The music is everywhere

18 Jun in music, music education, Music Technology, Music Video

My undergraduate degree is in Music Education. When I was student teaching my discipline for the class was setup on a rewards system (I was k5-5th grade). The class had "m-u-s-i-c" written on the board and would lose a letter if I needed to discipline for a particular reason. The reward was a star at the end of class and 1 point for each letter that remained on the board, with a bonus 5 points if no letters were removed. Basically it served as a competition. I told them that the class from each age group with the most points at the end of the month would get a special prize. I didn't want to do anything that drastic so I got special permission to take the students outside where we could play a game and have a special prize of candy.

The game needed to be music related. I had already taught them the fundamentals of music and that just about anything could make music. So I sent them on their way to find something, anything, that they thought would make music. I was amazed at some of the things they came back with. Some came back with obvious things like a stick, but even with that there was some ingenuity as to what they would hit (poll vs bench vs another stick). We went through and described what each sounded like. It was rudimentary, but it was also fun. I've always been fascinated by the sonic properties of various objects.

Today Wired posted this "Musical Mad Scientist Concocts Bizarre Instruments, Strange Sounds." It is work by Diego Stocco. All of the videos linked are worth a listen, but I found the Bonsai tree especially intriguing because he finds great wealth of sonic variation.

Of course it is helped out by the fact that he is using some extreme amplification, but the sheer wealth of sound is just awesome. He has more videos, including the original Tree Song, on his website here. I wish these videos existed when I was student teaching...it would make for a great teaching lesson on sound and what makes music. The short answer is that anything can make music. Another video to look at is this one essentially a modified Double Bass. But what I find interesting are the percussive qualities he finds on the Double Bass.

Update:

Just ran into this video today. It has been done before, but it is another video worth sharing for how to create music from mundane things.