Yiri Koko Essay Format

Brief GCSE Course OutlinePerformanceComposition Task 1Composition AssessmentExam & RevisionThe Essay and Model AnswersEssay Bullet Points

Brief GCSE Course Outline

The course has a simple structure, as follows:

Performing Music – one solo performance (with piano/backing track accompaniment if appropriate), AND one ensemble performance (you plus at least one other pupil – you must be the only person performing your part). These are completed under controlled conditions.

Composing Music – two compositions loosely based on the Areas of Study, but more or less a free choice of what and how you write. These are completed undercontrolled conditions.

Listening to Music – Listening paper based on 12 set works from Four Areas of Study – Classical Music 1600-1899; C20th Classical Music; Popular Music; World Music. The paper in two parts – Section A is a lengthy section with mainly short answer-type questions about the 12 set works; Section B is a longer essay-type question, about one or two of the set works.

Each Performance (Solo/Ensemble) is worth 15% of the GCSE (30% in total).

Each Composition is worth 15% of the GCSE (30% in total).

The Listening Exam, sat in May of Year 11, is worth 40% of the GCSE.

We are studying the EDEXCEL Music Syllabus. A full copy, should you wish to look at it can be found by clicking here.


 Unit 1Unit 2Unit 3

What does it involve?

  • You must perform one solo piece and one ensemble piece.
  • The solo is assessed /12 for accuracy and /18 for interpretation.
  • The ensemble is /12 for accuracy and /18 for ensemble skill and interpretation.
  • Notice this means that the musicality you demonstrate is worth more marks than the accuracy with which you perform your piece.
  • You can perform on any instrument/voice, and you can, but don’t have to, use a different instrument/voice for the two performances.
  • They are recorded and assessed by your music teacher. A sample are then sent off to EDEXCEL for moderation to check the marking.
  • They can be recorded at any time during the course, but we try and do most of them during the Autumn Term of Year 11.
  • We will have the opportunity to practice performance material throughout the course.

Difficulty Levels

Once your piece has been assessed, the mark will be applied to a Difficulty Level scale. As a basic rule, Grade 1 pieces are Easy level, Grade 2/3 are Standard level and Grade 4 and above are More Difficult level.

Composition Task 1

What is a Study?

A study is a short piece of music for a solo instrument which focuses on a part of your performance technique.

It usually involves the development of a few short ideas or motifs/riffs such as a short rhythmic or melodic idea.

The piece is designed to improve your technique – the skills that allow you to play/sing more difficult pieces.

Think of it as an interesting way of learning scales/exercises/rudiments that you need to master on your instrument/voice.

Task: Listen to this Prelude for unaccompanied cello by Bach. Try and work out what the main musical building blocks are to the piece. Think about common melodic patterns and how many times the music modulates. Do other DR G SMITH elements change at all? If so, think about how they do.

Then listen to this GCSE Study Composition, based on the Bach piece above.

Can you work out how the two pieces are related to each other?

How successful has the composer been in balancing their desire to base their piece on someone else’s, whilst ensuring that it has a range of original ideas?

We will discuss this before you embark on your own Study composition.

What is a Folk Song?

There are lots of different interpretations of what a folk song is, depending on a number of factors, but for the purpose of this project, we are referring to an unaccompanied traditional song, similar to those sung in an ABRSM exam.

  • They are normally strophic (repetitive melody line, different text every verse).
  • Often they have a chorus, which is the highest point in the melody.
  • Dynamics are controlled by the performer, responding to the meaning of the text.
  • The stresses of the text determine the rhythmic shape of the music.
  • They require an excellent sense of tuning, and breath control.

Task: Listen to this traditional version of Danny Boy. Think about the typical features of folk songs, listed above, and work out whether you think it is has all or some of these features. Think about the melodic shape in particular, and the way the text fits with this shape. How do they work together?

Then listen to this GCSE Folk Song, based on the style of the piece above. Can you work out how the two pieces are related to each other? How successful has the composer been replicating the style of a traditional folk song into their own composition?

We will discuss this before you embark on your own Folk Song composition.

Study Composition Task

You are going to compose a short study for your instrument. You need to think about fundamentals, such as the key and time signature, mood etc. You must also decide on which technical element(s) you are going to include in your piece, and think about how best to exploit them. You must be able to perform your own piece, so think carefully about the limitations that this will place on you. You will have three weeks worth of class lessons, plus appropriate homework time. You must produce a score of your piece in Sibelius.


