Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Visit the following website: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (Links to an external site.).
Listen to Benjamin Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”, following along with the families of the symphony orchestra identified by their tone color as described in the textbook.
Choose one of the following options, indicating knowledge of the key issues, terms, and phrases from the reading assignment in the text and outside research.

  1. Discuss how Britten combines two or more classical forms to create a unique musical work. Which traits of the original forms are retained? Which ones are compromised?
  2. How do visual colors correspond to tone colors? Do certain instrument families give off specific moods or feelings, and do those match with a specific visual color? Is the use of color in the video a help or hindrance to distinguishing tone color?
  3. Imagine if different colors were assigned to different families of instruments than the choices made in the video. Would you have a different response to those choices? If so, why?
  4. What associations are you conditioned to make with certain instrument families – voices, strings, woodwinds, brasses, percussion, electronic? Think moods, settings, themes, meanings. Are you surprised by associations put forward by your peers? What accounts for the differences?

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