A few weeks ago my music teacher decided to try something new with me and I thought it turned out pretty interesting. He gave me a motif, and the motif was “four of the same note in a row.” This week, I’ll be writing about how that turned out.
So at first, I wanted to know what he meant exactly by “four of the same note in a row,” and he said that the first bar has to be four of the exact same note, at the same pitch, and of the same duration. From there, I’d have to figure out how I could develop that into something more while still keeping the motif. On the piano roll, I started with four quarter notes in the first bar. In the next three, I did the same thing but just changed the notes.
After that, I decided to have the left hand hold down different chords for each bar. At the fifth bar, things started to get a bit repetitive, so I had to change something about our four note pattern. I could have changed either the pitches of the notes or the lengths of the notes since those two attributes were what mainly stood out from the original motif. I decided to go with changing the four of the same note pattern to a three of the same note with one note different pattern, and that was only for one bar followed by three bars of the original pattern.
We kept that pattern going for a little bit until it also started getting a bit repetitive. After that, we went with two of the same note and two different notes for one bar still followed by the original pattern. Eventually though, I thought it was getting quite boring quite fast, so I switched it up to having every single note of every bar be different. Now, the main pattern was that all the notes are just the same length instead of focusing on the pitches or tones of the notes. There was kind of a melodic pattern in the notes, but it wasn’t the main thing that I was trying to go for.
Since it was just a small project, we wanted it to be pretty short. We brought it back to the original pattern until it sort of fizzled out and ended it on a final chord. After all that my music teacher wanted to try and take the piano arrangement and rearrange it for a string quartet. However, that idea kind of turned out a bit underwhelming for me since I felt like the patterns didn’t come through as strongly with the strings as it did on the piano.
Overall, I think it was nice to try something different in terms of writing new material. Usually I’d already have a melody or chord progression in mind and add other elements to that instead of having something super simple and developing that instead.