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Music

Many kinds of musical event mimic the functions of the body. Younger children can explore ways of communicating with the deaf. One group of pupils sits on one side of a screen with some objects, each of which has its own musical motif to be played on a xylophone. A receiving group sits on the other side and has to identify which object is being "named" - hamburger, hot dog and ice cream among them.

Older pupils can make musical "heartpacers" by using a programmable keyboard to vary the speed at which a recorded tune is played. One group of percussionists has to follow the new irregular "heartbeat", while a second group has to maintain the original pulse. This is a good introduction to some of the underlying ideas of minimalism. They can also make "regenerative" music by improvising or composing short sections that can be "implanted" into a previously composed piece. As parts of the original music "degenerate" by being played much quieter or slower, the new sounds must take their place and still sound right - the challenge being to keep the music alive during the transformation.

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