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The music curriculum provides opportunities for students to connect to the world around them through creating, presenting, appreciating, and responding to music. As students become aware of the expressive elements of music, they develop insight into human experience. Foundational knowledge and understanding of the elements of music supports students in developing music literacy and skills through active musical engagement in the areas of singing, playing, listening, moving, reading, and writing. This knowledge serves as the foundation from which students can further develop an understanding of and appreciation for the beauty of music within historical, cultural, and contemporary contexts. Through creative processes, students learn that individual and collaborative music making fosters the expression of ideas, feelings, and experiences.
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Organizing Idea
Foundational Elements: Music literacy is developed through knowledge and application of foundational elements.
Guiding Question
To what extent do tone and duration affect the way music is perceived?
Guiding Question
What is the role of structure in music?
Guiding Question
What is the relationship between rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic structures in music?
Learning Outcome
Students analyze tone and duration as a way to enhance expression.
Learning Outcome
Students investigate how structure contributes to understanding rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and dynamics.
Learning Outcome
Students examine how musical structures can be organized or combined to shape musical ideas.
The duration of a musical note is related to its rhythmic value.

The duration of a sound or silence can be extended or shortened.

The duration of a rhythm or musical sound can be extended by
  • placing a dot next to a rhythm, such as a half note, to extend the duration of the note by one beat
  • a tie that connects two notes of the same pitch together, extending their individual rhythmic values to be the sum of the duration
  • a fermata to indicate an unspecified pause or sustaining of a note
Syllable names for rhythmic sounds can be invented, including ta-a-ato represent the dotted half note.

The duration of an eighth rest is equal in duration to one eighth note.

The duration of a measure is indicated by
  • a time signature
  • bar lines to visually indicate beat groupings
  • a double bar line to indicate the end of a piece
  • repeat signs to indicate measures to be repeated
The top number of a time signature indicates how many beats are in a measure.

A strong beat in 4/4 time occurs on the first and third beat of the measure; whereas in 3/4 time, it occurs on the first beat.

The placement of an accent in music can depend on the time signature.

Selections of music written in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time can include
  • 2/4: Scott Joplin, The Entertainer
  • 3/4: Arthur Scammell, Squid Jiggin’ Ground
  • 4/4: Alexander Muir, The Maple Leaf Forever
Dynamics direct how music should be played, and can be notated using a music symbol on the musical score, including
  • mf to indicate mezzo-forte, which means moderately loud
  • mp to indicate mezzo-piano, which means moderately soft
  • pp to indicate pianissimo, which means very soft
  • ff to indicate fortissimo, which means very loud
In Western music, Italian terms are used to label tempo, including
  • allegro, meaning fast
  • presto, meaning very fast
  • adagio, meaning slow
  • largo, meaning very slow
Music symbols (articulation markings) can indicate the duration of music notes, including
  • staccato and legato
  • phrase marks to indicate length of phrases
  • accents to indicate emphasis of a sound
Examples of dynamics (articulations) highlighted in music can include
  • legato: She’s Like the Swallow
  • staccato: Leroy Anderson, Plink, Plank, Plunk
  • accent: Antonin Dvořák, New World Symphony, 4th movement: Allegro con fuoco
Music symbols have varied durations and direct how music should be played.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between the time signatures 3/4 and 4/4 in various musical selections.

Illustrate strong-weak beat patterns in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time signatures through the use of body percussion, non-pitched percussion, or movement.

Recognize symbols that extend the duration of a musical sound or rhythm.

Practise notating rhythms within a given time signature and from dictation.

Recognize and respond to written music symbols that direct how music should be played.

Experiment with how changes in dynamics can add an effect to music.

Use music vocabulary related to tempo and dynamics when responding to music.
Components that contribute to rhythmic structures include
  • bar lines
  • double bar lines
  • repeat signs
  • time signatures
  • rhythms of varying durations
The structure of beat groupings (metre) in music are identified using a symbol called a time signature, including 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, and 6/8.

A time signature of 6/8 incudes the beat grouping of six eighth notes per measure and can be heard in Newfoundland folk songs Bonavist’ Harbour and I’se the B’y.

The duration of four sixteenth notes is equal in duration to two eighth notes or one quarter note and their corresponding rests.

Syllable names for rhythmic sounds can be invented, including ti-ka ti-ka to refer to four sixteenth notes.

Sixteenth notes and eighth notes can be combined to create rhythms called ti ti-ka and ti-ka ti.

Counting beats aloud or internalizing beat helps a musician maintain a steady beat, follow notation, and respond to rhythms with accuracy.
Rhythmic structures are organized by the duration of beats within measures and measures within a phrase.
Skills & Procedures
Experience singing and playing music written in a variety of time signatures, including 6/8.

Notate from dictation rhythmic patterns structured with 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time signatures.

Practise sight-reading rhythmic phrases.

Demonstrate how counting beats aloud or internally can support a steady beat.

Incorporate sixteenth notes with other known rhythms when reading and writing music.
Music can be structured using a document called a score that visually represents rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and dynamics on a grand staff.

In Western music, the grand staff joins and organizes tones and durations belonging to the treble clef and bass clef.

The bass clef indicates pitches on the staff that begin at middle C and move lower.

Pitches on the lines of the bass clef are labelled GBDFA.

Pitches on the spaces of the bass clef are labelled ACEG.

