Introduction to GCE Music Technology A-Level

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Outline of the course!

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  • 1 - Ideas for producing a CD, types of music, methods to record2 – Short discussion about popular music from the 1910 to 2010, can they name popular genres?
  • Introduction to GCE Music Technology A-Level

    1. 1. Introduction to GCE A-Level Music Technology<br />Stuart Pennington <br />
    2. 2. Why Music Technology?<br />From sound engineering, record producing and computer music production; throughout this course we will endeavor to develop these skills. <br />What made you interested in music?<br /> What careers and progression do you believe you could take the skills you learn during this course? <br />
    3. 3. Course Structure…<br />Edexcel  GCE  in  Music  Technology  comprises  of  an  Advanced  Subsidiary  AS  and  A2   component,  each  lasting  one  year. <br /> <br />The  first  half  of  the  GCE  course  consists  of  Units  1   and  2,  this  can  be  taken  as  a  stand  alone  qualification  or  50  per-cent  of  the  total   Advanced  GCE  marks.      <br />The  second  year  A2  counts  as  the  other  50  per-­‐cent  of  the  full  qualification,   constructed  through  Units  3  and  4.<br />
    4. 4. What You Will Study…<br />First  Year  - AS Level<br />- AS  Level:   <br /> Unit  One:  Produce  an  Audio  CD  with  documenting  portfolio          <br /> This  will  cover:                                <br /> 1/  Sequenced  Performance                                 <br /> 2/  Multi-­‐track  Recording                                  <br /> 3/  Creative  Sequenced  Arrangement   <br /> 70%  (AS),  35%  (Full  A-­Level)    <br />  Unit  Two:  Listening  and  History of Popular Music    <br /> The  development  of  popular  music  styles  from  1910  to  the  present  day,  this  assessed  through  an examination. <br />   <br /> 1  hour  and  45  minute  examination.   <br />  30%  (AS),  15%  (Full  A-­Level)<br />
    5. 5. What is Music ?<br /> The organisation of sound over time? But this is not always the case….or is it?<br />Musical Structure<br />The elements are often constrained (limited) to allow only a reduced set of combinations and possibilities, such as:<br /> <br /> - A fixed set of pitches (scale): e.g. Western Composition<br /> <br /> - Restricted instrumental grouping: e.g. Modern Band’s structure <br /> <br /> - A predefined set of chord types: e.g. ‘Blue’ I-IV-V <br /> <br /> - The use of simple rhythms over regular beats: e.g. Common ‘4/4’<br />
    6. 6. The Elements of Music<br />Melody: A sequence of notes of different pitches<br />Harmony: When two or more notes are heard at the same time (chords): the way chords progress throughout a composition.<br />Rhythm: The way sounds are grouped over time with respect to a regular pulse (beat). <br />Timbre: The tone of different instruments...<br />Orchestration: Instrumental combinations <br />Form: The structural arrangement of musical ideas<br />Texture: Number of parts or voices and the way in which they are combined:<br /> - Monophonic: Single melody line<br /> - Polyphonic: Two or more melody lines heard at the same time<br /> - Homophonic: Melody line played against a chordal accompaniment<br />
    7. 7. Your first Music Technology problem…<br />Working in small groups can you answer some of these Music Technology questions?<br />
    8. 8. 1/ Do you know what this symbol means? <br />Often seen on the back of a DVD box! <br />2/ Which of the following is a definition for the term 'dynamics' in music technology?<br />- How fast the music is played.<br />- How many times the notes are repeated.<br />- How long the song lasts.  <br />- How loud or soft the music is played.<br />
    9. 9. 3/ What is the music tech recording term used to describe notes that are played and recorded into the computer at the same time?<br />- Real-time recording     <br /><ul><li>Staccato recording          
    10. 10. Instant recording</li></ul>4/ As musicians and musical tech. artists….what is the key signal that a stage is level? <br /><ul><li>When the drummer is drooling out of both sides of the mouth!!!!! Sorry!</li></li></ul><li>The Edexcel Specification: The  full  Edexcel  Specification  proving  a  detailed  account  of  the  course,  along   with  other  relevant  materials  can  be  downloaded  from:<br />  www.edexcel.com     <br />Click  on  “Qualifications”,  followed  by  “GCE  from  2008”  and  finally  “Music   Technology”<br />
    11. 11. So Where Next with Music Technology?<br />We are now deeply in the age of DIGITAL!!<br />- Hard-disk recording is the main method for all studios.<br /><ul><li> Digital work stations; nearly every studio in the world will a number of audio software, Pro-Tools, Cubase, Reason, Logic etc….
    12. 12. Plug-in instruments are MORE popular than standard recordings. </li></li></ul><li>Bands and Musical Groups<br />As part of Unit One you will be asked to form small musical groups in order to record the material.<br />NOT ORIGINAL MATERIAL!!!<br />The song you perform must be a cover of another artist’s composition, this must be a genre from 1910 to date.<br /><ul><li> Groups must be 3 or 4, sorry but no more!
    13. 13. There will be no MIDI entry, only live instruments. </li></li></ul><li>Recommended Web Sites:<br />Here   are   some   recommended   websites   that   may   be   worth   committing   to   Bookmarks:   <br />   www.soundonsound.com   www.computermusic.co.uk   www.recording-microphones.co.uk   www.audio.tutsplus.com   www.musicradar.com<br />
    14. 14. Recommended Books:    merely  just  a  suggestion  of  some  very  useful  resources  that  cover   all  the  different  aspects  within  the  GCE  A- Level  Music  Technology.<br />    - Owsinski  Bobby,  2005,  ‘The  Recording  Engineer's   Handbook’       <br />‐  Gibson,  David,  (1997),  ‘The  Art  of  Mixing  -­  A  visual  to       Recording,  Engineering  and  Production’    <br />Barlett,  B,  2006,  ‘Practical  Recording  Techniques’      <br />Gibson,  B,  2003,  ‘Sound  Advice  on  Microphone  Techniques’    <br /> Winterson,  J,  2003,  ‘Pop  Music:  The  Textbook’  <br />
    15. 15. My Contact Details:<br />E-Mail: spennington@loreto.ac.uk<br />Room: First Floor Music Technology Suite/Recording Studio <br />

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