Music 2 Resource Kit – Composition Activity 2 – melody styles and devices

Composition activity 1 – Rhythm templates and Melody match maker

Musical References from “Hectic Jacaranda” : cells 4b, 14a, 15a, 21a, 28

Resources :

  • Audio, score and notation excerpts of the 5 melodic contour/style examples from “Hectic Jacaranda”
  • Instruments available in class/brought in for students to use
  • Students welcome to use manuscript, digital music notation programs, or tablature if relevant


  1. As a class, listen to the audio excerpts one at a time while reading the corresponding notation/score excerpts. Analyse these 5 examples for their melodic styles, contours and devices as relevant. Each of the 5 examples is then given it’s ‘descriptor’ by the teacher. See resources for descriptors of each.

2. Students will then work individually to compose at least 4 separate one bar melodies using a range of these melodic styles analysed from “Hectic Jacaranda”. Single note melodies are desired for the activity to retain link to “Hectic Jacaranda”. It is also desired that a single and consistent rhythmic note value (of student’s choice) is used in all compositional ideas here to retain influence from the work.

3. Students will then arrange their 4 (or more) individual one bar melodic phrases, which should reflect a range of the melodic styles analysed, into a 1 minute structure, which can include repetitions and returning phrases as desired by the student.

4. The final one minute work should be played for the class.

Options / Differentiation

  1. Students may wish to use the original time signature and tempo of “Hectic Jacaranda” (12/8 at 120bpm=dotted crotchet) or they may wish to explore their own options with these variables.
  2. Students may wish to compose melodies and parts that are intended for a single instrument, or they may wish to compose their melodies using the style of two instruments playing hocket phrases that never play simultaneously as per the style of “Hectic Jacaranda”.
  3. Further performance extension activity can include having a partner in the class learn and perform the second instrument’s part written while the composer student plays the instrument 1 parts.

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