At this stage, we are not ready to assess your composition using the GCSE Composition Mark Scheme. We will have a look at it, so that when we are ready to use it, we have an idea of what to expect. You will be given regular feedback by your teacher and peers as your piece is developing, and a final comment, split into areas of strength, and areas for improvement. This will be emailed to you.

Folk Song Composition Task

You are going to compose a short folk song for yourself to sing. You need to start by selecting a text which is suitable – something with a regular verse pattern and similar length lines. Then work out the basic rhythmic scanning of each line. Once you’ve done that, you need to think about fundaments, such as the key and time signature. Getting the words to line up properly with the melody is the most important aspect, and tricky to do. It will take patience! You will have three weeks worth of class lessons, plus appropriate homework time. You must produce a score of your piece in Sibelius.


At this stage, we are not ready to assess your composition using the GCSE Composition Mark Scheme. We will have a look at it, so that when we are ready to use it, we have an idea of what to expect. You will be given regular feedback by your teacher and peers as your piece is developing, and a final comment, split into areas of strength, and areas for improvement. This will be emailed to you.

However, if you want to look at the GCSE mark scheme, it can be found by clicking here.

Composition assessment is very specific:

All pieces are marked /30, using a series of categories /5.

Categories A, B and C are compulsory, followed by optional categories, D, E, F, G, H, I.

Practice Assessments

You are going to listen to three compositions and mark them.

  • Please use the document here to record your marks and thoughts about the pieces.
  • The document tells you which optional categories to mark each piece with.
  • The document is in SharePoint – log in using your email address, and follow the instructions about opening and saving it.
  • Saving it in your area on the /H: in your music folder would be the sensible thing to do.
  • Please click here to open the mark scheme.

Composition 1

This is a classical style piano waltz.

Composition 2

This is a woodwind trio.

Composition 3

This is a minimalist clarinet piece.

GCSE Piano composition example

GCSE Woodwind Trio composition example

GCSE Minimalism Clarinet composition example

Revision App for Smartphone or Tablet

To download the GCSE music revision app:

  1. Search and install ‘AppFurnace Player’ using either Apple or Android App Store
  2. Open AppFurnace and click on the ‘+’ symbol
  3. Click ‘Scan & Add’
  4. Use the scanner to read the QR code, and it should appear on your phone/tablet.

It is designed for phone, but should have a ‘x2’ option to increase the size on a tablet. No excuses now – get revising!

Section A – 68 marks

8 listening questions, two from each AoS.

Section B – 12 marks

Two short 1-mark questions, followed by a 10-mark answer. You choose one question from two.

Total for the exam – 80

Remember the exam is worth 40% of your grade.

Click here for an example of a GCSE Music paper, produced by EDEXCEL for pupils to look at.

Revising for Section A – the listening questions

There are two things that you have to get right in preparation for the exam:

  1. Know which technical term matches which element of music in each Set Work.
  2. Be able to hear specific examples of each technique in the Set Works.

Using the checklist documents that are at the bottom of each Set Work page is the best way to achieve this. Remember, these sheets have three elements to them:

  • Know the basics (C) – title, composer, key, time signature, instrumentation etc. This needs learning to start with.
  • Understand the detail (B/A) – the technical details of the piece, and how they relate to DR G SMITH. This needs you to have written up all the detail onto your score. Listening to the piece lots whilst following through the score is what is needed here.
  • Hear the detail (A/A*) – being able to recognise the sound of all the technical language in the pieces, with no score in front of you. Listening to the piece without the score is what you need to do here.

Checklist Documents
Here are all the checklist documents together in one handy place:

Handel Download

Mozart Download

Chopin Download

Schoenberg Download

Bernstein Download

Reich Download

Davis Download

Buckley Download

Moby Download

Capercaillie Download

Rag Desh Download

Koko Download

Please use them and fill them in carefully. We will check them in class.

Set Works
Here are all the pieces together, so you don’t have to go looking for them elsewhere! The reason for there being many more than 12 tracks is because the versions of Rag Desh have been further split up here.

