THE COMPOSITIONAL PROCESS
Composing your own melodies with tuneblocks is certainly a more creative process compared with simply reconstructing a given tune. You will want to experiment. As you listen to the blocks think about what role each of them might play--is one clearly an ending while another sounds like it might be a beginning? Of course, the same block may be repeated and turn out to have different functions depending on the context you put it in. You will be surprised to discover that you can hear quite intuitively what you like and what you don't. As you work, pay attention to surprises. These are moments to stop and ask: I wonder why that happened? Why didn't this arrangement of blocks sound like I expected it to? How can I make use of what I just found out?
EXAMPLES OF COMPLETED STUDENT TUNES
To help you with ideas for composing, here are examples of two previously composed tunes.
In the Directory, open the file, FRENCH.JOR&BECK. Listen to BECK, then to JORGE. What makes the tunes so different?
Jorge, who was from Peru, on listening to Becky's tune, said he had never heard a tune like that before. Becky helped him "get it" by showing him how she grouped the blocks. To hear Becky’s grouping structure, click Blocks A, B, and then C in that order.
Now try making your own French tune.
As a further project you may find it interesting to try the Ambrosian blocks--one of the "strange block" sets. Select AMB.GLENN in the Directory and listen first just to the colored tuneblocks. As you listen, think about how you might compose a tune with them. As an example of what one player did, listen to Glenn's tune which was a surprise for all of us. He called it an "African drum piece."
If you listen to some of the other AMB tunes in the Directory (AMB.DAVID; AMB.LINZ; AMB.KEVEN) you will notice that the composers have changed some of the notes in order to make a more "normal" sounding tune. They were able to edit the given blocks by going into the Impromptu editor. In the next version of Impromptu you will be introduced to the editor so that you can also modify given blocks. You will also be able to make your own blocks for the tunes you choose.
Blocks to work with:
[Ambrosian and Portals are “strange blocks”—but what makes them that way?]
Using a set of unfamiliar tuneblocks, compose a tune that makes sense and that you like. Try to use all the blocks in the set. There is no tune to match; there is no right answer.
COMPOSING MELODIES WITH TUNEBLOCKS