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Arts and culture

Grade 7

Creating, interpreting and performing

Module 17

Rhythmical phrases and sentences

When we speak a sentence is sub-divided into phrases. These phrases are usually indicated by the use of a comma, (not final) which implies breathing. At the end of a sentence is a full stop - a final pause/breathing. To give structure to music the same principle is applied - this guides the listener.

In music a sentence is usually composed of eight bars. The sentence can be sub-divided in two phrases of four bars each.

To create a rhythmic sentence of eight beats use repetition .

Repetition is a most effective composition technique: the brain recognises the rhythmic patterns as soon as it is repeated. Follow the educator's instructions and build sentences!

Activity 1:

To improvise and create music phrases

[lo 1.7]

To improvise music means to tell a story through sound. When a story has been told a few times, each version differs from the previous - the story will never be precisely the same twice.

This is also the case when music is being improvised; each presentation differs and portrays individuality and expression. We can compare the notes that are played or sung with the rise and fall of the tone, or the actions during the telling of a story. As when a story is told, the music must also be in phrases and sentences when played, otherwise it will sound too impersonal.

To improvise thus means that you create your own music. This creation must however be within a specific framework with the regard to time and structure.

You must experiment with sound and create rhythmic pattern as long as it is within a framework

1. in the specified time ( triple or quadruple)

2. in a specific rhythmical structure according to phrases and sentences. (4 + 4, etc.).

Follow the teacher’s instructions for the following:

  1. Drum circle
  2. Forest Fire

The most important requirements of this activity are: concentration and memory ! In the drum circle you will initially only improvise single bars, which can then be extended to phrases and sentences in the Forest Fire.

As in many other aspects of life, co-operation in this group activity is very important! The following requirements are the most important:

  • Concentration and memory
  • Listen to the other players
  • Follow the beat – maintain the beat
  • Maintain the phase structure


Activity 2:

To read in g major

[lo 1.8]

1. You are acquainted with C major. This implies that on the piano all the notes that you are using are white.

  • Out of how many steps does the scale consist?
  • Which step has changed?
  • What is the symbol called which is used that a specific note must be sung/played higher?
  • Write down the G major scale and indicate the changed note.
  • TIP: The G clef refers to the G note (the second line)
  • Add the letter names

2. The educator will hand out photostats of the notation of the Click Song

and Nkosi Sikelel'i Africa . The notation of the two songs have been muddled.

  • Cut out the bars and rebuild the songs like a puzzle.
  • TIP: First classify all the bars according to the time (triple and quadruple time)
  • Sing the various bars, clap rhythmically and be guided by the words and repetition.
  • As soon as the bars make sense, they can be pasted.
  • Add the letter names of the notes.
  • Can you sing this? Can you play it on the piano?

Activity 3:

To compose a jingle on human rights

[lo 1.9]

Step 1

Listen to the recording/s that the educator plays.

Step 2

Since the Second World War human rights have become an issue. During this period even classic composers of the 20th century used music as universal language, to portray the theme of human rights.

- Give an example of a 20th century composer:

- Can you briefly describe the background or the recording/s to which you listened?

Step 3

What does the term Human Rights mean?

Article 1 Article 3
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Step 4

Listen to Know your rights – The Clash.

Step 5

Answer the following questions:

  • What is the theme of the song?
  • Which 3 rights are being propagated?
  • What does the song say about justice?

What are the historical events that surround the song?

Do you agree with the ideas and solution of the song?

Step 6

This assignment is done in small groups as homework and then presented to the class.

Option 1

Compose a jingle on human rights

A jingle is a short musical idea that can be used commercially for advertisement purposes. Write a jingle "Know your rights" which is based on human rights (one or more jingles) and explain the responsibilities which must accompany this. The jingle can be based on an existing song or rap or chanting.


Option 2

Create an accompaniment for a presentation on human rights .

Follow the guidelines as given in Activity 3.2.2 (A Forest Fire) and create accompaniment for the dance in Learning Unit 2 Activity 2.3.


Learning Outcomes(LOs)
LO 1
CREATING, INTERPRETING AND PRESENTING The learner will be able to create, interpret and present work in each of the art forms.
Assessment Standards(ASs)
We know this when the learner:
1.6 forms rhythmic sentences combining and mixing different drumming techniques and percussion patterns;
1.7 improvises and creates music phrases using concepts such as mood, form and contrast;
1.8 reads and sings or plays the scales and simple melodies in G-Major;
1.9 composes music, songs or jingles about human rights issues or to accompany a performance or presentation about human rights.

Questions & Answers

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Source:  OpenStax, Arts and culture grade 7. OpenStax CNX. Sep 10, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11027/1.1
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