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Details

Topic: 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei' from 'The Firebird Ballet Suite' (1919) by Igor Stravinsky
Duration: 1 term (approx. 35 hours)

Teaching materials

  • Score and recording of 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei' from 'The Firebird Ballet Suite' (1919) by Igor Stravinsky
  • Classroom instruments or individual students’ instruments
  • Manuscript, worksheets and assessment sheets as included in this unit of work

Context

In this unit of work, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of compositional techniques used in music of the 20th century. Through performing, composing and listening activities, students will recreate their own version of Movement 3 – 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei' from Stravinsky’s 'The Firebird Ballet Suite' (1919). Compositional techniques taken from Stravinsky’s original work will be used as the stimulus for the composition process.

Content

Structure: formal structure both macro and micro, motifs, phrases, repeated patterns

Pitch: tonality, dissonance, unusual scales and approaches to harmony, melody, ostinato, tritone, modulation, motifs,

Duration: repeated rhythms, syncopation, note values, polyrhythm, multimetre

Dynamics and Expressive Techniques: extensive dynamics, pizzicato, sforzando, score conventions

Texture: orchestral voicing, roles of instrumentation, thick and thin, textural layers

Tone Colour: instrumentation, combination of tone colours

Objectives

  • to develop knowledge and skills about the concepts of music and of music as an art form through performance, composition, musicology and aural activities in a variety of cultural and historical contexts
  • to develop the skills to evaluate music critically
  • to develop personal values about music.

Outcomes

P1- confidently performs repertoire, that reflects the mandatory and additional topics, both as a soloist and as a member of an ensemble

P2- demonstrates an understanding of the concepts of music, by interpreting, analysing, discussing, creating and notating a variety of musical symbols characteristically used in the mandatory and additional topics

P3- composes, improvises and analyses melodies and accompaniments for familiar sound sources in solo and/or small ensembles

P4- creates, improvises and notates music which is representative of the mandatory and additional topics and demonstrates different social, cultural and historical contexts

P5- analyses and discusses compositional processes with stylistic, historical, cultural and musical considerations

P6- discusses and evaluates music making constructive suggestions about performances and compositions

P7- observes and discusses in detail the concepts of music in works representative of the mandatory and additional topics

P8- understands the capabilities of performing media, explores and uses current technologies as studied

P10- performs as a means of self expression and communication

P11- demonstrates a willingness to participate in performance, composition, musicology and aural activities

P12 - demonstrates a willingness to accept and use constructive criticism

Australian Professional Teaching Standards

Through the completion of this module and the implementation of this program, teachers will have achieved the following Australian Professional Teaching Standards:

1.5.2 – Develop teaching activities that incorporate differentiated strategies to meet specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities

2.1.2 – Apply knowledge of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area to develop engaging teaching activities

2.2.2 – Organise content into coherent, well-sequenced learning and teaching programs

2.3.2 – Design and implement learning and teaching programs using knowledge of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.

3.1.2 – Set explicit, challenging and achievable learning goals for all students

3.2.2 – Plan and implement well-structured learning and teaching programs or lesson sequences that engage students and promote learning

3.3.2 – Select and use relevant teaching strategies to develop knowledge, skills, problem-solving, and critical and creative thinking

3.4.2 – Select and/or create and use a range of resources, including ICT, to engage students in their learning

4.1.2 – Establish and implement inclusive and positive interactions to engage and support all students in classroom activities

5.1.2 – Develop, select and use informal, formal, diagnostic, formative and summative assessment strategies to assess student learning

5.2.2 – Provide timely, effective and appropriate feedback to students about their achievement relative to their learning goals

6.2.2 – Participate in learning to update knowledge and practice targeted to professional needs and school and/or system priorities

6.4.2 – Undertake professional learning programs designed to address identified student learning needs

Outcomes of strategies

Please refer to the Activities worksheets provided for explicit teaching and learning strategies for implementation based on the following outcomes:

P5 ,P7, P11:

  • Students are to complete the historical background comprehension sheet on Stravinsky and Diaghilev.