Middle C is a pitch that is shared between the treble clef and bass clef and is written on a ledger line.

A ledger line is used to notate pitches that extend above or below the grand staff.

Music symbols and abbreviations of terms can be illustrated on a musical score and direct how to play music, including
  • articulation markings, including phrase, accent, legato, staccato, and fermata
  • dynamic range of soft sounds, including pp, mp,and p to indicate pianissimo, mezzo-piano,and piano
  • dynamic range of loud sounds, including ff, mf,and f to indicate fortissimo, mezzo-forte,and forte
  • (cresc) to indicate crescendo
  • (dim) to indicate diminuendoor decrescendo
  • time signature
  • accidentals
  • rhythms and clef signs
  • notes indicating pitch
There are numerous music symbols and abbreviations of terms that can be notated on a musical score.

A melodic or rhythmic phrase can be structured in a way that indicates an ending point to the phrase, giving it a sense of completion (cadence).

A melodic phrase sounds complete when it ends on the home tone (tonic).

A rhythmic phrase sounds complete when it ends on a strong beat.
Structure in music can reflect how the elements of music are organized.
Skills & Procedures
Develop the ability to sight-read and play music from a simple musical score.

Identify the notes belonging to the lines and spaces of the treble and bass clef.

Practise writing pitches or simple melodies on a music staff.

Differentiate between melodies and rhythms that do and do not end with a sense of completion.
Examples of music that do not follow a steady beat can include
  • Gregorian chants
  • Jean Coulthard, Shizen (3 Nature Sketches from Japan): No. 1, Wind in the Pines
  • Jocelyn Morlock, Ornithomancy for flute and orchestra
Free jazz was an improvised style of jazz music that did not have a steady beat, as heard in John Coltrane’s Like Sonny.
Duration of a musical sound may not follow a steady beat.
Skills & Procedures
Sustain a steady beat when singing or playing music.

Discuss features of musical selections that do not follow a steady beat.

Differentiate between music that does and does not have a steady beat.
A scale can be structured on a major or minor scale using the letters ABCDEFG (absolute pitch).

Pitches can be sung using syllables belonging to solfege, including the fourth and seventh notes of the scale known as faand ti.

Music can be structured on the C major scale in which the scale starts and ends on the note C.

The structure of a scale can begin and end on its home tone (tonic).

The structure of the pentatonic scale omits the fourth and seventh degrees of the scale.

An interval is the space between two pitches and can be illustrated on the lines and spaces of a music staff.

There are numerous ways to structure a melody using intervals that move by steps, skips, and repeats.

Melodies that are similar can have the same rhythmic structure but have different pitches assigned to each rhythm.

Melodic structure is influenced by the organization of pitch.

Combining phrases of varying lengths contributes to the structure of a melody.
Skills & Procedures
Identify the pitch names associated with the lines and spaces of the treble clef staff.

Practise sight-reading individual pitches and simple melodies from a music staff.

Extend solfege training to include the pitches faand ti.

Demonstrate in-tune singing alone and in unison.

Detect melodic direction by steps, skips, and repeats.

Explore how a melody can be structured on a C major scale.

Explore the music staff as a way to document music ideas.

Use planned body movements to illustrate musical patterns.
Structures for organizing rhythms can include
  • bar lines
  • double bar lines
  • repeat signs
  • time signatures
  • codas
  • introductions
  • first and second endings
Counting beats aloud or internally can assist in keeping a steady beat when reading, playing, and singing music.

Numerous combinations of rhythms can be created using
  • whole notes
  • half notes
  • quarter notes
  • eighth notes
  • sixteenth notes
The duration of a rhythmic pattern can become more complex by adding dots, ties, or combinations of rhythms, including
  • dotted quarter notes and rests
  • sixteenth notes combined with eighth notes
  • syncopation, which combines eighth notes with a quarter note
Syncopation may be created when accents are placed unexpectedly on an off-beat, as heard in
  • George Frideric Handel, Water Music: Suite No. 2 in D Major, HWV 349, II. Alla Hornpipe
  • Leroy Anderson, The Syncopated Clock
  • traditional Jamaican children’s song Go Mango Walk
The first beat that occurs immediately after the bar line is known as the downbeat, which can be accented.

Duple metre, or 2/4 time, is a grouping of two beats per measure and alternates one strong beat with one weaker beat.

Triple metre, or 3/4 time, is a grouping of three beats per measure and starts with one strong beat followed by two weaker beats.

Quadruple metre, or 4/4 time, is a grouping of four beats per measure with an accent falling on beats one and three.

Compound metre includes 6/8 time, where the six beats are divided into groups of three and an accent falls on beats one and four.

One piece of music can have several metre changes in it, as heard in Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat.
Rhythmic structures are created by combining beat, tempo, patterns, metre, and duration.
Skills & Procedures
Notate rhythms from dictation using known time signatures.

Demonstrate accuracy when reading and writing rhythms.

Identify and perform syncopated rhythms in music.

Experience singing and playing music in known time signatures, including 6/8.

Aurally identify metre changes within a piece of music.

Practise counting beats while interpreting music.
In Western music, the letters ABCDEFG (absolute pitches) are organized on the five lines and four spaces of the music staff.

Treble clef signs organize high and low pitches.

The treble clef indicates pitches on the staff that begin at middle C and move higher.

