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A World of Music

From countries including Mozart’s Austria, to Grieg’s Norway, to Shostakovich’s Russia, a world of music can be experienced through a tour of Europe. Along the way, you will learn about how composers use tools like pitch, rhythm, key, and more! This multi-part audio series, hosted by NPR correspondent Scott Simon and National Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl, is part of the NSO’s Young People’s Concert: A World of Music at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. For the complete tour, visit http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/students/kc-connections/a-world-of-music

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Listening Game

Arriving at the final stop on our tour, let’s look back at all the composers we’ve met and recall the music we’ve heard. In this episode, we’ll listen to excerpts from the concert program, and you will use what you learned about pitch, rhythm, mood and dynamics to tell us what you think each composer was trying to say. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please be sure to let us know, and try our other classical music podcasts, like Classical Music in America, or Beethoven Rocks!


28 Oct 2011

Rank #1

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Last stop: Russia!

In the furthest destination in our journey, we travel to Russia. Dmitri Shostakovich used his music to paint a picture of his war-torn homeland. His Symphony No. 10 recalls his memories of the tanks and soldiers, and he composed music that sounded as if you were living through a war. Examine what happens when sound changes its dynamic (from soft to loud--and from loud to louder) while listening to Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10. Our journey's not over yet!


24 Oct 2011

Rank #2

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Next stop: England!

Everyone knows what it feels like to be sad, but what if you wanted to write music that expressed emotions without using words? On this stop in our tour, we’ll listen how Benjamin Britten used melodies sketched in his childhood notebooks to capture emotion in the “Sentimental Saraband” from his Simple Symphony. The final stop on out tour is Russia. Better bring a jacket!


20 Oct 2011

Rank #3

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Next stop: Norway!

Moving on to Norway in our tour, we meet composer Edvard Grieg. Grieg’s challenge was to write music that told a clear story without using any words. Listen as he uses music to help the hero of his story, Peer Gynt, escape from mountain trolls. Next stop, England.


17 Oct 2011

Rank #4

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First stop: Austria!

For such a small country, Austria has had a huge impact on European culture and on classical music. On this stop of our tour, we'll hear how Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart used pitch in his Symphony no. 29. In the next episode, we'll be off to Norway!


12 Oct 2011

Rank #5

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We’re off on a Musical Tour of Europe

Hundreds of years ago, the world was introduced to the orchestra. It was love at first sound. Everyone was captivated by the never-before-heard sounds of some 20 to 100 musicians playing together. Before the orchestra, classical music was for groups of three (trios) or four (quartets)—tops! The invention of this much bigger musical group meant bigger musical possibilities, and the world’s imagination went wild. Composers all across Europe were inspired to try their hand at creating symphonies for the orchestra and pushing classical music to new limits. Next stop: Austria!


5 Oct 2011

Rank #6