Activity #11: C MAJOR, MAJOR AND MINOR SCALES

Music:

  • Students will be able to notate C major scale on the staff. (We Shall Over Come, Water Canon). (Pr4.2)
  • Students will perform with others, with expression, technical accuracy, and appropriate interpretation. (Water Canon) (Pr6.1)
  • Students will compare and provide feedback to evaluate the accuracy and expressiveness of the round. (Water Canon) (Pr 5.1)

SEL:

The focuses of this unit are to guide students to explore self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

  • Students will discover how harmony in music can create a harmonious atmosphere among human beings. 
  • Students will be able to discover the relationship among individuals; how role-playing can contribute to making harmony and beautiful performance. When individuals manage their roles appropriately, they will accomplish the task.

 

FOCUS KNOWLEDGE/SKILLS SONGS/CHANTS/BOOKS

SCALE

 

FORM

 

TONALITIES

  • Notate notes in C major scale. 
  • Identify same and different phrases, melodic contour.
  • Expose to Major and Minor scales
  • We shall overcome
  • Water Canon

Major Scale


Major scale

  • What is the first note in mm 9 of We shall overcome? (high do)

  • In music, contour means the "shape and direction" of the melody, which is the shape/direction going up (ascending), going down (descending), or up and down (random directions).
  • Does the melody's contour ascend (going up) or descend (going down)? (descend) Katherine, descend is the answer. : )

  • You have learned do-pentatonic scale. Can you identify the solfege of all the notes, except those with red circles? (do - ? - la - so - la - so - ? - mi)

  • In a major scale, the solfege of ti is between do' and la, and fa is between so and mi. Can you sing mm 9-12 with hand signs and solfege, then sing the lyrics?


For teacher's reference, below is the score of the piece:


Music - Scale:  

A scale is the collection of notes that are used in a song, arranged in order from the lowest to the highest note. It's kind of like the alphabet for music: you learn the alphabet by learning in order from A to Z. In music, a common scale is the C major scale. We would start with the note C, then D, E, F, G. There is no note H in music, so we would then continue to A, B, then start with C again.

 

When you read a book, the author will use those same letters to form words, sentences, and paragraphs by using them in different order and repeating any letter as many times as she wants. Similarly in music, a composer can use the notes of a scale in different orders and/or repeating notes to create melodies.

 

In music, there are different types of scales that are used. Two very common ones are Major and Minor scales (below are some examples, show and explain some - train their ears).

  • Major scale: Probably the scale that most songs you know are based on. Examples include Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Star Spangled Banner (National Anthem), Hawai‘i Pono‘i, and London Bridge is Falling Down. 
  • Minor Scale: Not as common, but a minor scale is a collection of notes often associated with darker sounds. Examples include the theme to Harry Potter, theme of Hawaii Five-O, Prince Ali from Disney's Aladdin, Für Elise.
SEL:
  • Why do some songs "sound" like major, some minor? Open discussion with the students (STANDARDS: RESPONDING).
  • Ok, folks, I need you add more questions here.

Folks, I accidentally delete the C major section, sorry, read it again.

C major scale

Starting from the first note, which is C, students fill in the rest of the note names.
In the key of C, C is the tonic, and the solfège of C is “do.” Students fill in the solfège of the C major scale.

From do to do', this is a major scale. When a song ends on do, which is also called the tonic, the song is in a major scale. 


Now, let's go back to Activity #1 and watch the Do-Re-Mi video again. Pay attention to the scale. When the children in this movie sang do re mi fa so la to do, they sang in a major scale.


Water Canon, procedures:
Phrase 1:

  1. What is the key of this song? (C) What is the first solfege? (Do)
  2. What is the contour of the melody in mm 1-4. (Descending)
  3. Sing and hand sign this phrase.

 Phrase 2:

  1. What is the first solfege of this line? (Mi) What rhythms do you see? (Ta, Ti-Ti, Ta-a)
  2. Sing and hand sign mm 5-6.
  3. What happens at the beginning of mm 7? Sing Do to Do’. In music, if there is a huge skip/jump, for example, from do to do', re to re', mi to mi', etc., we call it an octave apart.
  4. Sing and hand sign mm 7-8.

 Phrase 3:

  1. What do you notice about the first half of this line? (All the same) What is the solfege? (So)
  2. Sing and hand sign mm 9-10.
  3. Is the second half of this line the same or different? (Different)
  4. Sing and hand sign mm 11-12.

 Phrase 4:

  1. What solfege do we start with for this line? (Do)
  2. Sing and hand sign mm 13-14.
  3. What rhythms do we need for this last part? (Ta, Ti-ti)
  4. Sing and hand sign mm 15-16.
  5. What do we call it when we start with Do and work our way up to high Do’? (Scale)
  6. Direct attention to Repeat Sign (Eggs and Bacon) - Teacher instructs how to navigate the repeat.