Practising your listening and revising

  • Listen to the Set Works over-and-over, in addition to filling in the checklist sheets. Have them on whilst revising other subjects. Get them on your mp3 players and phones so you can listen to them frequently. Annoy your family by playing them in the car!
  • Test your understanding of all the pieces in the following way: get someone else (Mum, Dad, brother, sister etc!) to pick one of the tracks and play one minute from part of it. Your job is to try and identify the piece (this should be easy), and then:
  1. Describe the different musical features you can hear.
  2. Then, crucially, link the musical feature to one of the elements of music.
  3. Ask each other for help.
  4. Make revision notes, record cards, mind maps etc.
  5. Write essay plans – see the page here for more information about essay revision.
  6. Think about trying Coggle for your mind maps. It’s free and easy to use, but you do need a gmail address and password, and it won’t work in school. Its brilliant though and worth exploring. It would work for most subjects too.

Whatever you do, practising listening to the music and identifying features and which element of music they are linked to is by far the most important thing that you can do.

Remember, you can always email the Music Department for help and advice, and you’ll get a response within 24 hours, and often much sooner. Good luck and work hard!

Model Essay App for Smartphone or Tablet

To download the GCSE model essay app:

  1. Search and install ‘AppFurnace Player’ using either Apple or Android App Store
  2. Open AppFurnace and click on the ‘+’ symbol
  3. Click ‘Scan & Add’
  4. Use the scanner to read the QR code, and it should appear on your phone/tablet.

It is designed for phone, but should have a ‘x2’ option to increase the size on a tablet. No excuses now – get revising!

Use this page to help you revise for the essay you have to write in Section B of the exam paper.

What is the standard question format of a GCSE music essay?

Comment on how composer name uses the following elements in piece name.

[Between three to five bullet points, each one focusing on an element of music which is important in the piece in the essay title.]
  • Each essay focuses on one piece only, and in the case of Rag Desh, you can only write about one of the versions in your essay.
  • There is always a choice of essays – you answer one question from a choice of two.
  • Remember, there are also two one mark questions about the piece that you are writing about. These should be easy marks to gain, if you’ve done your revision. They usually include axing you in what year the piece was composed/recorded.
  • You have 25 minutes to complete your answer.

How should a good GCSE music essay read?

It should be:

  1. Factually accurate, and full of musical vocabulary
  2. Have a short introduction and conclusion
  3. Have one paragraph per bullet point in the question
  4. Free from waffle – if it’s not relevant, then don’t write about it

How is a GCSE music essay assessed?

  1. Each question is worth a maximum of 10 marks.
  2. You get one mark for each point you make, but only if it is supported by musical vocabulary.
  3. The essay is also assessed for QWC (quality of written communication) – this means that SPaG, and a paragraph structure which includes a short introductory paragraph, and a final sentence to conclude. You will lose marks if you do not take care over QWC.

How should I use the model essays provided here to practice?

  1. There is one essay question for each piece. Where possible, the question is taken from an EDEXCEL past paper. If this is the case, then the list below tells you.
  2. There are two questions for Moby, as it has appeared twice on papers. The model answer is directed to the first question, although it wouldn’t take you much to adapt it to the second one.
  3. Start by downloading them from SharePoint and reading them through.
  4. Notice the paragraph structure is rigid in each essay – one short introductory paragraph, not worth any marks, but it states the context of the piece.
  5. Each of the following paragraphs focuses on one bullet point, in the order they come in the question.
  6. Notice how the answers try not to repeat themselves, but when they do, they state this, using phrases such as ‘as mentioned previously’.
  7. Each essay is potentially worth more than 10 marks, as stated by the [1 mark]. There is no negative marking. Try and make more than 10 points, in case you miss with one or two.
  8. Try practicing them by writing them out!

Which essay has appeared on which paper? (Accurate up to Summer 2014)

  • Handel – never
  • Mozart – 2013
  • Chopin – 2011
  • Schoenberg – Specimen Paper
  • Bernstein – 2012
  • Reich – 2014
  • Davis – Never
  • Buckley – 2011
  • Moby – 2013 and Specimen Paper
  • Capercaillie – Never
  • Rag Desh – 2014
  • Yiri – 2012

Essay Questions and model answers


Comment on how Handel uses the following elements in And the Glory of the Lord:

  • Instrumentation
  • Melody
  • Texture
  • Harmony and tonality
  • Rhythm and metre

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer.


Comment on how Mozart uses the following elements in Symphony no. 40 in G minor, 1st movt:

  • Melody
  • Tonality (keys)
  • Structure
  • Rhythm
  • Instrumentation

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer.


