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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
What is the role of structure in music?
Guiding Question
What is the relationship between rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic structures in music?
Guiding Question
How are musical structures represented across various musical contexts?
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.
Learning Outcome
Students analyze musical structures to extend understanding of melody, rhythm, and harmony.
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.
Pitch names ABCDEFG belonging to the grand staff and solfege can be used to structure a melody.

Melodies may be based on various scales, including
  • major or minor (diatonic)
  • pentatonic
  • blues
  • modes
Modes are scales that have existed since the Middle Ages and include Ionian, which is the same as the major diatonic scale.

A pentatonic scale with the addition of a raised 4th creates the structure for a blues scale.

A major and minor scale have a relative relationship, including
  • the relative minor of F major is d minor
  • the relative minor of G major is e minor
  • the relative minor of C major is a minor
Major and minor scales of the same key have the same key signature but a different home tone (tonic).

Key signatures are music symbols that indicate the key in which the music is written.

Key signatures are placed on the music staff at the beginning of a piece of music and include
  • F sharp to indicate the key of G major or e minor
  • B flat to indicate the key of F major or d minor
  • no key signature to indicate the key of C major or a minor
The rhythmic value of notes in 6/8 time are different than in simple metres and include
  • a quarter note, which is worth two beats
  • an eighth note, which is worth one beat
  • a dotted quarter note, which is worth three beats
A triplet rhythm structured with eighth notes is played in the space of one beat.
Melodic and rhythmic structures are foundational elements of music.

The structure of a melody changes when the rhythm changes.
Skills & Procedures
Explore how a melody can change when its rhythm changes.

Practise sight-reading rhythms and melodies.

Identify the absolute pitch names associated with the lines and spaces of the grand staff.

Experience major scales and minor scales in a variety of music activities.

Explore the function of a key signature.

Experience music structured on the 12-bar blues scale.

Notate from dictation rhythm patterns belonging to 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time signatures.

Sing and play music written in 6/8 time.
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.
A complex harmony is structured with many tones and produces rich musical sounds, also known as texture, as found in
  • three- and four-part canons
  • two-part soprano/alto songs
  • descants
  • music arrangements with multiple parts
Many different kinds of chords can be used to accompany a melody.

A major chord is structured using the root note (tonic) and the third and fifth degrees of the scale. For example,
  • the C major chord contains the notes C, E, and G
  • the F major chord contains the notes F, A, and C
  • the G major chord contains the notes G, B, and D
A basic 12-bar blues chord progression is structured using a pattern of I, IV, and V chords of any scale, as heard in B. B. King’s The Thrill is Gone.

Chord progression can be structured to give a musical phrase a sense of completion (cadence).
Harmonic structures may be simple or complex.

Harmony stems from an understanding of melody and rhythm.

A simple harmony consists of chords built with a few tones and chord changes.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between chord progressions that do or do not end with a sense of completion.

Recognize how layering pitched and non-pitched musical sounds contributes to texture.

Perform accompaniments for melodies using chords.

Extend vocal repertoire to include music written with two or more harmonic parts.

Differentiate between the sounds of the I, IV, and V chords.

Identify chord changes in a basic 12-bar blues chord progression.

Identify the notes belonging to the C, F, and G major chords.
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.
Theme and variation is a musical form in which the rhythmic, melodic, or harmonic structure is altered in some way to change the main theme of the music.

Structure of theme and variation found in music selections can include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s variations on Ah! vous dirai-je Maman (familiarly known as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star).

Changes in dynamics, tempo, and articulations, such as legato, staccato, phrase marks, and slurs, can affect the structure of a musical piece.

A slur in music is a curved line that joins two pitches together to indicate that they are to be played legato or without separation.

Major and minor key changes can occur within a piece of music, as heard in Franz Schubert, Six Moments Musicaux, D. 780, Op. 94.

Accidentals can be used to change an interval or to indicate pitches that do not belong to the key signature in which the music is written, including
  • sharps that indicate the specific pitch to be raised
  • flats that indicate the pitch to be lowered
  • natural signs, which return the pitch that was changed back to a natural state
Metre can be altered to include irregular beat groupings, including 5/4 and 7/8, as heard in
  • 5/4 metre
    Dave Brubeck, Take Five
  • 7/8 metre
    Sergei Prokofiev, Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-Flat major, Op. 83: III. Precipitato
The structure of a melody can be altered by changing the scale in which it is written.

