Are you tempted to add other instruments to your piece? Don't do it yet! We find that young composers do best when they develop a large chunk of the form for their piece by thinking linearly with only one instrument at first. (We'll tackle harmony soon enough!)

However you may be getting bored of just hearing the piano so let's go ahead and change the instrument. Click on the first measure of your melody and go to the Staff Menu. Select Change Instrument


Which Instruments

You could choose any instrument you'd like. However, participants in YCIW will be given the list of instrumentation for each particular workshop.

Working with Bass Clef

For many young composers, working with bass clef provides another level of complexity that can be overwhelming. If you choose a bass clef instrument like the cello or bassoon switch the clef to Treble-down 1 octave. This will allow you to work in treble clef but hear the notes lower.

Select the entire staff by double clicking on it.


Under the Measure menu click the treble clef with the small 8 beneath it


Now back to Form...

Now that you have a new instrument let's continue with giving our piece form.

For the listener to hear a new section in your piece you need to make a section that sounds different. Create a new melody in your piece that is contrasting. Try using a totally different melodic shape or experiment with different rhythms. This new melody should be about 4 measures long. Try developing this new melody by using a variation or a sequence.

Add a new Melody to my piece

A-B-A Form

Your piece should now have two different sections: a first main melody that is repeated once and a second melody that is also repeated. You composition is probably now about 16 measures long. We can call the first section A and the second section B. You can easily put your piece into A-B-A form simply by copying your A section and pasting it after the B section. (Copying and pasting in Noteflight is super easy. Just highlight the measures and go to the Edit menu to copy and paste.)

Add Some Color

You can help show your form by coloring the notes of the A section blue and the B section green. Your piece might look something like this:



Post a reply to the topic on Form here: Talk about Form!

Do you have any thoughts about this lesson step? Share any experiences about how your students put their piece into A-B-A form.

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