Project Genesis – Product and Reflection

Project Genesis Mashup:

Sugar, Chasing Pavements, See you again

Explain the step by step process of this assignment

To begin, I did research on songs which have bpm that can be possibly be changed to suit each other. For example I used 3 songs which had 80, 80 and 120 bpm respectively. The third song which was Sugar, had a bpm of 120, I decided to use minimal a cappella, mainly changing the instrumentals to 80 bpm as the main beat. I then aligned the instrumental with the a cappella, taking some parts from different songs as well as looping the beats to make sure no unwanted music was present, while all the good and fitting parts were as strong as possible. I then added dynamics and overlapped the songs to add some layer and depth to the piece. Finally, I added the final touches to the music, smoothing out the endings and some parts in the middle.

 

Assess your success against your assessable criteria from your proposal

The criteria I am going to use to evaluate myself are

– The incorporation of elements and use of features
I used features and elements from all songs where I saw fitting
– Tempo is intact throughout the piece
The tempo was the same throughout the whole piece, and the pieces where the tempo was changed, I made sure to not use the voice excessively
– Melody flows and neither songs overrule each other
The melody flows kind of smoothly, however, some bits cut off and don’t go well together, I did not have any songs that were overruling the other
– It has dynamic changes
It has multiple dynamic changes including crescendos and decrescendos
– Music is split and mixed up properly and works well together
I split and looped parts of the music, and for the most part, they worked well together
– Incorporates rhythm and singing from both songs
I used rhythm from two out of the three songs and singing from two out of the three songs because I thought the singing and rhythm from the rest were weird and would not fit in the song
– Songs have to go well together in terms of genre, beat, and length
The song went well together in terms of genre and had a stable yet interesting beat.

 

Evaluate your learning and new skills acquired.

Throughout this project, I believe I have learned multiple new skills in terms of identifying and applying musical theory and knowledge, I also learned valuable garage band skills that can be incorporated into future projects (e.g. mixing dynamics and tempo, splitting and looping, track manipulation). This also helped me with researching and reflecting, which can sometimes be very difficult for certain subjects and projects.

 

What challenges did you face and overcome?
Some challenges I faced where the lack of information on specifics when composing a mashup, which meant I needed to get creative when mixing and matching the songs. There was also a lack of information on how to choose songs that may potentially go well together, I had to spend more time than necessary to find three songs that went well together in terms of melody and lyrics. Finally, the biggest challenge was structuring the piece so it had a musical feel to it, meaning it had verses and choruses since I used different songs, there was not a visible boundary with these structures, thus I made the best effort into incorporating what I thought was a decent structure.

Project Genesis – Research

Source 1: https://djbooth.net/pro-audio/how-to-make-the-perfect-mashup

– The importance of matching the tracks and how to utilize bpm functions
– Changing the song structures so they fit with each other, some bits will not fit with bits from the other song, so it is important to cut or paste sections
– Use songs which have the same key or similar ones that do not have a major impact on the pieces (or alternatively are a dominant or subdominant of each other), as to not overlap with different sharps and flats that will make the song sound bad.

 

Source 2: https://www.musicnotes.com/now/tips/a-complete-guide-to-musical-modulation/

– What keys share the same chords, I could use these to try and mix songs that are in different keys without having clashing or opposing sounds
– Songs that use modulation to increases the diversity of the song and why and how it can be incorporated
– The circle of fifths and the sharps and flats of each key
– Dominants and subdominants of each key

 

Source 3: https://www.loopmasters.com/genres/121-Music-Courses/products/3391-Secrets-of-the-Mashup-by-Elite-Force

– Importance of percussion and drumming in the songs and how looping good beats will be important to the piece
– Transitioning between tracks and segments of songs and how to link between different songs whether it is instrumental or a cappella
– Example song that describes what I should be doing with specifics on why the song is good and why is everything used

 

Source 4: http://www.fightingfriday.com/boston-band-blog/7-tips-how-to-creating-awesome-covers-and-mashups

– Basic ways to catch the attention of the listener with specific techniques that will make the mashup interesting while keeping the original qualities of the pieces
– Dynamics and how to incorporate them in the mashup effectively
– Use some humor when selecting songs or when creating the mashup (use humorous parts from the songs selected)

 

 

Project Genesis – Proposal

What is the goal for your assignment?

The goal of my assignment is to create a mashup of 2 or more songs that together will keep in time of each other while not overruling the distinct features of the other songs. The mashup must have shared properties from all songs and together will sound at least decent.

 

Why this project?

I chose this project because I believe some songs have their flaws, but with the help and assistance of other songs, it will perfect both the melody and the rhythm, making them sound much better. The reason why I chose this as my project is because it will be a challenging task but would not consume too much time that I wouldn’t have time to do anything else, it can demonstrate my creative thinking skills whilst also being simple enough to complete.

 

Outline/Process (Steps) to Achieve Goal.

Sufficient research on mashups must be in place eg. Video tutorials, articles, examples, exercises…
Find songs that have their distinct features but would generally go well together and make sure they aren’t in two vastly different genres.
Decide on the dominant song for melody and rhythm and a secondary song that will complement the piece.
Mash the pieces up with parts from all of the pieces, bringing out the features of the songs whilst making sure it sounds good
Refine the piece with dynamics, splitting of the pieces, cutting and removing, as well as repetition of some parts.

 

What criteria will you use to self assess this assignment?

The criteria I will be using is:

– The incorporation of elements and use of features
– Tempo is intact throughout the piece
– Melody flows and neither songs overrule each other
– It has dynamic changes
– Music is split and mixed up properly and works well together
– Incorporates rhythm and singing from both songs
– Songs have to go well together in terms of genre, beat, and length

G9 End of Year responses

Discuss your playing on the summative material for the May OSSD tests.

