In the years following World War I, American composers like Ferde Grofé (1892 – 1972) sought new models of composition to authentically capture the American musical identity. The Grand Canyon Suite (1931) by Grofé reflects a strain of American composition in the 1930's where orchestral works depicted scenes of American life in a modern world. Inspired by the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, Grofé paints a musical impression of a day in the canyon for the listener, translating the beauty of nature into a tangible art form.
This lesson is a small part of a larger unit on the science of sound. The unit has several sections, including: how sound is made, the elements of sound, how sounds travel, and how we hear sounds. This particular lesson is part of the section in which we distinguish the difference between musical sound and noise. We examine the different ways in which musical instruments make sound - or the different way each one creates vibrations of air.
Students study the elements of story, idea and voice in writing, and listen to the story and music of Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev. Students will re-write the story of Peter and the Wolf by changing the setting to the desert habitat. Students will understand that they need to change the characters to those which would inhabit this setting.