Comment on how Chopin uses the following elements in Raindrop Prelude in D flat major:

  • Melody
  • Dynamics
  • Texture
  • Structure
  • Tonality and harmony

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer.


Comment on how Schoenberg uses the following elements in Periepetie from Five Orchestral Pieces:

  • Tonality and harmony
  • Instruments and texture
  • Melody
  • Dynamics and tempo
  • Structure

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer.


Comment on how Bernstein uses the following elements in Something’s Coming from West Side Story:

  • Melody
  • Rhythm
  • Harmony and tonality
  • Structure
  • Instrumentation

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer.


Comment on how Reich uses the following elements in Fast from Electric Counterpoint:

  • Instrumentation
  • Melody
  • Rhythm and metre
  • Texture
  • Tonality

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer.


Comment on how Davis uses the following elements in All Blues from Kind of Blue:

  • Instrumentation
  • Structure
  • Rhythm and metre
  • Melody
  • Tonality

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer.


Comment on how Buckley uses the following elements in Grace:

  • Structure
  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Texture
  • Instrumentation

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer.


Comment on how Moby uses the following elements in Why does my heart feel so bad?:

  • Melody
  • Chords
  • Structure
  • Technology
  • Texture

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer.


Comment on how Capercaillie use the following elements in Skye Waulking Song:

  • Instruments
  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Rhythm and metre
  • Texture

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer.

Rag Desh

Comment on how the following musical elements are used in one of the versions of Rag Desh:

  • Dynamics
  • Instrumentation
  • Melody
  • Rhythm
  • Structure

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer for version 1 (sitar).

Click here to download the model answer for version 2 (voice).

Click here to download the model answer for version 3 (bansuri).


Comment on how Koko use the following musical elements in Yiri:

  • Rhythm
  • Instruments
  • Structure
  • Vocal parts
  • Texture

Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.

Click here to download the model answer.

Revising for the essay means not just reading the relevant model answers, but also practicing how to write your own essay. Use the following lists as a guide to what to include in each paragraph. Of course, the essay title will probably only include four or five bullet points in its title.


  • —Genre – oratorio – sacred piece for (vocal) soloists, chorus and orchestra
  • —Melody – themes 1-4; imitation; sequence (these all affect texture)
  • —Instrumentation – this includes voices – four-part choir (SATB), string orchestra (no double bass on our recording), basso continuo
  • —Tonality/harmony – A major; modulations to V (dominant – E, and V/V – E’s dominant, B); no minor key mod.; Perfect cadences used at end of sections (V-I); final cadence Plagal (IV-I); pedals (I and V)
  • —Rhythm/Tempo – Allegro;3/4; one-in-a-bar feel; hemiola; harmonic rhythm; adagio at final cadence
  • —Texture – (link to use of melody) homophonic (all singing same words together, usually at cadences), polyphonic – imitation; sequence; monophonic – soprano bar 108


  • —Genre – symphony (4 movts. Mozart wrote 41)
  • —Tonality/harmony – G minor tonic, modulation to relative major Bb for 2nd subject; many other passing modulations; cycle of keys chord sequence in dev.; pedal (I, V, in bass, inner); lots of perfect cadences (V-I)
  • —Dynamics – start to become more of a feature, full range from p to f; cresc and dim; sfz
  • —Instrumentation – classical symphony orchestra, know them in score order; different roles, compare first violins with horns for instance
  • —Melody – lots of regular 2 and 4 bar phrases; imitation and sequence (affect texture when used); development of 3-note motif
  • —Rhythm/Tempo – Allegro molto; 4/4 time sig, conventional rhythmic writing for a classical piece
  • —Texture – mixture of homophonic (melody plus accompaniment), polyphonic (particular in bridge and dev and coda); some short monophonic phrases (bar 66)
  • —Structure – sonata form (get your spellings right here):
    • —Exposition (1st subject, bridge, 2nd subject, codetta, modulation to rel major (Bb)
    • —Development (three sections, exploring modulations, development of Expo Theme 1 in full and three-note motif)
    • —Recapitulation (1st subject, bridge (longer), 2nd subject (in tonic), coda (longer))


