Year 5 Music
Here are some samples of Year 5’s study of Aaron Copland’s Billy the Kid Suite, in particular Section 5 “Gun Battle”. After listening to and describing this section of the work, boys were asked to explain why Aaron Copland had carefully selected these instruments and the way in which they are played to tell the story of the Billy the Kid’s gun battle. You can listen to this excerpt by clicking here and learn more about the Suite and Aaron Copland by clicking here.
“Aaron Copland used percussion to represent the gun fire because percussion is loud and so is gun fire. The mood is tense because gun battles are very tense. There is a decrescendo at the end because the fight is over and Billy gets captured.”
Ben Roach, 5 Lynch
“The strings keep the old Western feel, while the percussion give a forte sound to represent the bullets firing. It decrescendos at the end making me feel like either the Sheriff or Billy the Kid have been killed.”
David McIntyre, 5 Nolan
“Aaron Copland uses the strings to build tension and captivates the audience with forte notes blasting loudly. The percussion represent the gun fire because they sound like a bullet being fired because of their boomy sound.”
Toby Smitheram, 5 Treacy
“Aaron Copland uses the percussion to tell the story of the gun battle by representing all of the loud noises from the gun fire because percussion is very loud so it matches with the gunfire and makes it more realistic. This makes the music even more tense.”
Oscar Woodhouse, 5 Treacy
Year 7 Music
In Year 7, boys were asked to write a two-part pentatonic melody composition. Below are two examples with scores and recordings.
Click here to listen to Dylan’s composition.
Click here to listen to Billy’s composition.
Year 8 Music
Boys studied the melody from In the Hall of the Mountain King and analysed a recording which you can listen to by clicking here.
“In the Hall of the Mountain King is program music and tells the story of Peer Gynt being chased by Trolls through the Kingdom of the Mountain King. The music elements of duration, expressive devices, structure and timbre assist in the story telling. The tempo gradually increases throughout the song, from andante through to allegro. This builds tension in the song as it climbs towards the climax. The dynamics of the song also gradually increase, from ppp through to fff. Lower sounding instruments are used at the start so the music starts very soft. These instruments include; French horns (which alternate with bassoons), cellos and double bass.
As the music gradually becomes louder and bolder, other instruments can be heard in the orchestra such as the violins and the piccolo. At the very end, when the music is at its loudest and fastest, the whole orchestra plays, as the song has reached the climax. There are high shrieks of sound played to illustrate tension. This is very effective when listening to the music and imagining the storyline. The rhythm of the song creates emphasis and builds tension by using repetition. From the rhythm you are able to picture trolls chasing Peer Gynt throughout the Kingdom, as it is slow and loud. The rhythm is made up of a mix of tee-tee’s, ta’s and two’s. Edvard Greig’s In the Hall of the Mountain King incorporates Norwegian folk music into the melody and builds tension, as it starts simple – soft and slow – and becomes complex – loud and fast – as different instruments are added to the song until eventually the whole orchestra is playing. This is why In the Hall of the Mountain King is such a recognisable piece.”
Mitchell Bradshaw, 8 Bodkin
Year 9 Music
Boys were asked to compose a pentatonic melody in compound time using the form: A, A variation, B, A.
Click here to listen to Philip’s composition.
8 Visual Art
Boys studied the artist Mulga and the unique characters this artist creates. They made their own art inspired by this work.
9 Visual Art
Boys studied the work of street artists, in particular the work of Todd Marron. They made their own art inspired by this work.
Mr Jason Goopy, Head of The Arts