At the end of our Halloween-themed month, I asked the students to look at 3 different Halloween scenarios and create a musical soundtrack to it. The goal is to invoke different moods and feelings using what we learned in piano. Of course, a major component of this exercise is using minor keys. What about other aspects of music to create a feeling? Let’s go over them now!
For me, the ghost in the graveyard should suggests moods such like eeriness, and loneliness. Sounds that can be used to invoke this type of mood include softer sounds, playing higher notes, and having more space between each note. Because this picture does not have a lot of action, the melody should remain calm and collected to reflect the nature of the setting.
I was specific in letting the kids know that I was not looking for the vampire that’s asleep in his casket during the day. I was looking to create music to the vampire about to attack! For this action-packed picture, I suggest louder sounds, stronger articulations, and a faster tempo. By playing faster, and playing more aggressively, we can create a tense suspenseful sound. For this picture, I was looking to invoke emotions such as fear and terror.
In this picture of the witch creating a potion in her cauldron, I wanted to the students to invoke feelings of mystery, drama, and wonder. We achieve this by using a fast tempo, a quiet dynamic, and rapid connected notes. By playing the minor scale in this fashion, we can create a wall of sound that rings in the air, like how the potion’s smokes fills the air.
Next up, Holiday music!