  • —Genre – prelude – freely composed piece with no particular structure used for each one. Chopin wrote 24, one per major/minor key
  • —Structure – modified ternary (ABA1codetta); B section longest
  • —Tonality/harmony – Db major A, C# minor B (tonic minor); pivot note; modulations to other related and non-related keys; chromatic harmony; inner dominant pedal
  • —Melody – irregular phrase lengths; ornamentation; chromatic flourishes; melody moves between right and left hand; cantabile playing; sotto voce
  • —Texture – almost all homophonic; thicker texture explored in B; piano melody see point above; monophonic start of codetta
  • —Piano techniques – sustain/soft pedal; expressiveness through use of touch sensitivity (link to dynamics); articulations (legato, accents etc)
  • —Rhythm/tempo – 4/4; no tempo marking (sostenuto instead); tempo rubato; septuplets; insistent quavers for pedal; dotted rhythms; ritenuto
  • —Dynamics – wide, expressive range, sfz, cresc/dim, from pp-ff


  • —Structure – rondo form (ABA1CA2)
  • —Tonality/harmony – atonal; chords constructed using hexachords; dissonant
  • —Melody – hexachord/compliment; Principal voice (H symbol), Secondary voice (N symbol); angular shape; changes in register; passed from one instrument to another
  • —Rhythm/Tempo – tempo changes reflect ‘expressionism’; pulse hard to feel despite 3/4 time sig
  • —Instrumentation – v. large orchestra; extreme ranges
  • —Dynamics – lots of extremes, sudden changes; variety of different articulations (legato, accents etc)
  • —Texture – ever-changing combinations; thick/thin texture; polyphonic – instrument often used in blocks, occasionally monophonic [listen and look at score for both of these]


  • —Genre – musical – mix of overture, solos, duets, choruses, dance, acting; based on Romeo and Juliet; libretto by Stephen Sondheim
  • —Form – ABB1A1
  • —Instrumentation – Tony (tenor), and lightly scored orchestra (full strings, fl, cl, tr, horn, kit)
  • —Rhythm/Tempo – syncopation, push rhythm; 176 bpm; 3/4, 2/4 time sig; cross-rhythm
  • —Tonality/Harmony – D major/C major; jazz chords (7ths, 9ths); some dissonance
  • —Melody – ostinatos; short phrases with long last notes; ‘blue notes’ #4th, b 7th); tritone
  • —Dynamics – enhance excited mood of song; cresc and dim throughout long notes
  • —Texture – complex layers underneath main melody


  • —Melody – ostinatos looped; additive; resultant melody
  • —Harmony/Tonality – tonal; modal E minor/aeolian; ambiguous opening; modulation to Cm
  • —Texture – polyphonic layers, counterpoint
  • —Rhythm/tempo – syncopation; cross rhythm; polyrhythm; regular metre
  • —Performance/Instrumentation – one live guitar, 7 recorded guitar parts, 2 bass; multi-tracking


  • —Rhythm/Tempo – syncopation; swing rhythm; 6/4; cross rhythm
  • —Melody – head; improvised; modal scales; chromatic; fluid and laid back
  • —Harmony /Tonality: 12-bar blues chords; altered chords; voicings; comping
  • —Texture: light; altered by piano’s role
  • —Instrumentation – Frontline – tr, saxes; Rhythm – Pno, kit, bass;
  • —Playing techniques – trill; mordent; appoggiatura; brushes; mute


  • —Instrumentation – know line-up and roles, particularly guitars; use of synth strings
  • —Form – classic rock song verse/bridge/chorus structure (know it!)
  • —Rhythm/Tempo – 12/8; syncopation
  • —Harmony/Tonality – Em (modal)/D major; Drop D tuning; power chords; drone; chromatic falling bass
  • —Guitar techniques – Strumming; picking; pitch bend; slide; lead/rhythm/bass; drop D
  • —Production techniques/use of technology: EQ; flange; delay; overdub; reverb
  • —Texture – varied thickness, depending on use of strings, layers of guitar, backing vocals


  • —Harmony – simple patterns in Am, chorus in C, sus chords
  • —Melody – Samples of 1953 gospel, modal, melody reharmonised, echo canon, riff
  • —Use of technology – Effects such as: EQ, delay, reverb, samples, ‘telephone voice’, low-fi resample, final mix/mixdown; Hardware such as: synthesiser, drum machine etc. (you could learn the exact equipment list if you wanted…
  • —Structure – Intro, verse, chorus, break(down), outro
  • —Club dance features – four to the floor, mix-in, mix out