P3, P4, P5, P6, P8, P10, P11:

  • Performance Activity – In small groups, re-enact the synopsis of The Firebird Suite incorporating a narrator, movement, acting and simple thematic musical accompaniment.

P2, P3, P5, P7:

  • Listening Activity – Listen to Stravinsky’s The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei with the score. Read through the worksheet in regards to the structure and pitch material incorporated.
  • Complete the Glossary of musical terms.

P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P10, P11, P12:

  • Work through the extensive composition/performance activities provided, resulting in a final performance of the finished product.

P2, P7:

  • Complete the Glossary of musical terms.

P2, P7, P11:

  • Aural/Musicology Activity – Students are to complete the listening questions provided with guidance from the teacher.

Assessment

Composition Portfolio

Throughout the duration of the Performance/Composition project, students will keep a comprehensive composition portfolio outlining the composition process. This will be handed in on completion of the unit. Please refer to the detailed assessment task sheet for further information.

Firebird Forensics - scope and sequence
Stage 5 - year 10 music

Week 1

P5, P7, P11: M

  • Students are to complete the historical background comprehension sheet on Stravinsky and Diaghilev.

P3, P4, P5, P6, P8, P10, P11: P C M A

  • Performance Activity – In small groups, re-enact the synopsis of The Firebird Ballet Suite incorporating a narrator, movement, acting and simple thematic musical accompaniment.
  • Distribute assessment task.

Week 2

P2, P3, P5, P7: M A

  • Listening Activity – Listen to Stravinsky’s The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei with the score. Read through the worksheet in regards to the structure and pitch material incorporated.

P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P10, P11, P12: P C M A

Begin composition and performance activity Section 1  “Theme 1”

  • Task 1 - Menacing Melodies – Students are to create a menacing melody consisting of 4 bars in ¾ time which utilises syncopation. Students are then to create a rhythmic variation of the melody and provide a harmony using 3rds.
  • Task 2 - Motivic Interjections – Students are to create a jumping 2 bar motif in ¾ using only quavers and crotchets and are then to create two shorter fragments derived from the original motif.
  • Task 3 - Rhythmic Rumble and Sforzando Stabs - Working together as a whole class, students are to create an A minor tonic triad sforzando stab in the most menacing orchestral voicing as possible. Underneath this, students are to produce a rhythmic rumble by playing repeated semiquavers on the tonic in the bass.
  • Final Theme 1 Task - As a class, layer the musical ideas from each of the tasks accordingly for the most desirable musical outcome. Changes to the musical material can be made accordingly for a successful outcome.

Week 3

P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P10, P11, P12: P C M A

Complete composition and performance activity Section 1  “Theme 1”

  • Task 1 - Menacing Melodies – Students are to create a menacing melody consisting of 4 bars in ¾ time which utilises syncopation. They are then to create a rhythmic variation of the melody and provide a harmony to the melody using 3rds.
  • Task 2 – Motivic Interjections – Students are to create a jumping 2 bar motif in ¾ using only quavers and crotchets and are then to create two shorter fragments derived from the original motif.
  • Task 3 – Rhythmic Rumble and Sforzando Stabs - Working together as a whole class, students are to create an A minor tonic triad sforzando stab in the most menacing orchestral voicing as possible. Underneath this, students are to produce a rhythmic rumble by playing repeated semiquavers on the tonic in the bass.
  • Final Theme 1 Task - As a class, layer the musical ideas from each of the tasks accordingly for the most desirable musical outcome. Changes to the musical material can be made accordingly for a successful outcome.

