Lesson video

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Hi everybody.

My name is Ms. Kilpatrick.

Thank you for coming back and joining me for another day of musical devices.

Hello, everyone.

It's time for our "Hello song." ♪ Hello everyone ♪ ♪ Hello everyone ♪ ♪ Hello everyone ♪ ♪ It's good to see you today ♪ ♪ Hello everyone ♪ ♪ Hello everyone ♪ ♪ Hello everyone ♪ ♪ It's good to see you today ♪ For our warm up today, we're going to start with a game called "Switch." I'm going to make an action.

You're going to watch that action but don't copy it straight away.

When I say the word "switch", you'll make the action you've just seen while I move on to a new action.

Let's have a trial run just so that you can see how it goes.

So, watch first.

Don't copy.

Here we go.

This is my first action.

A nice, easy one.

When I say "switch", I'm going to change the action.

You're going to do this action.

Tapping your knees.


One, two, three, switch.

Are you tapping your knees? Excellent.

While you're tapping your knees, watch what I'm doing.

Because when I say "switch", you need to change to this action.

Tapping your shoulders.

One, two, three, switch.

Are you still tapping your shoulders? Excellent.

One, two, three, switch.

You should be clicking your fingers.

One, two, three, switch.


So we've all ended with our arms beautifully folded.

Let's then have a go at the real game.

Here we go.

My action first.

You'll watch and copy after.

Off we go.

One, two, three, switch.

One, two, three, switch.

One, two, three, switch.

One, two, three, switch.

One, two, three, switch.

One, two, three, switch.

One, two, three, switch.

One, two, three, switch.

Did you manage to do all the actions? Well done! In today's lesson, you will need some paper or a copy of the score on your worksheet and a pencil or a pen.

If you need to go and get those things, you can pause the video now.

So, we're going to start by reviewing all the things we've learned so far from lesson one and lesson two.

Then, we're going to be rehearsing something new for today.

And lastly, we're going to be composing as part of our task.

Here are the key words we're going to be using in today's lesson.

And also, some revision of the keywords we've used over the last couple of sessions.

First of all, the ostinato, we already know, is a repeating pattern.

Today, we're going to think about a ground bass, which is a special type of ostinato, a repeating pattern usually in the lowest register.

That means the lowest instrument or voice singing or playing.

A new word today, the pentatonic scale.

This is a scale of five musical notes.

Penta means five.

Maybe you can think of some other words that have penta at the beginning.

Is there a shape that uses that sound? Penta.


That's right.

Well, how many sides does a pentagon have? It has five.

Penta means five in Greek.

And tonic is another word for a sound.

So pentatonic, five sounds.

Five notes in this particular musical scale.

Melody is what we've looked at before.

It's another word for a tune.

And accompaniment is the music that plays underneath the main melody.

And all of the things we've been learning about, ostinato ground bass today, are all different types of accompaniment.

So, what are we learning today? Let's review.

We already know that an ostinato can be rhythmic.

We used body percussion in the very first lesson.

Last lesson, we also learned we can do vocal ostinato.

So we've got body percussion and we can use our voices to make a vocal ostinato.

Today, we're going to be using instruments to create our ground bass.

Our melody, low melody that's going to play all the way through the piece of music to accompany what we do.

And finally, we're going to compose our own.

That's our task for today.

So, we've got an example here of a ground bass written by a composer called William Byrd in 1590, a long, long time ago.

This one is a really simple ground bass.

In fact, it's only two notes for the entire piece.

So you can see here, in this first bar of music, we have this low "C" and next to it a "D." A little bit like "Jewels." That runs all the way through this piece.

Let's have a listen so we can see what it sounds like.

See if you can pick out the sound of the ground bass those two notes, going up and down in pitch.

Here we go.

Did you hear it? All the way through? You can go back and see if you can sing along.

In this piece, a really well-known canon, by a composer called Johann Pachelbel, we've got a much more complicated ground bass melody.

And this runs through the entire piece, usually played by the cello.

Let's have a listen and see if you can pick this one out.

Did you recognise the piece? It's quite a famous one.

Though that ground bass is a little bit more complicated.

Made even more so because the upper instruments, the strings over the top, are playing the same pattern one after the other.

Quite a complicated piece of music.

You can see on the screen a little bit of the original score.

The original writing that Pachelbel did to show the Canon.

We are not going to use quite such a complicated piece of music for our ground bass today.

We're going to be using the song "Old MacDonald Had A Farm", which we already used for our vocal ostinato in the previous lesson.

So we should, by now, be familiar with the words and the tune, the melody.

On your screen, you can see an image of a xylophone running from the note "C" all the way through, up to the top "C" on the instrument.

You will need to ask your parent or carer if you can use this online xylophone if you don't have an instrument at home.

Make sure you check with your parent or carer if you can access the xylophone @playxylo.


We're going to be thinking today about our ground bass.

You'll remember that I spoke about the pentatonic scale when we were looking at our key words today.

I've drawn some squares around each part of the pentatonic scale.

You'll remember, I told you, it had how many notes? That's right.


So I have drawn my shapes around "C," "D," "E." I've missed out the "F." "G," "A" and missed out the "B." I have also drawn a shape around the top "C" because it's the same note as the one at the bottom.

It's just a different octave.

So there are five different pitches there, five different notes.

"C," "D," "E," "G" and "A." That is the pentatonic scale that we're going to be using for our task today.

