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Description of Event Prior to the competition each team will build two types of musical instruments [aerophone, chordophone, idiophone, or membranophone]

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Presentation on theme: "Description of Event Prior to the competition each team will build two types of musical instruments [aerophone, chordophone, idiophone, or membranophone]"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Description of Event Prior to the competition each team will build two types of musical instruments [aerophone, chordophone, idiophone, or membranophone] based on a 12 tone tempered scale, prepare to describe the principles behind their operation and be able to perform a major scale, a required melody and a chosen melody. Aerophone - Woodwinds and free reed instruments (harmonica) Chordophone - Stringed instruments Idiophone - Percussion instruments that are not drums (i.e.: xylophones) Membranophone - Drums

3 This event has three distinct parts: 1.Building the instruments 2.Performance 3.Understanding the physics of sound Building the instruments is worth 47 points Performance is worth 25 points Understanding the physics is worth 30 points There are 48 bonus points for a total of 150 points

4 Building the Instruments Make sure that the instruments play in the required range (minimum of 15 points would be lost) Remember that the building of the instruments accounts for less than 1/3 of the total points. You must find a compromise between building an instrument that looks like it was professionally made and one that looks like it was put together in 10 minutes.

5 Building the Instruments You want variety in the two instruments (i.e.: a stringed instrument with a woodwind rather than two woodwind instruments - 5 points) Size, portability, and construction time may influence how many notes the instrument is capable of playing

6 Building the Instruments The only "instrument part" that is allowed are strings (i.e. guitar strings). You may not purchase tuning pegs, reeds (or material designed to make musical reeds), or rosin - these items must be made from other materials. Good construction habits (insuring that the end of a flute is sealed air-tight, for example) will result in instruments that produce excellent sound quality Attention to detail and a little extra care can make the simplest construction look more professional

7 Building the Instruments Tuning: Remember that you want an instrument that is easy to tune and will stay in tune over the course of a day. Keep in mind that wooden instruments, like marimbas, may be affected by the humidity and temperature. Stringed instruments need to be made so that, once the string is tightened to achieve the proper note, it does not loosen so quickly that you have to retune it several times Don't be afraid to think outside the box, but make sure that students are prepared to answer questions about the construction of their instrument Safety is of paramount importance during construction. Any use of power tools or torches should be supervised, and students tuning stringed instruments should wear safety goggles at all times.

8 Performance Students will be asked to play a single note from the required range while the judge tests it for accuracy. Students need to be sure that all of the notes their instrument can produce are in tune, since they will not know ahead of time which note they will be tested on Students will then be asked to play a major scale. This is where the Range Rubric will be used, so the student should play as many notes as their instrument will produce to get the maximum score allowed. As you progress beyond Regionals, students should not "push" their instruments to try to get the maximum score in the Range Rubric - attempts to hit high notes that fail could cost them points

9 Performance Students will be required to perform 2 duets - "God Bless America" and a song they have chosen to demonstrate the capabilities of their instruments "Duets" include one instrument playing melody and one playing harmony - students MUST supply the harmony for the "God Bless America" melody supplied in the rules. Make sure construction is completed early enough to allow students adequate practice time on duets.

10 Performance Students need to choose a second song that shows off the capabilities of BOTH instruments - they may even want to switch harmony and melody during the song. Judges are looking for harmony (not unison), how well they blend together (one should not be much louder than the other), their technique in playing their instrument (some really struggle), timbre (a term they never know, but means quality of their sound), and interpretation of their music (the fun in Pop Goes the Weasel, the quiet and sustained notes of Lullaby, the grandeur of The Great Gates of Kiev, or the joy of California Dreamin ) Original pieces do not necessarily win them more points and generally take up more of their time. If this is their choice and they have the time, the results are sometimes incredible, but if it is going to take more time away from practicing, have them choose something else

11 Understanding the Physics of Sound Students need to spend the time learning the physics as well as building and practicing their instruments. They should understand how their instrument produces sound, and be able to explain how they change pitch and volume and why that works. They also need to understand the basic physics of sound, including wave theory, Bernoulli Effect, acoustics, musical sound perception, and harmonics. Make sure they use the correct terminology when making explanations. This is a section that is often overlooked, but can save a team who has technical problems with their instruments from finishing last. Judges will be looking for BOTH students to be able to answer the physics questions.

12 Bonus Points There are a total of 48 bonus points - more points than any other section. This is an important part of the event that students often overlook Teams that follow all the rules get 16 bonus points. Have someone not involved in the competition evaluate the students to make sure they have followed each and every rule (a music teacher who doesn't have time to coach might be convinced to spend an hour with the students before competition, going over the rules with them and making sure they have followed them all). 8 points for teams that furnish musical scores for the judges for BOTH songs (with team name and number) and an additional 8 points if the sheet music is written in the correct clef.

