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Classical Music &

Pachelbel’s Canon

Year 9

An iBook created by Mr A Edwards


Head of Music, St Julian’s School
13/4/2018
What is classical music?
When you hear the term “classical music” what do you think of?

Possibly you think it means music for old or ‘posh’ people. Some people think that classi-
cal music is only for the ‘musically educated’ and therefore is not relevant to most people.
Others may think it is only heard in the concert hall and is slow and boring, but is that
true?

Try this quiz to see what you know about classical music to test your knowledge.

1. Classical music is a general term that covers about 700 years of music. It is split up into
different periods. Can you put them the correct order (oldest to newest)?

• Classical

• Baroque

• Romantic

• Modern

• Renaissance

2. Lots of ‘classical’ music is written for the orchestra. What are the four families of the
orchestra?

3. Name one instrument from each of the families.

4. Which style of ‘classical‘ music is the odd one out and why?

Symphony Concerto Aria Sonata

5. Name five ‘classical’ composers.

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Literacy - Extended Writing
You are going to investigate and write about a composer from one of the periods of music
(chosen from the list below). You must answer all of the points below and write it as a
biography of between 200 - 300 words. You may include illustrations if you want to.

Choose one of these composers:

Henry Purcell

Johann Sebastian Bach

George Frideric Handel

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Joseph Haydn

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Giuseppe Verdi

Felix Mendelssohn

Igor Stravinsky

Sergei Prokofiev

Gustav Holst

Your information must include:

When was the composer born and when did he die?

During which period of music did the composer write?

Where was the composer born and where did he live?

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What are the composers most well known pieces of music? Include information about
the instrument/ ensemble that the piece was written for, when it was written and what it
was written for or about.

Make sure you Pay particular


attention to your spelling and
grammar!

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Time to listen.
Listen to these three pieces of classical music from different periods of musical history. As
you listen answer the questions on the following page, in full sentences where possible.

Pachelbel Mussorgsky

Canon in D major Night on Bare Mountain

Kats-Chernin

Eliza’s Aria
What did you hear?
The questions below are about the pieces of music you have just listened to. All the questions
refer to the music in the first two minutes of the piece.

Answer the questions in full sentences.

Pachelbel: Cannon in D major

1. Name two different instruments that you can hear?

2. Does the bass line change or stay the same?

3. Which word best describes the tempo of the music?

Adagio Allegro Presto Prestissimo

Mussorgsky: Night on Bare Mountain

1. What are the first instruments that you hear in the extract?

2. Name three other instruments in the extract.

3. How would you describe the dynamics in the first 15 seconds of the extract?

a) Stays piano (soft) throughout.

b) Shifts between soft and loud

c) Gradually gets louder

d) Suddenly gets louder.

4. What type of ensemble (group) is performing this piece?

Kats-Chernin

1. Which accompanying instrument do you hear first in the piece?

2. Name the solo instrument.

3. Which word describes best how the solo instrument plays the notes at the beginning of the
extract?

Legato Pizzicato Staccato

4. Is the melody mainly conjunct or disjunct?


Cross Over!
‘Classical’ music has been used by pop musicians in many different songs and the classical
piece is normally used as a sample (taking a portion of one sound recording and reusing it as an
instrument or a sound recording in a different song or piece).

The three classical songs that you have listened to have all been sampled in pop music and
Pachelbel’s canon has been used extensively because of the chord pattern.

Here are some examples of how these songs have been used - can you identify which of the
three piece have been used in each?

Mark Brown Coolio

The Journey I’ll C U When U Get


There

David Shire My Chemical Ro-


mance
Night on Disco Mountain
Welcome to the Black
Parade

Research

Identify 3 other pop songs that use ‘classical’ music in them. Note the composer and the tile of
the original piece and the artist/ band and the title of the pop song. When you have done that
listen to them and think about how the original classical piece has been used.
Pachelbel Canon
Aims:

• To know what a ground bass is.

• To be able to perform Pachelbel’s Canon on a keyboard in a pair or by yourself.

• To be able to compose a further 8bars to go with the ground bass.

The Ground Bass


The piece of music is based on a ground bass which is a bass line which stays the same
and repeats throughout the piece. Variety is created in the music by adding more and
different melodies above it. A canon is a piece where voices (or instrumental parts) sing or
play the same music starting at different times.

As you listen again to the piece of music try to hear the ground bass figure shown below.

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Time to Perform..
Learn to play the piece either in a pair with someone else or by yourself. All the resources
you need to be successful are shown here.

