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This plan contains information about Beethoven and Bach




4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12  

Composer “Road Rally”

by Sandy Toms

Preparation: Write one question each separate card or piece of paper. Attach these cards or papers to the backs of a # card (see Key) OR hide them in appropriate places while writing the directions on the # card. (See 3 a & b) Index cards and magic marker work fine. (Teacher should have several false totals as well taped up in different areas as red herrings. Part of the exercise will be math!)

1. Students will first be given time to read one of the 2 bios below. (If you want to check their note taking, they could be required to take notes and return the bio to you and work off of their notes the next day.)

2. Two teams are given a copy of the clue sheet. (One team for Beethoven and one-Bach)The first question clue is given to each group. They are to answer the question with one or two clues, write in the # of the clue(s) and total the #’s for that question.

3. When they are sure they have the correct answer, they check the total for that question and look for a piece of paper around the room with that # on it. This is where all the students on the team can help finding the clues. The students should proceed to that piece of paper (w/correct total) and:
Here there are 2 possibilities:

a.. Have the next question taped to the back of the paper with # on it


b.. Have a clue as to


the next question will be. (For instance, “Question clue
#2 is located under the Brahms poster.”) And they would find it there.

4. For the next question, the total will include the

previous total

plus the present. For example, the total for # 2 will be the totals for #1 and # 2.

The object of the game is to finish first with the correct total # for their assignment.
It’s really for fun and a break in the routine of general music. It will require an amount of organization and the teacher may want to write additional bios and questions in order to make each group smaller but it’s worth it when you see the ‘competitive spirit’ accomplish more than just a race. It might be worthwhile to have students go over answers in the form of a report after the race for each other. My apologies ahead of time for any errors, deletions or mistakes.


BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)

Ludwig Von Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770. His father (a music teacher & singer) began to teach him the harpsichord at age 4 hoping to make him another “Mozart” prodigy. (Mozart performed all over Europe at an early age coached by his own father.) Beethoven began composing music at age 12 writing pieces for harpsichord and voice. Beethoven’s father however, was an alcoholic and never recovered especially after Beethoven’s mother died of T.B. when Beethoven was 17.

He had been studying organ with Christian Neefe from 1781 and soon was given an official position as an organist. Later he went to Vienna to study theory and composition with Joseph Haydn (who wrote many symphonies). About the time Beethoven came to live in Vienna (in Austria) was when Mozart died. (Mozart had heard Beethoven play and had said, “He will give the world something worth listening to.”)

Except for short trips, he stayed there the rest of his life. Beethoven did study with Salieri for a time. (Salieri was a well respected court musician at the same time as Mozart but lacked the popularity or the genius of Mozart.) Beethoven became more well known and eventually went on tour thru Europe as a performer in 1786.

At age 30, he began to hear buzzing in his ears. Deafness was setting in but after a time of worrying and depression, he decided to rally (bounce back) and continue inspite of his hearing problem. He never married though he had wanted to marry. He was in love with 3 different wormen (at 3 different times) who married other men. Two very famous piano pieces were dedicated to these women: Fur Elise (it was even used in a T.V. commercial for Sony) and the Pathetique Sonata.

Throughout these years. Beethoven wrote many different forms of music: Symphonies, operas, chamber music (small groups of instruments), organ preludes, art songs and piano works. Two of his greatest works (he & others think so) were written for choirs and orchestra. The first is

Missa Solemnis in D (

Solemn Mass).
It is too long to use as a mass like we have for communion. It was intended to be performed at the coronation of the Archduke in Vienna but was not completed until 1822. It was never performed in Vienna until after Beethoven’s death. He felt it was a deeply personal work and a universal confession of faith. Beethoven used some musical ideas from Handel’s Messiah. There are 5 movements.


Ninth Symphony

was written because Beethoven wanted to set the poem,

“Ode to Joy”

by the German poet Schiller to music. Composition did not come easy and he reworked many parts of the music before writing it in it’s final form. The symphony has 4 movements. The last movement is most unusual with a large choral part (the poem was set to music as a chorale) and a Turkish march to Boot! The Turks (country of Turkey) had been traditional enemies of Austria. Beethoven was offering the Viennese the chance to extend the hand of friendship to all nations including Turkey. Since the historic tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989, this chorale finale has become the moving symbol of the reconciliation between Eastern and Western Europe.

Beethoven became ill in 1826 & after 4 months of suffering he turned to his companions and said in Latin, “Applaud, my friends, the comedy is finished.” All the next day he lay in a coma. At about six o’clock in the evening, a violent snowstorm began, accompanied by thunder. At the first bolt of lightening, Beethoven opened his eyes, raised his right hand in a defiant gesture and fell back.

In his will, everything was left to a wayward nephew of whom he had obtained custody. Lined up to view the funeral procession were 20,000 people to gain their last glimpse of Ludwig van Beethoven who was indisputably one of if not THE greatest composer of symphonic music.

     Question Clues
   1. The "Cool Dude" who instructed Beethoven in ...(
   in the heart, lungs, brain, etc.,)

Who?_________ clue # (& total)_________

2. 'Name for a child's game' (first part) is also a name
for a creative 'prof' of Beethoven's.