  • —Fusion – mix of folk and western music. Know which element of the piece is which…
  • —Folk – modal harmony and melody
  • —Folk – melody uses pentatonic scale, which is reharmonised
  • —Folk – some of the instrumental line-up: accordion, pipes, bouzouki, Gaelic vocals (know what ‘waulking’ is)
  • —Western – recording/studio production techniques (use of studio to multi-track, modulation, chorus, reverb etc)
  • —Western – some of the instrumental line-up: drum kit, bass, guitar, synthesiser, acoustic guitar
  • —Western – 12/8 use of syncopation, cross rhythm

Rag Desh

  • —Rag – Indian scale; sargam – system of tuning; Sa – tonic; meend – pitch bend
  • —Tala – Rhythm patterns – different types: learn them
  • —Instrumentation – sitar, sarod, sarangi, tambura, esraj (strings/drone); tabla, pakhawaj (drums); bansuri (flute)
  • —Structure – Alap, jhor, jhalla, gat (no vocals), bhajan (vocals). No percussion until last section. Alap improvisation, unmetred, slow; speeds up through different sections
  • —Different versions – sitar; vocal; bansuri: don’t mix them up!


  • —Sub-Saharan Africa (Bukino Faso)
  • —Instrumentation – tuned: balaphon; untuned: djembe, talking drum, dun dun
  • —Playing techniques – strike the skin with (a) hand(s) open/closed, or (b) beaters, rim shot, alter ‘pitch’ of talking drum by stretching skin
  • —Singing – call and response: solo voice echoed by chorus
  • —Structure – short sections, usually instrumental alternating with vocal
  • —Other features – texture: monophonic, hetrophonic; ostinato; syncopation; tonal

Presentation on theme: "Starter Activity Listen to the track ‘Yiri’ by Koko:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Starter Activity Listen to the track ‘Yiri’ by Koko:
Where do you think the music comes from and why?What instrumentation is used in the piece?What do these keywords mean?IMPROVISATION CALL & RESPONSE CROSS-RHYTHMSPOLYPHONIC OSTINATO ORAL TRADITION:

2 Sub-Saharan African Music
‘Yiri’ by KokoSub-Saharan African MusicEdexcel Music GCSEArea of Study 4

3 Koko: ‘Yiri’ In the study of this set work you will learn about:
The rich and diverse cultures of sub-Saharan AfricaThe social importance of African musicHow music is learnt and passed on through the oral traditionThe key common techniques used in African musicRhythmic and melodic patterns and procedures in African drumming, balaphone music and choral singingHow the set work ‘Yiri’ is constructed

4 African Music in Society
Sub-Saharan African music = rich, diverse and colourfulCovers a range of 50 different nationsEach nation has its own musical traditions and languagesMusic plays an important role in African societyMusic used to communicate different feelings and emotionsMusic important in social gatherings: weddings, harvest, birthday, funeral.

5 African Music in Society
Music combined with speech, dance and vibrant costumes = exciting and dramatic performances‘Yiri’ = strong emphasis on danceDancers = vivid costumes, body painting and elaborate masksStories told through body actions and mime

6 Burkino faso: masks & dance

7 VideoBurkina faso dancers

8 Choral Song (tribal music) Instrumental music
African music3 main areas:DrummingChoral Song (tribal music)Instrumental music

9 African music: Common features
Repetition:Repeating a section of music. Just a few notes or a whole section.Improvisation:Music is made up spontaneously (on-the-spot) without written notation.Polyphony:2 or more independent parts playing different things at the same time. Multi-layered textureCall and Response:Solo (call) followed by a group answering (response) a phrase.

10 AFRICAN DRUMMINGDrum considered to be most important of all instrumentsDrum = form of communicationDifferent rhythms mean different thingsHundreds of drums, different in every region

DJEMBE is the most common African drum (single-headed)Goblet shapedWest Africa

Double Headed DrumPlayed using sticks

Known as the Talking DrumHeld under the armPlayed with the hand

Playing hands on skin of drum – different sounds when fingers open/closedPlaying hands on wooden edge of drumUsing sticks = sharp, staccato soundStretching drum membrane to produce different pitches (mainly donno)

15 African music: performance
Oral tradition: no musical notation.Master drummer directs whole performance (signals to start often with a vocal cry)Performs a rhythmic solo to set mood and tempo – called a cue.Cueing happens throughout the performance – creates structure and contrasting sections

16 African music: performance
Players then come in together and play a responseResponse could be the same or different to the Master Drummer’s rhythm.Call and response = main feature of tribal musicOther players perform solos when Master Drummer signals to themSolos = variations/development of original rhythmic pattern

17 African music: performance
Steady continuous beat performed by Master Drummer = ‘timeline’Performance can also include percussion rattle or bells – most common are agogo bells.

