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North Carolina Symphony Education Program August 14, 2007 Teacher Workshop . HOLD ON TO YOUR RAFFLE TICKETS!. Education Concert Dates and Programs: Online at Questionnaires Symphony Store downstairs Open Announcements after Question and Answer period, 2:30 pm.

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North Carolina Symphony Education Program August 14, 2007 Teacher Workshop

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north carolina symphony education program august 14 2007 teacher workshop
North Carolina Symphony Education ProgramAugust 14, 2007 Teacher Workshop


  • Education Concert Dates and Programs:

Online at

  • Questionnaires
  • Symphony Store downstairs
  • Open Announcements after Question and Answer period, 2:30 pm.
  • Contact me at

David Hartman, host William H. Curry, Resident Conductor Joan Landry, Assistant Conductor Victor Benedict, Assistant Principal Bassoon Paul Goldsberry, Violin Jacqueline Saed Wolborsky, Assistant Principal Violin II

  • Panel Interview/ Discussion:
igor stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky

Texture in the Rite of Spring and

The Firebird

stravinsky a last minute genius
Stravinsky: A Last Minute Genius
  • Born in 1882 in Russia to a musical family.
  • Parents wanted him to become a lawyer, but he wanted to compose!
  • His inspiration, connection and ticket out of law?

Vladimr Rimsky-Korsakov (son of famed Nicolai), with whom he became friendly with at University of St. Petersburg.

  • Soon began studying composition.
  • Sergei Diagheliv
    • Ballet Producer
    • Saw a work of Stravinsky’s
    • Original composer bowed out!
    • Hired Stravinsky to compose Firebird
    • Stravinsky finished it early—a chance of a lifetime!
prolific from the start
Prolific from the Start
  • Stravinsky was an instant success!
  • Within three years of the Firebird premier, Rite of Spring made him the most famous composer in the entire world.
  • Yet, it wasn’t an easy premiere…..
rite of spring a musical scandal
Rite of Spring: A Musical Scandal
  • Music was not quite “spring-like” to the audience on May 29, 1913, at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
  • Shocking choreography, angular music, and dissonant chords!
  • From the very beginning, the music was primitive, pulse-like, loud and uncomfortable!
  • Cat-calls and yelling from the audience.
  • Performers couldn’t hear themselves!
  • Diagheliv flashed the houselights to stop a full-fledged RIOT!
forever changed
Forever Changed
  • The Rite of Spring changed the course of 20th-century music like no other work has done.
  • Issues of national identity and universalism, fundamentally new approaches to melody and rhythm all in a ballet where the conventional plot was replaced by a more abstract subject matter
the story
The Story
  • Primitive Russian tribe sacrificing a virgin maiden to the arrival of spring.
  • Series of episodes depicting a wild pagan spring ritual.
  • The Ballet is divided into two sections:
stravinsky s rite of spring
Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring

Part I: Adoration of the Earth

  • Introduction
  • The Augurs of Spring (Dances of the Young Girls)
  • Ritual of Abduction
  • Spring Rounds (Round Dance)
  • Ritual of the Rival Tribes
  • Procession of the Sage
  • The Sage (Adoration of the Earth)
  • Dance of the Earth

Part II: The Sacrifice

  • Introduction
  • Mystic Circles of the Young Girls
  • The Glorification of the Chosen One
  • Evocation of the Ancestors
  • Ritual Action of the Ancestors
  • Sacrificial Dance (the Chosen One;L'Elue)
from the start the scandalous spring
From the Start:The Scandalous “Spring”
  •  From the start---the bassoon begins in such a high register, that it jars the audience and forces them to pay attention!
  • Stravinsky was the first to ever write for bassoon in this register.
  • So primitive in it’s sound, this solo has been described as a “new breed of snake charmer” by conductor Marin Alsop!
dance of the young maidens
Dance of the Young Maidens
  • The celebrants of Spring are seated on hills.
  • They blow dudki [reed pipes]. Youths learn the art of divination from an old woman who knows all the secrets of Nature.
  • Young maidens, costumed and with painted faces, come from the river in single file. They dance the Spring Dance.
texture in music
Texture in Music
  • Monophony – (one sound) – music consisting of a single line or melody without an accompaniment.
  • Homophony – (same sound) – Music concentrated on one voice or part with a secondary accompaniment and/or voice.
  • Polyphony – (many sounds) – Music employing multiple parts each keeping its own distinctiveness.
  • Heterophony – (different sounds) - music that has multiple parts or voices performing different versions of the same melody.
listening activity for texture
Listening Activity for Texture