Pitches belonging on the lines of the treble clef are labelled EGBDF.

Pitches belonging in the spaces of the treble clef are labelled FACE.

A melody has contour or shape that indicates the direction and movement of tones.

Movement of tones by scale steps, skips, repeats, and leaps can be visually represented using music notes on a staff.

Tones can move from high to low, low to high, or stay in the middle.

Repetition and contrast can organize music into predictable segments within a musical form.
Tones are visually represented as pitch when placed on a music staff.
Skills & Procedures
Detect and illustrate the contour of a melody.

Identify pitches that belong to the lines and spaces of the music staff belonging to the treble clef.

Explore how melodies can be created using tones that move by steps, skips, repeats, and leaps.

Create simple melodies that demonstrate repetition and contrast.

Practise writing pitches or simple melodies on a music staff.

Experiment with various ways to visually notate musical ideas.
Chords can be labelled using Roman numerals (I, IV, V).

The one (I) and five (V) chord can be used to accompany a melody.

Chords can be played repeatedly on pitched instruments, including barred instruments (borduns).

Major and minor chords have different sounds.

A drone provides a tonal centre for music and is created by sustaining or repeating a note or chord.

Drones can be played by a variety of instruments across cultures,
as heard in
  • bagpipe music
  • the tanpura, an instrument from North India that plays multiple pitches at the same time
Playing a drone or bordun requires sustaining a steady beat.

Melodies of the same harmonic structure can be combined to create harmony, including
  • two- and three-part canons
  • partner songs
  • melodic ostinatos
Chords can be used to accompany melodies.

Chords can structure music by providing a tonal centre.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between the sound of major and minor chords.

Listen to music from various cultures to identify the sound of drones and the instruments that play them.

Sustain a steady beat when playing a drone or bordun.

Accompany melodies with chords.

Sing or play instruments in two- or three-part canons, partner songs, and melodic ostinatos.
Music can be structured on the C, F, and G major scales.

Melodies based on pentatonic scales omit the fourth and seventh notes of the scale when played, including
  • C major pentatonic scales, which omit the notes F and B
  • F major pentatonic scales, which omit the notes B and E
  • G major pentatonic scales, which omit the notes C and F
Pentatonic scales used in musical works can include Claude Debussy’s La fille aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair).

A music symbol called an accidental is placed at the beginning of a musical score to define the scale name, including
  • B flat to indicate an F major scale
  • F sharp to indicate a G major scale
  • no accidental to indicate a C major scale
Accidentals are visually represented as the black notes on a keyboard.

Solfege can be used to explore and structure melodies, including all notes from low sohto high doh.

Intervals used to structure a melody can be classified as
  • a step, which is an interval of a 2nd
  • a skip, which is an interval of a 3rd
  • a leap, which is an interval of a 4th or more
  • a repeat, which has no change
Melodic structure is based on a sequence of consecutive pitches that gives shape to a melody.

A melody can be structured on a major or minor scale using the pitches ABCDEFG.
Skills & Procedures
Distinguish between major and minor tonalities when listening to music.

Identify the notes belonging to the C, F, and G major pentatonic scales.

Recognize the role of accidentals in music.

Extend vocal development by using tonic solfege when reading music and sight-singing.

Explore intervals as a way to structure the creation of a melody.
A scale is a series of eight tones (octave) organized into ascending or descending pitches.

A five-tone scale is called a pentatonic scale.

Tones within a scale move up or down by steps or half steps.

Home tone (tonic) is the primary pitch or first note of the scale that is assigned to the key of the music.

A melody can begin and end on the home tone to give the music structure.

When music ends on the home tone, it gives the melody a sense of completion.

Solfege can extend below the note doh to include low lahand low soh, and can also extend to include high doh.

Music written in a major or minor scale can establish a mood or feeling for the piece.

An example of music written in a major or minor scale is
  • major: Georges Bizet, Carmen: No. 1 Prelude
  • minor: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Birch Tree Melody used in the fourth movement from Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36
Pitched instruments, including recorders and barred instruments, can be used to explore pitch, melodies, and scales.
Tones in a melody can be combined to create a major, minor, or pentatonic scale.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between music written in major and minor keys.

Experience music that is based on the major, minor, and pentatonic scales.

Extend the use of solfege training with hand signs to include low lah, low soh, and high doh.

Extend vocal development to include in-tune singing alone and in unison.

Differentiate between music that does and does not end on a home tone.

Differentiate between the structure of an octave and a pentatonic scale.

Use pitched instruments to play tone-matching games and pentatonic accompaniments.
There are many ways that a musical idea can be structured using musical forms, including
  • repetition and contrast
  • first and second endings
  • interlude
  • ABACA (rondo), as heard in Johannes Brahms, Hungarian Dance No. 5
  • canon, as heard in Georg Philipp Telemann, third movement from the Canon Mélodieux (Canonic Sonata) No. 1 in G major, TWV 40: 118
  • introduction, verse, and chorus, as heard in the traditional work song Donkey Riding
Repetition and contrast can organize music into predictable segments within a musical form.

Call and response usually starts with a solo part followed by a response by an ensemble, as heard in the song Funga Alafia.