There it is, the pentatonic scale.

So, we know the scale we're going to use.

We knew the song we're going to be composing.

How are we going to do it? We're going to think through the song and see if we can remind ourselves of how it goes.

♪ Old MacDonald had a farm ♪ ♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪ ♪ And on that farm he had a hen ♪ ♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪ ♪ With a cluck cluck here ♪ ♪ And a cluck cluck there ♪ ♪ Here a cluck ♪ ♪ There a cluck ♪ ♪ Everywhere a cluck cluck ♪ ♪ Old MacDonald had a farm ♪ ♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪ In the last lesson, I used for my vocal ostinato, the phrase "Had a farm," "Had a farm," "Had a farm." And I sang that over the top of the melody.

Well today, I'm going to use that same pattern as my ground bass ostinato.

Rather than singing it, I'm going to play it using the xylophone.

So, I'm going to have a little play around with the xylophone to find out exactly how the tune goes.

On your worksheet, you'll find I have written the score out of the song if you want to work out the exact notes for "Old MacDonald Had A Farm." Otherwise, you can use any of the notes on the xylophone in our pentatonic scale to work out what pattern of notes you want to use for your ostinato.

I had a play around, so I know that for "Had a farm," I want the notes "A" and "G." ♪ Had a farm ♪ ♪ Had a farm ♪ ♪ A-A-G ♪ ♪ A-A-G ♪ So, I know how I'm going to play my ostinato, my ground bass.

On your score, you'll also find that you need to have a go at notating, just like we did in lesson one.

Using the sound words and using the note symbols.

♪ Had a farm ♪ ♪ Ti-Ti, Ta ♪ ♪ Ti-Ti, Ta ♪ So, I know my sound words, "Ti-Ti," "Ta." And I remember the symbols "Ti-Ti" were my two quavers joined a bit like a door and "Ta" was my crotchet, my one beat note, which was the note with a stem.

And here they are.

♪ Had a farm ♪ ♪ A-A-G ♪ ♪ Ti-Ti, Ta ♪ So.

This is the score that you're going to copy onto your piece of paper, or if you've got a copy of the score and you've already got it printed out in front of you.

You can see the top row gives the number of beats.

One, two, three, four.

♪ Old MacDonald had a farm ♪ ♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪ So you count through the beats as you sing through the tune.

You're going write in the lyrics of your phrase that you're going to use for your ground bass.

You could use, like I've done, the ostinato you used in the previous lesson.

So, I used "Had a Farm." You can find the one that you chose.

And then in the bottom part of the table, have a go at notating your ground bass using musical symbols.

If you're not sure where they go on those five musical lines called "the stave," you can just write the sound words.

So, I could write "Ti-Ti, Ta" for my ostinato, my ground bass.

But I've given you examples on the sheet that you can have a look at.

So, this is how I have notated my score.

I've thought about my pulse, my beat.

One, two, three, four.

♪ Had a farm ♪ ♪ Had a farm ♪ I knew that the beats were, "Had a farm." "Ti-ti," "ta." And I knew from my xylophone playing that the notes were "A-A-G, A-A-G." And so, I've written my notation at the bottom.

That gives you an example of how you can write out your score and have a go at playing.

So, you can pause the video now to complete your task of writing a melodic ground bass.

Use your worksheet to compose and notate your own and you can use any of the examples I've shown you.

Don't forget if you want to have a go at using the online xylophone, playxylo.

com, please ask your parent or carer's permission to do that.

Otherwise, if you've got any other melodic instrument in your house, of course, you can use your own.

Now, you've written your ground bass for "Old MacDonald." I'm going to sing through the song and you can play your ground bass accompaniment as I sing.

If you want to sing along while we're doing it, that's even better.

One, two, three.

♪ Old MacDonald had a farm ♪ ♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪ ♪ And on that farm he had a hen ♪ ♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪ ♪ With a cluck cluck here ♪ ♪ And a cluck cluck there ♪ ♪ Here a cluck ♪ ♪ There a cluck ♪ ♪ Everywhere a cluck cluck ♪ ♪ Old MacDonald had a farm ♪ ♪ E-I-E-I-O ♪ So, what have we learned so far? We've learned to use ostinato in different ways to accompany music.

We know they can be rhythmic and vocal.

And today, we also learned we can use as a baseline in a ground bass, a repeated bass note pattern.

And we used the online xylophone to do that.

And we also composed our own ostinato pattern, our own ground bass to play as we sang through "Old MacDonald." You've done some amazing work over the last three lessons.

It's time to sing our "Goodbye Song." ♪ Goodbye everyone ♪ ♪ Goodbye everyone ♪ ♪ Goodbye everyone ♪ ♪ It was good to see you today ♪ ♪ Goodbye everyone ♪ ♪ Goodbye everyone ♪ ♪ Goodbye everyone ♪ ♪ It was good to see you today ♪ So that brings us to the end of today's lesson.

A really big well done and for all the amazing work that you've achieved today.

If you're able to, please take a picture of your work or a video of you playing and singing your ostinato, your ground bass.

And ask your parents or carer to share it with your teacher so they can see all the fantastic things you're doing at home.

And if you can, ask your parent or carer to send a picture of your work to Twitter @OakNational.

And then I can see your lovely work too.

Well, all that's left is for me to say, "Thanks everybody, take care." And come back to learn with me again really soon.