Igor Stravinsky (with a teacher)
This activity is for classroom use. Your teacher will have further material to use alongside the clips and information below.
SECTION 1: Musical styles
You are going to listen to two pieces of music. Discuss with a partner whether you think the pieces are written by the same composer
Listen to Audio 2 again. What do you notice about Stravinsky’s use of rhythm and tempo?
Rhythm is how notes of different lengths are combined – are the rhythms regular and easy to repeat, or always changing? Tempo is the speed of the music – does it speed up, slow down or stay the same?
SECTION 2: ‘What am I thinking’ tree
Read the facts about Stravinsky’s life and decide which ones best fit your ‘What am I thinking’ tree!
The ‘What am I thinking’ tree is about your own thinking. There are no right or wrong answers. See which facts you feel are the most interesting for the questions being asked!
SECTION 3: Guess the ballet
Stravinsky was an expert at telling a story with music. Many of his most famous pieces were written for ballets – stories told through dance. It is important that the music and scenery help describe the story, as there is no talking!
Your teacher is going to read you three short scenes. These scenes come from ballets that Stravinsky wrote music for – The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring. Imagine how you could depict these scenes using music and share your ideas with the class.
Now that you know the details of these scenes, are you able to match each of them to the correct piece of music by Stravinsky?
SECTION 4: Rhythm workout
Energetic and driving rhythms are a characteristic of Stravinsky’s music. The rhythms don’t always do what you expect, which makes them fresh and exciting! Here is an extract from The Rite of Spring, which shows how Stravinsky can make rhythms shift and change in unexpected ways:
Articulation: The way that notes are performed and move from one to the next – e.g. smooth or bouncy
Ballet: A genre of dance that tells a story with scenery and music
Dynamics: The volume (degrees of loud and quiet) in a piece of music
Glissando: A continuous slide up or down between two or more different pitches
Impresario: An influential manager or promoter of artistic performances (ballet, opera, concerts etc.)
Pitch: Whether a note is high or low
Rhythm: A combination of notes that are of different lengths or durations
Tempo: The speed of a piece of music
All media credits – titles, composers, artists, sources etc. – may be found in the Teacher Sheet, accessed from the Info box at the top of this page.