Music and ICT
Links to research documents provide a context for the Stage 4 activities below which show how ICT can be incorporated in learning experiences in music.
The revised Music Years 7-10 Syllabus includes specific outcomes addressing the use of computer technology in music as well as a clear statement requiring students to engage with ICT throughout the music course.
"Musicians are avid consumers of new technology and advances during the twentieth century have influenced, and will continue to change, the ways in which musicians work, both in terms of the instruments they play and the means by which they record and share their performances.
"Developments in analogue and digital electronics have meant that musicians now have access to a wide range of new instruments and sounds as well as the means to record and manipulate sounds in ways which were not possible even a few years ago. Synthesisers, sequencers, non-linear recording and editing systems are the everyday tools of many musicians".
"Teachers are encouraged to use a full range of technologies as available to them, in the classroom and in the wider school context". (Music 1 Stage 6 syllabus p 26)
Janet Mills and Andy Murray Music technology inspected: good teaching in Key Stage 3. B. J. Music Ed. 2000 17:2, 129-156 Copyright# 2000 Cambridge University Press. Retrieved on November 9, 2007 from http://www.music-ite.org.uk/profdev/pdf/bmje_mills_and_murray.pdf
David Ashworth Electrifying Music A Guide To Using ICT In Music Education. The Paul Hamlyn Foundation January 2007. Retrieved on November 9, 2007 from www.musicalfutures.org.uk
Richard Sabey The Creative Use of Music Technology A guide to treating music technology as your slave, not your master, Personalising Extra-Curricular Music Activities for 11-18 Year Olds.The Paul Hamlyn Foundation January 2007. Retrieved on November 9, 2007 from www.musicalfutures.org.uk
Jennings, Kevin Hyperscore: A Case Study in Computer Mediated Music Composition. Education and Information Technologies Vol.10, No. 3 (2005): 225-238. Retrieved on November 9, 2007 from https://www.cs.tcd.ie/crite/publications/sources/Hyperscore-JenningsEdit1.pdf
U.S. Department of Education Technology and Education Reform: Effects of technology on classrooms and students, A Research Project Sponsored by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Conducted by SRI International. Retrieved on November 9, 2007 from http://www.ed.gov/pubs/EdReformStudies/EdTech/effectsstudents.html
How to use ICT in music. Becta 2007, Coventry UK. Retrieved on November 9, 2007 from http://schools.becta.org.uk/index.php?section=cu
The following unit of work was developed to support the new Music Years 7-10 Syllabus and used in a workshop series for government schools during Term 2, 2005. Thank you to
|Jane Cateris||Canterbury Girls High School|
|Shane Kershaw||Macintyre High School|
|Julie Montague||Curriculum K-12 Directorate|
|Peter Schuhmacher||Inverell High School|
|Andrew Smith||Homebush Boys' High School|
Macquarie ICT Innovation Centre
|Steve Wilkins||Auburn Girls High School|
Thank you to the students from Inverell, Homebush Boys and Auburn Girls High Schools who have provided work samples for these units.
Click on the icon on the left to find other activities using ICT.
This unit of work focuses on developing students' understanding and ability to manipulate the concepts of music using computer technology. Resources include computers installed with a loop program such as Acid DJ and sufficient headphones and adaptors for students to work in pairs.
|Students should already have an understanding of the concepts of tone colour, texture and structure. Their skills in analysing music are developed by listening to demonstration compositions. Working in pairs they then develop their own two minute compositions. Their musical observations directly inform the process of composing their own piece. |
This activity addresses Years 7-10 Music Syllabus Stage 4 outcomes 4.4, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.10 and 4.12.
The unit takes roughly ten hours to complete, with approximately half that time in the computer room and the other half in a classroom with a hi-fi and overhead projector.
Select up to five musical examples to listen to and analyse. Choose pieces that have all been composed using the program ACID. The pieces are listed in order, from the least interesting to the most interesting piece. Acid Xpress can be downloaded for free.
| 1. Discuss, with a partner, the reasons why one piece seems the least interesting example and what makes another piece so much more interesting. |
2. Using the ACID screen of each piece as a guide, listen to each and analyse the use of texture, unity and variety in each one. The ACID Analysis Sheets (pdf 52kb) may also be used for suggestions. An explanation of terms is included.
Tips for listening and analysis top
When analysing the texture of each of these pieces, consider:
- the tone colour of each layer
- the number of layers used in each piece
- changes in the number of layers in the texture
- the different roles of each layer.
When listening for unity within the piece, listen for elements that remain the same such as:
- the same tone colours throughout the piece or a section
- repetition of phrases
- repetition of rhythms
- repetition of motifs
When listening for variety within the piece, listen for elements that change such as:
- new tone colours
- different phrases
- different rhythms
- different motifs
- contrast between different sections in the piece
Student work samples
Kabi and Nishanthan (mp3 1.2MB)
Mehran and Damien (mp3 909kb)
At the end of this unit students will have a working understanding of structure, tone colour and texture, including the varying roles of different layers of sound. They will also have a greater understanding of how to produce a composition or arrangement that can sustain unity and variety for approximately two minutes. This knowledge and skill will be built on in the next unit of study which will move away from the feel of Dance music.
For example, if the unit was Jazz students could learn to play several melodic phrases, then extract some simple melodic ostinatos from these phrases and then learn a few rhythmic accompaniments and, in groups of 4, create and perform a short composition using their own arrangement of the above. Students could also present a score of their arrangement based on the main screen format used in the Acid program. The “art” of teaching the next unit is to move away from the Dance Music feel of Acid.
A free download of ACID XPress software, a 10-track version of ACID software. Tutorials are included.
A free download which provides an easy introduction to computer music notation. A simpler version of the full Finale program, it is available for Windows and Macintosh. Very easy to use, notes are dragged and dropped onto the staff, lyrics can be added, the music can be played back, printed and saved. Suitable for Stages 3 to 6.
Soundbyte Music Network
The Soundhouse at the Powerhouse Museum. Provides free downloads, information on software, lesson ideas and composition opportunities. It is necessary to register in order to access the teaching ideas but there is no charge. Suitable for Stages 3 to 6.
Free audio editing software available for both PC and MAC platforms.
Audio editing tutorial
Click here to find tutorials written by Anne Wisdom as an introduction to audio editing using Adobe Audition.