My playing on the scales for the May OSSD tests were on time and had little to no mistakes. The high F# and the first two bars of the third scale were moved down an octave so I could play them easier. Overall, I feel like I did well in the scales. This is due to me practicing a lot during home with a metronome. However, in my Stella By Starlight solo, although I could keep in time with a 120bpm metronome, the backing track, specifically with the syncopation, I had some trouble with, where my timing was on the beat instead of off the beat. The backing track also threw me off track mid-performance, where I was 3 beats in front of where I was supposed to be. To ensure this didn’t happen, I could have practiced more with the backing track, or when practicing I could have used both the backing track and a metronome at the same time. In conclusion, I could’ve spent more time practicing for the Stella By Starlight solo, however, I feel like I did somewhat okay due to me making little to no mistakes.

 

How successful were you at your theory test? Discuss the concepts that you did not master.

I was not successful at my theory test at all. I only learned the idea of the circle of fifths near march this year as I had no prior knowledge of music theory since I did not take music in my previous school during year 7, 8, and 9 (I finished year 9 in Australia but had to go back half a year since they start school at different times and I skipped half a year when moving from China to Australia). Although I did study music theory in Primary School, I mostly learned about simple theories. Some concepts that I did not master were intervals and how to find them, triads with inversions (I believe I could have done the triads if they didn’t have inversions), as well as Melodic Minors. I could have studied more for the test or asked for help from Mr. O’Toole, though I did not know what inversions were and that they were going to be in the test.

 

Discuss your Personal Development over the course of the year.

My personal development over the course of the year was being a better and more experienced Saxophone player, I stopped playing Saxophone for a year before I came to this school, when I first joined I was pretty rusty, however, I feel like I played much better towards the Evening of the Arts performance and the May OSSD performances. My theory has also improved from a probable 1 before this course due to no prior knowledge or study of music theory in specific to triads, intervals, chords, and other theory that was tested, to a 3 (which although not that impressive, I am okay with). With that being said, I could have studied more for my theory and asked for help from teachers or peers.

 

How do you show the IB Learner Profile in the music class?

The IB Learner profiles that I showed in the music class were principled and reflective. I was principled because I showed up for all the practices, and I was paying attention in class whenever I was required to. I also practiced a lot during home for my band pieces and assessment pieces. I showed reflectiveness in the music class because I reflected upon my feedback for my tertiary composition, where I reflected and changed my piece from the feedback of my peers and my teacher. I also reflected on the playing during band where my peers would give me constructive criticism on how I could play better.

 

 

Composition Final (24 Bars)

MP3:

PDF Score:

http://sites.cdnis.edu.hk/students/180235/files/2019/04/Final.pdf

 

Name *
Stefan Luca

 

How successful was your composition? Use the composition rubric to assess yourself – address each component. *
My composition was somewhat successful because it only achieved some criteria well while it had others that needed to be improved on – I feel like the melody and rhythm of my piece has a bit of disjunct, however overall it followed a decent chord progression and had a flowing melody
– There were substantial amounts of difference between part A and part B of the composition, I tried to keep the changes to the overall feel of the song the same while trying to include other elements like 16th notes in part B that were not present in part A.
– There is a definitive connection between part A and part B, we can see that the chord progressions are somewhat similar, and it has a similar style to the music, the transition flow well, however, the main melody has a lot of changes, which I think helps with the flow of the piece, and adds some variety to the piece
– I believe my piece is very playable to a decent Saxophone player, it has some challenging bits like the 16th note scales, but it should be playable if scales are practiced regularly
– I have added a lot of articulation to bring out the piece and add a splash of creativity, the use of said articulation also put emphasis on certain notes and made other notes flow well together, however, I did not change the tempo midpiece as I believe that it would make the song not as smooth and anything other than 120 bpm made it sound worse. I did add quite a few dynamic changes and I tried to keep them consistent so it would stay persistent throughout the piece
– I used the right chords for the end of the phrases (perfect cadences and plagal cadences), I also tried to use the major chords first and filled with the minor chords, so the piece has mostly major chords (I, IV, V). This made the piece have a more happy feel
– I am very sure that all my chords are accurate in terms of labeling, the chords will also match the main melody of the saxophone – Overall, I feel the piece was quite successful as it followed all the necessary criteria and sounded pretty good, however, there were some bits that sounded a bit disjunct.

 

How effective were your student comments? Did you use these to help your composition? *
My students comments were very effective, because they pointed out the flaws in the piece in a constructive way, for example, I was able to make my piece more conjunct after multiple people have commented on the disjunct of the piece, they also told me what they like about the piece and what I should do more. However, there were some comments that did not give much information on how I should improve my piece, these comments were not very effective in me improving my composition.

 

What are your areas of improvement? *
I think my piece could use more conjunction and flow a bit better within each phrase, I could also use more dynamics and other forms of modulation like more articulation to really bring the piece to life, and give it a nice spin. I could’ve also used more different chords and cadences to further improve the piece and make it sound nicer and to have more variety.

 

Discuss the overall unit in terms of enjoyment, process and how this benefits your musical life. *
Overall, I enjoyed this composition because it brought out the creativity in people and it allowed us to use our imagination in a fun and interactive way. This process allowed me to learn music terminology and compositional elements in a not boring way, I learned a lot of theory about composing and music in general from the unit. This will be beneficial to my musical life because I learned a lot of elements and information on the composition and the mistakes and errors I should avoid.