18 African music: performance
Music increases in tension as the piece progressesTempo and dynamics vary from section to sectionMaster drummer controls change - music must not become monotonousPerformances can take up to 5 hours

19 African music: performance texture
Complex rhythms played by drummers create polyrhtyhmsStresses conflict with each other and the ‘timeline’ creating cross-rhythmsPolyrhthmic texture

20 African drumming & performance: keywords

What is the master drummer responsible for in an African drumming performance?What is the most common African drum called?What is another name for the donno drum?What are the three main strands of African music?From which African nation does ‘Yiri’ originate from?What texture is associated with African drumming?When stresses conflict with each other and the steady constant beat, what type of rhythms are created?What 2 main elements vary from section to section in African drumming music?

22 Sub-Saharan African Music
‘Yiri’ by KokoSub-Saharan African MusicLESSON 2Edexcel Music GCSEArea of Study 4

23 SPEED DATING! Write down 3 keywords/facts you can remember about Yiri
Pair up with someone else and think of as many more keywords/facts that you can rememberWhen I say ‘change’ move onto someone else and think of some more.

Sub-Saharan Africa = centred around singingMusic serves as a link to the spirit worldAfrican languages = tone languagesTone languages = pitch level (high or low) determines meaning of wordsPitches of melodies and rhythms can match meanings and speech rhythms of words

Basic form = call and responseShort simple, repeated melodiesMelodies = scale of only 4, 5, 6 or 7 tonesMelodies changed and developed during a piece = theme and variationsSingers improvise new melodies over the original melody = polyphonic

Music can often be sung in roundsMusical texture is always changingHarmony varies from tribe to tribe =UnisonParallel octaves, with odd fourths or fifths.Thirds or fourths in 2 or 3 different parts.

27 COMPOSITION TASK Compose a short repeated melody using only 4-5 notes
Perform the melody with your group as a round.EXTENSION:Add harmonies to your melody (4ths or 5ths)Create a vocal performance of your piece

28 HOMEWORK Revise what we have learnt so far for a test next lesson.
11th March

29 ACTIVITY: What have you learnt so far?

30 Sub-Saharan African Music
‘Yiri’ by KokoSub-Saharan African MusicLESSON 3Edexcel Music GCSEArea of Study 4

31 Starter activity What are the 3 main areas of African music? (3)
Where in Africa does ‘Yiri’ originate from? (1)What is the name of the main African Drum? (1)What is the Donno also known as? (1)Who directs the whole performance in African Drumming? (1)What does the director of the performance do to start different sections (what is the keyword for this)? (1)What 2 main instruments (other than drums) are used in Yiri? (2)When stresses conflict with each other and the steady constant beat, what is created? (1)What is the musical device where the same melody is developed throughout a piece known as? (1)How are African vocal pieces structured/performed? (1)Name 3 different ways in which harmony can applied to African vocal performances. (3)Write a definition of the following words (4):Ostinato Oral Tradition Unison Polyphonic


33 African instrumental music
IDIOPHONES (resonant/solid)AEROPHONES (wind)CHORDOPHONES (strings)Rattles (shakers)Flutes (bamboo, horn)ZithersBellsOcarinasLutes (kora)Mbria (thumb piano)Horns (animal tusks)LyresXylophones (balaphones)Trumpets (wood, metal)Musical bowsClap sticksPipes (single and double reeds)Slit gongsPanpipesStamping tubesWhistle

Balaphones – xylophonesWide range of pitchesSmaller xylophones = higher pitchesMembrane in between bars made of natural materials such as orange peel


36 BACKGROUND TO ‘YIRI’ Musicians in Koko are:
Madou Kone: vocals, balaphone, fluteSydou Traore: vocals, balaphoneJacouba Kone: djembeFrancois Naba: vocals, tam-tam, dundun, maracasKeresse Sanou: talking drumTidiane Hema: vocals, maracas

37 Background to ‘yiri’ From Burkino Faso: West Africa
Burkino means ‘men of integrity’Faso means ‘father’s house’People from Burkino Faso are called BurkinabeThemes in music include battle, fight for surival and the environment; creation, community celebrations and friendship.

