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MANUSCRIPT PAPER

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Transcribing Music
writing down what you hear without using an instrument to help

ON THIS PAGE (click on title to jump to subject)
How To Transcribe Transcribing Chord Progressions
Transcription Level 1 Transcribing Drum Grooves
Transcription Level 2 -
Transcription Level 3 -
Transcription Level 4 -

RHYTHMS and MELODIES for you to transcribe.
You have to decide what the time signature is and notate both the rhythm and the melody but FIRST
if you are new to this just try and write down the rhythm (the semibreves and crotchets etc)

How to transcribe:
1. Mark 4 bars per line on your manuscript paper.
2. Listen through once and decide what the time signature is, mark this at the start of your line.
3. Listen through again and try and get the first and last bars. (Tap your foot along with the music and try and count where beat 1 of each bar is)
4. RHYTHM - Listen again for the other bars - mentally divide up each bar into beats and make a mark at the top of the line whenever you hear a note played.
5. PITCH - Try and work out your start and end notes from the guide note you are given.
6. Listen for where the melody rises and falls.
7. Listen as many times as needed til you have completed it.
IN AN EXAM SITUATION NEVER HAND IN A PIECE WITH EMPTY BARS - HAVE A GUESS - YOU MAY GET IT RIGHT!

TRANSCRIPTION LEVEL 1
(remember to just try rhythm notation 1st)
Slow tempo: 60bpm. 2 bars intro played on wood blocks
Only note pitches used are C,D&E. All melodies start on middle C and are in C Major. Only note values used are semibreves, minims, crotchets & quavers. Time signatures used are 3/4 & 4/4. There are 5 melodies in each section.
1a 1b Level 1 Answers

 

TRANSCRIPTION LEVEL 2
Tempo: 60bpm. 2 bars intro played on wood blocks
Only note pitches used are C,D,E,F&G. Only note values used are semibreves, minims, crotchets & quavers. Time signatures used are 3/4 & 4/4. There are 5 melodies in each section.
2a 2b Level 2 Answers

 

TRANSCRIPTION LEVEL 3
Tempo: 70bpm. 2 bars intro played on wood blocks
Note pitches used are one octave of C Major. All melodies start on middle C and are in C Major. Note values used are semibreves, minims, crotchets, quavers & semiquavers; PLUS rests. Time signatures used are 3/4, 4/4 & 6/8 - 4 BARS LONG. There are 5 melodies in each section.
3a 3b Level 3 Answers

 

TRANSCRIPTION LEVEL 4
Tempo: 70bpm. 2 bars intro played on wood blocks.
Note pitches used are one octave of C Major. All melodies start on middle C and are in C Major. Note values used are semibreves, minims, crotchets, quavers & semiquavers; dotted minims, dotted crotchets & dotted quavers PLUS rests. Time signatures used are 3/4, 4/4 & 6/8 - 4 BARS LONG There are 5 melodies in each section.
4a 4b Level 4 Answers

 

MELODY TRANSCRIPTION
These are complex 1 bar melodies in 4/4. The melody always starts on C. Transcribe the melody and rhythm. There is a 4 beat intro. The melody is played 4 times.
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
. . . . . . . . . . .

These are complex 1 bar melodies in 12/8. The melody always starts on C. Transcribe the melody and rhythm. There is a 4 beat intro. The melody is played 4 times.
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
. . . . . . . . . . .

These are 2 bar melodies in 4/4. The melody always starts on C. Transcribe the melody and rhythm. There is a 4 beat intro. The melody is played 4 times.
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
. . . . . . . . . . .

 

CHORD PROGRESSIONS for you to transcribe.
You will hear the arpeggio and root chord for C major, then a 3 beat count in, then the progression.
This will all be played FOUR times. There are 4 of each progression. Write the chord progressions onto the stave.
2 chords 3 chords 4 chords

 

TRANSCRIBING DRUM GROOVES
Here is where basic drums and cymbals are notated on the drum stave:

You will hear a 4 beat intro followed by a one bar drum groove repeated 12 times.
Drum Groove 1 Drum Groove 2 Drum Groove 3
Drum Groove 4 Drum Groove 5 Drum Groove 6
Drum Groove 7 Drum Groove 8 Drum Groove 9

GOOD LUCK! Any problems please find a friend who understands and get them to help you out or book a lesson with a theory teacher. Don't suffer in silence. x


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