Here is our website! – TME

Check it out!

It has all the YouTube vlogs, educational resources and steps in!

Hope you enjoy:)

https://www.kasmmusic.com

 

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TME Project – Using the Final Cut Pro

As you all know by now 😉 My biggest role in this project was to edit all the videos + photos and create vlogs.

It was quite a time consuming and hard job since I had barely any experiences on editing videos professionally – so that it can be uploaded on to the YouTube. I am sure there are people who are just as lost as I was/am around the world. Hope this can help you to start editing videos!

So the program I used is Final Cut Pro X. I found this much simpler, simply because it is quite similar to the iMovie. Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 11.44.10 pm.png

This will be the first screen you will see when you open up the Final Cut Pro. Yes – too many buttons = headache haha.

First click the button on the top left hand corner (in blue) – This is your Library. You can simply click on to that and add New project/event/library. Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 11.46.54 pm.png

If you have created the New project, now you need to import photos/videos to start creating your own video. Press where the arrow is and this will take you to the new window where you import your resources.

↓↓Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 11.47.57 pm.png

Now, you are good to start editing!

Transition/Title – these are very important features in editing the video. You can always use what you already have in the program, however, I looked through some website and found a pretty cool site where you can download some free sample title/transitions and plug them into your program.

When you install those new features, you will see the names underneath just like the photo here;

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 11.50.07 pm.png

And now you might think, where can I find transition then?

If you go to far right hand side and look down, you will see those little 7 buttons and here you are:

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 11.54.36 pm.png

Transition is a very useful thing to use when you are editing. Whenever you are changing the scene, it make s huge difference on how your video looks like. It makes the video flow nice and smoothly. You can simply add them by dragging them into the video.

I shall share more information by editing this post!

TME Final Project

If you are following me on the twitter, you probably have seen all the YouTube vlogs I have been posting.

In this course, we have a very big final project where we can negotiate any project – just have to create an educational resource for music education. My group, myself, Sophia and Mathew, has been working on creating virtual instrument of Korean Traditional Instruments.

We knew this was a great idea but, how are we going to find a Korean Traditional Instrument player… in Sydney? I was very lucky that one of my friend introduced me to this girl called Hannah Kim, who is doing postgrad at the SCM. And SHE WAS JUST SO AMAZING!

So my main role during the recording session was to take photos + videos of each session and create resources for our vlog + website.

Have a look at our recording sessions:

And as you can see in the video, I was also in charge of setting up/ moving microphone so that we can get the best sound as possible. This video is coming very soon!

Go visit my page OUR EXCITING TECH PROJECT: A TRADITIONAL KOREAN SOUND LIBRARY to see how I edited my photos:)

Mix – up Mash – up

Groove Pizza 

I actually found about this program during my prac. I was discussing about compositional ideas with my prac supervisor and she introduced this program to me.

And here we go! we actually went through this program in our lecture. So the program allows you to input beats, and you can use both the ‘pizza’ or the percussion sheet to click and create your own rhythm.

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 2.23.56 pm.png

  • Click ‘Special’ to see/play with it
  • You can also put shapes in to the ‘pizza’ and turn those around to create the sound you want
  • ‘Swing’ allows you to create a swing beat BUT also, it sounds the beat itself visually on the ‘pizza’
  • Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 2.24.01 pm.png
  • You can immediately import what you have created to the other music program such as SoundTrap. Which then, students can follow on to creating other compositional features. – Step Sequencing
  • Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 2.24.11 pm.png

Best way to create the music is to DO IT YOURSELF, EXPERIENCE IT then MAKE IT YOURSELF.

The assessment idea coming up on the surface is ‘mash-up’ where students use existing sounds/musics to create the music of your own.

Some existing mash-up artists are:

  • POGO – Mash-up of Disney Movies
  • The Grey Album – Jay Z ‘Black’ Album + Beatles ‘White’ Album
  • Madeon 

But the biggest question is … How do we assess these? So our class came up with few ideas based on marking the musicality of the Mash-Up

  • Do songs fit together as a one music?
  • Tempo changes?
  • Harmonic Movement – where is the music going harmonically? How did they led to the climax point?
  • How did the student moved on from the originality?
  • Techniques/skills involved

 

The #Maker Movement in Music Education

So the lecture from about 2 weeks ago (?) was on the #MakerMovement in Music education, and we had to explore a Littlebits Kit – Synth in a group.

