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Hail to the Chief
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  Activity II:Grades 6 - 12:
Listen carefully to the different versions of“Hail to the Chief”and answer the questions below. Travel back in time to reveal somehistorical background. For some examples of musical styles, take a peek at a list ofmusical examples. Now you’re ready to take the “Hail to the Chief” Musical Challenge!

Questions:
1. What are the recognizable elements of the style of each version?
2. What is the protocol for using “Hail to the Chief”?
3. Describe an occasion when you heard a piece of ceremonial music performed live. Compare the atmosphere of that event to one in which pre-recorded music was played.
4. Judge for yourself. Which version do you like best?

“Hail to the Chief” Musical Challenge 6-8th, 9-12th
Writing music is similar to writing in any language. There are symbols, phrases and even punctuation.

Using musical graph paper and a pencil, compose your own variation of “Hail to the Chief.” Now that you’re aqcuainted with a few different musical styles, try a few of these options:
  • Write a harmony line, first just with bass notes, then fill in the chords.
  • Designate a backgroundrhythm(calypso, blues, rock, etc.) inMIDIformat. Improvise your own version of “Hail to the Chief” over this rhythm.
  • Create a 12-bar blues version with chords.
  • Write acanonwith the second voice at beat two or three or the first beat of the second measure. Try a “crab” canon (upper melody as given, lower melody matched note-for-note except upside down) or a mirror canon.
  • Improvise the original tune with “fill-in” notes where the melody skips steps, then try varying the rhythm of the melody against a straight beat.
  • Add adescantat the third or sixth interval above the melody.
  • Try a medievalmodalversion, without measure bars, and turn it into a “chant.” TryDorianmode first; it might be the easiest.
  • Try adding lyrics to your variation. You might wish to make it a rap or a ballad.
Follow-up questions:
1. How is your version of “Hail to the Chief” different from the original?
2. Which rhythms did you change?
3. Does your version still sound like “Hail to the Chief”?

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