Year 7 : Rhythm and Beat

Lesson 6

In this lesson you will have the chance to play what you have learnt so far with a larger group.  You will learn about dynamics (loud and quiet).

Activity 1

In a group of four, take a line each and play through this 8 bar piece.  When you have finished, swap parts three more times.  At the end you should have played all the parts.
Choose a different sounding instrument for each part.  For example :

PART 1 : Triangle
PART 2 : High drum
PART 3 : Low drum
PART 4 : Wood block

This is a CANON.  We looked at canons in the last lesson.  This one is a 4 part canon.  Count your empty bars carefully.

Make sure that you are all playing at the same speed before you start.  To help you do this, click on the button to hear a beat played at 100 BPM


Activity 2

To make your music a little more interesting, we will now add dynamics. This means changing the loudness of the notes.

The hairpin makes the music go gradually louder or quieter.

This means gradually getting louder

This means gradually getting quieter

The letter p   means play quietly

The letter f   means play loudly

Now make up a 4 part canon for 8 bars (just like activity 1).  This time include dynamics - but not too many!

Ask your teacher/parent to check your music.  Before you play it, ask yourself the following questions :


The letters you have learnt today are meaning quiet and meaning loud.  These stand for the Italian words
piano  and forte, the Italian words for 'quiet' and 'loud'.

Around 1709,  an Italian called Cristifori invented a keyboard instrument that was able to play loudly and quietly, depending on how hard you pressed the keys.  The keys were linked to small wooden hammers covered in felt which would hit the strings.  This was different to the traditional Baroque keyboard instrument, the harpsichord, in which the strings were plucked by small hooks.  The harpsichord was not able to play dynamic changes, but this new instrument of Cristifori's was.  He called it the piano-forte.  Nowadays, it is called the piano.  Click on the buttons to hear the sound of the instruments

The modern piano 
Fur Elise - Beethoven

The Baroque harpsichord 
Domenico Scarlatti - Sonata in E