This was what we were given:

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 4.47.30 pm.png

Yes, we struggled a lot haha. Sound was not coming out, something was plugged in wrong etc. Even though it was quite simple to follow the structure, it was quite hard working with something we were not familiar with.

While we were working on this kit, James told us an interesting fact about the sound waves.  Sound-Waves.jpg

Rather than the sound bouncing off from far end to another, it is actually the vibration pushes and pulls in between the air molecule (compressing and decompressing of the air molecule).

And also, did you know that your whole body and skin can actually HEAR the sound. However, ear is the most sensitive part hence, we usually hear the sound with our ears.

Anyway, back to the Little Bits Korg, there were few different particles which then we had to line them up to produce a sound. Parts were;

  • Oscillator
    • Sound moving back and forth
    • Oscillates the voltage/the electricity coming out of the battery.
    • It has two wave forms
      • Square where sound moves in square shape (90 degrees)
      • Saw where the sound moves in an arrow/sharp shape
  • Filter
    • Makes the sound more round by cutting up the higher frequency
  • Delay
    • How long the echoing will go on
  • Feedback
    • How long the sound will echo
  • Envelope
    • Attack
      • Useful when we are using the little keyboard Triggers
      • Fast Attack: Most Percussion Instruments
      • Slow Attack: String, Woodwinds
  • Release
    • Even when you stop playing, a note will keep going
  • LFO
    • Cancels the low frequency only

#MakerMovement by Mark Hatch

How would it look like in the music education in the future? So the #makermovement is all about taking stuff and remake it. Hence, if we incorporate this into the classroom, you will find lots of techy things such as legos or Littlebits.

So maybe soon, we will be able to incorporate 3D printing in music education or ‘create your own musical instrument’ with such as ipad.

I guess what my group’s final tech project is – CREATE YOUR OWN VIRTUAL INSTRUMENT via Kontakt. We are on our final stage of creating and polishing instruments. If you missed out on our vlogs, click the link below and stay in tune!

 

 

Back to Year 12! – Composition Diary

16th NOVMastering tracks and touch up scores 

  • What I did today was to to through all the tracks and edited them.
  • First I started with putting some reverb and echo so that tracks does not sound too dead. Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 12.13.12 pm.png
  • Each colour of line represents the different effects.
  • Then I adjusted volumes so that main melody comes out more and the supporting part will be more subtle in the background and act more like accompaniment.
  • I made few adjustments on the scores so that it matches up with the recording. Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 7.09.12 pm.png
  • I also changed the ending – legato instead of staccato so that it has more stronger effect.
  • And yes! I am done!

14th & 15th NOV – Recording Session!

  • So! I have finished with my composition and now its time to record
  • I recorded the Violin and the Cello first so that there is a set rhythm in the music.
    • From my experiences from the TME and Ensemble Pedagogy, it was quite easy to set up the recording gears for the instrument.
    • I got some ideas from Jess on bowing techniques and we decided to do this for the main theme phraseScreen Shot 2017-11-17 at 7.01.54 pm.png
    • and this really gave me the sound/atmosphere I wanted
  • After finishing recording two strings, I recorded the piano underneath. There were some struggles playing the rhythm hence we took several takes in bars then combined them into one.

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 12.13.23 pm.png

  • it was quite hard to line them up actually. I had to spend fair bit of time to line them up so that we were all playing at the same time.
  • My next goal is to mastering all the tracks and then I am DONE!

11th NOV – Fixing up the score before recording 

  • I’ve fixed up some parts from the feedback I had from last session Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 6.40.12 pm.png
  • I changed all the rhythms except some triplets – so that when pianist plays the piece, they know the exact rhythm.
  • I added ‘use pedal’ in this section so that it contrasts with previous ‘baroque’ theme where I wrote ‘no pedal’

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 6.49.25 pm.png

  • I also made some changes on this section where they told me it did not fit harmonically. And I also added slurs to create more legato sound
  • Hopefully by next session I will have all the dynamic markings done so that it is good to record!