Who?_________ clue #_______ + (above total) = _______

3. In this town Beethoven abided no little time:

Where?________ clue #_______  + (above total) = _____

4. There must have been a 'when' for the
'end' of Missa Solemnis.

When?_________ clue # ______  +  (above total) = _____

5. T or F:  Missa Solemnis was conducted 3 years after
its completion by the composer.

T or F? ______ clue # ______  +  (above total) = ______

6. This person was a (rhymes with 'know it') and was
important to the work of Beethoven.

Who?_________ clue # ________ +  (above total) = _____

7. Two words make one phrase in what was a musical
request of Beethoven's in the "Ninth Symphony."
(6 letters & 5 letters)

What?______of ______ clue # _____ + (above total) = _____

8. There are war marches and then there is the
"Ode to Joy." (3 words)

What? _________ clue # ________ + (above total) = ____
Key: (Beethoven)

1. 36 + 46
2. 82 + 14
3. 96 + 20
4. 116 + 16
5. 132 + 34
6. 166 + 50
7. 216 + 61 + 15
8. 292 + 38 + 330
                        CLUE SHEET

1. 23
2. Bach
3. Mendelssohn
4. Dictionary
5. Deo
6. Alto
7. Ohrdruf
8. Pachelbel
9. 1826
10. Mass
11. Holy
12. Bible
13. E.T.
14. Haydn
15. Peace
16. 1822
17. Cantata
18. Johann
19. Gloria
20. Vienna
21. Friend
22. Figured
23. Boise
24. 85
25. 75
26. Passion
27. Emmanuel
28. Philip
29. Magdalena
30. Luneberg
31. Leipzig
32. Jesu
33. Marchand
34. False
35. Handel
36. Christian
37. Bass
38. Chorale
39. Beethoven
40. Eisenach
41. 1750
42. Soli
43. Union
44. Love
45. True
46. Neefe
47. Help
48. Aid
49. Arnstadt
50. Schiller
51. Chicago
52. Maria
53. Christoph
54. Weimar
55. Brahms
56. Of
57. Mozart
58. Tallis
59. Ship
60. Less
61. Symbol
62. Vivaldi

BACH  (1685-1750)

In 1685 in the town of Eisenach, Johann Sebastien Bach was born into a family of musicians. (Seven generations of the Bach family spread over three centuries) Nearly 40 musicians from that family are remembered today. The most gifted of these was Johann Sebastian Bach.

When he was nine, J.S. Bach’s father and mother died and he was adopted by a brother, Johann Christoph Bach who was an organist in the small town of Ohrdruf. Bach studied with his brother (who had been a student of Pachelbel) and attended school there. He was payed a small salary as a principal singer in a church choir that sang in the streets as part of their job. He was taught to read from a figured bass (on the keyboard). The numbers under notes on the staff refer to notes in the scale of that key.

He became an organist at Arnstadt at eighteen. As most church musicians in those days, he had many duties including teaching full time and directing all the church choirs. He had difficulty controlling the 55 boys (some were as old as he was) and lost his temper more than once.

He then went to Mulhausen as an organist. There he was required to write cantatas for different events. (A cantata is a semi-large work with several musical numbers.) Bach said that he wrote, “…for the glory of God.” (He always headed his manuscripts with the words, “Jesu, help” and when he reached the last double bar (end), he added the initials S.D.G. (Soli Deo Gloria – for the glory of God alone.)

After a one year stay at Mulhausen, he went to Weimar for nine years as a court musician (Kappel Meister) for a duke. While he was here he wrote the chorale, “

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring


Bach married his cousin Maria Bach while at Arnstadt. She later passed away and he then married a second time to Anna Magdalena and completed a family of twenty children.

He loved old German hymn tunes (chorales) and harmonized many in a new way. (Many appear in several protestant hymnals.) There are some in the Episcopal hymnal. Do you know who has the most?

When he applied for the position at Leipzig, he had to convince the city council (a governing body for churches and schools) that his religious beliefs were “all in order” and pass an examination. He was the


choice for that position. Mr. Tallis (Tallis’


) turned it down. The Leipzig churches required


cantatas perform a year! Only about 200 of the cantatas written by Bach have been saved though it is know he wrote many more.

Bach wrote the

St. Matthew Passion

while in Leipzig. (The Passion is the story of the crucifixion.) He borrowed words and sometimes melodies from others to write this work. The text of this Passion is taken from St. Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 26-27. Bach never wrote an opera but this work like other passions of his are very close to opera with the whole story told in song. All lines were sung. Bach remain in Leipzig twenty-seven years until his death.

Bach died in 1750 and was essentially forgotten. No monument or tombstone was put at his grave. Anna Magdalena still had six children at home and applied for a widow’s pension. She died one year later in an almhouse (a house for the poor) and was given a pauper’s funeral. It was due to Felix Mendelssohn born sixty years after Bach died, that his works began to gain popularity again.

