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Rhinegold Education Key Stage 3: Lesson 10

From Rhinegold Education, Key Stage 3: Lesson 10 (ages 11-14) teaches you all about about rhythm and metre.

Learning Objective: to identify and use the inter-related dimensions of music expressively and with increasing sophistication, including musical devices such as pulse, metre, and rhythm.

Length: 45 minutes

1. Watch this introduction to beat (also called pulse). Stop the video after 1:17.

Explain to yourself what “counting” is, in music. Perhaps try writing down a concise, clear definition. If you can’t do this, watch the video again.
 

2. Now try finding the beat of a piece of music. Listen to this explanation!

Then practise finding the beat to some different pieces of music. Do it like this:
a. Listen to each clip until you have a feel for the music
b. Move to the music
c. Transfer your movement to clapping or tapping. Clap or tap the beat for at least one minute for each track.

3. In most music, some beats are stronger. Listen to this explanation of strong and weak beats.

4. Can you find the strong beat (the “ONE”) in these tracks?

5. So far, all the music you have heard in this lesson has been in 4/4 time (also called “common time”).

The beats work like this:
STRONG – weak – weak – weak
STRONG – weak – weak – weak
STRONG – weak – weak – weak
STRONG – weak – weak – weak
As you saw in Step 1, musicians count the beats like this:
1 – 2 – 3 – 4
1 – 2 – 3 – 4
1 – 2 – 3 – 4
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 etc.

6. To understand how rhythms relate to beats, listen to the whole of the clip you heard in Step 1:

7. As you saw in this clip, when music is written down in staff notation, each group of 4 beats makes a bar.

For instance:

8. Print this music out, then write “1 2 3 4” to show where the beats come:

9. Not all music is in common time. Some music is in triple time, with 3 beats in each bar.

In triple time, the beats work like this:
STRONG – weak – weak
STRONG – weak – weak
STRONG – weak – weak
STRONG – weak – weak
Musicians count the beats like this:
1 – 2 – 3 – 4
1 – 2 – 3 – 4
1 – 2 – 3 – 4
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 etc.
Listen to this explanation of triple time.


 
In triple time, when music is written down in staff notation, each group of 3 beats makes a bar. For instance:

10. Now listen to some tracks and decide if they are in triple time or common time.

Do it like this:
a. Listen to each clip until you have a feel for the music
b. Move to the music
c. Transfer your movement to clapping or tapping.
d. Find the “ONE” (the strong beat)
e. Decide whether the pattern of beats is
1, 2, 3,
1, 2, 3, etc. (e.g., triple time)
or
1, 2, 3, 4,
1, 2, 3, 4, etc. (e.g., common time)
Trumpet Concerto by Haydn
La Volta (Medieval music)
How by The Cranberries
Viva La Vida by Coldplay
Hey! Zhankoye! (Klezmer music)
Waltz No.2 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
Weeping performed by Vusi Mahalasela and the Soweto String Quartet
Finally, check your answers here:

Interested in learning more about the basics of Rhythm and Counting? Try out some extra reading and practise with this book!

By Tim Cain for Rhinegold Education

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