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I went up to go see James and ask him if he could be my project facilitator. I outlined the project, told him exactly what his role would be and how much he needed to be involved.
I went to go ask James after taking the APUSH exam so I was a little brain dead. Looking back, this probably wasn’t a good idea because I was definitely a little scatterbrained.
This is a picture of James performing at a show. He wrote the score for a musical at a local theater.
I spent this time researching lyrics to use for my song. I knew that I wanted to use lyrics that were in another language. I also decided to have it be written in a three part split- SSA.
Unifying vowels in a different language is much easier than unifying vowels in English because people have different accents, whereas in another language, everyone has to learn how to say the vowels correctly so every vowel is unified. I also chose to write in a three part split with only women because that is primarily what my class sings.
After much deliberation, I picked a key to write the song in and wrote the first six measures. The beginning came fairly easily. I wrote it on paper before putting the score in the computer.
Things went extremely smoothly in the beginning, so I expected things to run just as well for the rest of my project. That was definitely unrealistic.
I had to transfer everything I had written to the program I downloaded, MuseScore.
I met with James for the first time with somewhat of a product to show him. I only had the first few measures written, but he was extremely encouraging. He gave me a few tips on how to make the melody more interesting, but didn’t change it himself.
All of the tips that James gave me were just suggestions. He didn’t make any changes to the score on my computer, but wrote them down instead to allow me creative freedom. If I agreed with his suggestions, I could change it myself.
After meeting with James, I was really excited to work on the suggestions he gave me. I cracked down and made the melody line more complex as well as added in 4 more measures.
At this point, I was a little frustrated with the process. After seeing all of James’ tips to make the melody more complex, I was disappointed with the next four measures I wrote because they weren’t as complex as what James had helped me develop.
I took all the suggestions that James had written down for me and put the ones I liked into my score in the MuseScore program.
I worked on measures 11 - 19. I relied a lot on the wheel of fifths to give me a good progression for the chords. Once I set up the basic structure of the chords, I was able to go back in and make it more complex.
I relied a lot on other works of music for inspiration in this part. I save most of my music so I was able to use some techniques that other composers use to make the melody line more interesting. I was less frustrated this time around because I had other sources to draw from besides my mentor.
I made an absolute mess at my piano with music scattered all around. I had my circle of fifths, my music and music from other composers strewn around the room.
I intended on finishing the song but I really ended up changing a few chords in the middle section before calling it quits.
I really tried to finish the song before I left for vacation but I was too preoccupied thinking about our trip. I didn’t get a lot done and it weighed pretty heavily on me during the trip.
I tried my best to get a lot done, but I really only made a few changes.
I met with James to show him my work up until the key change. He wanted to know the reasoning for the key change in the song, so I was able to explain to him that it was because the lyrics shift to a darker and more serious tone.
James pointed out that most versions of Pater Noster start off in a minor key, but he really liked my idea of modulating to a minor key from a major key when it begins to talk about sin. This was a huge confidence booster for me because I felt like he really thought a lot of my musical decisions.
I finished measures 20 - end. I wanted to crack down and finish the first draft before school started so I could get my chorus teacher to review it right away.
I was so frustrated with this song and couldn’t go to sleep until I finished it. I ended up working for five hours and I was up until one in the morning. I was so happy and felt so relieved once I finished it.
I was so happy to finish my first draft of the song! I just had to take a selfie
I gave my song to Mr. Hall to get revisions made. He returned my song covered in red pen (as per my request) and I took it home to change some stuff. I mainly changed rhythms and note lengths to have some things line up better and to add more depth in certain areas.
I felt really good with these new revisions. Since I had already finished writing the first draft of this song, I feel like these revisions just polished it off and made it almost complete.
I took a lot of the revisions Mr. Hall gave me to make it flow more musically.
November 18, 2016
I met with James one last time to show him my final product. I gave him a paper copy of my song and played it for him.
I felt so relieved to get this done with. James was so encouraging. He is always so enthusiastic which is pretty good for me ego. He encouraged me to keep writing music.
I couldn’t ask for a better project facilitator. James was so eager to help when I needed it, and I needed it a lot. to make the melody more interesting, but didn’t change it himself.
James pointed out that most