titolo musicamedia

Site's purpose - Ensemble music - Musicamedia's scores - Musicamedia's orchestra

Site's purpose

The purpose of the site is to spread ensamble music in schools, allowing all students to experience the involving and thrilling opportunity of playing in an orchestra. I'm truly convinced that this is the best way to live music at this age: by actually playing it in company.

Ensemble music

Ensamble music in schools is an excellent tool for motivation and aggregation which has huge educational effects as far as social relations, mutual respect and development of cooperation and group spirit are concerned. It favours gratification and the pleasure of playing, which lead to a higher motivation towards music. It also allows everybody's enhancement according to their own talent, it strengthens their self-esteem and helps them become aware of their means. These arrangements are the result of my practical work as a teacher in middle school and in music schools. I have experienced them with my pupils being convinced (like many other teachers) that, in order to bring kids nearer to music, it is necessary to make them play (and sing) together. The parts never exceed the technical level that is quickly reachable with a minimum exercise with the recorder even by the most inexperienced player. The easiness of the performance has also inspired the choice of tonalities. The scores have been used in everyday school activity, first in order to study the theory and then to arrange group performances. The arrangements based on folk tunes have been written in tonalities allowing an easy vocal performance. (Top)

Musicamedia's scores

Musicamedia scores make up a complete and flexible tool, the result of my practical and extended experience with kids. They are characterised by:
1. varied level of difficulty; some titles are very easy and allow to start playing ensamble music as soon as the pupils have a minimum background; others are suitable to more demanding events, such as public concerts or competitions.
2. The 2nd soprano has an easier part, so that everybody can play and find their own place in the orchestra.
3. The choice of tonality allows the combination with a treble voice choir in most of the cases when a singing test is provided.
4. 1st soprano flute, contralto flute and tenor flute have similar difficulties.
5. 1st soprano flute, contralto flute and tenor flute usually have melodic parts with imitative hints.
6. Xylophone, guitar, keyboards and drums are ad libitum (at pleasure)
7. The xylophone, guitar, keyboards parts can be either facilitated or made more difficult, according to the performers' ability.
8. The electric keyboard, thanks to its wealth of timbres, can substitute or go along with any other instrument.
9. Reference points along the score in order to make ensamble rehearsals of the different groups easier.
Flexibility These scores have to be considered as a very flexible tool. In case you don't have all the instruments you can play reduced parts, paying attention to the fact of keeping the one with the main tune. The parts can be swapped among instruments, according to their extension. The base consists of the recorders' quintet. If necessary, the accessory xilophone, guitar, keyboards parts can generally be simplified by splitting the parts of two players or by reducing chords and arpeggios to the basic note according to the structure of the part itself.
Format Musicamedia scores consist of the complete score for the teacher and the detached parts for the pupils to be photocopied and handed out. They are available in different formats:
1. Pdf.The pdf version will be sent via e-mail or on CD; it requires Acrobat Reader which allows an easy print of the document directly from your computer.
2. Midi.The midi version is useful to get an idea of what the arrangement "sounds" like. It is also ideal for those who would like to adapt or change my arrangements to their particular needs. Delivery will be made via e-mail.
3. Booklet (Only available in Europe). It's a collection of a group of titles on different topics or on a theme (ex. Christmas Musicamedia); they are front/back printed, bound with a metal spiral, they have a tranparent cover and the detached parts are on loose sheets. Delivery will be made via priority mail without any delivery fees. (Top)

Musicamedia's orchestra

Musicamedia orchestra is composed of instruments that can easily be found in public schools, such as recorders, guitars, keyboards, xilophones and small percussion instruments.

immagine flauto dolce1st soprano flute: It almost always has the main melody. It's the biggest group.
2nd soprano flute: Facilitated part for those who have some learning problems or useful to involve even the most unwilling ones. Do not ignore this group, since they need to feel they have as an important part as the others; the teacher will help these pupils to overcome the small difficulties that are somehow of considerable importance to them. It may happen that it has the main part; in these cases it is necessary to strengthen the group in order to have the melody emerge, especially if there is no choir.
Contralto flute: Together with the tenor it dialogues with the first soprano. It sometimes has a mere harmonic part. When the vocal performance includes a second voice, it generally corresponds to the contralto part.
Tenor flute: It usually has a counterpoint part like the contralto, sometimes harmonic.
Bass flute: Its presence within the orchestra allows to set up all-flute performances. Keeping this bass of harmony function in mind, its writing is often of an harmonic type, even though there are also counterpoint and melodic hints. Considering its high cost and its rare diffusion, the orchestra will mostly play without bass flute, whose function is carried out by the guitar and the keyboard.

Xylophone and metallophone: Its timbre gives a particular colour to the orchestra. Its characteristics can be exploited by using it alternatively in the different repetitions. If you need to facilitate, in case of broken chords or figurations (non so se sia giusto) you can initially omit one of the two parts and move on to the complete performance only later.
Guitar: The parts are generally very easy; those pupils attending specific courses can play the chords duly varied with the appropriate rhythms and arpeggios. If, on the contrary, you need to facilitate, just the first note of each harmony can be played, usually the lowest, and it can be re-played or kept as long as necessary, until the following chord. It is almost always possible to divide the part between two guitars: the former plays the low notes of the harmonic bass, the latter the higher ones completing the chord.
Keyboards: It has a simple basic line or broken chords. In the pieces that do not provide a specific part, the keyboard can play any other part, according to the needs and to the available timbres; alternatively, it can play the guitar chords or be shared between two players or two keyboards. In many transcriptions of composers' pieces the keyboard corresponds to the bass flute part.
Percussion instruments: I have included a rhythmic track for triangle, claves or drum. In the simplest case, the percussion instruments can double the rhythms of the main melody. Other instruments: The instruments suggested for the Musicamedia orchestra can be replaced by others, particularly when it is the case of enhancing those pupils who study music beyond the school music lessons. I'm suggesting a number of examples: please bear in mind that in sometimes it is necessary to read them at a higher or lower octave, depending on the case, in order to avoid undesired intersections of parts

Musicamedia Orchestra

Replacement hypothesis

soprano recorder 1st & 2nd

violin*, oboe*, flute*

alto recorder

violin, viola, flute

tenor recorder

viola, cello, flute

bass recorder

viola, cello

xylophone

piano*, keyboard

guitar

piano**, keyboard

keyboard

cello

* To be read at the high octave.
** To be read at the low octave.

A homogeneous group of Sib instruments (for ex. clarinets) can play the parts as they are (excluding the xylophone part); they will come out as played a tone below.
The guitar part can be changed into a harmonic bass part, taking into consideration the lowest note of the chords or of the arpeggios, and then be played with various medium-low pitch instruments. (Top)

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da novembre 2008