The first part of the course is focused on exploring rhythm, and the four projects ask to compose rhythmical pieces for indefinite-pitched percussion. You can find each project by clicking the links below. Once you enter the links, all the examples and the posts in the category, arranged in order, include a short analysis and reflection. They also include research, but these are separately linked here. Note that each research topic and post is mentioned at the beginning of every project post.
The first project is about composing four contrasting pieces for different solo indefinite-pitched percussion instruments, between 4 and 8 bars. The task is to explore different characteristics of different indefinite-pitched percussion instruments, while challenging the creativity.
Following the guidelines, I’ve explored three different dance forms – Spanish Fandango, Northern Indian Kathak and Tahitian Otea. I also touched on the subject of melody with the temple blocks, trying to use pentatonic scale in two distinct ways.
The second project is about composing four percussion duets that are at least 8 bars long. The brief includes that the third and fourth studies should use less familiar, irregular time signatures and variable metre.
Here, I’ve played with some of the more usual forms, although some quite unusual for the percussion duet – invention and scherzino. With the irregular time signatures, I’ve chosen the peculiar Basque dance zortziko, and also the suite structure.
The third project is about composing two longer pieces for three and more percussion instruments, paying attention to how the group of instruments interact with each other in order to create balanced and colorful compositions.
With this, I decided to explore some other structures – walzerkette and allegro sonata form.
The fourth project is about drafting a structural design plan for a larger piece, between 2 and 3 minutes, for the first assignment.
With the brief in mind, I created an interesting rondo structure for my first assignment.
Overall, I’m quite happy with all of my project pieces, especially in terms of experimenting with different forms, many of which are outside of the Western system. It may seem quite limiting to use only rhythm, but this kind of creative challenge made me unlock a whole other side of music, which I’ve completely neglected and never dived into in my prior studies. To see more of my thoughts on how the first part of the course made me re-evaluate my previous knowledge about music, read my general reflection about part 1 here.