     Question Clues
   (see Clue Sheet above)

1. A 'bro' who was in the know for Bach.  (2 words)

Who?_________clue #(s)_______  =  ___________

2. It was no piece of cake being a director
in this town.

Where?______clue # (s)______ + (above total) = _____

3. We usually don't care about the shape of
this 'instrument' but it comes in handy
when we want a short cut. (2 words)

What?____ + _____ clue #(s)____ + ____ + (above total) = ____

4. "And the cantata is off and running.
Wait, in the lead I see......"

What?_____ + _____clue #(s)____ + ____ + (above total) = ____

5. Without a "meddling advocate,"
"Back to Bach" might have never become a
commonplace expression.

What?___________clue #(s)_______ + (above total) = _______

6. A famous "koob" was the inspiration
for St. Matthew Passion.

What?_________ clue #(s)_______ + (above total) = ______

7. The Bachs minus one caused Bach to
turn to .................

Who?(second name only)________clue#_____ + (above total) = _____

8. Omega minus Alpha  -  the total #
of years for a great composer?

What?_________ clue#(s)_________ + (above total) = _______

   1. 18 + 53
2. 71 + 49
3. 120 + 22 + 37
4. 179 + 47
5. 226 + 3
6. 229 + 12
7. 241 + 29
8. 270 + 24 = 294

Note: you may want to combine any of the following on one day; it depends on you and the kids; I recommend 10-15 minute lessons in this unit. I apologize for the compressed form of this lesson, but I’m trying to save paper, space, etc.,

Rhythm: // = 2 eighth notes;
	i = one quarter note;
	b = one half note;
	b-b (whole);
        /// = triplet;
	z = quarter rest;
	7 = eighth rest
	/ = 1 eighth note

Melody: I will put the note names (assuming not everyone is well-versed in solfeggio) in the key of C (& I’ll indicate what key is comfortable)





R = rhythm


= bar line (See intro letter)

Day 1

: (

blackboard, large colorful triangle (2 dimens.) R rondo on board, R instrs.

R rondo

: (4/4 meter) (I use Kodaly shorthand & leave note heads off // & i)

1: // i // i


// i b “What is this shape? (Hold up triangle) Why is it called that?

2: b // //


// i i z (‘tri’ = 3; How are other shapes


from a triangle? The

3: (same as 1) triangle is a type of


Music also has different



4: i z // i


// // i z


just as objects do. We’re going to learn about one



5: (as 1) music called a



means ‘how it is put together.’ First, let’s learn to perform a rondo. Clap after me”: T. claps: (line 1 of rondo) Class echos the rhythm pattern. (Practice with the class until they can read all rhythms comfortably. Then assign R instruments and perform. One idea would be finger cymbals and triangles on lines 1,3,5 drums on 2 & sticks on 4.

Day 2


(rondo on board, ditto with title “Rondo” at top and 5,7,or 9 squares stacked vertically on paper, colored markers for students,)

(Review meaning of


& mention that


is a type of form.) “Please take a close look each line in this rondo. Do you notice anything about it? (Should notice 1,3,5 are same) What about 2? is it like any other line? What about 4? So a rondo has a repeating section(rerun) in between each new section (first run) as well as at the beginning and end. Let’s use


to represent the sections of a rondo. Suppose I use a triangle to represent line 1. (T. draws triangle on board.) Well then, what would I use for line 2? a triangle? Why not? (Have C. choose a shape for 2 & complete choosing shapes for each line. Can make a 7 or 9 part rondo similarly. Draw shapes LARGE on board! ) Have students draw a visual representation of a rondo using

same & different

shapes of their own creation on paper. Share with class.

Day 3

: (New R. rondo on board) “Take a look at this R piece. Do you recognize the form? (Have student substantiate his/her claim.) Let’ s call line 1, A (because musicians use letters to represent sections of music). (Write ‘A’ on board.) line 2? (anything but A)

Continue similarly and atudy those large letters on board: A(B)A(C)A etc.,


is the form of a rondo. Could you describe to me in words what a rondo is?( Try to have students put definition in their own words.) The “A’s” are called the


The sections that are different from each other like B & C are called


. Let’s jot down the form of a

nine part rondo.

( Do with students using letters and write on board.)

Day 4

: (Ditto with 5 lines horizontally drawn and one bar line cutting vertically through middle of all 5. marked with a meter – 4/4 if need to keep simple, pencils, R. instruments) Today you are going to write a rondo. First you must create a 2 bar rhythm that has 4 beats in each measure. This will be your


. Then you must create 2



for the other lines. Which lines will have the


? the


? How many episodes are you going to need to write? (Partners seem to work well on this project and it’s good to have them perform it when complete and corrected.) (If you have youngsters who are semi-accomplished on a keyboard, they could write a melodic rondo.)

Day 5

Have the class listen to a rondo on a recording. Be sure to make the students familiar with the theme before they listen to the piece as a whole. Here are some examples to choose from. The libraries have many of these recordings.

   Divertimento # 8  (Rondo) Mozart
Four Seasons - Spring (1st Movement) Vivaldi
Violin Concerto in D (3d Movement) Beethoven (popular concerto)
Serenata Noctturna K. 239 Mozart
Prince of Denmark March - J. Clark
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