A daunting project was set before me when I was told I had to hand make two instruments and learn a song on them, but I was ready to challenge myself. The purpose of this piece was to discover the impact pitch has on music and songs. I am proud of the fact that I was able to complete this and that my final product sounded remotely like a song. I learned a lot about the impact of pitch and different ways of describing pitch. Thanks for listening! View my artist statement below:
Hedwig’s Theme Remix
Length of song: 1:36
For my Unit two Action Project, my assignment was to recreate a utopic or dystopic song with homemade instruments, focusing on the impact of pitch. The instruments we created from scratch were a Diddley Bow, or a one string guitar, which we were taught to make by a special guest named Jay who is a musician. And a Kalimba, on which we made tines from bobby pins. We used these instruments to mimic our song and it’s pitch. Once we somewhat learned our song on these new instruments, we were to investigate and focus on high and low pitch and how it affects the message of our song. Once we chose our song, we drew a musical graph of the different pitches and we learned ways to describe pitches and using adjectives. Then, we connected our song to a memory or a special moment from the past and we wrote a narrative.
The song I chose is called Hedwig’s Theme. It’s a very recognizable song because Harry Potter is obviously a very well known film, and listening to the song is very utopic for me. It makes me happy because of all the wonderful memories I have associated with it. The song begins on high, sharp, quiet notes, which give me a calm feeling, and then these notes slowly escalate as more instruments join. When a chorus of violins follow the high synthesized piano, it reminds me of sitting in bed late at night with my best friend and excitedly anticipating the start of the first movie in our Harry Potter marathon. A little bit later in the song, some low instruments weave their way in, balancing out the songs higher pitches. From there, more instruments come in, echoing each other and forming the best song ever.
During the process I took to completing this project, I learned to draw out the pitches to Hedwig’s Theme and I utilized the adjectives I was taught to describe the different pitches I drew. Then I made my two instruments. The Diddley Bow was made from a piece of wood, a string, and thumb tacks to hold the string in place and I made my Kalimba from a box, some wood, and bobby pins. Then I recorded my Hedwig’s Theme Remix on my computer. I’m happy and relieved to have a finished product. You can hear it below.