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Arts and culture

Grade 7

Expression and communication

Module 5

The music of other cultures


I ntroductory

Are you able to name a few examples of what musical instruments are used for?

From these examples we are able to deduce that musical instruments are primarily made to produce sound and make music!

One of the music cultures that previously were investigated. was the traditional folk music from the Cape of the Cape Minstrels.

Can you recall what was told about the ghoema drum?

What was the purpose, function and role of the ghoema drum?*

Now we'll find out how the drum is used in other music cultures?

The function and role of instruments vary from one period of time to another, from one area to another and from one culture to another. In this module we are going to be looking at the purpose, function and role of instruments (especially the drum) in:

  1. Western music (classical music)
  2. Traditional music (Indian music)
  3. Indigenous music (African music)

Activity 1:

To investigate the use of instruments in western music

[lo 4.3]

Step 1

The Educator will play a short section of the SYMPHONY FANTASTIQUE (1829) PART IV by Hector Berlioz.

Circle the words that you identify as possibly correct:

What type of orchestra is playing the music?
Rock Jazz Symphony Pop
Which instruments are you able to distinguish?
Strings Woodwinds Brass instruments Strings

Step 2

The educator will provide background information dealing with both the composition and the composer. Listen carefully and then answer the following questions:

  • What is a symphony?
  • What is a programme symphony?
  • For what is Berlioz particularly well known?
  • Name one typical characteristic of the period that we call Romanticism.
  • What is the theme of this symphony?

Step 3

Listen (more than once) to short section from different parts of the symphony and then answer the questions. You may work in small groups.

Part ii

  • What is the occasion that is described by the music?
  • How do you know this?
  • Which group of instruments forms the basis of the orchestra?
  • Which instrument evokes a fairy-tale quality?

Part iiI

  • What is the scene that is portrayed here?
  • From which group of instruments would you make a selection to portray the shepherds' flutes?
  • Which instruments does the composer use?
  • What is the most important function of the woodwinds?
  • Which role/s is/are taken by the strings?

Part iV

  • Which instrument / group of instruments is prominent in this part?
  • How do you experience this music? Use adjectives to describe your impression of it.
  • How were brass instruments used originally (before their use in the symphony orchestra)?
  • Why?
  • Describe the function of the brass instruments.
  • Describe the function of the percussion.

Activity 2:

To be able to appreciate indian music and compare it with the music of other cultures

[lo 4.3]

Step 1

Listen to the music and answer the following questions:

  • Are you familiar with the music?
  • What does the music remind you of, or what do you think of when you hear this type of music?
  • How many instruments do you hear?
  • Describe in your own words what you think the function of each instrument is.

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Source:  OpenStax, Arts and culture grade 7. OpenStax CNX. Sep 10, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11027/1.1
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