 

6th NOV – Class Feedback Time on my composition 

So today, I had to present my whole 2 minute composition to my classmates.

Feedbacks I got were:

  • I need to change all the ties into SLUR! Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 6.08.37 pm.png
  • From bar 13 to bar 20, they said that they can not here a sense of harmonic structure – which is what I struggled with as well. I should go on to the piano and just play chords, so that I can hear how the music is moving harmonically.
  • Also the ‘Swing’ Part had a problemScreen Shot 2017-11-16 at 3.53.43 pm.png
  • Rather than notating the rhythm, they told me that if I am writing a ‘swing’ I should write the music as a straight rhythm then put ‘swing’ on top of the music

29th OCTComposing the end section 

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 6.02.51 pm.png

 

  • Rather than going on with the middle section, I composed the end part so that I know where I am heading to
  • I wanted to finish the composition with the nice simple ending just like the beginning of the composition.
  • All the players are playing the rhythmic unison – which means they need to be really together when I am recording them. If will be quite obvious if someone is playing out of time.
  • Now all I need to consider is the expressive techniques and the middle section

28th OCT – Composing the next section and some ideas on the ‘Swing’ 

  • With the idea of moving the music in circle of the 5th, I’ve laid out the chord structure for myself
    • D –  A – E – B – F – C – G
    • This was quite hard to follow since I was keep getting clashes in the places I did not want the clash to happen…
    • Also I am very confused whether I am following the right structure or not?Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 5.44.12 pm.png
  • Here is the middle section between the end of the ‘Baroque’ theme and start of the ‘Jazz’ theme
    • I think there are a lot of clashes which I do not want but I am not sure what to do with it.
    • I am want to imply the ‘Question and Answer’ form here
    • Maybe there is too many jumps for the violin?

 

26th OCT – Composing the Theme

  • Restructuring my composition structure:
    • Now I have 4 sections;
      • 1. “Baroque Theme”
        • Violin + RH piano
      • 2. “Jazz theme”
        • RH + LH piano & Cello
      • 3. Little outro of’ ‘Jazz theme’
        • All Instruments
      • 4. Return of the “Baroque” theme
        • All instruments
  • Main Theme
    • So I composed the main theme for the violin Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 5.25.38 pm.pngScreen Shot 2017-11-17 at 5.25.44 pm.png
    • From bar 9, it is the return of the main theme
    • I need to fix the ‘tie’ up and change them into ‘slurs’
    • I am not 100% sure whether that is the technique I will be using to create the sound I want. Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 5.25.30 pm.png
    • This is how it looks like with the piano part. I am just going to use the RH of the piano so that it creates nice simple structure/sound
    • I wanted to create more calm atmosphere for this theme so that when it gets to the ‘swing’ theme, there is a big contrast
  • I really need to think about how I want that theme to sound like – e.g. techniques, dynamics, etc
  • Now I need to see how I can move that theme into the Jazz section

24th OCT –Feedback on our composition draft 

If you’ve seen my previous blog post, we have a course called Composition in Music Education during this semester. In this course, we had an assignment where we had to create a baby step composition for students in high school.

Now, as a second step, we have to create a composition following the baby-steps we’ve created previously – which is a great thing to do to see how it actually works/ helps in composing the music.

So, following my step, firstly I layout the table of what Instrument I want to use, key signature and the map of the composition. I chose violin, piano and the bass to start with.

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 9.43.02 pm.png

Then, I composed the theme for the ‘baroque’ – which is my first theme, based on the canonic device. Then, I went to see my lecturer and had some chat about the composition.

Here, I faced with some problems and advises. Originally, my composition had 10 sections – moving around in 2 themes. But, I was targeting year 11-12 students who only need to composed for 2 minutes. This really gave me shock – why did I not think about this (I guess this is a key reason why we are working based on our own assignment). Hence,  I reduced the number of sections to 3 – Baroque theme, Jazz Theme, Combination (maybe I will end with short baroque theme).