The way in which music is structured can include a melodic phrase, a motif, or a theme, as heard in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, including
  • Overture; Introduction, Zu Hilfe! Zu Hilfe! (Tamino, Three Ladies)
  • Aria, Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja (Papageno)
  • Recitative and Aria, O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn (Queen of the Night)
  • Aria, Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen (Papageno)
  • Duet, Pa-pa-gena! Pa-pa-geno! (Papageno and Papagena)
  • Finale, Recitative and Chorus, Die Strahlen der Sonne (Sarastro and Chorus)
Structure is the organization of duration, tone, and patterns in music.
Skills & Procedures
Identify and demonstrate the structure of musical forms in a variety of music activities.

Identify melodic themes in a variety of listening exercises.

Use call and response in a variety of singing and instrument-playing exercises.
The structure of a chord in music is vertically organized using three pitches (a triad) stacked on top of each other when notated.

The bottom note of a chord is known as the root note (tonic).

The root note is related to the major or minor scale on which the chord is based, including
  • the root note of the I chord in the C major scale is C
  • the root note of the IV chord in the C major scale is F
  • the root note of the V chord in the C major scale is G
A chord progression is a series of two or more chords used to accompany a melody.

A basic chord progression can follow a I–IV–V pattern to accompany a melody.

Chord charts or diagrams can be used as a form of music notation for instruments, including the guitar, handbells, and ukulele.

The singing voice and some instruments, such as handbells and recorders, can produce only one tone at a time but can produce chords when layered with other instruments or voices.
Chord structure is a significant element in harmony.

The tonal centre (tonic) is what makes a harmony sound stable or at rest.
Skills & Procedures
Identify the root note for the I, IV, and V chords within the major scales of C, F, and G.

Aurally identify chord changes.

Explore chord progressions based on the I, IV, and V chords as a way to accompany a melody.

Develop the ability to read chords and chord diagrams.

Perform music in three- and four-part canons and two-part soprano-alto songs.
Two or more melodies can be combined or layered to create harmony in the form of a descant, partner song, or canon, as heard in
  • descant:
    Johann Sebastian Bach, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
  • round:
    French folk songs Frère Jacques and Alouette, gentille alouette
A descant is a treble melody that is played or sung above a main melody.

A chord is three or more tones that are played at the same time and can be used to accompany a melody.

Some pitched instruments can play chords, including keyboards, barred instruments, tone chimes, ukuleles, and hand bells.

Instruments that can only play one tone can be layered with other tones to create harmony, including resonator bells and voices.

Harmony is created when two or more tones sound at the same time.
Skills & Procedures
Perform music written in two parts, canon, or partner songs.

Explore how chords can be used to accompany a melody.

Perform music that incorporates layers of sound.
Visual representation of music can include written notation, music maps, or digital media.

Music can be notated using invented notation as a way to document musical ideas.

Music maps can be used to read music or as a non-standard way of notating melodic contour, form, or vocal and instrument parts.

Music symbols can be visually represented to direct how a piece of music should be performed, including
  • dynamic (articulation) markings, including phrase, accent, legato, and staccato
  • dynamic range of soft sounds, including pp, mp, and pto indicate pianissimo, mezzo-piano,and piano
  • dynamic range of loud sounds, including ff, mf, and f to indicate fortissimo, mezzo-forte,and forte
In Western music, Italian terms and symbols are used to label tempo, including
  • ritardando (rit.),which means to gradually get slower
  • accelerando (accel.),which means to gradually get faster
  • andante,which means moderately slow or at a walking pace
The instruments in an orchestra are generally arranged by musical families on a stage with the maestro placed front and centre to lead the ensemble.

Music can be played and performed using movement and a variety of instruments, including handbells, tone chimes, recorders, ukuleles, pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments, and voices.

Chords can be visually represented using chord symbols for instruments, including handbells and ukuleles.

Auditory representation of musical structures can be enhanced through the development of musicianship skills, including
  • ear training
  • sight-reading
  • playing instruments such as the recorder with good intonation
  • in-tune singing
  • proper use of instrument techniques
The structure of music can be reflected kinesthetically through movement, gestures, or using manipulatives.
The structure of music can be represented visually, auditorily, or kinesthetically.
Skills & Procedures
Use music vocabulary to describe how mood or emotion can be conveyed through music.

Apply changes in dynamics and tempo when singing and playing instruments.

Use a music map to follow or document a musical idea.

Classify instruments of the orchestra by family name.

Develop musicianship skills.
Musical forms give structure to music and can include
  • binary AB form
  • ternary ABA form
  • ABACA (rondo)
  • verse and chorus
  • call and response
Repetition and contrast give unity and variety of form in music.

Examples of musical forms can include
  • rondo form:
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Rondo Alla Turca
  • call and response:
    Chuck Berry, School Day (Ring Ring Goes The Bell)
There can be a relationship between the musical form of a song and its lyrics.

Improvisation is a way to structure music.

Jazz music often features a solo instrument that improvises a section of music.

Musical form, dynamics, rhythm, and metre can have a relationship to the form of an accompanying dance.
Structure is the form that gives shape to music.
Skills & Procedures
Illustrate various musical forms using planned movement.

Perform music written within various forms.

Consider how the lyrics of a song can be related to the musical form.

Experience music examples that feature solo artists who improvise a section of music.