Have students listen to the Dance of the Young Maidens from Rite of Spring.

Ask them what they imagined the music to be about and write some ideas on a board.

Tell them the story behind the music and have them listen to the music again.

Ask students whether their ideas were close to the scene’s description. Why or why not?

Would students describe this music as thick or thin? Simple or busy?

Have students discuss why the “ thickness” of the music helps set the scene for the ballet.

Explain to students that this is called texture in music and it is very important to convey the idea of the music to the listener.

For contrast, play Debussy’s Nuages, or Prelude to an Afternoon of a Faun. How does the texture of these pieces differ? How does the composer accomplish that?

performance activity
Performance Activity

Pass out various percussion instruments to your class, breaking them into groups of 3 or 4 students. All students should have rhythm sticks along with another type of instrument.

Give the students a rhythm to all play together at the same time with the rhythm sticks. Describe this as MONOPHONY.

Then, divide the class into two groups, still playing the sticks. Have one play an ostinato rhythm, while the other group plays the original rhythm. This is HOMOPHONY.

Next, divide students into their groups of 3 or 4 and ask one group to keep playing the sticks, while the others use their other instruments. Give the original rhythm, the ostinato, as well as as many other rhythms that you may need. This is POLYPHONY.

Finally, ask them all to play one of the rhythms together as a group, using the different instruments. This is HETEROPHONY.

probing questions
Probing Questions
  • Have students describe why they think music has and if it needs all these textural aspects. Why do some composers incorporate a lot of texture into their music and others don’t?
  • Can the students find examples of different types of texture in music that they enjoy listening to? Invite them to bring it in and share it with the class.
the firebird suite
The Firebird Suite

Stravinsky Becomes Famous!

the firebird suite infernal dance
The Firebird Suite: Infernal Dance
  • Based on an old Russian folk tale.
  • Interesting and exciting tale that will capture the student’s attention!
  • The story of The Firebird Suite is based on a Russian folk tale and is divided into five movements:


telling the story
Telling the story

The young prince Ivan finds himself in the terrible kingdom of the ogre, Kaschei. Encounters a beautiful Firebird while wandering in Kashchei's enchanted garden and steals a feather from it.

Encounters 13 maidens, one of whom he falls passionately in love with.

In the morning, when these imprisoned maidens are forced by Kashchei's magic spell to return to his castle, Ivan is compelled to follow them.

Captured by Kashchei's monstrous servants.
  • Firebird tells him about the ogre's secret of immortality: that his soul, in the form of an egg in a coffin, must remain unbroken. Ivan breaks open the coffin and smashes the egg forthwith, whereupon the monster dies and the evil spell which has been cast over his kingdom dissolves and all captives are set free.
  • As expected, the prince's flame, Tsarevna, and he are married.
infernal dance and finale
Infernal Dance and Finale

INFERNAL DANCE OF KING KATSCHEÏThe Prince is suddenly confronted by Katscheï's horrible servants, and ultimately, the magician himself. Katscheï tries to turn the Prince into stone, but the hero produces the Firebird's magic feather. The Firebird appears and forces Katscheï and his followers into a frenetic dance.

the conclusion
The Conclusion


Katscheï and his retinue are destroyed. All of the prisoners are set free, including the Thirteenth Princess, whom the Prince weds. Over string tremolos, a solo horn plays a variation of the theme that was first presented by the flutes in the Princesses' Round. Other members of the orchestra incorporate the melody, as the Finale builds to a grandiose climax.

