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Island 6 
Garageband: Spooky Sounds

Keep in Mind

POP students in this challenge will:

  • Explore sound by experimenting with the instruments in the GarageBand app.

  • To put together their own spooky sounds- to create a story that’s told through sound only - no speaking aloud.

  • Basics elements of music – beat, tempo, rhythm, volume, and timbre.


Garageband: Spooky Sounds

Theme Design

Effective horror film music is not just about using a spooky film score that plays when the villain comes on screen. Finding the right jump scare sound effect to make audiences leap out of their seats can be more difficult than you think.

Music Composition

Composers make music. Since horror movies rely on music, composers carefully consider how to use familiar sounds in unusual ways. Composers change sounds in different ways to help them tell a story.  


The word rhythm is used to describe a specific pattern of sounds. This pattern of sounds is made up of regular and irregular beats that are repeated throughout the song.  A heartbeat, ticking clock, footsteps, a galloping horse—these all have rhythm. 


Dynamics describes how loud and intense music is. Dynamics describes how loud or soft the music is. Musicians will change whether they play a part quietly or loudly depending on how they want the listener to feel.


Pitch is how high or low the note or sound goes. Have you ever noticed how people’s voices often get higher when they feel nervous? Composers may create this in their music to help add feeling to their music.


Silence is no sound. In our day-to-day life, we don’t usually notice all the noise that surrounds us. Stop what you’re doing right now and listen. Even if you are alone in an empty room, you surely hear many noises. We normally just tune out these everyday sounds, so on the few occasions when we are alone in the dead of night and find ourselves surrounded by total silence, it can be scary!

Creepy Cues

The right music cue or sound effect can make or break a scary moment.  When the jump scare comes, you barely notice it. But when you add the slow creeping upward of sound, and then the big "BOOM" at the focal moment, it can give you a jolt even when you know it’s coming. 

Non-linear Sounds

Non-linear sounds are sound waves that have a very high range and a higher volume compared to other sounds. They often contain repeated jumps, unusual harmonies, or chaos, and noise – and you can create them by quickly changing the speed of acoustic instruments. 

Non-linear sounds, like the cry of an animal or a human scream, are scary to us because they extend beyond the normal range of the vocal cords. And our brains have grown to understand the strangeness in these sounds, so we instantly know something is wrong or that there’s danger close by. 

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