Identify how elements of music, including dynamics and form, can provide structure to a dance.
Sections within a piece of music can vary in duration and include
  • phrases that can be short or long
  • measures that can be two, three, or four beats long
  • introductions that indicate the beginning of a piece
  • a coda, which is a short section or theme placed at the end of a piece of music
  • interludes, which are instrumental sections placed between verses of a song
Musical forms can vary in duration, including
  • phrase form ab, aba, abba, and other variations
  • binary AB
  • ternary ABA
  • verse and chorus
A printed piece of music (musical score) is used to illustrate the duration of a piece of music.

Duration of a rhythmic or melodic pattern can be extended by repeating the pattern many times (ostinato).

Changes in tempo can affect the duration of a musical piece.
Duration is the continuum of time between when music starts and ends.

The way in which music is structured can affect the duration of a piece.
Skills & Procedures
Practise how to read music off a simple music score.

Create movement to illustrate a variety of musical forms.

Practise sustaining a rhythmic or melodic ostinato.

Explore how the duration of a section of music can be extended.

Identify the length of a musical phrase in a variety of listening exercises.

Recognize the role of an introduction, an interlude, and a coda in music.
Composers and musicians can create and play music to convey a mood or create a visual image for the listener, as heard in
  • Carl Orff, Carmina Burana
  • Gordon Lightfoot, If You Could Read My Mind
The string instruments, such as the violin or cello, can represent emotions related to sadness, tranquility, or joy.

A bass drum can indicate a mood of mystery or tension.

Instrument-playing techniques and vocal skills develop with practice.

Instrument-playing techniques can contribute to how music is presented and can include
  • body position
  • playing position
  • breath control
  • accuracy in playing notes, rhythms, and melodies
Singing and playing techniques can be practised through warm-up exercises.

Vocal development can improve through practice and contribute to how music is presented and can include
  • body position
  • breath control
  • phrasing
  • adjusting volume of voice to create balance with others
  • accuracy in pitch
The instruments of the orchestra can be used to highlight different music works, including a symphony that contains four sections of music called movements, each of which can vary in length, theme, or mood.

Non-Western music ensembles can be structured for a purpose that is significant to the culture:
  • First Nations will use circle formations in powwow music.
  • A Japanese sankyoku ensemble may be organized in a seating position on the floor of the stage.
  • Inuit throat singers will face each other while singing.
The way in which music is played and presented can reflect structure.
Skills & Procedures
Identify various instruments, including the instruments of the orchestra, by name, sound, and picture.

Explore how music is presented across a variety of cultures.

Develop vocal and instrument-playing techniques.

Demonstrate in-tune singing alone and in a group to accompanied or unaccompanied music.

Use music vocabulary to describe how mood or emotion is conveyed through music.
Tone clusters can be used to embellish or give tone colour to an accompaniment.

A tone cluster is a type of chord that is structured on a series of three or more adjacent notes in a scale played at the same time.

Instrument families in Western music include the strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.

The quality of an instrument’s sound can change depending on how the instrument is played, including those that are
  • bowed
  • plucked
  • struck
  • strummed
  • blown
  • scraped
Instruments from around the world and from various cultures can have similar features in the way they are constructed and played.

Examples of music that highlight each of the instrument families can include
  • brass:
    Aaron Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man
  • strings:
    Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings
    – Antonio Vivaldi, Four Seasons, Spring I: Allegro

  • woodwinds:
    George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue (clarinet)
    – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A major, 2nd Movement

  • percussion:
    Harry Freedman, Samba No. 1, from the ballet Oiseaux Exotiques
    Johann Sebastian Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier (keyboard)
Tone colour, or timbre, classifies instruments into families.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with tone clusters as a way to embellish a musical accompaniment.

Discriminate between the timbre of various sounds, including instruments, voices, and environmental sounds, through live or recorded music.

Recognize the instruments of the four families of the orchestra.
Organizing Idea
Creating and Presenting: Ideas can be represented musically through artworks that draw upon foundational knowledge.
Guiding Question
How can a message in music reflect what we value and understand?
Guiding Question
How can a narrative contribute to creating and presenting music?
Guiding Question
How can narrative in music contribute to understanding diverse stories and experiences?
Learning Outcome
Students represent messages through artistic choices related to the elements of music.
Learning Outcome
Students employ narrative as a structure for organizing musical ideas.
Learning Outcome
Students represent musical narratives based on a variety of inspirations and through the application of artistic choices.
Artistic choices can be made intentionally to share a message through
  • the use and combination of the elements of music
  • instruments, singing, or a combination of both
  • documenting music through notation
  • writing lyrics
  • phrasing and articulations
Music forms can help organize musical messages and sounds into a structure, including
  • binary form AB
  • ternary form ABA
  • phrase form abab and other combinations
  • verse and chorus
Messages in music can be enhanced by adding harmony while singing or playing instruments.
Musicians intentionally choose ways to effectively share a message.

The elements of music can be combined in an infinite number of patterns to create a musical message.
Skills & Procedures
Create patterns in music by combining melody, rhythm, dynamics, and form.

Make artistic choices related to dynamics, phrasing, and other articulations when creating music.

Create music within a given musical form.

Create movement to demonstrate form in music.

Perform rhythmic and melodic ostinatos to accompany poems or songs.

Perform various arrangements of music that incorporate instruments, singing, or movement.
A narrative in music may or may not represent a sequence of events in the order in which they happened.

