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> Music packet is awful.
Phil Cerami
post Aug 3 2017, 02:55 PM
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I just needed to vent that this packet is an absolute fact dump dumpster fire and I hate it. Nothing to see here, move along.


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Stanley Tree
post Aug 3 2017, 03:48 PM
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Don't compare my beat with his...
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I've had a few kids read it twice already, and they say they still have zero clue what's going on.


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Stealer of Souls
post Aug 4 2017, 05:31 AM
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Good, it wasn't just me. I started to read it and came away with the same idea of it just being a collection of facts so I stopped reading.
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zzzptm
post Aug 5 2017, 04:19 PM
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That's a shame.

[/jerry seinfeld]


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acadecker
post Aug 5 2017, 04:19 PM
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It's taken me a while (most of the summer, actually) to get my head around everything in it. Lots of focus on beats per minute, differing ways to notate the rhythm of a piece, etc. I also did not like the huge amount of geographical information in Section I. I realize the author's sense of a need for it, i.e., climate regions dictate instrumental differences, but still . . .

The information on "cents" is important due to the non-standardized note intervals, but the details will clog student's brains. I fear there will be a huge difficulty in preparing for tests since the test writers will get lost in the details.

The author also missed a beat (sorry) when he/she discussed how western society calls faster vibration pitches high and lower vibration pitches low, and then blithely mentions that Africa is the reverse. I did some research on this, and the truth is much more complex, and deals with the idea that pitch in Africa is much more than vibrational frequency--it's tied to their culture. For instance, "high" sounding pitches come from little children, who are "low" to the ground; "low" pitches come from taller, older men who are "high" off the ground. Combined with hand gestures, sex (male/females produce, in general, different pitches), familial relationships, animals (pitch of a lion, etc.) and it gets very tangled. The author ignores all of this, and just mentions how high and low are not standardized throughout the world, and leaves it at that. SAD!


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ahundredjarsofsk...
post Aug 8 2017, 08:28 AM
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Collection of facts is right - which was great for writing flashcards (I think I could have easily hit 2000 on those) but there is so much repeated information. I understand taking out the standard first section, but there's too little music theory background for the complexity of some of these pieces imo. Not that many of the listening examples are discussed in particular detail, either.

Now if only they had applied that same information density to social science ... glare.gif

Have you gone through the practice test yet? The good news is that it's not expecting recall of very detailed facts, at least. Question 17 uses the term polyrhythm in stead of polymeter, which is odd because it looks like they have different meanings - and the guide doesn't explain the distinction.
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Phil Cerami
post Aug 8 2017, 03:09 PM
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QUOTE (ahundredjarsofsky @ Aug 8 2017, 09:28 AM) *
Collection of facts is right - which was great for writing flashcards (I think I could have easily hit 2000 on those) but there is so much repeated information. I understand taking out the standard first section, but there's too little music theory background for the complexity of some of these pieces imo. Not that many of the listening examples are discussed in particular detail, either.

Now if only they had applied that same information density to social science ... glare.gif

Have you gone through the practice test yet? The good news is that it's not expecting recall of very detailed facts, at least. Question 17 uses the term polyrhythm in stead of polymeter, which is odd because it looks like they have different meanings - and the guide doesn't explain the distinction.


Yes - thankfully the practice test has not been as detailed. I've been making video powerpoints for my students - I've read, found the questions from the practice test, and made the powerpoints and video content to reflect the amount of detail. That said, the PTB has lied in the past about the scope of the tests.

Thankfully I did art first, which is a very well written packet, and offered some contextual information for this terrible packet.


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Phil Cerami
post Aug 8 2017, 03:12 PM
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QUOTE (acadecker @ Aug 5 2017, 05:19 PM) *
It's taken me a while (most of the summer, actually) to get my head around everything in it. Lots of focus on beats per minute, differing ways to notate the rhythm of a piece, etc. I also did not like the huge amount of geographical information in Section I. I realize the author's sense of a need for it, i.e., climate regions dictate instrumental differences, but still . . .

The information on "cents" is important due to the non-standardized note intervals, but the details will clog student's brains. I fear there will be a huge difficulty in preparing for tests since the test writers will get lost in the details.

The author also missed a beat (sorry) when he/she discussed how western society calls faster vibration pitches high and lower vibration pitches low, and then blithely mentions that Africa is the reverse. I did some research on this, and the truth is much more complex, and deals with the idea that pitch in Africa is much more than vibrational frequency--it's tied to their culture. For instance, "high" sounding pitches come from little children, who are "low" to the ground; "low" pitches come from taller, older men who are "high" off the ground. Combined with hand gestures, sex (male/females produce, in general, different pitches), familial relationships, animals (pitch of a lion, etc.) and it gets very tangled. The author ignores all of this, and just mentions how high and low are not standardized throughout the world, and leaves it at that. SAD!


Why even throw in information about the Pythagorean comma? It's two paragraphs talking about using the circle of fifths to tune a WESTERN instrument, and then talking about leftover interval cents that are not relevant to Africa. I have issue with any material about Western music that has never made it into Section 1 of a Western music guide.


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Eastern PA Academic Decathlon Regional Director
www.mrcerami.com
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acadecker
post Aug 10 2017, 12:01 AM
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Just say it; the music packet makes less sense when it talks more cents.



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After 24 years of coaching at South Mountain I decided it was time to leave my school and district. I wish you all the best; please enjoy what you do.
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ahundredjarsofsk...
post Aug 10 2017, 06:51 AM
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QUOTE (Phil Cerami @ Aug 8 2017, 04:09 PM) *
QUOTE (ahundredjarsofsky @ Aug 8 2017, 09:28 AM) *
Collection of facts is right - which was great for writing flashcards (I think I could have easily hit 2000 on those) but there is so much repeated information. I understand taking out the standard first section, but there's too little music theory background for the complexity of some of these pieces imo. Not that many of the listening examples are discussed in particular detail, either.

Now if only they had applied that same information density to social science ... glare.gif

Have you gone through the practice test yet? The good news is that it's not expecting recall of very detailed facts, at least. Question 17 uses the term polyrhythm in stead of polymeter, which is odd because it looks like they have different meanings - and the guide doesn't explain the distinction.


Yes - thankfully the practice test has not been as detailed. I've been making video powerpoints for my students - I've read, found the questions from the practice test, and made the powerpoints and video content to reflect the amount of detail. That said, the PTB has lied in the past about the scope of the tests.

Thankfully I did art first, which is a very well written packet, and offered some contextual information for this terrible packet.


Oh man, context. I've given up on getting all the countries straight. I can find them on a map, but trying to associate them with all the musical instruments and traditions is a lost cause.

Over/under on there being a question reading "How many pounds of cobalt are in a new Toyota Prius?"

The great thing about the social science packet is that it mentions the five main regions of Africa but doesn't say anything else about its geography. /s
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Hanaaa99
post Aug 16 2017, 08:45 AM
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4 pounds of cobalt in a Prius, haha! :D

Likewise, I half expect the test writers to descend into "what's another word for ___" questions (e.g. xylophone vs. amadinda vs. entaala ---> all referring to the same instrument used in Bugandan royal court music)

But seriously, this is one of the most problematic packets I've ever seen. The fact that there are a whopping 17 selections (last year had 14 selections, even though the packet itself was around the same size) and from an entire CONTINENT with diverse traditions does not help matters.

Anyway, good luck to everyone! (Unless you're competing against my team!) :)


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zzzptm
post Aug 16 2017, 07:52 PM
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Question: is the situation with Music this year better than, as bad as, or worse than trying to tell the difference between Western tuning and Asian tuning? (China, 2006-2007)


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