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Young Students Composition Project (Part 2)

In this second part, let's look at the following students' compositions submitted. "The Adventure Land" was composed by Year 5 student, John Low of Peng Hwa primary school.I hope that students looking at this post will be able to learn some composition techniques as used by the students in our CSR Music Outreach Program.

Let us study some features of the composition:

- The song is composed in C Major.
- Bar 1 & 2 is the main motif of the melody. It is a 2-bar melodic idea.
- Bar 3 & 4 is the development of the motif. It is also 2 bars long.
- Notice that the rhythm of the 2-bar melody in Bar 1 & 2  is the same as in Bar 3 & 4.
- The original motif is transposed a major 2nd down in Bar 3 & 4.
- Bar 5 & 6 continues with the same pattern of notes but goes back to the sound og the original motif in Bar 1 & 2.
- Bar 7 & 8 ends the A section of this piece with a perfect cadence of chord V (G) in Bar 7 and chord I (C) in Bar 8.
- The bridge of the song (section B) in Bar 9 begins with a new motif. But, notice that the melody used is the same as in Bar 6.
- The use of some chromatic notes from Bar 9 - 12 is a great idea instead of just using notes diatonic to the C major scale. It sounds more interesting.
- The last 4 bars of the piece is the same as Bar 5 - 8.
- Play this piece on the piano (or your principal instrument) to hear the flow of the music and connection between the phrases to appreciate it.

The composition below is by Chloe Tan, another Year 5 student of Peng Hwa primary school. This piece like the one above comes with an arrangement for the piano. Let's look at the features of Choloe's composition.

- It is a 24 bar form in C major.
- The original motif is just 3 notes (E D C) as in Bar 1.
- The development of the same motif is continued in Bar 2, written just one note higher.
- The opening phrase is a 4-bar phrase.
- The next 4 bars (Bar 5 - 8) is similar with the first 4 bars (Bar 1 - 4) except for Bar 8.
- The bridge (B section) from Bar 9 - 16 begins with a new motif in bar 9.
- The original melody returns from Bar 13 onwards.
- One interesting feature of Chloe's composition is that the last two bars of every 4-bar phrase is quite similar.
- Notice that Bars 3 & 4, 7 & 8, 11 & 12, 15 & 16, 19 & 20, 23 & 24 sounds similar. This gives the entire composition a 'sound connection' throughout.
- The best way to appreciate this composition is to play it on the piano.

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