Music Recording Summative – Standard of Excellence #42 Shenandoah

Here is my recorded playing assessment of #42 in the Standard of Excellence book, Shenandoah.

Self Assessment:

Grade yourself here! *
Note Accuracy
Rhythm Accuracy
Tempo

 

Performance Skills – Woodwind and Brass
Articulation Precision
Tone Quality
Intonation
Connection

Dynamics

I developed and demonstrated the application of skills developed so far to create a successful piece of music. This is as good as I can get it! Explain… *
I tuned myself before recording for this playing assessment and really worked on connecting the notes using one breath and maintaining the tempo throughout the piece. Because the piece was at a much slower tempo than most other pieces, I also tried to work on the intonation of my notes so they didn’t fall flat as I held them by tightening my abdomen and my embouchure to ensure a steady stream of air. There is a small amount of buzzing noise at the beginning of some of my notes, such as the G, but it went away a bit as I warmed up and practiced more before recording. I could have done a little bit better with phrasing, but I breathed where I was supposed to and the audience could distinguish between each phrase. I didn’t think too much about dynamics throughout the song, but while there were no particular ones marked on the music I think I did okay in swelling at a few of the higher points in some phrases.

My Educational Board Game: Design Brief

Through personal experience and through consulting my client, I have discovered that many students have struggled with the cell structure part of the grade 8 science curriculum. Thus, I have decided to create a board game based on the structure of a eukaryotic cell, allowing students to memorise terminology better by making them do a certain action when their character comes into a new area of the cell. To aid in the creation of this board game, I have researched the science terminology covered in the cell structure unit, as well as learning to use a laser cutter and a 3D printer in class. This will greatly benefit my game as it will not only ensure the accuracy of its content, but also the quality of its handiwork.

Design 8 – Unit 2 Personal Performance Evaluation

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  • Explain how your contribution might help your target audience.

It would help my target audience on the whole as it is much more environmentally-friendly and compact than before. The lessened use of resources makes this package and this product a more sustainable product for the future, and we are helping the environment that we depend entirely on for resources and slowing down the tide of global warming. Going forward, the lessened use of resources would also mean it is less costly to manufacture this package, meaning that it could aid in boosting the profits of companies that employ this kind of design.

  • Explain the limitations and benefits of your final package and how mathematical and design knowledge/skills informed the creation of your final package.

My final package uses as few materials as possible and does not use adhesive at all, making it a sustainable solution going forward. It keeps it as minimalistic as possible and does a good job of being self-supporting and securing the product within. However, it is not the most secure, considering the flimsiness of card stock and how some parts of the package are not stuck down. I’ve used my mathematical knowledge to ensure there is as little extra space left in the package as possible, making it much more efficient. It has also helped in making my package more secure, as it is very dependent on the accuracy of measurements and minimising the extra surface area. My design knowledge helped me to design the aesthetics and test the practicality of different designs.

  • Reflect upon how a disciplinary and interdisciplinary approach helped (or didn’t help) in creating your final product.

My combination of math and design knowledge allowed me to create a minimalistic package that was both functional and aesthetically appealing, but was not quite developed in some areas (such as security). I think that this could have been balanced better if the interdisciplinary approach was heavier on the design side, making sure that the package would function practically as well as theoretically in math. However, I do think that the mathematical approach really helped in creating a package that fit together well and functioned to plan most of the time.

  • How would you approach the project differently if you had to do it again?

I probably would have taken out the time to prototype some of the modifications I made to the design first before moving on to the final product, as I encountered some problems during the final creating stage that I hadn’t before. I also would have maybe used a different design for my final package, as it was quite time consuming to make it and it was not the most effective for my purposes. This, again, comes down to not enough testing and prototyping in the earlier stages of my design cycle.

Music 8 – 16-Bar Melody Composition Summative

Here are the sheets to my 16-bar composition: Bai Alice Music 8 Summative Composition

Criterion C

For my composition piece, I have chosen the instruments of piano and clarinet. I find that clarinet has a very pleasant, well-rounded sound, which would be well complemented with piano. I have used instrumentation to convey a pleasant, laid-back atmosphere, matching with my title of ‘Quiet Meadow.’ The piano backing track was used to add interest and highlight certain parts of the melody, as well as keep the piece moving along. For the chords in bass clef, I have used a quarter eighth-eighth quarter rhythm every other bar with dotted-half chords in between. This quarter eighth-eighth quarter rhythm helps the chords to become more present and adds momentum to the piece. They’re now more a cohesive part of the piece, integrating with the rhythm of the melody rather than clashing with it. I have also added short sections of accompaniment in the treble clef of the piano to add interest in different parts of the melody. These are usually added when there is a rest or a longer note in the melody, such as the ending note in a phrase. This not only adds to the depth of the piece, but also the livelihood of the composition overall.

Although the piece isn’t very energetic, I have still marked it to be played at moderato to prevent it from becoming sluggish and add a lively feeling. I have also used articulation to achieve this effect. I added staccato markings in various places, usually on pairs of eighth notes, to add a bounce to the melody. I also played around with staccato-legato combinations, with the added weight of a legato balancing out the detached feel of a staccato. I have used both legato-staccato and staccato-legato combinations depending on the situation. In measure 3, I used a legato-staccato combination to perk up the energy, seeing as the first few phrases should serve as buildup to a later climax in phrase 3. In contrast, I used staccato-legato markings in measure 15 to help the piece slow down, which worked with the ritardando marking added earlier in the measure.

