All listenings below are set to play the excerpts in the provided educational materials. Just press play!

Lesson Two: 3/4 Time in Music

Activity Part 1:

1. Listen to the recording of Die Fledermaus (about 8 minutes long, listen to at least 5 minutes). As the students listen, ask them to tell you when the music gets faster or slower. Students can do this by raising a hand/thumbs up when the music gets faster, and lowering a hand/thumbs down when the music slows back down. If no change is happening, students can relax their hand in the middle.

2. After listening to the piece, have a discussion about the changes in tempo. How could they tell the difference? How did it make them feel?

(Video is set to play from 2:50 – 3:40)

Activity Part 2:

1. Explain what a waltz is to the students. It is a dance done in ¾ time. There are three distinct beats in the dance.

2. Listen to 2:50-3:40 of Die Fledermaus again. This section of the music is a waltz. Have the students listen for the snare drum which hits on beats 2 & 3.

3. Once the students have identified the waltz and can feel the three beats, have them step to the dance. Students will step forward on beat 1 and clap on beats 2 and 3 (with the snare drum). Students can move freely throughout the room, like they are dancing their own waltz!

4. Optional: Students can try stepping a waltz. Using the diagram attached, show the students a very simple box step. Starting slowly and counting out loud, have the students try the dance. (Step forward, side – side, step back, side-side.)

5. Once the students understand the dance pattern, play Die Fledermaus again and have the students try and dance to the beat!

Waltz video to help explain the steps to students if you need it. 

Lesson Three: Tradition and Emotion in Music

“Wedding March” in C major

Composed by Felix Mendelssohn, this piece was originally written as wedding music to be used within a play. Now ,this piece is used as the recessional at weddings. It is meant to be joyful and celebratory.

Toccata and Fugue in D minor

Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach around 1704 (exact date is unknown), this work was originally intended for organ but now is also played by orchestras. Some scholars think it might have first been composed to depict a storm. It is now one of the most famous pieces for organ and has been used in movies to create a sense of horror or suspense.

The Swan

The 13th and penultimate movement of The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns. Originally scored for solo cello accompanied by two pianos, it has been arranged and transcribed for many instruments but remains best known as a cello solo. This piece is meant to evoke the stillness of nature and the beauty of the swan. Sometimes called The Dying Swan, it is also a bit sad. It has been used in movies, and as music for ballet dances and Olympic ice skating.

William Tell Overture Finale

Composed by Gioachino Rossini in 1829, this piece is also called the “March of the Swiss Soldiers”, alluding to the final act, which recounts the Swiss soldiers’ victorious battle to liberate their homeland. It is now associated with horseback riding after being used as the theme for The Lone Ranger.