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‘Shake it Off’ – Breaking down the accompaniment

Today in Year 6, we completed breaking down Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it Off,’ by mastering the accompaniment.

We learned that an accompaniment is the music that supports the melody. In pop music the accompaniment is usually made up of a progression of three chords. In ‘Shake it Off’ this progression is C, G, Am. The accompaniment is also responsible for maintaining the pulse (or heart beat) of the music. This usually means playing 4 beats per measure. It is tricky to maintain a steady pulse!

We practised playing the accompaniment on a wide range of pitched instruments – keyboard, xylophone and ukulele. Then we layered the solfege ostinato (repeating melody) on top of the accompaniment.