A musical narrative can be structured through
  • solo performance of a voice or an instrument
  • small groups such as duets, trios, or quartets
  • large groups
  • improvisation
  • melodic or rhythmic phrases
Narratives in music can be created with
  • instruments
  • lyrics and singing
  • melodic or rhythmic themes or motifs
  • invented sounds or sounds from the environment
  • notation
Soundscapes can be created to accompany a narrative told through text by combining a variety of sounds.

Narratives can be structured with a variety of musical forms.

Inspiration for a narrative may come from
  • stories, legends, myths
  • poetry
  • film, television, or other digital media
  • people or characters
  • the environment
A narrative in music can be communicated as a partial or whole representation.

A narrative can be factual or fictitious.
Skills & Procedures
Perform arrangements of music that can represent a narrative.

Create melodic and rhythmic themes to represent a narrative.

Create soundscape compositions to accompany stories, poetry, or other forms of narratives.

Discuss the meaning conveyed through the use of lyrics in a variety of songs.

Explore new ways to create, notate, or share musical ideas.
The structure of a musical narrative can include a beginning, a problem, and a resolution.

The structure of a musical narrative can be similar to the structure of a narrative in text.

Parts of a narrative in music may be excluded, leaving the audience to assume what happened before and after the narrative was presented.

Narrative can be represented individually or collectively.

Musical narratives can be told through
  • singing
  • playing instruments
  • musical theatre
  • digital music
  • opera
  • ballet
Musical forms can give structure to a narrative.

Various styles of music can be used to represent a narrative.
A narrative can be structured to describe the past, the present, or the future.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with a variety of musical forms as structures for creating or performing a narrative.

Combine instruments, voices, and movement in the performance of a musical narrative.

Explore improvisation as a way to structure a musical narrative.
Messages in music can represent a variety of things, including ideas, experiences, and feelings.

The circle is a symbol that can communicate a message in music, including connection.

A message in music can be enhanced for an audience by incorporating movement or dance, dramatic expression, and narration.

Music performed to a steady beat can help clarify the message being communicated.

Message can be enhanced when singing includes
  • expression in the form of phrasing
  • facial expressions
  • application of dynamics
  • movement or gestures
  • accuracy in pitch
Creative processes can help develop and clarify a message in music, including
  • generating ideas
  • problem solving
  • reflection
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • refinement
  • rehearsal
Messages communicated through music can be interpreted in different ways by an audience.

Feedback from others can clarify how messages are presented in future performances.
A message is at the centre of communication in music.

An audience receives and interprets the messages communicated through music.

Messages can represent what a musician or composer means to communicate.
Skills & Procedures
Create a musical message that represents an idea, an experience, or a feeling.

Extend vocal development to include expression and accuracy in pitch.

Apply creative processes to the creation of a message in music.

Participate as an audience member and as a performer in a variety of musical experiences.

Incorporate movement, dramatic expression, or narration in the presentation of music.

Evaluate the effectiveness of artistic choices in communicating a message through music.
Perspectives can be developed by experiencing the music of others.

Points of view or perspectives can reflect emotions, experiences, and culture.

The elements of music can communicate points of view in a narrative.
  • Dynamics can add emotional quality to the music.
  • A scale structure of minor or major can convey mood.
  • Time signature can convey a particular musical style in which the narrative is told.
  • Rhythmic and melodic patterns can be created to communicate a theme or motif.
  • Form can be used to structure how the narrative is told.
Music that tells a narrative can be connected to a variety of social or folk dances.
A narrative can communicate points of view or perspectives of an individual or a group.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in a variety of folk or social dances.

Create a musical theme that can represent a point of view in a narrative.
The creation of a narrative can be based on
  • stories, legends, myths, and poetry
  • fictional events and characters
  • historical or cultural events
  • other music and musicians
Universal themes can occur in narratives and can include
  • redemption
  • survival
  • quest
Composers can create music to communicate a narrative, as heard in
  • stories:
    – American folk song Follow the Drinking Gourd
    Chuck Berry, Johnny B. Goode
    Franz Schubert, Unfinished Symphony
  • events:
    Franz Joseph Haydn, Mass in Time of War
    – Nova Scotia folk song Farewell to Nova Scotia
Musical narratives can be communicated through the lyrics of a song, as heard in
  • Canadian folk song A Scarborough Settler’s Lament
  • French-Canadian folk song I Went to the Market
  • Ian Tyson, Four Strong Winds
Music can preserve cultural and historical narratives through recording, sharing, and notating music.

Narratives can be expressed through the spirit or life of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit music.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit narratives may originate from the land and include
  • wind
  • water
  • soil
  • animals
  • plants
A musical narrative can communicate knowledge and understandings about the world.

A narrative in music can be represented in diverse ways and can provide connections to culture and history.
Skills & Procedures
Sing a variety of songs based on a narrative.

Experience how narratives can be expressed through First Nations, Métis, or Inuit music.

Re-create lyrics to a familiar melody as a way to communicate a narrative.

Collaborate to create a musical narrative based on an inspiration or a theme.

Examine how features of a musical narrative can convey knowledge about history or culture.
Communication of a narrative can be enhanced by the performer through musicianship skills.

Communication of a narrative can be performed individually or as an ensemble.

A music director or teacher can give performance or conducting cues that direct an ensemble.

