Music at School

Happy Birthday John!

Today would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday had he lived long enough.

John Lennon was an English musician who gained worldwide fame as one of the members of the Beatles, for his subsequent solo career, and for his political activism and pacifism. He was shot by Mark David Chapman in the archway of the building where he lived, The Dakota, in New York City on Monday, 8 December 1980. Lennon had just returned from Record Plant Studio with his wife, Yoko Ono.


How many John Lennon songs can you recognise from just one line?

African Music and Jazz

Here is a recording of some drumming music by Year 8 pupils.

Leave a comment below and answer the following questions;

  1. In lesson it was said that African people play African Music and African-American people often play Jazz. What is the connection between African music and Jazz?
  2. What musical characteristics are used in both African music and Jazz?
  3. How do you think one developed into the another?

Cross-rhythms on djembe drums

This is a recording from a year 8 lesson. We’ve been working on producing cross-rhythms using djembe drums. A cross-rhythm is where there are two or more rhythms that are played in different metre (i.e. one in duple time and one in triple time, or triples over quavers). We often refer to this as”3 over 2″. It is a common element of both West African music and Jazz.

This recording is the product of 3 lessons and involves 8 players playing a “3 over 2” cross rhythm

Philip Glass comparison

Here are two pieces of music. One is by world famous minimalist and film composer Philip Glass and the other is a composition from a pupil. It is clear that the pupil piece is based on some of the ideas of augmentation and diminution that are found in the Glass piece.

Philip Glass: Metamorphosis 1

Pupil Piece:

Listen to both of these pieces and make specific comments about how the pupil has used harmony, dynamics and rhythm. Then, give the pupil two very specific, small, achievable targets to help them get to an A* grade.

Minimalist Development

This piece of music is being written in a minimalist style. Make comments about the music to help it get a B grade. Use the Edexcel mark scheme and what you know of Steve Reich’s music to guide your advice.

Fusion example

Here is an example of some fusion music:


Club Dance Music Overview

here is another chart giving an overview of club dance music

Club Dance Influences

This is a chart showing the major influences on different types of club dances styles.

Club Dance timeline

African music Overview

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