FEATURED COMPOSER: JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
Prepared by Marilyn Copeland Davidson
(Coordinating Author, Share the Music)
July 28, 2003 marks the 250th anniversary of the death of composer Johann Sebastian Bach, the last major baroque composer. His death also marks the end of the baroque period. During the classical period, baroque music was considered old-fashioned, and Bach's music was almost ignored. Some 70 years later, Felix Mendelssohn repopularized it. Today, Bach's music continues to remain popular and admired all over the world.
In honor of Bach, consider a music program featuring his works. Start the program with a poem about Bach. Students could write a cinquain, a five-line poem that follows this formula:
|Line 1:|| ||Subject of the poem in one word|
|Line 2:|| ||Subject of the poem defined in two or three words|
|Line 3:|| ||Movement describing the subject of the poem in three or four words|
|Line 4:|| ||Emotions describing the subject of the poem in two or three words|
|Line 5:|| ||A one-word synonym for the subject of the poem|
Include a reading about Bach. (See page 417D of Share the Music, Grade 5 Teacher's Edition and page 121 of Share the Music, Grade 6 Teacher's Edition.)
Enjoy Bach's music by listening to a recording of the Brandenburg Concerto, No. 2, Third Movement, while following a listening map. (See page 417C in Share the Music, Grade 5 and Teacher's Resource Master LA 2. The listening map can be shown on an overhead projector.)
Continue the program with performances by student and guest musicians. Performers may share facts about Bach or the works being presented. (As sources, students may use the Internet, the library, or materials at home or in the classroom.)
Add fun to the program with the game So You Want to Be a Music Expert! (See below.)
End the program by listening to Bach's Prelude in A Minor (Share the Music, Grade 6, page 120) or with viewing the opening segment of Walt Disney's Fantasia, featuring Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
So You Want to Be a Music Expert!