November 27, 2013
Wishing everyone at BHS and in the Band a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Hanukkah. Please be sure to check out the calendar for the marking period 2 rehearsal & performance schedule for Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band.
We’ll also be posting the second marking period syllabus and units this weekend, an online sign up form for lessons & extra help, and the SmartMusic assignment schedule for the marking period.
Here are the important dates to remember for December – please be sure to check out the calendar online for all of the dates in the 2nd quarter.
December Dates to Remember!
- Monday, 12/2 – Jazz Ensemble Rehearsal 6pm
- Wednesday, 12/4 – Parent’s Night 6pm
- Monday, 12/9 – Jazz Ensemble Rehearsal 6pm
- Tuesday, 12/10 – Merry & Bright Gig at The Chandelier – Jazz Ensemble performing – report time TBA.
- Sunday, 12/15 - Jazz Ensemble - performance at Jersey Gardens Mall – TBC!
- Monday, 12/16 – Symphonic Band – First rehearsal for second quarter – new music! Mandatory rehearsal for all.
- Wednesday, 12/18 – Jazz Ensemble Dress rehearsal
- Thursday, 12/19 – Jazz Ensemble & Choir Holiday Concert
As you can see – it’s a big month for Jazz Ensemble – Symphonic Band only has one rehearsal – but we will be picking up the pace in January – check out the calendar!
November 13, 2013
This marking period we spent much of our time discussing the elements and concepts introduced in Persig’s famous book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Those concepts included Quality, the idea of two perspectives in aesthetics – the classical and romantic, the idea of “ghosts” or influences in our lives, and the idea of the “analytical knife”.
Create a post that discusses each of these concepts and talk about how these ideas effect us as artists. Why is it important to be able to understand these concepts and how do they relate to the creative process and aesthetics?
Be sure to use specific examples from the text with the quote tool, and create a ping back to this post by linking to it.
October 28, 2013
Today we discussed the final chapter of the Part 1 – Chapter 7, and we specifically discussed how the narrator reveals that he and Phaedrus are one and the same person. At the very end of the chapter the narrator states:
I am a pioneer now, looking onto a promised land.
What does this mean? What is he referring to as a “promised land” ? How would you interpret the symbolism of the rain and cool imagery from the last few paragraphs?
Zamm Ch. 7 Study Guide
October 27, 2013
© Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Marco Abis via Compfight
This week in Electronic Music we will be exploring rhythms and creating drum beats. Specifically – this week we’ll be breaking down some simple drum beats and recording them. We’ll also be learning how to transcribe those beats into written rhythmic notation.
For the first part of the assignment we’ll need to download the audio files attached below to our lab computers and import them into three separate audio tracks in Garage Band. Be sure to label the tracks Audio 1, Audio 2, and Audio 3 just as they are named in the audio files.
Next we’ll mute Audio tracks 2 & 3 so we can listen to just Audio Track #1 and create a software instrument Drum Track. Listen to the audio track, mute it and record it into the software instrument track by recording it into Garage Band with your MIDI keyboard. Each Audio file has 2 separate 2 bar rhythms, please put a 1 bar space in between each rhythm that thou record.
When you are done you’ll have Audio Track #1 and a software drum track that performs the same exact 6 2-bar examples. Delete the Audio Track # 1 and complete the same for Audio Tracks # 2 & 3.
Here are the audio tracks:
Audio Rhythms 1
Audio Rhythms 2
Audio Rhythms 3
October 23, 2013
Arts Business & Technology is using an online app called Realtimeboard to create a virtual whiteboard of their studies of R. Persig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Students will be adding to the board throughout the year and are able to collaborate and communicate with one another while working together from their own computers. Students are also using a website called Verbal Workout to study the Vocabulary that appears in the text.
Here’s their Realtimeboard for ZAMM
October 22, 2013
We had a great rehearsal tonight – the band literature is coming along – but we really need to spend some more time tuning and working on individual intonation across the instrument. Tonight our main goal was to work through some basic transitions and sections of You Raise Me Up – and to work through all of Voodoo – which was much better tonight. All of the individual sections we performed and I think all of you have a better understanding of that song’s form and meaning.
During this week we’ll post a few parts of Voodoo on SmartMusic. I will post on the blog to tell everyone when they’re available. Basically we need to look at the clarinet melody in the second section and the flute counterpoint to that melody. We also need to have flutes, clarinets and trumpet 1 work on those little echo calls in the first section of the piece. Finally we need to re-orchestrate a few sections to compensate for our missing instruments and we need to work out the special effects with the trumpet valve slides and flash lights. Next week we will begin working on Voodoo sans lighting – in complete darkness. (I may use my iPad score so we’ll have a soft glow on the conductor )
During the next few weeks we really need to listen and tune. Check out our performance critique sheet below:
Rep Chart Rubric
Notice that each box gets large from left to right and that each box has different performance elements.
- Box 1 – rhythmic accuracy, tone quality, pulse and time
- Box 2 – Intonation, articulation & technique
- Box 3 – dynamic control, blend & balance
- Box 4 – phrasing and expression
I’ve been doing some research and found another version of this same concept by another music education from the mid-west. (Found this online from an Illinois convention handout – original author unknown!)