king katschei activity
King Katschei Activity
  • Have students listen to the “Infernal Dance” paying careful attention to texture.
  • Listen again, telling the story.
  • Add drama to the story as much as you can by dimming lights, etc.
  • How is the story demonstrated through the music?
  • For younger students:

Create masks representing the King’s monsters in his troupe and the sorcerers (lesson plan and list of materials included in Teacher Book)

king katschei texture groups
King Katschei Texture Groups
  • For older students:

Discuss the 4 main types of musical texture.

Divide students into groups representing the 4.

Listen again, having small groups figure out when their “texture” takes place.

Listen once again, have them stand when they feel as if their type of texture is being represented.

classical music boring
“Classical music”---BORING?

The next time you hear a student say: “This music puts me to sleep”--play for them Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring or Firebird Suite.

See if they believe they can fall asleep while listening to that!!!

claude achilles debussy

Claude Achilles Debussy

Nocturnes - Nuages


Claude Achilles Debussy

b. Saint-


August 22, 1862

d. Paris

March 25, 1918

Sent to live with his Aunt, Madame Roustan. It was she who would take him to concerts, plays and art exhibitions.

He often clashed with his professors and was considered a difficult student.

1810 - Hired into the service of Madame Nadezhda von Meck, the former patroness of Tchaikovsky. Debussy played with a group of household musicians, taught her daughters piano and even went along on family trips.

In 1884 wins the Grand Prix de Rome, after two previous attempts, for his cantata L’Enfant prodigue (The Prodigal Son).

In 1894L’Apres-midi d’un faun (Afternoon of a Fawn), a tone poem based upon Mallarme’s work of the same name, premiered establishing him as one of Europe’s important composers.

Pelleas et Mellisande, the orchestral work La Mer (The Sea), and later The Children’s Corner written for his daughter “Chou-Chou”.

Debussy died during the 1918 bombardment of Paris.


Debussy is overwhelmingly considered the father of the Impressionist movement in music.

Debussy’s impressionism is said to have parallels with it’s visual counterpart – “finely graded instrumental colors; static, non-climactic melodies, often circling round a single pitch (true of Nuages); harmony conceived as a largely coloristic element; complex textures consisting of elaborate surface figurations, often suffusing whatever melodic material they contain.” (Harvard Dictionary of Music) With his Three Nocturnes he achieves this “dreamlike” imagery.

three nocturnes
Three Nocturnes

Composed between the years 1897-1899, Debussy’s are not Nocturnes in the traditional musical sense (i.e. Chopin’s Nocturnes). Debussy borrows the term from a series of paintings by the American artist JM Whistler, who’s Nocturnes depict scenes of night and dusk in the impressionist style.


JM Whistler’s Nocturne:

Blue and Gold Old Battersea Bridge


nuages dream of clouds
Nuages: Dream of CLouds

Nuages (Clouds) and the Heterophonic Orchestra

Texture in Music – The general pattern of sound created by the elements of a work or passage. For example, the texture of a work that is perceived as consisting of the combination of several melodic lines is said to be contrapuntal or polyphonic.

The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

The Four Main Textural Forms

Monophony – a single line or melody with no accompaniment;

Homophony – one principle voice or part with a subordinate accompaniment;

Polyphony – combining several different musical lines, each retaining its own distinct identity;

4. Heterophony. In “Nuages” Debussy is attempting to create a Heterophonic orchestral texture. Heterophonic texture is rare in Western music, more commonly found in Asian, African and even Native American music. Heterophony is the simultaneous statement of two or more different versions of what is, essentially, the same melody (Harvard Dictionary)..


In Nuages Debussy achieves the fluctuating nature of clouds, simultaneously revealing and obscuring the sky. The composer continuously reveals and hides the repeated melody with his use of harmony and texture; giving the listener not a literal, “photographic” image of clouds, but more of the cloud filled skies of our memories or dreams.


