Go on an adventure! Music can take you to wonderful places, whether you're traveling to a concert, going to a museum, or just sitting in your room. Music can paint colorful pictures in your mind - of a beautiful lake, a bubbling fountain, a big city.....the possibilities are endless! By learning to hear what music is telling you, you can close your eyes and go anywhere in the world!
Compare and contrast the styles of these two French composers
This piece is about fountains and water play. Listen for dancing waters and water drops sparkling in the sun
This lovely, calm and serene piece is very different from Ravel's fountain. What do you hear? What does it make you think of?
Compare and contrast these two beautiful romantic and impressionistic pieces.
This is a romantic era piece inspired by paintings by Goya. Listen to the beautiful, flowing melodies and see if you can hear the Nightingale singing at the end (trills in RH).
This piece was written by an American impressionist composer after he had visited this fountain in Rome. Listen to the joyous way in which he describes the water.
Compare and contrast these two jazz-influenced pieces.
Gershwin was an American composer who was inspired by jazz in his music. These 3 short pieces have jazzy elements in them - the second is a bluesy lullaby. Three very colorful pieces!
Nikolai Kapustin is a living Russian composer who is also influenced heavily by jazz in his music. Compare this Etude with the Gershwin Preludes. Listen to how each composer has his own unique style.
Compare and contrast these two Baroque composers.
Scarlatti was a Baroque composer who lived in the 1700's and composed music for keyboard around the time the piano was invented. His music was influenced by Spanish guitar. Listen for fast and repetitive notes that mimic the guitar.
J.S. Bach is probably the most famous Baroque composer of all time. He worked as a church musician much of his life. This lovely Prelude is one of his most beautiful and famous works. You may want to play it one day!
Compare and contrast these two charming pieces that depict characters and tell stories.
Amy Beach was an American composer who lived 1867-1944. This piece is from a collection of six easy pieces for children and depicts a clown trying to walk with his silly long pants!
Here is another piece by Ravel. This is a piano duet played by two people. Watch how the video uses the music to tell the story of the Empress.
Compare and contrast these two beautiful pieces, often arranged for piano solo.
Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer who lived during the romantic era. This is a beautiful cello solo from Carnival of the Animals, one of his most famous works.
Grieg is another romantic-era composer. "Morning Mood" is an incredibly beautiful piece. As you listen, think of the majesty of a sunrise, and see if you can hear the sun coming up!
Listen to and compare these two famous piano works about the moon.
Beethoven was one of the most famous composers of all time. Listen to the first movement of his Moonlight Sonata. It was compared to the moon rising over Lake Lucerne. What do you hear?
Debussy was an impressionistic composer like Ravel. This song is also about the moon. Listen to the lovely, flowing harmonies and think about how this style differs from the Beethoven.
Compare these two pieces in contrasting styles.
Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer and pianist who wrote the famous Nutcracker Ballet. Here is the famous March from the suite. Listen to how the orchestra depicts the marching soldiers.
Duke Ellington was a famous American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader. He arranged Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite in jazz style! Listen to how his version differs from the original. Which do you like better?
Listen to this famous piece played two different ways
Brahms was a German composer and pianist who wrote many famous works. Here is one of his most famous pieces arranged for four hands.
Here is the Hungarian Dance played by an orchestra. Which do you like better?
Carnival of the Animals
This suite for two pianos and small orchestra was one of Saint-Saëns' most famous and most loved. See if you can imagine an aquarium with fish and sea creatures swimming about!
This lovely piece is all about birds. Listen for the flute trills - can you hear the birds chirping and flying? Listen for the piano also!
Felix Mendelssohn was a romantic-era composer who wrote music for piano, orchestra, and many other instruments. His sister, Fanny, was also a talented composer and perhaps even better than Felix! Here are two of his most famous and loved works.
This is a very famous piece, do you recognize it? Where have you heard it before?
Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, virtuoso pianist, and conductor of the late Romantic period. His works are beautiful and difficult! This is one of his most famous piano works. It is about a dream he had one night.
This is a variation from one of his most beautiful works for piano and orchestra. Do you like it? What do you think of when you hear it?