13 Bonus Points 8 points for teams that play both musical selections entirely within the allowed range for the two instruments (you can use a program like Encore to change the pitch to get a song within an instrument's range) 8 points for teams that only use allowed materials in the construction of their instruments. This is where it is important that students can describe the construction of parts of their instruments, in case there is a question as to whether it was made or purchased.

14 Resources - People Your school's Technology Teacher (Industrial Arts) - if you cannot get them to help coach the event, you can at least "pick their brains" for ideas regarding construction techniques and how to recreate items like tuning pins that must be made from scratch. You will need someone to supervise the actual construction as power tools and the use of materials that require supervision will be involved in the building phase. If you cannot get someone to supervise the use of the tech room, you can make instruments with hand tools - construction will take longer, but the results can be excellent as long as the students pay attention to details. Parents can help with the supervision of the tech room. When you have a number of students working on several projects at once it is difficult for one adult to supervise everything. Have the tech teacher certify any parents that volunteer to help with the supervision of power tools (check with your building principal on district policy)

15 Resources - People Your school's Music teacher - they can help students with the selection of music, can work with students on performing the duets (making sure the students are playing a melody and a harmony and not in unison), tuning the instruments, and determining why an instrument just "won't work". They can also work with students on the musical terminology that they should be using in their physics explanations. A science teacher who can work with the students on the physics The people at your local music store. We've asked for help when an instrument would not play correctly, or when we needed to purchase the correct strings to get the instrument to play within the required range. The people at these stores are generally very helpful and, if you take the instrument into the store with you, they will sometimes be so impressed that they offer to help the student to get it working correctly.

16 Resources - Web Sites This particular site is on Frequency, Wavelength, and Pitch. There are many supplementary sites that explain other facets of this event. This is by far the most comprehensive site for general information regarding music, sound, wave, etc. and it is written in an easy to read manner. Very complete site with problems, diagrams, and a great deal of information. Flute builders sites. With music!!! Many links to sites. Flute builders should have no problem finding what they are looking for. Making flutes from PVC Piping. Has directions for everything from a toilet ocarina to a $12 ukulele.

17 Resources - Web Sites Understanding Music Notes and their Notation A Physics tutorial on Sound and Music. Some advanced, but there are some excellent diagrams and information given. Everything is well explained and easy to follow with links to help with understanding. Has information and pictures about Sugar Belly and his bamboo saxophone. (Perfect for SO since they use things like masking tape to seal up holes!) Has lessons on many different areas. Not all are easy to follow. Ear and Hearing is one lesson. (For Health Science there is a small lesson on the autonomic nervous system.) A site by David Worrall with general information regarding music, physics of sound, and musicology.

18 Resources - Web Sites Physics of Music – Notes. Information on just vs. equal tempered scales, conical vs. cylindrical bores and plans for musical instruments. Explains the Doppler effect, but is a bit complicated. Excellent animations of constructive and destructive interference and standing waves. The most useful section on this site is the Wave section. Though college level, most of it is spelled out quite well. Tells how to tell the name of a key signature. A look at musical scales Has a list of sites about building instruments. Unsure of how good this may be.

19 Resources - Web Sites This links-site will connect you to information about most musical instruments. Hundreds of links. Not sure how useful. cal_Instruments/Violins/http://www.wannalearn.com/Crafts_and_Hobbies/Woodworking/Building_Musi cal_Instruments/Violins/ About how to build a violin. This site has a great deal of information about tuning, scales and information more related to the musical aspect of this event. Excellent reference material. Kyle Ganns Just Intonation Explained is an interesting site which provides a lengthy explaination of tuning, chords and musical construction. Possibly useful to one of your extremely musical person interested in learning more about the theoretical background to chording and the mathematical principals involved. This page is designed specifically to provide help with Sounds of Music (from 2006)

20 Resources - Books Musical Instrument Design by Bart Hopkin ISBN $25.00 Amazon.com from $19.11 Making Wood Folk Instruments by Dennis Waring ISBN Amazon.com from $3.67 The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker by Trevor Robinson ISBN Amazon.com from $9.21 Everything You Should Know About Musical Instruments But Didn t Have Time to Learn by Michael J. Pagliaro ISBN $13.95 Making Simple Musical Instruments by Bart Hopkins ISBN Amazon.com from $39.99

21 Resources - Books Cool Cardboard Instruments to Make & Play by Dennis Waring ISBN: Barnes & Noble - $19.95, Amazon.com from - $4.95, musicbooksplus.com - $17.95 Great Folk Instruments To Make & Play by Dennis Waring ISBN Amazon.com from – from $19.95, - $ $14.95

22 Resources - Final Patty Sherman - National Event Supervisor:


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