A melody can be transposed to a different key signature by changing the home tone (tonic).
Structures in music can achieve a purpose or effect in the way the elements of music are altered, omitted, or combined.
Skills & Procedures
Interpret and respond with accuracy to music symbols and terms notated in scores.

Recognize how to respond to accidentals in music.

Explore how a simple melody can change when structured on a different home tone.

Respond with movement to music written with irregular metres.
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.
Composers may structure a musical work based on a variety of factors, including ensemble size and what instruments or voices to highlight.

Western music choirs are structured according to group members’ vocal ranges, including bass, tenor, alto, and soprano, as heard in
  • Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 8 in E-Flat Major (Symphony of a Thousand) Pt. 1
Big band ensembles give jazz music a larger sound, as heard in
  • Glenn Miller, In the Mood
  • Mart Kenney, When I Get Back to Calgary
Musical styles may have specific characteristics and features that are recognizable, including the use of banjo and fiddle in country music.

Music can be written for voices or instruments that are to be performed as a solo, duet, or small and large ensembles.

Music can be notated in various ways across cultures:
  • Numbers are used to notate pitch in an Indonesian percussion ensemble (gamelan).
  • Rhythmic notation in the music of the Middle East is learned by relating chants or words to deep sounds called dummand high or bright sounds called takk.
  • North India’s vocal solfege relates the seven pitches of the Western solfege to syllables called sargam:sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni.
Latin American music has a relationship to dance styles, including the mambo, tango, and cha-cha, as heard in
  • Gerardo Matos Rodriguez, La Cumparsita Tango
  • Orestes Lopez, Mambo
Musical structures may reflect the purpose for which the music was created.

Structure can reflect musical styles and culture.
Skills & Procedures
Recognize that some music is written exclusively for specific instruments or voices.

Observe live or recorded music performances to examine various musical structures.

Explore the relationship between music and dance styles.

Investigate how tone and scales are named and labelled in various cultures.

Explore how melodies can be notated using letters, numbers, or solfege.

Explore and perform various styles of music.

Identify characteristics of musical styles, as related to the repertoire.
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.
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.
Organizing Idea
Creating and Presenting: Ideas can be represented musically through artworks that draw upon foundational knowledge.
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?
Guiding Question
How can artistic intention strengthen communication of musical ideas?
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.
Learning Outcome
Students examine intention as an integral part of artistic expression in music.
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.
The elements of music give structure to a musical work in the way that they are organized and represented.

Repetition and contrast and melodic themes can help an audience perceive and anticipate the structure of music.

Intentional organization of a music performance can include
  • musicians following cues from the director or maestro
  • musicians tuning their instruments before playing
  • an audience clapping when the maestro enters the stage
  • pauses between musical selections, including intermissions
An audience may interpret a musical work in a way that differs from what the artist intended.

Internalizing beats while performing music ensures that musicians keep a steady beat.

Program notes that accompany musical works can describe the intention of the composer.

Musical ideas can be notated so that they can be shared and interpreted by others.
Intention becomes evident to the artist and audience when music has structure and organization.
Skills & Procedures
Demonstrate how to follow conductor cues and internalize beats or counting when performing music individually and within an ensemble.

Apply repetition and contrast to the creation of music ideas.

Perform music within a variety of musical forms.

Apply knowledge of rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic structures to the creation of a musical idea.

Create and perform music based on a theme.

Notate original compositions through the use of standard or invented notation.

Participate as an audience member and as a performer in 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.
Intention can be communicated in music through planned compositions or improvisations that use singing, instrument playing, and movement.

The elements of music can be intentionally combined, altered, or omitted in the creation of a musical idea.

The mood or emotion of a musical piece can be communicated through artistic choices related to the elements of music and the use of instruments or voices.

A variety of stimuli can be used to focus intention, including
  • images
  • music
  • poetry
  • stories
  • artworks
Movement and dance can be intentionally used to accompany musical works.
Intention refers to what a musician or composer means to express.

Intention can be linked to the purposeful creation, expression, or appreciation of music.
Skills & Procedures
Demonstrate how the elements of music can be intentionally used to create a musical idea.

Explore how mood or emotion can be intentionally created in an original composition.

Improvise musical ideas through singing, playing instruments, and moving.

Evaluate the effectiveness of artistic choices used in the creation of a musical idea.

Create music in response to a stimulus.

