At HoMe Lessons

Band & Orchestra – Musical Storytelling

Program Notes

We know them as “tone poems”, “symphonic poems”, or “program music”—pieces that musically portray a particular story, event, setting, or other non-musical source. Students will select one or two works from the provided list for this project. After researching the “backstory” of the work and listening to the performances, they will provide a summary of specific ways the composer used musical elements (instrument voicings, themes, rhythmic patterns, etc.) to create the setting or tell the story. They should also describe what images they envisioned to bring that story to life while listening to the piece…their own “mental movie” to match the soundtrack created by the composer. This activity could be used as an extended, multi-day listening and research project.

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