The sheet music:

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A video tutorial:

A midi file that you can download and open in SYNTHESIA and play using the iPad screen.

Extension Work
On there next two pages there is a more difficult version for you to try (but you only have
the sheet music) if:

• You have already learnt the easier version, two handed (by yourself).

• It is completely fluent.

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Success Criteria

Level 3

I am able to play a single line (either left hand or right hand) mostly in time with my partner
and I am able to keep it going. If I get a little lost I am able to get back into the
performance.

Level 4

I am able to play a single line (either left hand or right hand) mostly in time with my partner.
Although I may make some mistakes they are minor so they don’t affect the overall
performance.

Level 5

I am able to play a single line (either left hand or right hand) in time with my partner with
fluency.

Level 6

I am able to play both hands together, by myself, with some fluency.

Level 7

I I am able to play both hands together, by myself, with complete fluency.

Level 8

I am able to play the more difficult version (extension work) by myself with fluency and
attention to detail e.g. phrasing.

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Composing a Ground Bass
Piece.
Canon by Pachelbel uses a ground bass which, as you know is a repetitive bass line.

Using Canon as a model you are going to compose a short piece of music for keyboard which
uses a ground bass either by yourself or with a partner AND you are going to learn to perform
it.

Follow the steps below to complete your composition.

Step 1

Make up an eight note ground bass using minims (half notes - 2 beats each) so you have a
four bar pattern. You can choose any notes but don’t just pick them at random, make sure
they sound GOOD together.

Write your notes on the composing sheet - bass line - (shown opposite), using letters or your
teacher will provide you with manuscript paper if you prefer. Repeat the pattern four times so
you have a sixteen bar pattern.

Step 2

Make up a tune to go with it using the following ‘formula’

• Line 1 - Just the ground bass - no melody.

• Line 2 - A melody using minims, beats one and 3 only. Make sure the notes you choose
sound good and change them until they do. USE A PENCIL.

• Line 3 - Repeat line to (on beats 1 and 3) and new notes on beats 2 and 4. You don’t have
to use every beat 2 and 4 if you don’t want to but use enough to make it contrast suf-
ficiently with line 2.

• Line 4 - Use the same basic outline as line 2 (i.e. repeat the notes) but this time make it even
more interesting by adding different notes and perhaps even two notes to a single beat (qua-
vers). Make sure that your piece sounds ended - you may have to modify the ground bass
slightly in the last bar (16) to do this.

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Extension work
• Learn to perform your new composition by yourself.

• Create a new section (another 16 bars) and then play the piece as a ternary form piece.
This means A B A (the first 16 bars you composed, then the new 16 bars and then the first
16 bars again).

• Play your piece into GARAGEBAND on the iPad using on screen instruments and then other
parts e.g. a bass guitar, drums, vocals etc.

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Level 3

I can create a simple piece with a partner. The piece has a melody and a bass line but
sometimes the notes clash or don’t always fit together well. I am able to play a single line
(either left hand or right hand) mostly in time with my partner and I am able to keep it go-
ing. If I get a little lost I am able to get back into the performance.

Level 4

I can create a simple piece with a partner. The piece has a melody and a bass line and the
notes mostly fit well together and don’t clash and my piece has a clear ending. I am able
to play a single line (either left hand or right hand) mostly in time with my partner. Although
I may make some mistakes they are minor so they don’t affect the overall performance.

Level 5

I can create a simple piece with a partner. The piece has a melody and a bass line and the
notes always fit well together and don’t clash and my piece has a clear ending. Each line
of the melody is related and the tune develops well. I am able to play a single line (either
left hand or right hand) in time with my partner with fluency.

Level 6

I can create a simple piece by myself. The piece has a melody and a bass line and the
notes always fit well together and don’t clash and my piece has a clear ending. Each line
of the melody is related and the tune develops well. I am able to play both hands together,
by myself, with some fluency.

Level 7

I can create an extended piece by myself and there is more than one section. The piece
has a melody and a bass line and the notes always fit well together and don’t clash and
my piece has a clear ending. The piece is has a good structure e.g. ternary form. Each

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line of the melody is related and the tune develops well. I am able to play both hands
together, by myself, with some fluency.

Level 8

I can create an extended piece by myself and there is more than one section. I have used
technology to add instruments to the initial melody and a bass line and all the parts fit well
together and don’t clash and my piece has a clear ending. The piece is has a good
structure e.g. ternary form. Each line of the melody is related and the tune develops well. I
am able to use technology to create a successful performance of my piece.

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Untitled

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Related Glossary Terms


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