Skip to content

Secondary Music at Home 15

Y7-9 World Music Bingo and Structure | Y10-13 How to describe a melody

Secondary-MAH-webEnjoy these structured musical activities that we have prepared especially for you to continue your learning at home.

Years 7-9:
World Music Bingo

It's really useful if you listen to as wide a variety of music as possible during your lifetime so we thought we would make it into a bit of a game – World Music Bingo!

  • Bingo Card
    Download and print your bingo card below
  • Generate your numbers
    Either roll two dice, or use the number generator below to get a number between 1 and 12. If you can't do this, you can also roll a small object onto your card and see what it lands on.
  • Listen
    Find the number in the list below and listen to the music from that country.
    1–Hungary  /  2–USA  /  3–Russia  /  4–Iceland  /  5–Argentina  /  6–China  /  7–Peru  /  8–Japan  /  9–Mexico  /  10–Italy  /  11–Kenya  /  12–Morocco
  • Mark your card
    Don't forget to mark off that country on your card. You can either play for a line (horizontal, vertical or diagonal), or a full house.
  • Consider
    Which was your favourite piece of music? Why is this?
    Which piece of music did you find the most difficult to listen to? Why do you think that was?

Years 7-9:
What do we mean by the term "Structure" in music?

You are going to see a graphic score for Strauss’s Tritsch-Trash Polka. Head over to Facebook to see Lucija Stanojevic go over the score (you don't need to be signed up to FB to access this).

See the graphic score video on Facebook...
  • Pitch and rhythm
    As you watch the video work out how the graphic score is used to represent the pitch and rhythm
  • Sections and structure
    This piece of music that is made up of 3 different sections, some of which are repeated. How does the layout of the score show this?
  • Try another piece of music
    Choose a piece of music that you like and work out the structure of it in the same way – e.g. if it is a song it could have verse, chorus and middle 8 sections. Show us pictures of your graphic scores.

Years 10-13:
How to describe a melody

We will use the acronym MAD TSHIRT to remember the musical elements, and to organise some of the terminology we’ll need to use for GCSE and A level music.

  • M - Melody / A - Articulation / D - Dynamics / T - Tempo/metre / S - Structure / H - Harmony and tonality / I - Instruments / R - Rhythms / T - Texture 

1. Definitions

Watch the video below, which details a range of key terms you can use to describe melody. Write down a definition for each of these key terms on a piece of paper (you may need to research ones marked with * yourself separately!)

  • Scale* / Melodic phrase* / Repetition* / Melodic shape or contour* / Melody / Register / Tessitura / Pitch / Range / Sequence / Ascending / Descending / Interval / Inversion / Scalic movement / Broken chord / Conjunct / Disjunct / Melodic ornaments / Melodic ostinato or riff

2. Descriptive writing

Choose an excerpt of music up to 30 seconds and describe the melody using some of the key terminology above. Remember... you are only thinking about the melodic shape and movement.

Here's an example...

All of Me (John Legend) – Watch/listen...

Timing of excerpt


The chorus has a high – medium tessitura overall, as it begins with a high-pitched phrase (“All of me”) which is then sequenced down, descending by the interval of a 4th to a medium pitch (“All of you”).

These first two lines are made up of disjunct (leaping) movement as the notes are moving in intervals of a 3rd or more. 

The next two phrases remain at this medium pitch. The movement is now scalic, as the notes used are mostly adjacent to one another. (“Love your curves and all your edges”). This melodic phrase is then repeated with different words (“all your perfect imperfections”). 

This excerpt has a total range of a 6th as the highest note (“me” in the first line) is 6 notes above the lowest note (“-ges” and “-tions” in the last two lines).