Trad and Drone unit




This series of lessons, aimed at Year 8, explores the use of traditional drones as a way of writing melodies. It focusses on two traditional melodies as models and two time signatures – Dargason, using the Aeolian mode and in 6/8, Compound time – and Bonny at Morn, using the Aeolian mode starting on D and in 3/4, Triple time. There is a Powerpoint presentation which also enables the lessons to follow the whole scheme or concentrate just on Compound time or Triple time. There are suggestions for composition and melody plans, building from 4 to 16 bars, advice on adding drones plus suggestions for further enhancements. Recordings of each tune, plus a simple drone, can be found below.

There are references to Bagpipes – Scottish, Irish / Uilleann and Northumbrian – and a range of rhythms to be clapped.

It is envisaged that students will have access to keyboards or other means of performing their music and will be able to notate and record it, using, for example Sibelius, Garageband or some other musical software.