For the 3rd Year running the Year 4 classes have constructed musical instruments known as lyres. These were popular in the days of the Anglo Saxons and often accompanied story telling. This time we’ve recorded the instruments and put them onto a video which you can access on our very own YP Nation You Tube page. The children also compared their creations and answered the following questions…

Timbre (tone) – Does the sound give off a tune (pitched notes)  or is it more percussive (scrapes and beats?). The children discovered that the tighter the string was then the higher the pitch. They even found that the thickness related to this. Elastic bands were the most common, but fishing wire, shoe laces and a hair bobble were even used!

Durability -Could the instrument withstand the tension of the strings? Some children had to reinforce theirs by inserting pieces of rod, wood and even stones whilst others went with stronger plastic tubs for the body .

Technique – Are you strumming or plucking it? If you listen to the video you can decide which way was performed in the recording. Some children found they could compose simple melodic patterns or riffs.

Dynamics – Some instruments were louder than others due to the type of string material or size of voice box and so the children discussed ways of amplifying the sound. Using a microphone was the most popular answer and is in fact this way is industry standard from theatre productions through to orchestras!

The rest of the school got to hear them in assembly last week.