Week 4

P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P10, P11, P12: P C M A

Complete Composition Performance Activity Section 2 –“Development”

  • Task 1 – Legato Melody – In pairs, students are to create a sweeping, legato melody consisting of 2 bars in 2/4 time, and then repeat this melody between the 2 instruments using dovetailing or imitation back and forth to create 8 bars of musical material.
  • Task 2 – Tippy Toe Bass – Students are to create a 2 bar pizzicato descending bass line ostinato in 2/4 of just 4 notes using the prescribed rhythm and then transpose this bass line up a tritone.
  • Task 3 – Chromatic Swells – Students are to create 8 bars in 2/4 of ascending and descending swells using the prescribed rhythm. Students may use chromaticism and only move in semitones or repeated pitches. A harmony part and drone part are also to be composed.
  • Final Development Task – As a class, layer the musical ideas from each of the tasks accordingly for the most desirable musical outcome. Changes to the musical material can be made accordingly for a successful outcome. Then, students are to return to the musical material created for Theme 1, however create a new, developed version. Ideas to develop this material may include: call and response, fragmentation, imitation, rhythmic augmentation or diminution, or combining Theme 1 with the new Development legato melody. This section should be finished with tutti, accented crotchets on A and E.

Week 5

P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P10, P11, P12: P C M A

Complete Composition Performance Activity Section 3 –“Transition”

  • Task 1 – Flittering Insects – Students are to create a one bar and two bar flittering motif in ¾ using only intervals of 2nds and 3rds and are then to harmonise each motif.
  • Task 2 – Harmonic and Rhythmic Accompaniment - Using the bass line ostinato provided, students are to produce the harmonic accompaniment using repeated quavers and a tritone above the bass note.
  • Final Transition Task - As a class, layer the musical ideas from each of the tasks accordingly for the most desirable musical outcome. Try to incorporate sparse textures to allow the timbres of the individual instruments to prevail with a largely polyphonic approach.

Week 6

P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P10, P11, P12: P C M A

Complete Composition Performance Activity Section 4 –“Theme 2”

  • Task 1 – Soaring Melody – Students are to create a 4 bar soaring legato melody in 2/4 using the notes of the Eb Ukrainian Dorian Scale. They are then to write a 2nd 4 bar phrase for this melody.
  • Task 2 – Countermelodic Bass -  Using the notes of the Eb Ukrainian Dorian Scale, students are to create a 4 bar melody in 2/4 using simple note values. They are then to write a 2nd 4 bar phrase for this melody.
  • Task 3 – Glittering Glissandi – In pairs, students are to create two versions of glittering ascending and descending glissandi in unison in 2/4 using the notes of the Eb Ukrainian Dorian Scale. Each glissandi is to be harmonised in 3rds. Students are then to create a longer version of these glissandi patterns by using call and response.
  • Final Theme 2 Task - As a class, layer the musical ideas from each of the tasks accordingly for the most desirable musical outcome.

Week 7

P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P10, P11, P12: P C M A

  • Complete Composition Performance Activity Section 5 –“Theme 1”
  • Students are to repeat the theme 1 material as already prepared. This lesson can also be used to recap all previous musical material created.

Week 8

P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P10, P11, P12: P C M A

Complete Composition Performance Activity Section 6 –“Coda”

  • Task 1 - Menacing Fanfare – Students are to create  a menacing fanfare in a very fast ¾ (played in 1) and harmonise this fanfare in 3rds.
  • Task 2 – Chordal Jabs – Students are to create  six interesting colourful chords or tone clusters. Any additional notes outside of the A Ukrainian Dorian Scale can be used. Students are then to apply these chords and create 2 chord progressions, experimenting with them as sustained chords or chordal jabs.
  • Task 3 – Fleeing Footsteps – Students are to create a series of short fast notes moving only in 2nds and 3rds in a very fast ¾. (played in 1). Any additional notes outside of the Eb Ukrainian Dorian Scale can be used. Harmony in 3rds is then to be applied either above or below the original motif.
  • Final Coda Task - As a class, layer the musical ideas from each of the tasks accordingly for the most desirable musical outcome. Finish the movement intensely with a tutti chord using the notes A C# and F.

Week 9

P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7, P8, P10, P11, P12: P M A

  • Rehearse and refine the Performance/Composition Task that should now be complete. Perform the final product.

Week 10

P2, P7: M

  • Complete  the Glossary of musical terms.

P2, P7, P11: M A

  • Aural/Musicology Activity – Students are to complete the listening questions provided with guidance from the teacher.

P2, P7, P11: PC M A

  • Hand in Composition Assessment Task

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