Working with an ensemble can develop skills that can be transferred to other areas of learning.

A composer can create and document music through writing or notation to communicate how music is to be played.

A musician may interpret and perform the elements of music in a way that is different from what the composer intended.

Music can be combined with other art forms, including visual arts, drama, and dance, to create a narrative.

Expression of a narrative in music can be refined by applying creative processes.
A musical narrative can be shaped by the musician, the composer, the ensemble, or the audience.
Skills & Procedures
Perform music, individually and in a group, with a focus on developing musicianship skills.

Respond to director cues when performing music.

Experiment with conducting or directing simple or familiar songs with peers.

Examine how a familiar song or simple melody can change from its original intent when one or more elements are altered.

Incorporate movement, gestures, or props to enhance presentation of a musical narrative.

Apply creative processes when creating a narrative.

Participate in music as a performer and as an audience member.
Artistic choices can be used to revise and re-imagine how a narrative is expressed.

The scale in which a melody is based can give a narrative a characteristic quality.

Dynamics and tempo can contribute to the mood of a narrative.

The intentional use or omission of a steady beat in music can influence how a narrative is understood by an audience.

Movement can be used to illustrate and accompany a musical narrative.

Layers of sounds can enhance how a narrative is communicated.

Feedback from an audience can influence future performances.
A narrative in music can take an audience on a journey by entertaining and persuading.

A narrative in music may be perceived by an audience in a way that differs from what the artist intended.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with how the meaning of a narrative can change when one or more of the elements of music are altered or omitted.

Rehearse music in preparation for performing it for an audience.

Participate as an audience member and as a performer in music.

Apply creative processes to the creation of a musical narrative.

Evaluate the effectiveness of artistic choices used in the creation of a musical narrative.
Organizing Idea
Appreciation: Recognizing beauty, goodness, and truth in music can be developed by understanding the complexity and richness of great works of music, the artists who create and perform them, and the historical and cultural contexts from which they originate.
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of culture contribute to learning about the music of ancient Rome and New France?
Guiding Question
What is the role of culture in shaping music from medieval Europe, medieval Islam, and Alberta?
Guiding Question
How was societal change reflected in music during colonial Canada, the Renaissance, and the Protestant Reformation?
Learning Outcome
Students relate musical cultures of the past with modern-day music.
Learning Outcome
Students investigate how culture is reflected in music across various times and places.
Learning Outcome
Students investigate how changes in societies of the past have influenced the creation and sharing of music.
From historical times to today, cultures have valued music for a variety of reasons, including religious or creative expression, entertainment, or education.

In some cultures, musical instruments have spiritual significance.

Using vocabulary related to the elements of music can contribute to discussions about music.

Artistic protocols and etiquette may change based on the community, culture, presentation, and location of a musical performance.
Music is valued differently across cultures throughout history.

Artistic communities can be a venue for artistic expression within various cultures.
Skills & Procedures
Describe the value of music in one’s life and culture.

Demonstrate artistic protocols and etiquette in various music experiences.

Use music vocabulary when responding to musical works.
Culture can be enhanced when artistic communities participate, communicate, are engaged, and share responsibilities.

The culture of an artistic community can support the caring and respectful inclusion of all participants.
When communities unite through the arts, culture can be learned.

The culture of an artistic community is about shared ways of being together and reaching common goals.
Skills & Procedures
Participate in music as members of an artistic community.

Demonstrate how artistic roles and responsibilities contribute to a sense of community.
Modern-day musical styles and genres can be based on music from the past, such as
  • folk music, which is generally passed down through oral traditions
  • blues music, which is a style influenced by work songs, church songs, and folk songs of the southern United States
The drum is one of the oldest percussion instruments in the world, first explored by beating on hollow tree trunks, then featuring a drum head made of dried animal hide, and evolving to include synthetic, human-made drum heads.

The drum is valued as a universal means of communication, which can transmit messages through the use of beat and rhythm.
Music has changed over time as communities and cultures have evolved.

New ways of creating music can emerge based on the blending of cultural practices.
Skills & Procedures
Experience a variety of folk and blues music.

Discuss how popular music today may have been influenced by music of the past.

Explore drumming as a form of making music.
In ancient Rome, music was valued for its ability to educate people.

Many aspects of Roman music were adopted from ancient Greece.

The Romans used music for a variety of reasons, including
  • special occasions
  • celebrations
  • military and sporting events
  • gladiator contests
  • hunting
The different styles of Roman music were used to accompany dances that told a story.

The classification of instruments in ancient Rome was similar to Western orchestral instruments, including brass, woodwind, percussion, and strings.

Types of instruments used in ancient Rome included
  • instruments that produce sound with air, such as a bagpipe, a panpipe, an oboe, or a tuba (aerophones)
  • instruments that vibrate when struck, shaken, or scraped, such as a gong, bell, or rattle (idiophones)
  • instruments, like a drum or kazoo, that produce sound by striking, rubbing, or singing into a stretched membrane (membranophones)
  • instruments, like a guitar or piano, that have strings that are plucked, bowed, or struck (chordophones)
Ancient Roman culture was reflected through musical traditions and beliefs about music.

The cultures of ancient Rome had an influence on modern-day music and musical instruments.
Skills & Procedures
Compare classifications of instruments from ancient Rome to modern-day instruments.

