Puzzle Pieces

  • Bhangra

    Puzzle Pieces: Bhangra takes its inspiration from the upbeat popular music genre with its roots in British Punjabi culture. This piece also includes an explanation sheet on dotted rhythms. It has some six-bar phrases which will be fun to play but might feel a bit strange to start with!
  • Bolero

    Puzzle Pieces: Bolero is inspired by the graceful 3/4 rhythm of the Spanish dance, made famous in Ravel's orchestral version by the figure skaters Torvill and Dean! This piece has optional entrance points for different instrument families to allow the texture to build up in a similar way to Ravel's piece.
  • Bounce

    Puzzle Pieces: Bounce is lively and energetic! When performing this in a mixed ensemble, the large interval jumps pose different challenges for each instrument family, which could affect dynamics. ADDITIONAL SHEETS - Lip slurs for brass (included in brass packs)
  • Puzzle Pieces: Caribbean Ostinato is inspired by the characteristic rhythms and steel drum sounds of Caribbean music. When performing this with different instrument families, the words change in the middle section (e.g. "We are the wood-wind" is also "we are the brass band" and "we play the rhy-thm!" etc., so you could take the opportunity to show this off too!
  • Puzzle Pieces: Cool Blues takes its cue from the classic 12-bar blues that so much popular music is built on. This piece involves improvisation, so has a lot of flexibility. A suggested method of performing is: 1st time - riff in unison, 2nd, 3rd and 4th times, introduce soloists (e.g. two soloists each repeat with two bars each) with the whole ensemble playing the riff once at the end of each verse), Play the tonic on the last note of the backing track (encourages non-verbal communication - WATCHING THE CONDUCTOR!). Also includes Blues Scale sheets for advanced improvisation (included in individual instrument packs).
  • Puzzle Pieces: Daydreamer is an improvisatory piece using graphic notation rather than staves and notes. The backing track is based around a repeated 8 bar chord sequence, with suggested notes for improvisation in each bar. The bars are represented on the music by a cloud. This has the same approach as ‘Jazz on Toast’ - begin with the largest letter in each bar, with pupils coming up with (and possibly starting to notate) the rhythm. An additional exercise could be for pupils to decide on different colours for each cloud chords, to help identify the changes and allow them to personalise the music
  • Foghorn

    Puzzle Pieces: Foghorn is effectively a counting exercise that also allows the pupils to play really loudly! It introduces accents and is a good exercise to explain the concept of dissonance.
  • Funk

    Puzzle Pieces: Funk is a modern, exciting piece with driving percussion and brass in the accompaniment. Try to encourage differentiation with this as soon as possible (e.g. just having levels 1 and 2, with tutor playing level 3 to show the differences between the parts)
  • Yikes! It's a g-g-g-ghost! Haunted House! is a spooky soundtrack Puzzle Piece taking you on a musical trip round the haunted house. Try adding some ‘spooky’ sounds during the intro. by using the instruments in a different way, vocalising or adding additional percussion (e.g. flexatone, vibraslap, shakers etc.)
  • Puzzle Pieces: Jazz on Toast! is an improvisatory piece using graphic notation rather than staves and notes. The backing track is based on a repeated 12 bar blues chord sequence, with suggested notes for improvisation in each bar. Each "slice of toast" represents a bar of music. The letters are notes of the chord. Beginning with the largest letter in each bar, play the notes on a chosen rhythm. Try using breakfast items as inspiration for your words/rhythms! (There is a sheet included in the instructions with some examples).
  • Puzzle Pieces: Jingle Bells is the classic Christmas tune we all know - ideal for getting everyone involved in your Christmas concerts! ADDITIONAL SHEETS: n/a.
  • Puzzle Pieces: Komoriuta features the characteristic instrumental sounds and pentatonic scales of Japanese music, as well as a bit of birdsong! In group sessions, try swapping parts around after the repeat, or featuring different players each time


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