In this unit, we studied about soundtracks and learned how to arrange them. Examples we did from our unit is: Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter theme and the James Bond theme. When our group looked at James Bond, we looked at many ideas. An example is we looked at the idea of Leitmotifs which is a musical soundtrack associated throughout with a particular person, situation or idea. We mainly focused on this “Leitmotif” based on Hedwig (I think from Harry Potter) and James Bond (the theme for James Bond). Our main theme when playing “James Bond” theme was using both hands and playing the rhythmically.
In the unit, we also looked at different effects instruments can lead us to. For example playing the brass, string instruments, or woodwinds create different sounds and harmony; which means they create different moods. Woodwinds create calming sounds, the Brass is able to create strong tensed sound. Percussion is mainly added to add tension and the make the song more interesting. In our James Bond groups, we tried to make our music better by first, using types of instruments. We used 2 pianos to create calm feelings, a drum and a djembe for adding tension and finally electric guitar to create strong sounds. Then we had to chose each part to play. Since we had 2 pianos, we separated the 2, one playing the melody, and one playing the chords. The drums and djimbe were a guide for the rhythm and beat and I as the electric guitarist played the melody at first and played the chords since it created more tension. Finally, we had to decide on the tempo, styles of playing the instruments, and the length for each part. We made our tempo a little bit slow, and I played an arpeggio solo to create a sad and tranquil tone. On top of that, the drums played the clash cymbal to express this tone even more. Of course, when we wanted our tone and mood to be tense and strong, we played our instruments strong and loud. Lastly, we had to work as a team and get our timing for each instrument and our collaboration very well. We also got our accuracy of the notes improved which led to better performance. Generally, the main parts were the piano, then me playing the guitar with some important chords and melody and finally, the background drummers and djimbe players getting the beat and rhythm correct.
Before the concert, we had four things we needed improvement on. The first thing we need to decide was the effects on the piano and if yes, what kind. We have to overcome this in our next music clash and get the teachers check, to see which effect on the piano we need. Second, we could improve our general performance in the group. Of course, we will practice so mistakes won’t happen but mistakes happen to everyone. We need to keep in mind that making mistakes is what people always do and when we do, pretend that the mistake was part of the song. We had to “not” flinch when people made mistakes and Mr. Noonan said “love your mistakes!” and from this, we learned that when making a mistake, don’t make a big fuss. After the mistake, we have to stand back up and continue on the part we were before. One general way to prevent this problem is before the performance, we have to plan and burn the information of our instruments in our minds to prevent general mistakes. Another thing was the beat and rhythm feels. One of our band members always got the tempo incorrect and we had to practice that part over and over until we got our tempo correct. There is only one way to prevent this problem. It’s to practice and burn the tempo in your head. Finally, the last thing we have to improve is communication skills. Our intro and ending could be improved since sometimes the start is too sudden and we may not be ready. This also can be prevented by practice and another thing we can do is just be ready anytime.