About three years ago I ran an international competition challenging composers to write the ultimate 8-bar melody. It was fascinating to see how entrants approached it. Every melody had a unique sense of character and we saw so many creative ideas exploring melodic shaping, pitch-range, phrasing, use of rests, rhythmic devices and step/leap movement. After over 40,000 votes online, the two melodies below were our top two, with Alice’s melody winning the competition overall.
Both melodies copyright protected. 2015. All rights reserved.
To celebrate a change in GCSE Music that’s making ‘Music’ an accessible and brilliant creative choice for all students, this year’s competition will explore inventiveness and creativity using an iPad to compose original music.
⁃ Compose an original piece of music using an iPad with GarageBand
⁃ It must be 30-36 seconds in duration (the sound must stop before 36s is reached)
⁃ The music should sound ‘finished’ at the end and have purpose as TV theme music
⁃ The music can be in any genre and written for any solo instrument or combination of instruments. You may also record your own samples and perform them at different pitches, using the ‘Keyboard Sampler’ in GarageBand
⁃ You may use quantisation, EQ and the other included plug-ins to mix your music
⁃ The music must not include pre-recorded loops, smart drummer or auto-play functions. Every aspect must be your own creation
⁃ All music must be created only using the iPad and without connecting other devices
The purpose of this competition is to encourage people of all ages to get involved in music creation. Portable technology now enables us to create our music anywhere and at anytime. Many aspects of life inspire creativity. When each moment arrives, we can now create without delay.
This competition has now closed.
With this competition in mind, I wrote the following two 30-36s themes. These are not included in the competition, but I just wanted to share the first 2 diverse ideas I had when considering this task. Many many outcomes are possible. I can’t wait to hear what you will create.
iPad Music Example 1:”Gritty Crime Drama Theme” by Dave Lowe
iPad Music Example 2:”Countryside Walk Theme” by Dave Lowe
Copyright of both themes. Dave Lowe 2019. All rights reserved.
‘GCSE Music Production Via Technology’ at Manor CE Academy, York
In addition to our popular ‘GCSE Music’ course we now run this second pathway. Ultimately all students are entered for the same qualification, but the type of learning is very different between the two. The ‘technology’ course, as the name suggests, has technology at the centre of all learning. Students on this pathway do not need to be able to play an instrument or sing as they can use ‘production’ instead.
Both courses are for students who love music and want to explore everything about it. Both guide students to discover how music is constructed and help them to strive to understand, perform and compose music in any genre, time or culture. Both courses help students to develop their craft and grow confidently in their creativity.
We currently enter students onto the AQA 8271 GCSE Music course. Other exam boards are available and the people running those qualifications are equally fantastic. The assessment on the AQA course is as follows:
40% – One 90-minute exam, testing understanding of music by listening as well as some questions based on a choice of study pieces
30% – Performance – students produce two technology productions of existing music
30% – Composition – students write two original creations, one to a brief (like the one in the competition)
The creative, problem solving and organisational skills developed in GCSE Music, significantly support students as they study other subjects like English, Maths & Science. The experience helps them to develop determination, resilience and independence in their work.
Title Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
4 responses to “Competition Time: iPad Music 2019”
[…] launched the new iPad Music competition last Sunday, I’ve spent the week discussing the concepts of inventiveness and creativity with my […]
[…] you too. If you have an iPad, why not have a go! And also then think about entering my iPad music competition – closing date not until 20th April, so there’s plenty of time for great […]
[…] Enter Competition here […]
[…] As I hope to encourage people more widely to get into iPad music creation, the international competition is still open. Deadline for entries is now a few weeks away. Full details here. […]