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Learn African Vocabulary

Djembe Hand drums

Level 2
Ghanaian Drum Ensemble Group of performers with drums (can include
Level 2 Call and Response singing/chanting)
Whole Class Performance

1. Play this Hosho rhythm, starting with hand claps.

Now add this REPEATED Balafon bass OSTINATO or RIFF:

On top of that play this tune on the CHIME BARS OR GOCKENSPIEL:

Finally add a SOPRANO XYLOPHONE pattern:

Learn Performance Vocabulary

HOMOPHONY Same rhythm played by everyone

Level 4/N5 together at the same time
POLYRHYTHMS Different rhythms played together at
Level 4/N5 the same time
POLYPHONY Different tunes and rhythms played
Level 4/N5 together at the same time
OSTINATO or RIFF Repeated rhythms or tunes
Level 2/N3
CALL and RESPONSE Song or chant where a CALL is led by a
Level 2/N3 soloist with RESPONSE from group.

2. African music rhythms can be written in a grid like this:

Remember the REPEATED OSTINATO or RIFF performed in Balafon?

3. Compose your own 8 beat HOMOPHONIC RIFF.

Use the rhythm grid below:

4.Now compose a POLYPHONIC RIFF to be played by four different

UNTUNED PERCUSSION instruments. Choose and name the

Instrument 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

5. Call and Response

Watch a clip about how Call and Response is still used by pop artists

6. Write your lyric here then practise and perform to class!


7. Evaluate your group performance, comment on rhythm and pitch.

Our rhythm was________________________________________________

Our Pitch was_________________________________________________

Learn Composition Vocabulary

IMPROVISATION ‘Play around’ until you find a sound that works for you.
Level 2/N3
COMPOSITON Deliberately create music that has structure for a
Level 2 purpose.
3 CHORD TRICK Chords 1, 4 and 5 used to make harmony in many
Level 3/N4 African and popular music songs.

11. African music features a pitched instrument called a_____________.

12. This is similar to a _____________________.

13. African music includes many types of drums. One popular type of

African drum is called ________________.

14. Songs or chants are often led by one person with a group of people

answering the leader. This type of song/chant is

called_________________ and ___________________.

15. When performers all play or sing the same rhythm together at the

same time this is called___________________________.

16. When performers all play or sing different rhythms together at the

same time this is called___________________________.

17. When performers all play or sing different tunes and rhythms

together at the same time this called________________________.

18. Explain the word RIFF____________________________________



19. What is the alternative word for RIFF? O_____________________

20. Explain the difference between TUNED and UNTUNED

PERCUSSION instruments.________________________________



India is a very large continent
covering approximately 3.1
million square kilometres of
land (excluding Kashmir). In June
2018 it has a population of

1,352,997,616 equivalent to 17.74% of the total world population.

There are many different kinds of music from India, for example folk, pop,
classical, religious etc.

The four main elements to learn in Indian music are:


Played by Tanbura Played by Played by Played by


Harmony in Indian music may sound monotonous (especially to people who have
never heard it before) because it is often based on a DRONE.

The DRONE instrument plays repeated 2 or 3 note patterns throughout a piece.

The notes often overlap and can be made from BROKEN CHORDS and/or
ARPEGGIOS like this example below:

to this example of a Tambura and female singer:

The drone serves as the background for almost all Indian music. Many folk
musics around the world use drones including Scots Bagpipes, Celtic, Greek,
Turkish and Arabic music.

Watch short Expert Village video clips about the Tambura:

If you really like the sound and want to learn more this long clip is for you!


RAGA is a type of SCALE or MODE created by choosing a set of notes from an

octave. Think of the twelve basic notes in an octave as basic sound colors. Now,
what if you limited yourself to a select few out of these colors for a painting?
That would be like giving yourself a theme. Sound works the same way to create
an emotional response in the listener. Western music relies on the patterns and
changes between major and minor keys to create mood but RAGAS aim to
create many different emotions by altering different notes in each scale.

1. Watch this short example of Indian scales or RAGAS played on a


then read and play the Afternoon Raga - Bilaval:

Bilaval is similar to which major scale in western music?

2. In pairs read and play the next two RAGAS deciding which sounds good,
Morning, Afternoon or Evening?

Morning Raga – Vibhas

Evening Raga - Marwa

3. Composition/IMPROVISATION Task

1. Choose a RAGA to play.

2. Working in pairs:

Player 1 improvises and plays a DRONE or RIFF or OSTINATO

Player 2
improvises and plays a
MELODY using notes
of the RAGA

3. Play both DRONE & MELODY together at the same time.
4. Record your piece on camera.
5. Evaluate your recording.


Benchmarks Expressive Arts March 2017
I can sing and play music from
 a range  Performs songs in unison and in
of styles and cultures, showing skill and parts, individually or as part of a group,
and communicates the mood and
using performance directions, and/or
character of songs from a range of
musical notation.
styles and cultures, such as folk songs
or songs from musicals, using
EXA 2-16a
appropriate performance directions, for
example, gradually getting
I can use my voice, musical instruments
louder/quieter, and/or musical notation.
and music technology to experiment

with sounds, pitch, melody, rhythm,
timbre and dynamics.  Performs on instruments, individually
or as part of a group, to communicate
EXA 2-17a the mood and character of a piece of
music through, for example, the use of
Inspired by a range of stimuli, and appropriate dynamics and expression.
working on my own and/or with others, I 

can express and communicate my
 Applies verbal and non-verbal
ideas, thoughts and feelings through
techniques whilst giving and/or following
musical activities. performance directions, for example,
eye contact and/or body language. 

