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Learning Module Five: "Music Off the Page"

By Connor Armbruster

Watch Connor's Video | Monday, October 19, 2020

Listening Example One: Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters - Chameleon LIVE in Bremen, Germany @ Musikladen

Activity One | Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Traditional music is typically passed down orally, meaning that it is taught through listening rather than reading.

What songs have you learned simply by listening to them? Have you ever taught someone a song just by singing or playing it for them? If you haven’t, try singing a song you like for a friend or family member. See if they can pick up the song just through your performance.

Activity Two | Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Many nationalist composers make reference to the traditional folk music of their countries in their works for orchestra. You may have heard or even played some! What imagery comes to mind as you listen to these examples?


Listen Example 1. Antonin Dvorak, Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” II. Largo

Listen Example 2. Bedrich Smetana, Ma vlast, Die Moldau

Listen Example 3. Bela Bartok, Romanian Folk Dances

Listen Example 4. Jean Sibelius, Finlandia, Op. 26

Activity Three | Thursday, October 22, 2020

There are countless ways to interpret traditional music. As we saw in the video, Connor demonstrated Irish traditional music, but he played in the regional style of someone from Upstate New York.

The following are all examples of the same fairly common Irish tune. How do they sound similar? How do they sound different? Would you hear this much variation in any other genres of music?

Listening Example 1.

Listening Example 2.

Listening Example 3.

Activity Four | Friday, October 23, 2020

Connor played both a traditional style and a written version of an Irish reel. You can try this yourself, too! Try learning some regional music from around the world here:

When you are finished, see if you can find recordings of the song you chose. Do the recordings sound like the written music?