Another concern was that I had no unifying theme in my composition. Originally I wanted to make two distinctive theme – different time signature, different chord progression. But I agreed that this is just making everything TOO DIFFICULT and TOO MUCH to think about. So we came up with an idea of composing Jazz in 3/4 time + harmonically move in 5th.

So this is where I’m up to at the moment. It was great to have a chance revising our own assignment and spot all the problems which I did not consider student’s point of view.

 

23rd OCTSome ideas on the Structure and Instrumentation 

  • I chose to follow the same structure as the original composition. 10 sections with mixture of baroque theme and jazz theme
  • Instead of using the ‘Blues’ theme, I chose to go with the ‘swing’. I feel like I am more comfortable with composing the swing than the blue. Just because I am quite unfamiliar with the musical ideas of Jazz.
  • Instruments:
    • First, I looked what what I am available with in my class.
    • We do not have a flautist, however we have quite a few good violinists – hence I might change my main instrument to Violin
    • I will keep the piano as the melody and the bass part
    • I will change the bass to cello – I can easily record it
  • Structure/ Instrumentation plan:
    • Section 1
      • Violin + Piano playing the canon in duet
    • Section 2
      • Violin + Piano playing the canon but little bit of chord difference (use of 7th maybe?)
    • Section 3
      • Piano solo
      • ‘Swing’ theme comes in
      • Cello enters as the walking bass line
    • Section 4
      • The ‘Baroque’ theme returns with cello continuing the canon
    • Section 5
      • Start to mix up the Jazz and Baroque – Imitations, Questioning and Answering form
    • Section 6
      • Key highlight of the composition
    • Section 7
      • Back to the Baroque theme
  • Section

    1

    2

    3

    4

    5

    6

    7

    8

    9

    10

    Instrument/s

     Violin +

     

    What is it playing?

    How?

  • Now I just have to start writing my theme and the ending and see what I can do with my composition

 

21st OCTStarting on my Composition 

Some thoughts/ideas:

  • I want to create something very different to other compositions based on minimalism
  • I came across with this composition by Claude Bolling called “Baroque and Blues” for flute, piano and the bass.
  • So going back to the baby step I’ve created, first, I analysed the song. So this song has 10 sections: combination of the ‘baroque’ theme and ‘blues’ theme. As the piece develops, the ‘baroque’ theme and the ‘blues’ theme mix and creates a whole new idea.
  • I was really impressed on how the two very different but also quite similar genre can be mixed into a one piece. And it was really interesting to see how the composer incorporated two genre and produced a new musical idea.
  • My next step will be to start resembling ideas on overall structure and instrumentation.

Reflection on the Non-WAM assignment

About the Song

Settle Down (Forum5Recordings, 2010) is from Kimbra’s debut studio album Vows. This piece has highly developed layering skill of the vocal harmonies and percussion parts. As soon as Olivia suggested this song, we immediately thought this will give us good challenge and develop our vocal and arranging skills. After choosing the piece, we spend fair bit of time to check whether this song was suitable for school students, in terms of range, register, key, lyrics and the music video.

 

Reflection

As our stepping point, we decided to annotate and write out everything we can hear from the original song, main melody to tiny little accompanying parts. My role was to notate all the bass part/percussion part in the original song. Since the original music itself develops from layers of harmony/percussions, it was critical to notate all the percussive materials as much as possible, so that we have more resources to arrange later on.

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So, this is what I started with on our first session. Notating rhythms were quite challenging since they were mostly syncopated. However, as soon as I notated the main rhythms of each section, most of them. were repeated or just slightly variated. After notating all the bass and percussion parts, our group combined everything into one score and created a master score. Then, we spent time together arranging the piece through singing few parts together, adding more harmony and more body percussions. We also researched some covers of the song on the YouTube for ideas, for example a performance from the live SXSW 2012 (Palladino, Segundo, 2012).

Then my main role next was to set up the recording spaces for the recording individual voices. We had some struggles singing parts all together since we did not have many singers in our group, hence we chose to record individually. I had experience on recording for the other assessment hence myself and few others set up the appropriate microphones to record singing. Then I was in charge of recording all the vocals into the GarageBand. We recorded parts by parts so that it was easier to monitor/re-record/edit but also easier for singers since we had all the parts moving around equally to each member.

