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Newlands
Girls’ School

Home Learning - Year 8

Task 1  – Listening task

Listen to two pieces of music from different musical genres/different styles. Listen carefully and think about the different elements of music that are used.

Think about trying to answer the following questions when you are listening to the two pieces of music:

  • Title of the piece?
  • Who wrote the piece?
  • Who is performing the piece?
  • When was it composed (written, created)?
  • What style/genre of music is it?
  • What instruments can you hear?
  • How many beats in a bar are there?
  • Is it in a major or minor key?
  • What is the structure of the song (how many different sections are there, what are they called? E.g. chorus introduction, section A etc)
  • What makes the songs different?
  • What do you like and dislike about each song?

Tips:

What should I listen to?

Each song should be in a different style/from a different genre. Be brave and varied in your music choices, don’t just listen to songs and pieces you already know and like. Use this opportunity to discover new styles of music, new musicians, bands, singers. Try something different!

 Below are some ideas about different musical styles you could try listening to:

Blues, Rock and Roll, Jazz, Folk, Reggae, Musical Theatre,  Disco, Soul music, Baroque, Techno, Swing, Classical music,  Film music, TV theme tunes, Video game music, Music for celebrations,  Music from different decades (1960’s, 1920’s etc), Music from different countries,  A Cappella, Choral music, Musical fusions (two different types of music fused together).

How do I find new music?

If you don’t have access to the internet:

  • Radio stations
  •  Music channels on TV (Freeview or paid service)
  •  Ask family members if they have music on their phones • Watch a film and listen to the music
  •  Theme tunes of TV programmes
  • CD’s in the house or from family members

If you do have access to the internet:

  • Youtube
  • Spotify
  • Radio station websites
  • BBC Ten pieces website
  • BBC Bitesize Music
  • Google - ask for random/ new music

Task 2

Research a music composer of your choice.

Here are some ideas of things to find out:

  • When the composer was born?
  • Where they were born?
  • Did they play any instruments?
  • What genres of music did they compose?
  • Find out at least 5 different songs/pieces of music they composed
  • Listen to 2 of the songs/pieces of music they composed
  • What was unique about their style?

Tips

Here are some ideas of some different composers you could try researching:
John Williams, Freddie Mercury, Elton John, Henry Mancini, James Horner, Taylor Swift, Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann, J.S. Bach, Hans Zimmer, John Cage, Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye, Bjork, Quincy Jones, Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst.


Task 3

Lyric writing

Try creating some lyrics for your own Britpop song. Create lyrics for a verse and chorus.

Listen to a song from a well-known Britpop band for inspiration. Here are some suggestions of bands to listen to:

Blur, Oasis, Suede, Elastica, The Verve

 

Tips for writing lyrics

  • Think about what you want your song to be about. Britpop lyrics are often about everyday life
  • Write lyrics that convey the main theme or  message throughout your song (try to cover only one topic or message throughout the song)
  • Chorus sections usually use the same lyrics each time the chorus comes around. Your chorus is your best chance to help make the song memorable and catchy.
  • Each verse usually has different lyrics but these are still linked to the theme of the song.  Think of your lyrics as telling a story! Verses are usually the place to tell the story, try to make the details interesting.
  • Just remember, you are trying to tell a story with your lyrics.

 

Task 4

Part 1: Creating a melody (tune) .

In task 3, you created lyrics for your own song. Now you could try creating a melody to go with these lyrics. You could create a melody on any instrument or just by using your voice!

Part 2: Design the  structure of your pop song. Choose from the sections below and put them in the order you would like to use them in your own song. You can use sections more than once:

Intro, outro, verse, chorus, middle 8, bridges instrumental.

This may change later on as you add lyrics:

Here are some ideas for different ways you could try keeping a record of your melody:

  • Record yourself singing/humming/playing your melody, you could use a phone to do this
  • Write the letter names down on a piece of paper: e.g. C, C, C, C, D, D, E, E, E, E, D
  • If you know how to use staff notation (writing notes on the stave – the 5 lines music can be written on), you could write the notes out this way.
  • You could create a graphic score to represent the shape of your melody

Structure

Here is one example of structure in a popular song. You can have more sections if you want to. I have added descriptions to help you understand each section.

Intro

The first section in the song, introduces the main key and chord sequence

Verse

The part that builds tells the story. The words change each time but the melody usually stays the same.

Chorus

The part that is repeated, usually the catchy part that sums up the main theme of your song.

Verse 2

Continues to tell the story. Same melody as verse 1, different lyrics

Middle 8

A link section which sometimes happens between a verse and chorus. This section is often 8 bars long and helps to create contrast as it usually has a different chord sequence or melody.

Chorus

Catchy part of the song again

Outro

The end section of the song

Extension task ideas

If you would like to try a few more musical tasks, here are a few ideas of things you could try:

  • Learn to play a new song on an instrument
  • Learn to sing a new song
  • Memorise where the notes are on a musical keyboard
  • Memorise where the notes are on the stave (how to read music)
  • Visit the website:  www.musictheory.net and try to learn something new about music theory
  • Read through the ‘basic music literacy’ at the bottom of this document and try to learn some of the
  • Try to create your own rhythm track on the website www.soundation.com
  • Listen to genres/styles of music you wouldn’t usually listen to

Some websites you might find useful:

Free composing sites:

Bandlab.com

Soundation.com

Music theory sites

Music theory.net

Teoria.com

Music videos to help with learning about music