I have shaped my composition in a way that phrase 1 and 2 are build-up, phrase 3 is the climax, and phrase 4 winds down to a conclusion. Phrase 1 and 2 both have noticeable arcs, as the notes become higher in the middle of the phrase and come back down in the last bar. In phrase 3, however, the last note of the phrase is one of the highest notes of the phrase, leaving the audience hanging before phrase 4 resolves the piece by ending on a tonic. Phrase 3 also has the highest notes in the entire composition, adding to its sense of climax. I have also used dynamics to help shape my composition. The piece starts on a mezzoforte, then crescendoes into a forte in measure 2 of phrase 3. The piece winds down in phrase 4, coming back down to a mezzoforte, before ending on mezzopiano.

I have used quite a variety of notes and rhythms throughout my piece, but I still have kept unity in mind while composing. To achieve unity, I reused a few rhythms throughout the piece, such as the sixteenth-sixteenth-eighth and eighth-note triplets. These can be found both in my main clarinet solo and in my piano backing track.

Criterion D

When I began composing, my first instrument choice for the melody was the cello, but I found that it didn’t work with the vision I had for the composition and the fact that it was in bass clef made it more difficult to write a melody for it. I did keep the piano as the accompaniment instrument, however, as it allowed me to write accompaniment in both bass and treble clef. I had never experimented with accompaniment in the treble clef before, and I found that it added more depth and interest to my piece.

My composing process was to lay down the framework of the chords first, then layer a rhythm on top and worry about shifting the notes around later. However, after a while I found this to be too restraining, and I abandoned my first draft for the piece altogether. I kept the chord progression, but I moved on and changed my instruments, my rhythm, and my melody. I began writing both rhythm and melody at the same time, especially now that I had decided to add accompaniment in treble clef as well. This way, I could listen as I composed and I could immediately fix the spots where the rhythm and/or the notes clashed with one another. For example, at the end of measure one, I had tried to add a sixteenth-sixteenth-sixteenth rhythm for the accompaniment, but found that it sounded odd because there was another note beginning a quarter of a beat before in the bass clef accompaniment. I fixed it easily by turning the last note of the rhythm into an eighth note. It was a lot easier for me to edit and fix different parts of my composition as I went along then to go back and completely revamp my piece in one go. I had to completely change the way I composed because this was the first time I had to compose a piece from scratch, and this would be valuable experience for future composition tasks.

When I had finished composing my melody and my accompaniment, I was initially against adding articulation markings and dynamics. I thought that it sounded fine without any additional playing instructions, but the way Finale rendered the piece could be different to how the piece was interpreted by a live soloist. I added the very classic ritardando at the end of my piece to slow down the tempo and bring the piece to a close, which in retrospect was quite necessary. The piece would sound quite bland if it was played at the same tempo throughout, and the lack of a ritardando would take away from the story-like arc of the piece. I also added some staccato and legato articulation markings, as I have discussed in my Criterion C, to add more bounce and energy to the melody. I had also originally added some accents to my composition, but later removed them as they were in quite arbitrary places and did not really contribute to the piece.

Overall, I think that my piece is quite well balanced, and the accompaniment contributes to the piece instead of clashing with it. I’ve used a variety of different rhythms and melody lines throughout the song to keep the audience engaged, while the different articulation markings serve to enhance different sections. I like the way rests were used break up long phrases of melody and the combination of disjunct and conjunct motion. However, I feel that I could have tied the melody together more, potentially with more consistent articulation and some repetitive melodies.

Here is some of the feedback that I gave to my peers:

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Science 8 – Oil Spill Separation Technique Summative

Today in class, we completed a separation techniques summative centred around the theme of oil spills. The mixture contained styrofoam, organic matter (leaves), oil, water, salt, sand, and iron filings. We employed a variety of different separation techniques, such as filtration, separation funnels, and magnetic separation. In the end, we discovered that however hard we tried, we couldn’t get the oil off the different substances. We ran the oil and salt water mixture through the separation funnel several times, but there were still specks of oil suspended throughout the water. And we were only dealing with cooking oil, not crude oil, which is much more viscous and hence more difficult to separate. This truly gives me a sense of how difficult oil spills must be to clean up, especially on a much larger scale of several kilometres. Once it gets on the plumage or the fur of an animal, it’s potentially impossible to remove it entirely, interfering with their insulation. Once it is ingested, it could poison the animal or remain in their system, making its way into our food as well. This activity on the whole made me realise the true magnitude and damage that oil spills must cause.

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Music 8 – Composition Formative

In music class, we have had to compose our own 8-bar melody. Previously, I have already posted my 8-bar rhythm, and this time I have used the same rhythm and added new melodies and chords. Here it is:

Here are the guidelines for feedback:

  • Do you have a combination of conjunct and disjunct motion?
  • If there are any large intervals (larger than a jump of five different letter names), have you changed direction by step?
  • Does the melody have an appropriate range?
  • Does it start and finish on the tonic note? (The tonic note is the first note of the scale.  For example, if you choose Bb Major as your key signature, the tonic note is Bb)
  • Does it sound interesting?  Is it memorable?