 Put it all together

  1. Sing through the whole song using solfege syllables and hand signs.
  2. Sing using the words with the repeat.

Bonus activities:

Students explore:

  • Create movements for each phrase that could also be performed in canon.
  • Sing while walking the melodic rhythm.
  • Sing while walking the scale.
SEL:
  • What emotions does this song make you feel?
  • How does the contour of the song match the words?
  • (If you perform it as a canon) How did your group perform its role? Did you stay together? Could you hear where the other groups were in the song as you sang?
  • If your group is having trouble staying together, what are some strategies we could try to improve the group performance?
  • How does it change the experience if you sing the song in unison verses in a round?
     Why is it crucial to stay together when singing in canon?  

Post your comments here

Comments: 5
  • #5

    Janice (Wednesday, 25 May 2022 19:07)

    I notice that in a couple of our activities we talk about the solfege hand signs but we don't put up the solfege hand signs or have any activity to identify them. Are we assuming the teachers should be able to do this? We explicitly lay out the rhythm. My two cents

  • #4

    Kevin Morita (Monday, 16 May 2022 22:32)

    Water Canon Steps:

    Phrase 1:

    1. What is the key of this song? (C) What is the first solfege? (Do)
    2. What is the contour of the melody in mm 1-4 (Descending)
    3. Sing and hand sign this phrase.

    Phrase 2:

    1. What is the first solfege of this line? (Mi) What rhythms do you see? (Ta, Ti-Ti, Ta-a)
    2. Sing and hand sign mm 5-6.
    3. What happens at the beginning of mm 7? (Octave/Big Jump) Sing Do to Do’
    4. Sing and hand sign mm 7-8.

    Phrase 3:

    1. What do you notice about the first half of this line? (All the same) What is the solfege? (So)
    2. Sing and hand sign mm 9-10.
    3. Is the second half of this line the same or different? (Different)
    4. Sing and hand sign mm 11-12.

    Phrase 4:
    1. What solfege do we start with for this line? (Do)
    2. Sing and hand sign mm 13-14.
    3. What rhythms do we need for this last part? (Ta, Ti-ti)
    4. Sing and hand sign mm 15-16.
    5. What do we call it when we start with Do and work our way up to high Do’? (Scale)
    6. Direct attention to Repeat Sign (Eggs and Bacon) - Instruct how to navigate the repeat.

    Put it all together
    1. Sing through the whole song using solfege syllables and hand signs.
    2. Sing using the words with the repeat.

  • #3

    Katherine (Sunday, 15 May 2022 17:09)

    Major Scale:
    "Does the melody's contour ascend (going up) or descend (going down)? (descend)" *take out '(descend)'.

    SEL:
    Why do you think some songs are written in major and some in minor?

    "Minor Scale: Not as common, but a minor scale is a collection of notes often associated with darker sounds. Examples include the theme to Harry Potter, theme of Hawaii Five-O, Prince Ali from Disney's Aladdin, Für Elise. (Should I leave this part about minor here?)"
    - I would leave it. I think it gives context as to why they're learning a "major scale" and not just a "scale."

    "Folks, do you think we should introduce whole and half steps to middle/intermediate students? See below. If you want to include it, I will make it nicer."
    - I agree with Lauren that it doesn't seem super relevant if we're not doing transposition. But maybe we could leave it there just for the teachers? Especially if they have students who have questions about why there are black keys on the piano? Just a thought. Either way though, I'm not sure that the students would need that information at this time.

    Water Canon:
    My 3rd-6th graders really like this song!
    I like Lauren's SEL questions for this section. I might also add:
    Why is it especially important to stay together when singing in canon?

  • #2

    Lauren F (Tuesday, 10 May 2022 18:33)

    Whoops sorry I just realized I pushed send without finishing comments on the first SEL box:
    Maybe saying:
    "We Shall Overcome" uses a major scale. How does that affect the message or feelings that the song communicates?
    How does the sound of songs change when we have two additional notes (fa, ti) to use as opposed to a pentatonic scale? Does it add different colors or characteristics to the melody? (When we have more notes it's possible to move more by step versus skip and/or the skips can be more unpredictable.)

  • #1

    Lauren F (Tuesday, 10 May 2022 18:26)

    *Remove blue SEL box below green knowledge/skills box.
    ---------------

    SEL:
    This is the same one from the previous activity.


    -----------
    Folks, do you think we should introduce whole and half steps to middle/intermediate students? See below. If you want to include it, I will make it nicer.
    I'm not sure I would included it. If we are staying in the key of C and not transposing, the information is not super relevant to what we are doing.
    -----------
    Question: There is a canon, I think you all did it in the Dalcroze class: Water Canon. Perfect song to teach major scale, do you think we should include it? If so, Kevin, can you write out the steps - good for your students, : )

    SEL:
    What emotions does this song make you feel?
    How does the contour of the song match the words?
    (If you perform it as a canon) How did your group perform their role? Did you stay together? Could you hear where the other groups were in the song as you were singing?
    If your group is having trouble staying together, what are some strategies we could try to improve the group performance?
    How does it change the experience if you sing the song unison versus singing in a round?

    Bonus activities:
    - Create movements for each phrase that could also be performed in canon.
    - Sing while walking the melodic rhythm
    - Sing while walking the scale.