Playing Test (#118) + Theory Test – Reflection

Playing Test

For this playing test, I think I did well on both the piece and the scale. I had good note accuracy and rhythm accuracy, good tone, and an appropriate tempo.
However, I did rush a bit at the end of the piece. I practiced this piece often, however I did not practice with a metronome as often as I should’ve. Next time, to stabilise my tempo, I will practice regularly with a metronome. Along with this, I will work on my articulation. I need to work on making an audible difference between regular 8th notes and staccato 8th notes. At a fast enough tempo, it is hard to discern between the two, but at the tempo I was going at it should’ve been easier to tell the difference between the two (when they are played correctly). Finally, I will improve my chromatic scale. I will work on fluency by improving my fingering; something that I struggled to remember and ended up messing up on the transition from G# to G. In order to improve fluency, I will practice chromatic scale daily and focus on playing slowly before playing quickly, so as to focus on fingering rather than jumping into playing super quickly.  However, I noticed that I have improved my breath and embouchure a lot since my last playing test which is something I am happy about and hope to continue to improve.


Theory Test

I was good in my understanding of different theory concepts, however I often made careless errors (i.e., miscalculating the # of semitones to move up, accidentally adding an accidental, forgetting to add the correct note value to a note while transposing).

I feel as though I should work on transposition. I had trouble counting out the steps from one note to its transposed position and I think that this is a skill that could come with practicing transposition. Along with this, my knowledge in general of the different instruments that are in each key (Eb, Bb, F) is limited. I remembered that F horn is P5 up from its concert pitch, and Bb instruments are M2 up, however I forgot that Bb tenor sax is not the saxophone that goes up an octave from its concert pitch, and along with that forgot how to transpose an Eb baritone.

I have, however, improved my knowledge of figured bass. I did not understand most of the material when we first learned it, however I feel that I was able to answer and understand the figured bass questions given to us on the test.


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Crit C&D

Task Details

Consider your 

•Intent (why did you do it?), 

•Process (how did I do it?), and

•Outcome (your experience and skill development).

My intent for this project was to create a 16 bar melody that was both harmonious and accompanied by a chord progression that was effective and beneficial to this piece. I tried to create a piece that would be appealing to the ear, but at they same time had a logical sequence and chord progression.

My process was not an easy one. My original melody was one that was far too in depth to be put in a limited 16 bars, and my second one I found to be far too similar to “Out of Time”, by the Rolling Stones, to be considered original. The one I decided on finally was also a bit of a hard task. Although it seems to be simple, to figure out the modulations from one key to another was a tricky business. Figuring out which key I could switch into without the jump being to risky or similar took me quite a long time. I also needed some feedback to modify my melody to something that wasn’t too repetitive. My 4th draft of my third melody was too similar in each of its sections to be appealing to the ear and its chord progression was a bit hazy.

My outcome is something I am quite proud of. Although my melody is quite simplistic, I think that it ties together quite nicely as a piece on its whole. My chords both balance and compliment my melody, so I think that I have succeeded on that part of the criteria. As for my skill development, I think that I have developed well as a musician. I have found out more on chord progressions in the previous lessons than I have in years, which I think is important to learn for the future. I have also had more experience with songwriting, a good bit of experience for future songwriting.