Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (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: Listening star
Listen to the music below. Do you recognise the melody? If so, does it do anything you don’t expect?
You are now going to listen again to the main theme (Audio 1) and then three variations. A variation is where the composer takes the theme but changes it in some way. Using the ‘Listening star’ handout, are you able to hear the different musical ingredients that make this music so interesting?
The tune of ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’ originally comes from France and is over 200 years old!
SECTION 2: Picture a life…
The music you have just listened to was composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He is one of classical music’s most famous composers. Mozart was known as a wunderkind, which is a German word meaning ‘wonder child’ – a child who shows immense talent at something. Although Mozart’s life was short, it was incredibly interesting! Find out more from the handout and get ready to play ‘Picture a life…’
SECTION 3: Rondo
Here are two famous pieces by Mozart. They have something in common to do with their structure. Are you able to hear what it is?
The structure means how the piece is organised. For example, does it have different sections? Do some sections repeat? Is there a beginning, middle and end?
Now you are going to draw the structure of Audio 5 using shapes. This way you can see more clearly the different sections that Mozart uses!
SECTION 4: Rondo Rap
Mozart liked games, and even played with his own name: he adapted the language of his middle name, so Theophilus (Greek) became Amadeus (Latin). Sometimes, when he was young, he even signed his named backwards, becoming ‘Trazom’! So – we’re now going to play around with our own names and use them to create our very own rondo rap…
When rapping in time to a beat, our words create their very own rhythm patterns – patterns that use sounds of different lengths.
Ornaments: Decoration or embellishments that are added to a melody
Dynamics: The volume (degrees of loud and quiet) in a piece of music
Refrain: Repeated line or lines of music or text, e.g. a ‘chorus’ in a song
Rhythm pattern: A short repeating pattern that uses sounds or notes of different lengths, e.g. repeatedly clapping the rhythm pattern of the sentence ‘I like fish and chips’ – ‘I like’ being longer notes or sounds, ‘fish and chips’ being shorter ones
Structure: How a piece of music is organised, e.g. into different sections
Tempo: The speed of a piece of music
Rondo: A musical structure that uses a recurring theme with contrasting episodes
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.