Picture2.png

 Then the next job was, I had to import the Musescore files into Sibelius and polish the percussion parts. First, I added the ‘Clapping’ rather than ‘wood block’ or the ‘drum set’ then polished notating problems such as rests in wrong position or in the different part. Example underneath;

Picture3.png

 

An idea of A cappella, vocal group with no instrument accompanying – has been growing for past few decades (Folds, 2015). People, especially young adults learn ways to communicate and express their emotions through A cappella. As they communicate their parts, listen to harmonies and shine when they have melody parts really give young adults unforgettable experience in their life.

 

The one of most challenging part and interesting part of the A cappella is the arranging. It is amazing how the original music can be changed by re-positioning melodies and accompanying parts. Deke suggested to avoid the song which has already been arranged by another A cappella group (Sharon, 2017, p.12). However, we did not follow this since we are targeting for students rather than the professional A cappella group. We thought it would be better to arrange the song with some example around the internet, hence students can easily compare how one music can be varied by changing/repositioning a musical element in the music. And the reason we chose the “Settle down” was that it already had a lot of musical element within the music – hence it can be easily approached to students in teaching about various components in music and how this can be used to arrange a piece. Deke also suggested to listen to the original song repeatedly (Sharon, 2017, p.12). This was essential to hear the harmony and be familiar with the overall structure/atmosphere of the music so that it will be easier when it comes to performing the song. Having the parts written on the computer programme was helpful as well. We exported the individual parts in the mp3 so that it can be used as a resource for students to hear and practice their individual parts, then hear the song as whole – then this will give students a better understanding in their role in the group. This also aligns with the Orff’s approach where the aural learning is essential in student’s school time.

 

While we were arranging the score, we made sure that the melody and accompanying part was passed around in each member, equally as possible, as Kenny suggested during the lecture. The idea of passing around the melody was to keep the piece interesting and gives each individual a chance to sing the melody line rather than repeating the same bass line over and over again. This also gives an opportunity for students to express their emotion toward the music and communicate them with other individuals in the group, and hear how there are tweaking the original and creating their own unique music. Hence, this will create stronger connection between the student and the music. We incorporated this idea into our arrangement and had the melody passing around the different members of the group. We particularly focused on creating the different tone colour through various voices and try to accompany those individuals with strong harmonies. The reason why Ender (male voice) did not had the main melody was that he had very focused body percussion part. We created this part for students who are not confident in singing out loud. In this way, we can still include them into the group and make them fill valuable in the group first with what they can do. Then slowly, the teacher can put it harmonies for the students to open up and sing out loud with others and enjoy singing in a group.

 

Vocal range was another factor which was raised for our arrangement. This was another reason why we added quite complicated percussion part in our arrangements. For boys who are going through the voice cracking can still be part as an ensemble hence give them chance to develop their vocals slowly. Also for the girls, as Ramsey discussed in the article, we had parts where it was more catered to sopranos but we also included parts for altos (Ramsey, 2008, p.73). If we use these as an educational resource, we will suggest that they can sing octave lower if they feel too stress singing the high notes – which we did in one of the harmony part.

Overall, this assessment has definitely challenged me in thinking vocal arrangement critically. Through creating an resources and actually singing the product was a challenging process and definitely gave myself an insight on how it can be developed better for the future.

References:

Palladino, Segundo. (2012, Mar 16). Kimbra – Settle Down (live SXSW 2012 – Spotify Sessions) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sd7GLvMYSHI&feature=youtu.be

Fold, Ben. (2017). Foreword. Choral Director, 14(2)

Forte Femme. (2014, Feb 14). Settle Down – Forte Femme (Kimbra Cover) – A cappella [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCEk7ncEvPk&app=desktop

Forum5Recordings. (2010, Jul 6). Kimbra – “Settle down” [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHV04eSGzAA

Ramsey, Andrea. (2008). Choral Music in the Junior High/Middle School: A Junior High State of Mind: Considerations for Composing and Arranging for the Middle Level Choir. The Choral Journal, 49(2), 73-74

Sharon, D. (2017). Contemporary A cappella arranging in ten steps. Choral Director, 14(12), 12-13.