Design an instrument in the style of those found in ancient Rome.
The use of music in First Nations and Inuit cultures has been practised in ceremony and celebration predating European arrival.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit music can
  • share teachings and histories
  • communicate values and beliefs
  • show gratitude and reverence
  • demonstrate reciprocity
  • connect with ancestors
  • reflect spirituality
  • contribute to healing
Many of the first settlers to Alberta were French-Canadian.

Francophone contributions to music in Alberta included
  • the introduction of the organ and sheet music
  • traditional voyageur songs
  • the introduction of fiddle music
Voyageurs sang rhythmic paddling songs as they canoed through the rivers of Canada to trade furs, including
  • A la Claire fontaine
  • Ah! si mon moine voulait danser
  • C’est l’aviron
Music in Alberta can reflect the culture of those who came before us and those who live here now.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss examples of knowledge that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit can share through music.

Listen to fiddle music as an inspiration for talking about music.

Sing or play traditional voyageur songs.
First Nations and Inuit cultural practices and traditional music was banned by the Canadian government.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit continued to practise traditional music in secret as an act of resistance.

The settlers from Europe brought songs and dances from England and France, which contributed to music that continues to be shared today.

The first settlers to record music in Canada were French missionaries.

Voyageurs used music to lift their spirits and keep time as they worked collaboratively to paddle their canoes to transport goods as part of the fur trade.

Voyageurs sang songs that described their work and life, including
  • Un Canadien Errant
  • En roulant ma boule
  • J’entend Le Moulin
  • Vive la Canadienne!
The Canadian national anthem was originally created in French and later translated to English in 1906.

The English version of O Canada that was the most accepted version was written in 1927.
Music in colonial Canada was reflective of changes that occurred in Europe at the same time.
Skills & Procedures
Sing or play O Canada.

Sing and play a variety of French-Canadian music.
Music was a significant part of First Nations culture in New France for hundreds of years before the arrival of the European settlers.

First Nations music in New France reflected traditions and beliefs that continue to be honoured and celebrated today.

Protocols related to how or with whom music is shared were part of First Nations cultures in New France and continue to hold significant importance today.

Folk music reflects the lives, traditions, or customs of a group of people from a specific country, region, or culture.

The Western form of music common to Canada today was influenced by European folk music and traditions brought to New France.

Musical instruments commonly used in New France included the
  • violin
  • guitar
  • flute
  • fife
  • trumpet
Features of music that were popularized as symbols of French-Canadian culture include
  • bonhomme giguer (wooden man)
  • fiddle
  • spoons
  • foot tapping
European settlers introduced folk music and European instruments to New France.

Music in New France served a variety of purposes for the diverse groups of people who lived there.
Skills & Procedures
Experience a variety of folk music.

Play music using traditional French-Canadian instruments.

Listen to First Nations, Métis, or Inuit music as an inspiration for talking about musical traditions.
Gregorian chants were a common form of unaccompanied singing used in the medieval Catholic church that contained only one melody (monophonic).

Music that has more than one melody (polyphonic) was introduced to the Catholic church in later medieval times.

During the seventh century, songs sung were about love, war, and other issues important to people.

Styles of medieval music, including the ballad, rondeau, and motet, were created during the 12th century and continue to be used today.

Medieval Islamic music had a basic notation system and was primarily based on vocal music containing one melody.

Musicians used improvisation as a way to create a personal style of music.

Medieval Islamic music was usually performed as a solo or small ensemble.

The seventh century included the Golden Age of Islam in which music was highly valued and learned by most people.

Ziryab was a well-known musician, composer, and poet of this time.

Arabic scholars further developed musical knowledge from the Greeks by creating new systems of notation, new rhythms and musical sounds, and ways of making instruments.
Culture was revealed through the musical structures and styles of the middle ages.
Skills & Procedures
Listen to Gregorian chants as an inspiration for talking about music.

Experience the music of the Middle Ages.

Use improvisation to create musical ideas and express personal style.
The Renaissance era was about people bettering themselves through education, literature, science, and the arts.

New instruments, including the trombone, violin, and harpsichord, emerged during the Renaissance and contributed to the further evolution of other instruments.

Composers often created music to reflect the metre groupings of two and three beats to support the popularity of social dance.

Dances structured with duple metre included the bourrée and gavotte; the minuet and sarabande were structured with triple metre.

Opera arose as an art form in Florence in an attempt to copy music of ancient Greece.

Royalty often hired their own court musicians to perform religious (sacred) and non-religious music (secular).

Composers of non-religious music tried to communicate more emotion and human experience in their music.

Non-religious songs common during this time were the chanson, madrigal, and German lied.

Religious music common during this time included the mass, motet, and laude.

Most musicians and singers were trained in churches.

During the Protestant Reformation, the way music was shared changed drastically due to the invention of the printing press, which allowed music to be copied and widely shared.

Music in Protestant churches was different than in the Catholic church in that
  • hymns were sung in local languages (e.g., German instead of Latin)
  • the congregation was given permission to sing
  • women were allowed to participate in the performance of religious music
Music became more complex during the Protestant Reformation, including choral music, which required the use musical instruments to accompany voices.
Music went through a significant change during the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation.
Skills & Procedures
Explore music and dance common to the Renaissance era.

Discuss how the Protestant Reformation changed the way music was experienced.

Sing choral music.