Experiment with how a melody or a familiar song can change by adjusting one or more of the elements of music.
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.
A performer’s artistic intention can be enhanced or refined by
  • listening to the musical works of others
  • rehearsal
  • practising skills and techniques, including in-tune singing
  • participating in warm-ups for voice and instruments
Music can be intentionally created or performed for enjoyment or expression.

Communicating intention can involve creative processes, including
  • decision making in the creation of a musical idea
  • problem solving
  • taking creative risks, including trying unfamiliar or new techniques or instruments
  • considering and implementing feedback
  • reflection
A musician’s intention may emphasize process over product.

Growth as a musician can occur when engaging with the creative process in new and meaningful ways.
Skills & Procedures
Engage in regular music practice and warm-ups.

Practise singing to include accurate in-tune singing, expression, and phrasing.

Rehearse music prior to sharing with an audience.

Create and present music for enjoyment.

Create musical ideas with the intention of exploring new techniques, styles, or instruments.

Use creative processes to explore, revise, and refine musical ideas.

Describe how feedback was incorporated to clarify or enhance artistic intention.
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
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?
Guiding Question
How did societal change influence how music was appreciated during the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and throughout the history of the United States of America?
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.
Learning Outcome
Students relate change to historical events and appreciation of music practices.
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.
Appreciation can shape individual artistry, curiosity, and engagement in music.

Responses to and appreciation for music can reflect personal preferences and perspectives.

Music vocabulary can be used when responding to or sharing opinions about music.

Appreciation of music as an art form can change with experience and inform future decisions about participation in music.

Popular (pop) culture evolved from oral traditions in folk music and is appreciated as a form of expression from the people for the people.
Appreciation of music can change through active reflection and experiences with music.
Skills & Procedures
Use music vocabulary when responding to or sharing opinions about music.

Discuss how popular culture influences the creation and sharing of music.
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 during the Enlightenment was composed with the ideas of freedom, democracy, and reason in mind.

The Enlightenment was heavily influenced by the discovery of Pompeii, which reignited an interest in Greek and Roman arts.

The ancient Greeks developed a series of scales, called modes, that serve as a structure for melodies today, including Ionian, which is the same as the major scale (diatonic).

The Enlightenment was known for baroque and classical styles of music.

During the Enlightenment, the focus of music shifted from vocal to instrumental, resulting in the creation of symphonies and concertos, including the works of
  • Robert Schumann
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
  • George Frederick Handel
  • Franz Joseph Haydn
The classical period is considered the height of operatic composition, and works from this period can include
  • Barber of Seville
  • Fidelio
  • Marriage of Figaro
Music and singing were fundamentally important parts of the French Revolution as people could sing songs about freedom and brotherhood.

Catchy tunes during the French Revolution helped listeners remember lyrics and motivated political and military causes.
The way music is understood and appreciated has changed throughout history.
Skills & Procedures
Listen to and view music from the Enlightenment as an inspiration for playing and talking about music.

Investigate composers and music of other times, places, and cultures.
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.
Before the colonization of the United States of America, the Indigenous people had a rich and historical tradition of music that continues to be celebrated today.

As the United States of America became colonized, people brought with them large and varied music traditions.

African-American spirituals, which are the foundation for popular music in the United States of America, developed during this time.

African-American blues evolved during the early 20th century and later evolved to create genres like rhythm and blues, swing, gospel, Motown, soul, and rock and roll, including
  • Lead Belly, Goodnight, Irene
  • Robert Johnson, Cross Road Blues
  • Ray Charles, Georgia on My Mind
Jazz and blues (sometimes “rhythm and blues”) are music forms that are closely linked and that grew out of African-American musical culture.

The Harlem Renaissance (1917–1930s) was a period in time where Black musicians felt free to express Black lives and identity through their music.

Jazz was the major form of music during the Harlem Renaissance and is known for its improvisational form, swing notes, and call and response vocals, as seen through artists such as
  • Duke Ellington
  • Billie Holiday
  • Louis Armstrong
Appalachian music is a form of folk music in the United States of America that grew from the need of the people to communicate their ways of life and being, including coal mining, and drew on their roots in Scottish, Irish, and northern English ballads, as well as southern Black musical forms, including
  • Sixteen Tons
  • Which Side Are You On?
  • A Man of Constant Sorrow
Appalachian music informed modern country music, which can include
  • jug bands
  • honky-tonk
  • bluegrass
  • hillbilly
Music traditions existed prior to the colonization of the United States of America, and evolved as more people came to the land.
Skills & Procedures
Listen to and view music from the United States of America as an inspiration for playing and talking about music.