Introduction and Research

In by phoenixgreen

In this post we will look at the musical features of House Music and some initial ideas for you to explore for your Task 1C arrangement, For this task I will be looking at the Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes) stimuli – Click here for lead sheet Lead Sheet.



Reminder: This task must be sequenced.

You are reminded that if you use any pre-recorded loops and samples they must be manipulated / shaped / edited / processed in order to gain credit. All samples and loops must be royalty-free and not taken from any commercial recordings. Any samples or loops must not exceed two bars in length.


Live performances recorded as continuous audio tracks or edited to form continuous audio tracks are not permitted in this task.


You are required to create an original arrangement between 2 and 3 minutes in length


You should submit your completed arrangement as track 3 on your Music Technology Portfolio 1 CD.


Taking Elements from the Stimulus

Listen to ‘Seven Nation Army’ to get a full understanding of how the song is constructed and then list the elements that you would like to use in your arrangement.


Mapping Out The House Arrangement

It’s a good ideas to map out your arrangement from the beginning of your project, spend some time working out a suitable House structure and write this up in your logbook, I have used the marker track in Logic pro for this. Because this is a very specific arrangement it is also a good idea to research a reference track, for this I have used the House track ‘MARRS – Pump up the volume’. Other suggested listening for this task includes: David Guetta, Duke Dumont




Do Your Research

Find out about House music and the common musical features of this style


Reminder: Check the logbook (Question 9 and 10) there are 10 marks for describing how you have used the Stylistic element (House Music) and 10 marks for describing how you have used the stimulus elements (Seven Nation Army)


Stylistic Features of House Music:


  • Drum machines
  • Drums and percussion
  • Synthesizers
  • Samplers
  • Turntables
  • Vocals


Performance and Arrangement:

  • House has an up-beat tempo in excess of 120bpm and up to 140bpm
  • Four-to-the-floor bass drum and hi-hat emphasis on the off-beat quavers (similar to disco)
  • Synth stabs or syncopated staccato stabs on piano
  • Use of synth for bass lines
  • Synth riffs and pad chords
  • Samples taken from a range of instrument and vocal recordings
  • Anthemic or epic feel
  • Rapping used on some songs
  • Soul influenced vocals are common
  • Structures are built on building up and breaking down textures and rhythmic elements


Technology and Production:

  • Computer-based sequencers to create the music
  • Cheaper technology makes music production more accessible
  • Electronic instruments used include: Drum machines, samplers and synthesizers
  • Use of a wide variety of effects including: reverb, delay, distortion, chorus, side-chain compression, vocoders,