Notice the same order – Tone Quality – Rhythmic Accuracy – Intonation – and expressive aspects on top – “In Touch” Right now we’re stuck on the second level of this pyramid. We’re beginning to get in touch – but our poor intonation and tone quality is causing too much damage in our foundation.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be really working on tone and intonation across the instrument. We’ll be taking out the rhythmic aspects of some of the sections of our rep just to work on the tuning and balance of each individual harmony.
Listen to our recording of You Raise Me Up – and look at our 4-box grade chart. What grade would you give us for each box? Write a critique or add your comments in the comments link below the post. We will be writing full critiques in class – but please listen to the recording – find the mistakes – this is what we really sound like – LISTEN! I’m sure this sounds very different from what you all remember from rehearsal!
10.21 Rehearsal – You Raise Me Up
October 21, 2013
This week we’ll be discussing Chapter 6 in ZAMM – specifically we’ll be talking about the analytical knife and we’ll be looking at how it is used in the Arts. This week we have two discussion questions we need to write about. We’ll be focusing on discussion questions #3 and 4 from the Chapter 5 & 6 study guide:
- Goethe’s poem captures what may be at stake for the Narrator and Chris on this trip or at this point in their lives. Use the discussion of Chris, the ideas of Phaedrus up to this point, and what is said about the poem to explain how the poem captures what is going on in the Narrator’s mind.
- No two motorcycle manufacturers split up the motorcycle parts in the same way. What did the Narrator mean by this? The Narrator talks about the knife they use to split up the parts and then talks about how Phaedrus used the knife creatively, yet analytically. To what do you think the Narrator is alluding to?
Posts must illustrate understanding of topics and discussions and must use quotes from the text that help prove/disprove the writer’s ideas. Please cite all quotes. Last week we spoke about Goethe’s poem and watched the video below. In addition to the discussion point about the poem above – talk about how the poem is an example of the classical vs. romantic thinking. Who in the poem is the romantic? Who is the classic thinker? What about in the book? How do the characters fit into the classical-romantic theme?
When writing about the second discussion point (the knife) talk about how this is used in the Arts. How does this knowledge help you as an artist? How does it help you become more analytical of your work?
Here are the ZAMM Ch. 5-6 Study Questions. Next week we will be discussing chapter 7 – please read the Zamm Ch. 7 Study Guide questions before reading the chapter.
This week we need to create ping backs to this post by linking to it within your answer post from your own blog. Your essays will be posted to the comments section of this post and we’ll be sharing and commenting on each other’s work.
October 21, 2013
This week in Symphonic Band I and Band II we will continue to rehearse our fall repertoire. We will have rehearsal on Monday evening at 5:30 pm and we will be recording You Raise Me Up as well as Homeward Bound. We’ll also be taking apart Voodoo and we need to be able to play through Voodoo (at at least a C or C+) before the end of the night. Throughout the week we’ll be listening to the recordings and doing quick critiques before rehearsing in class.
During the week we will be working on Music Theory (Monday in BandRoom – no lab software installed as of yet!) and will begin using the Alfred Theory Units in both Band I and Band II. Please check the Band I & II resources page for downloads and homework assignments. In Band I we will be looking at Alfred Theory Units 1 & 2 and in Band II we will be looking at rhythm – Units 4 and 10. On Friday there will be a QUICK test on these units before rehearsing in class.
We will also be finishing up the December Sky SmartMusic assignments and I will have a new assignment posted on SmartMusic that will need to be completed by November 1st. Remember to PRACTICE and please be sure to attend Monday evening’s rehearsal – It’s almost SHOWTIME!
In Jazz Ensemble we will be recording our prepared rep for critique and we’ll be looking at developing the arrangements of Wonderful Christmas Time and All I Want for Christmas. there is no Jazz Ensemble rehearsal this week!
October 18, 2013
This week in Arts Business & Technology we did not discuss our ZAMM reading, but we will be picking up with our discussion of Chapter 6 on Monday, 10.21.13. All students should be sure to read the chapters, re-read chapters that you may have only skimmed through, and be prepared to discuss Chapter 6 in class on Monday. This week we will also be taking a test on the details and events that happen in the story, as well as writing about some of the philosophical concepts Persig introduces in these chapters.
Specifically we will be focusing on the “knife” that the narrator speaks about in chapter six – and discussing how the analytical “knife” is used in the world of art, music and aesthetics.
I’ve attached all of the study questions that have been handed out up until now below. Be sure to check out the study questions before reading each chapter. Over the weekend I will also be starting an online word wall for students to post unfamiliar vocabulary words that they come across in their reading.
ZAMM Ch. 1 Study Questions
ZAMM Ch. 2-3-4 Study Questions
ZAMM Ch. 5-6 Study Questions
Below I’ve done some online searching and found some helpful links to ZAMM resources and websites for further study and introspection.
ZAMM Mini Guide (PDF)
The Interview: Robert Persig
Robert Pirsig Recalls His Near-Deadly Sailing Adventure
The Metaphysics of Quality – a blog by Robert Persig himself