EXA 2-18a
 Uses voice, instruments and
I have listened to a range of music and technology to create music,
can respond by discussing my thoughts experimenting with timbre, for example,
and feelings. I can give and accept uses tuned/untuned percussion
constructive comment on my own and instruments to create simple melodies
others’ work. and rhythms. 

EXA 2-19a  Explains preference for music pieces

listened to, live and/or recorded, using
appropriate music concepts. 

 Recognises a range of music styles

and identifies some of the main
instruments used in, for example,
classical music, jazz music, rock and
pop music. 

 Explains, with supporting reasons,
what works well and what could be
improved in their own and others’ work,
using appropriate music vocabulary. 

I can sing and/or play music from a   Performs music individually,

range of styles and cultures and perform with accuracy, from at least two
my chosen music confidently using contrasting
 styles, using two
instruments or one instrument and voice,
performance directions, musical notation
as solo performances to a standard
and/or playing by ear. equivalent to that of ABRSM Grade 1. 

EXA 3-16a   Plays by ear or uses

appropriate music notation, for example,
I can use my voice, musical instruments treble clef notation, tablature, graphic
or music technology to improvise or scores or chord symbols, to give a group
compose with melody, rhythm, harmony, or individual performance. 

timbre and structure.
  Performs individually and as
EXA 3-17a part of a group, communicating the
mood and character of a piece of music,
I have listened to a range of music and for example, uses appropriate dynamics
can identify features and concepts. I can and expression by following notated
performance directions such as dynamic
give constructive comments on my own

and others’ work, including the work of
professionals.   Uses voice, instruments and
technology to create music, showing
EXA 3-19a understanding of musical structure, for
example, creates in simple verse chorus
form, creates short sequenced pieces
using technology, creates short 16 bar
music in binary form, experiments with
voices/instruments to create sound

  Uses appropriate music

performance plans, recording facilities
and music notation to capture ideas, for
example, uses treble clef notation or
tablature or records using technology or
creates a performance plan. 

  Recognises a wide range of

music styles, identifying instruments,
genres and instrumental techniques. 

  Evaluates their own work and

the work of others, including visiting
artistes, using appropriate music

I can give assured, expressive and Performs music individually, with

imaginative performances of vocal accuracy and assurance, from at least
two contrasting styles, using two
and/or instrumental music from a wide
instruments or one instrument and voice,
range of styles and cultures, using
as solo performances to a standard
performance directions, musical equivalent to that of ABRSM Grade 2.
notation, and/or playing by ear.
Plays by ear or uses appropriate music
EXA 4-16a notation such as treble clef notation,
tablature, graphic scores, chord
I can use my chosen vocal and/or symbols, to give an individual
instrumental skills to improvise and performance.
compose, showing developing style and
Communicates the mood and
character of a piece of music, for
example, through the use of appropriate
EXA 4-17a
dynamics and by following notated
I can use music technology to compose, performance directions such as dynamic
markings, tempo changes and
record and produce music and to
expression marks.
enhance performance.
Creates and develops structured
EXA 4-17b original music compositions using
instruments or voice, for example, a
Having developed my ideas from a tonal piece in Binary Form (AB)
range of stimuli, I can create and including imperfect and perfect
present compositions using
 a broad cadences for single-line instrument and
range of musical concepts and ideas. voice and a broken chord
accompaniment. Uses technology to
EXA 4-18a record and reflect upon original work. 

Having reflected on my personal   Uses appropriate music

experiences, including participation and notation, for example, treble clef notation
or tablature or records using technology
engagement with professionals, I can
and creates a performance plan. 

listen to a wide range of music and
identify and analyse technical aspects,   Uses technology to develop and
make informed judgments and express structure short melodic ideas into
personal opinions original music, for example, uses
software with midi input to create a
on my own and others’ work. minimalist style composition using short,
repeated ostinati/cells of music. 

EXA 4-19a
  Applies knowledge of music
concepts to develop original ideas, for
example, takes a 2-bar melodic phrase
and creates a sequence passage which
can be imitated in a different part. 

  Uses notes and/or other

sources to generate ideas, inform
thinking and support the creation of
original music performance. 

  Uses a practice/performance
log to record and evaluate performances
on chosen instrument(s)/voice, including
points for improvement. 

  Engages and listens well to

various genres of music ranging from
the Baroque period to modern music
and identifies appropriate music
concepts and compositional techniques,
for example, listens to excerpts of music
 gives a short, written or oral
analysis, including the use of relevant

  Evaluates and offers justified

comments on the performances of
others including professionals, to agreed
criteria, for example, the performances
of others in a “class concert”, an original
peer composition. 

  Makes detailed evaluative

comments about aspects of the content,
 and style of live and/or recorded
performances, for example, identifies
genre, style, period, technical aspects,
instrumental grouping and other
appropriate concepts, using appropriate
music vocabulary consistently.