38 Musical strands in ‘Yiri’
There are 3 clear musical strands (ideas that run the whole way through the piece/shape the piece) in Yiri. What do you think they are?Balaphone ostinati – complex polyphonic textureDrum ostinato – based on a one-bar pattern (little variation)Vocal line – pentatonic, call and response

39 Constant features in ‘Yiri’
Unvaried tempoRegular and unvaried beatDrum ostinatoPattern of voices and instrumental breaksLargely unvaried dynamics

40 Listen to the introduction of ‘Yiri’
Listen to the introduction of ‘Yiri’. What do you hear with regards to the following:InstrumentationTexturePatterns in the music1. What happens after the introduction (after bar 9)?2. Describe the tempo of the piece. Is the piece in a major or minor key?3. Are the drums all playing at the same pitch?4. How does the size of drum determine the pitches that are heard?5. How would you describe the rhythms of the instrumental melody?6. Are the different balophones playing the same thing?7. What and how are the drums playing when they enter?8. What are the different textures heard in the first part of the piece? Justify your answers.

41 ‘Yiri’: IntroFree tempo, high balaphone improvised solo played at a soft dynamic.Monophonic texture.Solo balaphone in G flat major, fast high and low rolls on every note.Simple and repetitive.

42 ‘Yiri’ 0.18-0.34 Moderato tempo established by first balaphone.
Second lower-pitched balaphone joins in after bar 9 – mainly playing octavesBoth balaphones play for whole piece – polyrhythms and independent of each otherStrong sense of major tonality as opening two notes of melody are dominant (D flat) and tonic (G flat).Melody built on 2 bar phrases with a strong rhythmic basis.Second balaphone plays the same melody but with different pitches.Heterephonic texture – contours of melody roughly the same.Rhythms – mainly quavers and semiquavers with some tied notes.

43 ‘Yiri’Large donno, small donno and djembe enter with a half bar ostinato:When the drums come in they all play the same rhythmThe drums are at different pitches (smaller = higher, larger = lower)Drums can get different sounds depending on how they’re playedBalaphone plays variation of original melodyLower balaphone plays an ostinato in bars 17-20Occasional djembe fillsMelody includes syncopated rhythms and octave repetitions on tonic (G flat) and dominant (D flat)

44 ‘Yiri’ 1.09-1.25 Chorus A1 Voices in unison
Melody = short, simple, repetitiveNo harmonySemi-quaver, quaver, semi-quaver rhythmShort balaphone instrumentalDrums ostinatiChorus A2Voices again – music same as beforeVoices outSolo instrumental on lower balaphoneVariation in balaphone melody

45 ‘Yiri’ 2.10-2.45 Solo with choral responses (call and response)
New melody with long held notes and short notes on ‘Yiri’Vocal melody with triplet figures – variation on original melodyLower pitched balaphone plays same ostinato heard in bars 17-20Voices (choral response) in unison at bar 63New melodic riffs in balaphone based on original melody

46 ‘Yiri’ 2.45-3.14 Solo voice (call) with long held notes
Drums same as beforeBalaphones play rhythmic 3-note semiquaver melodic figure – cross-rhythms createdBar 71 = solo voice singing variation of original melodyTriplets, syncopated rhythms and semi-quaver/quaver rhythms (heard before)Vocal response from choir in unisonSolo voice (call) with balaphone rhythms in solo break

47 ‘YIRI’ 3.28-3.59 Instrumental solos continue
New melodies on balaphonesShort rest (one bar/3 beat) rest before next chorusChorus B1Full choir in unison singing ‘Yiri’Short instrumental interjections to break up vocal linesDialogue between voices and instruments

48 ‘YIRI’ 4.45-5.20 Balaphone break instrumental Riffs with variations
Extended section but based on original melody with variationsRapid figuresOctave leapsSemi-quaver and demi-semi-quaver patternsChorus A3Full choir in unisonInstrumental interjections

49 ‘YIRI’ 5.36-6.24 Instrumental ending – balaphone break Syncopated
Drums re-enter at bar 153 (one bar before coda)6.24-endCoda5 two-bar phrases – in octaves and dramatic restsSense of a strong riffHeterophonic textureDrums play familiar ostinato from bar 153Piece concludes with a single strike on a bell

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