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Rhinegold Education Key Stage 3: Lesson 5

From Rhinegold Education, Key Stage 3: Lesson 5 explores one of the most famous melodies in the history of music!

Learning Objective: to perform, listen to, and evaluate music. To create and compose music based around the structure of ‘Ode to Joy.’

Length: ½ hour.

1. One of the most famous melodies in the world is Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’.

Listen to it played by an orchestra in lockdown and follow the notes of the melody as you listen. The players introduce themselves, then the music starts at 0.44:

Ode to Joy

2. Listen again, from 0:44. Which of these instruments do you hear first, second, third and fourth?

Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone. 

3. Listen to this explanation of ‘Ode to Joy’. Take some notes as you listen.

4. Using whatever instrument you have (or your voice), play (or sing to ‘la’) the first two phrases of ‘Ode to Joy.’

If you play a transposing instrument or piano, you might prefer to use this sheet music. (Scroll down towards the bottom of the page). 

5. Now try composing your own Question and Answer!

Refer back to the notes that you took in stage 3. Remind yourself about the musical qualities of a ‘Question’ and ‘Answer’ phrase.

To make it simpler, use only five notes: C, D, E, F & G.

If you like, you can write down your Question and Answer:

Play your Question and Answer several times. If you don’t like it, change it until you are pleased with it. 

6. Now practise the third phrase of ‘Ode to Joy.’

7. Then play the whole of Ode to Joy (the music is in Step 1).

8. Now add a third phrase to the Question and Answer you composed in Step 5. Use the same notes as the Q&A and if you like, add one or more new notes.

9. Finally, finish your melody, perhaps by repeating your second phrase.

If you like, you can write down your completed melody or record it onto a computer.

For more information about Beethoven, click here. You can watch the National Youth Orchestra play Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, including the ‘Ode to Joy.’ Here is a modern remix of ‘Ode to Joy’ and here is a Flashmob version. You might also like to play it with this piano accompaniment.
By Tim Cain for Rhinegold Education

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