This is a larger, more overarching unit in which students revisit African Drumming, learning a traditional piece as a whole class. Students then will then study a part of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring Ballet, which also has tribal themes. The idea of this component of the unit is to introduce students to some listening and analysis which is a little akin to that on the GCSE course whilst also revisiting some music from the 20th century. Finally students , in groups, will compose a tribal themed piece utilising techniques studied whilst African Drumming and elements looked at whilst listening to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring composition.
This unit also introduces musical terminology such as: polyrhythm, call and response, harmony, dynamics, texture, tonality, instrumentation, melody, rhythm, dissonance, ostinato, pitch, tempo
By the end of this unit it is expected that all students will: be able to perform around 2 out of 4 possible African Drumming rhythms of various difficulty. Students will be able to identify and describe some characteristic features of in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and will perform a simple part within a Tribal inspired group composition.
Most students will: be able to perform around 3-4 of the possible African Drumming rhythms. Students will be able to identify and describe a good number of characteristic features of in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and will perform a more complex part within a Tribal inspired group composition.
Some learners will have progressed further and will: be able to perform all of the 4 African Drumming rhythms with correct technique. They will also be able to lead a section. Students will be able to identify and describe a plethora of characteristic features of in Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring using musical terminology and using prose. Students will perform a more complex and creative part within a Tribal inspired group composition, probably taking a leading part within the group.
Extended homework tasks
Students should use YouTube to listen to many cover versions of Pachelbel’s Canon, and investigate other ground bass compositions – eg the ones in Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas”.
How to help your child
Encourage students to listen and watch African music using the internet (there are also many excellent groups you could see at the South Bank centre in London if a family day trip appeals). Encourage students to watch clips of the Rite of Spring using the internet at home and practice at home if they have a suitable instrument.