Musical Directing – 11th Oct ’16

Tasked with composing a piece of music with an A and a B section in a genre of our selection the previous week we set about musical directing it this week. I had written a hip hop piece and I will proceed to explain my process of choosing the musicians and then directing them to bring me piece to life.

This is my piece:

Hip Hop Composition .png

Initial points discussed were the lack of dynamics, predominantly in the drum part. Stereotypically, hip hop employs the use of loops, often of funky or jazzy drummers. I had misinterpreted this as the use of drum machines and therefore instructed my session players to try and play everything almost mechanically. This transferred well in the guitar and bass, muted strings and a carefully selected tone making for more than adequate representations of the instruments more commonly heard in the genre. My notation in general was sketchy, the order of the instruments being wrong for one. But as I was very new to the software I was using I didn’t accommodate for this.

Overall I felt my musical directing was decent, although I lacked the technical terminology to explain certain techniques or ideas to the guitarist and bassist. Explaining and elaborating to the drummer was not an issue. The feedback was positive, with people comparing its closeness to the genre, but the points about the drum part mentioned above were a overriding factor.

After musically directing my own composition I was asked to be a sessions player on a number of pieces. One of which is included below.


Written, as is evident in the title, by Mirron Webb. This piece was a short, high tempo prog piece (roughly labelled). Well written and clear drum notation aided me to learn the piece fast. The 190bpm made it a push, more so for the other musicians then for me, as my piece was resoundingly simple. I feel I took direction well, trying to play in the style required, putting more impact onto the backbeat on the snare while maintaining intensity all round. I played the first fill on the repeat wrong, going into the snare roll early. Although not detrimental to the piece in any way, it detracted from the overall experience as I realised as soon as I made the mistake and focussed on it more so that I should have.

Resoundingly interesting and whilst I did not feel as though I had done the hip hop genre any particular justice the lecture felt comprehensively positive.


One thought on “Musical Directing – 11th Oct ’16

  1. Pingback: Unit 32: Music Performance Skills | sebastianbaldwin

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