Made by Eunice Oh

Created: November 23rd, 2014


I chose to use the sound of pencils writing as the basis for my instrument and created beats from the pencil touching the paper. The sound of pencils writing on paper was very similar to the sound of people in a classroom taking a test, an all too familiar situation for most people.  I chose to follow the beat of the bass at first to signify the rhythmic writing of pencils as everyone starts on the same page and begin the test at a similar rate. However, as time goes on, some people finish up the test faster than others and the rate at which people write their answers begins to vary. The pencils follow the bass with the beat, but then quickly falls out of beat, which represents the differing rates of test taking. The atmosphere becomes more tense with this dissonance and portrays the increasing anxiety felt as time passes while taking the exam. The bass also portrayed the small noises usually made in the background in an exam room, ranging from tapping of the feet, coughing, wind from outside, etc. that are usually blocked out while one takes an exam. With this composition, I had hoped to recreate the test-taking experience through my synthesizer. 

From Belkin's reading, the concept of contrast was incorporated into this piece. The difference in volume between the bass guitar and the pencils coupled with the gradual offsetting between the beat of the bass and the pencils created a contrast that can spark interest in the audience. It builds suspense towards the middle of the piece and portrays the difference in the levels of tension the test taker experiences. I wanted this contrast to be prominent to