Activity: Backyard Composition
1. Find an area outside your home (your patio, backyard, balcony, front yard, or common area) where you’ll be able to sit, undisturbed, for approximately 10 minutes.
2. Listen to the sounds in front and to the sides of where you’re sitting, paying close attention to their timbre, dynamic level, and placement of each sound you hear.
3. Name the sounds and list their occurrence according to presentation order and location, using the graphic, below, as your template.
For instance, if you hear birds singing quietly to the center-right of your location, indicate that in your diagram in area D, also noting when the sound occurred and for how long it occurred. If a moment later you hear a car horn to your far left, indicate that in area A.
4. Collect sounds for approximately 10 minutes.
5. You can go inside now. Your task at this point is to (a) decide what different musical instrument sounds best match each sound you heard, and (b) what performance direction you could provide for each instrument to suggest each sound you heard. You might want to use the following chart to help you organize your thoughts.
Ride rhythm played with brushes
Very low pitched flutter tongue
6. Give your composition a title.
Eliciting performance: The student must create an imagined musical performance based upon real-world sounds and events, paying close attention to temporal presentation order, timbre, and location of events on a 180 degree horizon.
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