Ancient Sounds, Modern Music
Social Studies, Music
The Museum's Latin American collection contains many musical instruments, some dating back over two thousand years. Many are very sturdy, and are still playable. The project invited Rene Hugo, a Peruvian-Canadian musician, to (carefully!) play these instruments and recorded the sounds he produced. In this on-line activity, students will record these short audio segments and combine them to produce their own musical compositions.
- Learn the basics of audio file manipulation using simple, free software
- Gain an appreciation for unusual tones and scales found in ancient Andean and other Latin American music
- See links between symbol and sound
Music, pan pipes, whistles, bells, Andes, digital music composition
- access to the ¡Hola Canada! The Latin-American Collections at the Simon Fraser University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology web site
- access to a free downloadable music software package
- input device to record the sounds as played on the web site
- CD or jump drive to save their composition, or email access to send it to themselves
This lesson is best done after the students have an introduction to basic digital sound editing and have some proficiency with digital capture and a simple editor program, such as those available as free downloads from sites like Tucows. Students will look at the images of the musical instruments and listen to each of the audio files of the sounds, then plan a short musical composition based on these and other gathered sounds. They will then import the sounds into their computer using a digital microphone or other device. They may be able to digitally capture the sound file as it downloads, depending on the software they are running, and remix the sounds, creating an original modern composition with sounds that have been played on ancient musical instruments.
These audio files can then be exported as a ring tone, used as a boot melody, or inserted as a riff into a larger composition.
Students are graded on the tonality and creativity of their compositions.