Over the last two days, Hawthorn and the Year 5s from Oak have been looking at ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’, by Edvard Grieg.

At first we listened to the music and drew, or wrote everything the piece made us feel. Almost everyone felt that is was something to do with chasing and running away. We also listened to try and identify the instruments we could hear.

Next, we watched the piece being played by an orchestra, looking at the instruments, and noting how, at the start, when it is very low in pitch, larger instruments were used, such as the double bass and the bassoon.

After that, we stared to talk about how we could record music. We used cubes to record the rhythm, using one cube for the short notes and two or four for the longer ones. to help us organise the cubes, we used paper with lines on. We realised that different people crammed different amounts into a line, do we cut our lines into four and shared out the cubes. We noticed that we ended up with eight cubes in each section. To finish this off, we started talking about the pitch of the notes and moved the cubes up of down our lines to demonstrate what we could hear.

Next we looked at the sheet music that musicians use and noted how what we had made was almost identical. We talked about bars and the number of beats and realised that our cubes must all represent half a beat, or a minim. The two cubes were crotchets and the four cubes (two beats) were quavers.

Finally, we moved onto the iPad app, Beatwave. After changing some settings, we set about recreating the first four bars of The Hall of the Mountain King in the software. When we had the sorted, we listened to the music and noted that it repeats, but at a higher pitch. To represent this, we copied and pasted our work tide more and moved all the notes up one set of letter. We found that this was moving it up an octave. To add more layers to our work we added some percussion and two more instruments playing simple tunes that went well with our main theme, These were called harmonies. Note that the beats you can hear in our pieces are not prerecorded like on a keyboard, but composed by us.

Finally, after listening to versions of the tune by The Who and Justin Timberlake, we talked out sampling and remixing. We started making small changes to the main tune, moving notes, but keeping the basic pattern. We hope you like what we have produced.

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