly leads to entertaining discussions.
Playing with chords
Before we start a big project, I want to teach my students a few compositional techniques using the DAW of their choice. By demonstrating the construction of 7th and 9th chords, students will quickly understand the power of non-triad chords. When I don't have time to get fancy with imovie or similar, I like to use screencasts like QuickTime Player, Screencast-o-matic or Screen Recorder Extension on chrome. Here is a simple example of a simple recording of note playing that I put into my notation software.