Stephen Wilcox

Stephen Wilcox

Stephen Wilcox received a B.M. in instrumental performance (tuba) and a B.M. in music theory from West Chester University, a M.M. in Composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Pennsylvania. Most recently, he has been creating online music theory courses for Rutgers University and working as an instructional designer at UC Berkeley.

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PATATAP: Music at the Touch of a Finger

/, Music Creation/PATATAP: Music at the Touch of a Finger

Patatap is a portable animation and sound kit. With the touch of a finger create melodies charged with moving shapes.

Though Patatap has somewhat limited educational uses, it is a lot of fun. On your desktop computer, a touch of a key will activate a specific sound file and a related animation. It is possible to hold down several keys at once to create a variety of interesting patterns and musical interactions, but as with other such tools, holding a key down will result in a overly quick repetition of sound and graphic.

  • It is also HTML5 compatible, so it will function in your tablet’s browser. On your tablet, sounds and animations are triggered by the placement of your fingers on the screen.

Patatap requires no previous musical training and is highly intuitive. Despite this, the tying of specific musical cues to specific keyboard keys (or screen locations), and the variety of sounds, allow for the construction of some interesting sound collages.

[tagline_box backgroundcolor=”#f6f6f6″ shadow=”yes” border=”1px” bordercolor=”#f6f6f6″ highlightposition=”bottom” link=”http://themeforest.net/user/ThemeFusion” linktarget=”” button=”” title=”Class Activity Suggestions” description=”Tools such as Patatap are ideal for improvisation practice. Students should first compose a musical pattern of phrase, then be encouraged to vocally improvise over that pattern. Another idea would be to provide a second students with a similar tool (Ex. Brian Eno’s Bloom or Propellerhead’s Figure) and ask them to improvise in response to the sounds being produced by Patatap. In both instances, it would be important to encourage the students to discuss, post improvisation, what worked and what seemed not to work musically. They should then be encouraged to test these conclusions with another round. With these types of tool (tools with pre-generated sounds a pitch selections), students should be encouraged to find ways of creating noticeable contrasting improvisations.”][/tagline_box]

 

By | 2014-05-02T16:21:28+00:00 April 1st, 2014|

About the Author:

Composer, Music Educator and Instructional Designer, Stephen Wilcox received a B.M. in instrumental performance (tuba) and a B.M. in music theory from West Chester University, a M.M. in Composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Pennsylvania. Most recently, he has been creating online music theory courses for Rutgers University and working as an instructional designer at UC Berkeley.

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