- Using whole step and half steps to indicate different types of scales such as major or minor.
- Playing examples of music and using Oreos to indicate: major or minor tonality, binary or ternary forms, meters for example 2/4 – Strong (black cookie) weak (white cookie) impulse. The possibilities are endless.
- Structure: transforming vertical timelines to umbrella diagrams
Taking Oreos to “double stuff!”: The Umbrella Diagram
As the year begins, students map the forms of pieces listened to in class. For example, Renaissance instrumental music such as Susato’s Three Dances. (Start this link at 4:57) Ask students to do a rough sketch of a vertical timeline of the structure.
Example of vertical timeline answer:
4:57 A section Two measures in d minor
5:02 A section Two measures, recorder embellishes melody
5:06 B section Four measures
5:14 B section repeated
5:22 AA BB repeated with addition of bowed strings, possibly rebec
5:46 AA BB repeated with entire ensemble Last B recorder embellishes melody
Medium includes the loud, outdoor instruments including the crumhorn (capped double reed that has the buzzy sound), tambourine, and several recorders in the key of d minor.
Using this simple form, introduce students to umbrella maps and have them rewrite their vertical timeline into a horizontal timeline using an umbrella map. Here’s an example with form and location only:
Below is a beginning attempt of a vertical timeline transformed into an umbrella map in “cookie” fashion:
As students become more comfortable with form, the detail of the umbrella map is expanded to include details of the musical elements. In a later blog, there will be examples of the types of detail umbrella maps can show for the IB Music Listening Exam. All in all, who knew music theory could taste this good?