Compose Yourself, A Review

Erin Loranger reviews & interviews

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Compose Yourself is an original music composition game created by famous composer Philip Sheppard.

The game comes with 60 transparent cards that can be flipped over or rotated to alter the composition.

To start composing, kids choose cards in multiples of 4, up to 16 cards. Once they physically lay out the cards, they can go to the home page and enter the composer code that comes with the game.

Enter the number in the top left hand corner for each card, and listen to the melody with the marimba, an orchestra, or both together. The marimba and orchestra was recorded at Abbey Road studios, and sounds great!

Once the composition is on the computer, kids can select and individual card, and hear how it sounds by itself. Individual cards can also be flipped or rotated, or the card can be dragged to create a different order. If you don’t like it, delete it and try something else.

I have no musical background, and I didn’t create a single combination that sounded bad. Some combinations sounded better to me, but I was amazed (and encouraged) that each creation sounded good.

Once kids create their perfect composition, they can name the composition, and save it as an MP3, share it, or print the sheet music.

I really like that the game has the physical aspect of laying out the cards to create the first composition, but the option to alter it on the computer gives instant feedback. I liked being able to make quick tweaks like flipping a card. If I didn’t like it, it was easy to switch back and try something else.

While I still can’t read music, looking and adjusting the cards helped me notice which cards would either slow my composition down or speed it up.

I think this game would be fun for any kid, but it’s also a valuably style of learning. Instead of being told what each note is, kids get to hear how they sound.

The game also leaves room for creativity. If your kids plays an instrument, have them play their own composition, or as Sheppard suggests, try fitting words to the rhythm to write your own song.



About the Author

Erin Loranger

I'm an intern at Mamalode and a student at the University of Montana studying Journalism, Political Science, and Women's and Gender Studies. In my spare time I find myself lecturing anyone who will listen on the values of sunscreen and feminism.

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