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Week beginning 22/02/21

This week we are listening to music of the birds.  There are three movements in Carnival of the Animals about birds, and they are all very different!  Today we will hear two of them.


The first movement is called "The cuckoo in the depths of the woods."  When you hear this piece of music, imagine you are walking through the woods.  It is very quiet and peaceful, and then you hear a quiet little 'cuckoo' call.  The cuckoo in this music is played by the clarinet.  Can you copy its cuckoo call?  The idea of the music is that the clarinet is off stage during the performance, so the audience can hear the cuckoo call but can't see it - just like when we hear birds in nature, we often can't see them!  Have a listen.

The Cuckoo

The other movement is called "Aviary."  Do you know what an aviary is?  It is a large enclosure that birds are kept in.  You may have seen an aviary of birds at a park, garden centre or zoo.  Sometimes, if you walk past a very large aviary with lots of small birds in, the noise they are making is very loud!  Here is the music:

Carnival of the Animals, Camille Saint-Saƫns: Aviary

As you can hear, the music is very different.  Instead of the clarinet playing slowly by itself, we have the flute fluttering away really fast and the strings and pianos also playing quickly.


Listen to a short section from each piece of music.  Can you move your body slowly to the cuckoo call (perhaps pretend you are walking through the woods, looking around trying to spot that cuckoo), and then really fast to the aviary, perhaps pretending to be a flying bird or maybe you're in the aviary with all the birds and trying to dodge to avoid them as they fly all around you!


If you have any musical instruments at home, can you make slow, cuckoo sounds using just one instrument, and then quickly play as many instruments as possible to recreate the aviary!


You may also have noticed that the cuckoo call on the clarinet is very low in pitch, and the fluttering flute of the aviary is very high in pitch.  Can you use your voice or instruments to make high and low sounds?

Cuckoo and Aviary