Guided Listening I - Discussion

Inform students that this piece is entitled Nuages or Clouds, and that it was composed to give the impression of clouds in the sky. Have students think about times when they have watched the clouds and ask them the following questions (Incorporate the Science related activity for older groups):

1. What do clouds look like?

2. Can they be different shapes?

3. Are there different types of clouds? Thick, thin, tall, wispy, etc.

4. Do the clouds stay the same or do they change?


Guided Listening II – Kinesthetic

Use the Introduction above, but now inform students that you would like them to move as if they were clouds.

Have one or two students be the “wind” gently blowing the clouds around the room. Instruct them to try and have there movements flow with the piece of music. This exercise works really well with scarves.

Guided Listening III – Visual

Debussy was heavily influenced by the visual artists of his time. Have students draw there own impression of clouds, first without playing the recording and then have them create a second picture attempting to draw on paper what Debussy did with music.

Ask students to think about the following:

Are there differences in the two drawings and if so what are they?

How did the music change your drawing?

Did the music help or hinder your creation?


Guided Listening IV - Texture

The Four Main types of texture:

Monophony – (one sound) – music consisting of a single line or melody without an accompaniment.

Homophony– (same sound) – Music concentrated on one voice or part with a secondary accompaniment and/or voice.

Polyphony– (many sounds) – Music employing multiple parts each keeping its own distinctiveness.

Heterophony – (different sounds) - music that has multiple parts or voices performing different versions of the same melody.


Monophony Homophony

Polyphony Heterophony


Activity –

Materials –

  • Pieces of cloth – 3 or 4 different types (silk, burlap, cotton, rayon, etc.)
  • Three or Four different types of food – enough to give everyone (or just one student) a small taste. Focus on the texture of the food grainy, smooth, creamy, hard, etc.
  • Photographs of clouds –
          • Cirrus, Stratus, Cumulonimbus.
  • Recordings of Monophonic, Homophonic, Polyphonic Music and a recording of Debussy’s Nuages.

Science Related Activity

Pictures, Definitions and Word Search

Types of Clouds and their Associated Weather Patterns

(Kindergarten, Second, Fifth and Seventh Grade Science Curriculum)

Types of Clouds


Types of Clouds

Cirrus Thin and wispy

Cirrostratus Sheetlike

Altocumulous Parallel bands

Cumulus White, fluffy

Cumulonimbus Reaching high into the sky.

Nimbostratus Low level, dark with precipitation.


Visual Arts Connections



Bowmar, Edith M. Portraits of Composers. ND. Belwin, Inc. Miami, Fl.

Debussy, Claude. Three Orchestral Works in Full Score. 1983. Dover Publications, Inc.

Devoto, Mark. Review: Debussy's Nocturnes. 2001. Tufts University Press. Boston, MA.

Hinson, Maurice and Montgomery, June. Meet the Great Composers. 1995. Alfred Publishing Co. Van Nuys, CA.

Randel, Don Michael, Ed. The Harvard Concise Dictionary of Musicians. 1996. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Cloud Image/Text/Data from the University of Illinois WW2010 Project, "The Cloud Catalog."


Christie Lynch: Department of Public Instruction

“An Overview of Research on Music and Learning”

Larry Scripp

feedback from discussions
Feedback from discussions
  • Planning ahead
  • Transfer- direct and indirect
  • Music MUST be integrated- we need to be better PR people- “team players”
  • Music should be integrated AND taught for its own sake
  • Promoting the importance of music on its own- be our best advocates
  • Strong association between music and core subjects
  • Behavior modification
  • Where’s the controversy?
  • Strong positive relationship between arts and core subjects
  • Positive social impact through study of arts
  • Engage our colleagues as advocates as well
  • Music is immature area in field of research
  • Use of curricular board
  • Fear that as we integrate- we become secondary
  • Immeasurable results?
    • New way of developing assessments
    • ESL