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sound stories
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'Sound Stories' is aimed at Junior Cycle and Transition Year students who have an interest in music.

The learning objective is to compose an electroacoustic piece to illustrate an image (or images) imported into Photo Story 3.

The visual material stimulates the students' aural creativity.

The sounds are recorded, transformed and organised in an audio editor (such as Audacity).

Creativite pieces are original and have musical value. Students will compose a piece of worthwhile programmatic music and NOT merely a soundtrack.


NCCA ICT Framework

'Sound Stories' encourages students to use ICT for

thinking and learning about sound;

planning, designing, creating and presenting a musical composition made from timbres of their own choosing and

exploring and using problem-solving strategies in structuring this sound material.


In the Classroom

Students are shown how to source and gather useful material for their compositions. They undertake a series of tasks involving sound manipulation to learn composing techniques and to discover new ideas and devices. Parameters for the composition are set in order to make their target attainable.


Project Scope

Learning two pieces of software, recording sounds and uploading digital images l takes time. At least six class sessions of 30-40 minutes are needed to carry out the creative aspects of the project, namely

to discuss the potential of different images as the focus for aural activity;

to collect and transform appropriate sounds in wav format;

to position sounds, to develop motifs, to relate the sound events to each other, to build to a climax, to ensure that the texture is varied and

to assemble the corresponding images with the musical composition.


Level of interaction

Students must engage in critical thinking in order to create and carry out the ideas outlined above. They interact with raw sound and manipulate it to suit their evolving composition. In the absence of many conventional musical elements, they must endeavour to maintain the interest of listeners through their use of tone colour, structure and dynamics by developing and varying the material and by employing unifying devices. It has already been found that students who work in pairs compose stronger electroacoustic compositions.


Additional Information

A sound library and information about electroacoustic music may be found at www.organisingsounds.com Links to composing tutorials may be accessed there.