Description

Overview

Students must engage in critical thinking in order to compose an electroacoustic piece to illustrate an image (or images) imported into Photo Story 3. They interact with raw sound and manipulate it to suit their evolving composition. In the absence of many conventional musical elements, they must endeavour to maintain the interest of listeners through their use of tone colour, structure and dynamics by developing and varying the material and by employing unifying devices. It has already been found that students who work in pairs compose stronger electroacoustic compositions.

Time-scale: This project is designed for six class sessions of 30-40 minutes. During this time, students carry out the creative aspects of the project, namely (a) to discuss the potential of different images as the focus for aural activity; (b) to collect and transform appropriate sounds in wav format; (c) to position sounds, to develop motifs, to relate the sound events to each other, to build to a climax, to ensure that the texture is varied and (d) to assemble the corresponding images with the musical composition. Learning two pieces of software, recording sounds and uploading digital images also takes time. Class times need to be spaced to accommodate students’ independent work.

What You Need

Speakers or headphones (with splitters); Photo Story 3; an audio editor (eg. Audacity or Adobe Audition); an mp3 recorder or a microphone and/or a minidisc recorder (with cable for uploading sounds to computer); a digital camera (with cable for uploading pictures to computer) or mobile phone with built-in camera.

Curriculum Addressed

The learning objective is to  1. learn and use two pieces of software, record sounds and upload digital images;  2. develop an understanding of how to compose an electroacoustic piece of music to illustrate images imported into Photo Story 3;  3. plan, design, create and present a musical composition that demonstrates an understanding of the distinction between a mere sound track and a coherent piece of programme music.  The visual material stimulates the students’ aural creativity. The sounds are recorded, transformed and organised in an audio editor. Since creativity pre-supposes imaginative activity, originality and musical value, students compose a piece of worthwhile programmatic music and NOT merely a soundtrack. The challenge is to learn how to know the difference.

 

Author: Anna-Marie Higgins
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