The beginnings of my Orff project

The first assignment for Composition in Music Education is as follows:

Use the Orff “formula” to create a short piece of music for stage 2 or 3 students: you nominate the stage. Choose from:

  • Arrange traditional children’s or folk songs (some will be provided).
  • Arrange music in the minimalist style/of minimalist derivation
  • Compose your own piece, in your own style.

I chose to use a folk song as they are manipulable and can sound quite effective when arranged in a new style. The things that I was looking for in the folk song I would choose is

  1. In pentatonic/minor/a mode that is unusual to the Western ear
  2. Interesting melody
  3. Text content that is appropriate for stage 2 or 3.

The songs that were in my final list are

  • Shalom Chaverim, a Hebrew folk song
  • Blind Man, traditional blues
  • Ghost of John, traditional
  • Barb’ra Allen, traditional

I ended up choosing Barb’ra Allen because it was a pentatonic melody (which lends itself nicely to improvising over and performing as a round) and it has the potential to be arranged interestingly. I am currently tossing up whether or not to change the lyrics to something more accessible for stages 2 or 3.

The melody and first verse

The melody and first verse