Celebrate the Arts in you!

The Music of Cinderella


Meet Patrick Doyle, a Scottish film composer born April 6, 1953.  He’s well-known for his other scores, Brave, Thor, Eragon, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  He’s been actively writing over 55 major scores since 1982.


In writing his score and its performance by the 65-piece London Symphony Orchestra, it offers:
•    fanfares and flourishes for the prince
•    magical sounds for the fairy godmother
•    furious chase music for the pumpkin-coach getaway
•    warm, lyrical music for Ella’s special relationship with her birth parents
•    English folksong tradition for a song that becomes another of “Cinderella’s” key themes: “Lavender’s Blue,”
•    choral notes for the transformation of Cinderella’s dress (suggesting “a gift from above,” he says)
•    her isolation in the attic (“an ethereal, melancholy touch”)
•    Cate Blanchett’s wicked stepmother (“a slightly more mysterious, otherworldly sense”)

Each of these themes offer great insight and inspiration (for your students) of how movie music is composed to help convey the deeper and subtle elements of characters, emotions, and backgrounds or environments.  This makes the whole movie experience of story line, video, and sound, an unforgettable experience for many, and part of Disney’s secret to its success.

Here are two of the movie’s many themes (visit YouTube for samples of the full score, or purchase online):

Cinderella’s Theme

Cinderella Theme 1In this strong and moving theme, Mr. Doyle uses the emotion of the octave interval to evoke a sense of strength with the main character, Cinderella.  This is one of the many versions of this theme throughout the score, also heard in the tracks:

  • Pumpkins and Mice
  • Searching the Kingdom
  • Courage and Kindness
  • The Stag

The piccolo trumpet and French Horns add to the regal nature of this theme.  Typically, this type of theme fills the listener with excitement, and sometimes, to tears.  (The suspensions help, too!)

Second theme

English Folk Song –  Lavender’s Blue

Here, Mr. Doyle used this folk song in playful ways, again in different and slight changes throughout… listen to it in the tracks, ‘Who is She’ and ‘Courage and Kindness’ for examples of this.  I’ve represented it here in two keys, in case you want to use this with your students on recorder, for example, and the first key is too difficult.

Lavender's Blue - CinderellaPlease email me your comments.  If you need any other themes notated for use with your students, let me know.

We’ve all used our mobile devices for texting, updating social media sites, and for utilising the Internet for almost instant information ‘on the go’.  One of my interests is looking at ways we can use these same devices for translating what we sing into traditional music notation, and what is spoken into ‘voice dictated’ text, usable and sharable.

Planning on the Go Cover

There are numerous apps that support voice dictation and provide impressive ways to share what is produced.  Apple’s own Mail app allows for voice dictation in real time, allowing you to see what you say.  ScoreCloud’s mobile version (ScoreCloud Express) allows for a jaw-dropping traditional notation translation of what you sing with a little practice.  Soon you will see it’s capabilities and potential for use in many facets of daily life, most particularly in education.  Most importantly, it allows ‘on the go’ use to work from anywhere you have a WiFi or 3G or 4G connection (best scenario).

Creating Music 'on the go'

The following infographics are part of my Mobile Technology and the Music Programme Keynote, which I recently presented in Singapore to a large group of inspired and talented international music educators.  Closer to home, I am testing these apps with a variety of students to further my understanding and potential.  Share your thoughts!  Email me with any questions or comments.

Creating Text 'on the go'

Composing ‘On the Go’

Composing ‘on the go!’

Micro Bursts of Creativity

If you are considering trying to write music on a mobile device, here are some observations and tips that may help you get started.  I tend to think of this mode of writing more informal, quite different from formal composing on a computer and/or keyboard.  Patience, persistence and determination are required to learn the style of each app.  There is so much to the language of music to squeeze into an app to make it authentic and useful.

Trying the demo versions of each to selecting the best fit for you.  Also, keep in mind, the overall price of these apps are all affordable (usually under $20 US) compared with professional level computer versions, for example, Finale, Sibelius, DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) that are hundreds of dollars.

I am currently working with the following apps, in no preference or order:

  • GarageBand for iOS
  • Music Studio
  • Notion
  • Symphony Pro for iPhone

GarageBand iOS final sample

Your App Aesthetic Preference – each app has its own layout including tabs, drop down menus, colour schemes, and mini-menus for the various notation icons, markings, and functions.  Which suits your style?

Music Studio final sample

How important is Instrument Sound Quality?  Audition various instruments and input methods (keyboard, guitar, etc., finger direct to staff) for the sound quality.  How important is touch sensitivity and performance articulations (staccato, legato, accented, slurred)?  Sampled instrument sounds usually come at an increased price tag.  My preference is for the most authentic, sampled instruments sounds, which, in turn, inspire my performance and creations.

Notion final sample

Inspiration is Not always there – One of the benefits to mobile composing with these ‘on the go’ apps is that I use these apps when I’m literally ‘on the go’.  Each app has a different composition that is a work in progress.  I may go back to it every few days or weeks.  I find that this allows for ‘fresh eyes (and ears)’, in contrast to focusing on a piece for hours, typical of the computer and keyboard versions.  During times when you have to wait, e.g., sitting on the bus, subway, waiting in a queue, or for your meal, it takes seconds for these apps to load giving you the opportunity to have a micro burst of creativity.  Sometimes, these short durations bring positive change to the direction of a composition, accompaniment, chord progression, or melody writing.

Symphony iPhone sample

Music Workshops SingaporeFor More Info and to Register, Click Here

I would be grateful if you could forward this to anyone you think may be interested.

Thank you!

Apple Store 零售店 - 西湖 Firefox, Today at 11.34.27 am

West Lake in Hangzhou – New Apple Store

Created with respect to Chinese tradition highlighting the work of a famous calligrapher, Wang Dongling, creating an astonishing mural for the new store.

Aesthetics = Apple


Other glimpses of Apple Stores in China:

China Apple Stores

Google Classroom – ‘More Teaching, Less Tech-ing’

Google Inc (NASDAQ.GOOGL) Launches Classroom App for Apple Inc's (NASDAQ.AAPL) iPhone and iPad Firefox, Today at 11.49.37 am

Google has launched iPhone and iPad apps for its Classroom initiative.  Their catch phrase of ‘More Teaching, Less Tech-ing’ will please many educators who feel mobile devices, apps, and online setup has overshadowed the essence of their daily teaching and focus within their students.  Let’s see where this goes, with a new year upon us.

Google has now released iPhone and iPad apps for its Classroom program, which allows teachers to post assignments and track progress.

Last year, over 30 million assignments were submitted through the Classroom initiative since Google introduced this service.

For students, the app allows the ability to track and complete homework assignments and be able to collaborate and chat with classmates. Additionally, students will also be able to import data from other apps into the Classrooms app, allowing them to easily submit assignments that were done on other programs or apps.

Students can simply use the app to snap a photo of their assignment or import a PDF version from a third party app and attach it to a due assignment and submit for marking. The app also allows users to access their assignment records offline.

This service is free for anyone who has a Google account, according to this source, Bidness Etc.

Download the new Google Classroom app for free from the AppStore on your iPhone or iPad.

I will be presenting two full – day educator workshops with the 21st Century Learning International at the United World College South East Asia – Singapore, 5 & 6 March, 2015.  Please pass this on to interested colleagues, with my thanks.  Don’t hesitate to email me for details.

Workshop 1: GarageBand Cranked Up!

Music Education Workshops 1 - Singapore 2015

Workshop 2: Mobile Technology and the Music Programme

Music Education Workshops 2 - Singapore 2015


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