Thursday, October 3, 2013
Composer of the Month: Johann Sebastian Bach
We start the year studying the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
Music students learn words to the subject of The Little Fugue in G minor to help them remember things about this great musician:
Johann Bach was fond of playing organ.
He's a master of the Baroque.
He'd write a fugue or cantata as a joke
Or as a break from raising 20 kids!
Students listen to the fugue and try to pick out the subject, which is repeated ______times. Be careful, there's one false entrance!
The students in 1st though 4th grade got some practice counting, so they were quite good at this. When they were able to correctly count the number of times Bach artfully layered the subject, they watched this video of the organ performance.
Fifth graders are learning about music notation by copying the subject of the fugue. They reviewed the names of the pitches on the five lines (e, g, b, d, f) and in the four spaces (f, a, c, e) of the treble clef, then began to use rulers to make the stems for quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes, and for the beams that connect the eighth and sixteenth notes. The rulers also help in making straight bar lines to separate each measure of four beats.
We also discuss Bach's life, and what it was like to live when he did (1685-1750).