YEAR 8 UNITS of STUDY
Unit 1 - Variations the way in which melodic features can be altered and manipulated
Pupils begin year 8 by studying the concept of variation i.e. how music can be changed after an initial hearing. They will listen to some famous examples of Variations and will analyse what changes to the original idea have taken place. They will then compose music incorporating variation techniques into their work. Ideas could include: changing the time signature, playing in a different key, adding a counter melody, changing the rhythm etc..
Unit 2 - The Blues an important and influential style of the 20th Century
A very short introduction placing The Blues into an historical context will take place. From then on this topic is largely performance based and will
incorporate the use of chords, extended chords and improvisation. An important aspect of this unit is the 12-bar structure and this will be the basis of all
Unit 3 - Jazz a genre of music which emerged in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries
Pupils will build on the work covered in The Blues and extend it to learn about Jazz chords, incorporating the addition of other notes to chords, and
structures. Through listening and performing pupils will experience the key features of the style. As this unit uses similar performance requirements to The Blues, pupils will be able to extend their playing skills in both chords and improvisation.
Unit 4 - Space Music music which has been influenced by the moon and the planets
This topic will focus on imaginative, atmospheric music and will largely involve composition work using Cubase. Pupils will listen to different style of
music associated with the concept e.g. Holst’s Planets Suite and David Bowie’s Space Oddity and use these as a point of reference for their compositions.
Unit 5 - Film Music music to accompany a film
Film scores encompass an enormous variety of styles of music, depending on the nature of the films they accompany. This project will be more about music which enhances the film and was written for that precise film.
The pupils will be looking at the making of films and how composers create music for that specific film: the tension, calm and excitement that can be captured because of the music. Following on from the work on space music, pupil will extend their imaginative composition skill and compose music to accompany various film scenes. They will use the Cubase program and understand the importance of accurate timing in this genre.
Unit 6 - World Music music which highlights traditions and conventions from other countries
As with Year 7 music from a different culture will be introduced. They will learn about classical music from North India in this year. The most commonly
used instruments will be studied and, from their learning, pupils will be expected to compose their own Indian style music using: raga, drone and tala.
Improvisation is an important part of this music and so again the pupils can call on this particular skill.