Developing musical ideas using midi

Radio 1 DJ Dev, meets singer-songwriter Dan Smith from Bastille and his producer Mark Crew to discuss writing music using MIDI technology.

Radio 1 DJ Dev, meets singer-songwriter Dan Smith from Bastille and his producer Mark Crew to discuss writing music using MIDI technology. Dan explains how most of Bastille’s Number 1 album ‘Bad Blood’ was written using MIDI technology and talks through their process of creating the track ‘Laura Palmer’.

Dan speaks about how he began by creating a single chord sequence on a MIDI keyboard. He then demonstrates the ease of reprogramming the notes to have a sound of his choosing, from strings to timpani drum. Mark then shows how they developed the rough idea into a full song, building up the layers on the computer one sound at a time, until they felt happy.

Teacher Notes

Use music software or hardware to create a piece of music. Students could be provided with optional starting points such as a bass line, chord progression or note pattern. Compositions could use MIDI instruments and possibly have vocals recorded on top, if the resources are available.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Music and appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC, KS3, KS4 and GCSE in England and Wales, CCEA GCSE in Northern Ireland, and 3rd and 4th level, as well as SQA National 4, 5 and Higher in Scotland.