October 2014: The Music of Texas

Meets National Core Arts Anchor Standards 7, 9, and 11

 OBJECTIVES

Perceive and analyze artistic work

Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context

MATERIALS

CD (October 2014)

Music Alive! Classroom Worksheet 1: Pitch and Melody (download at musicalive.com/resources/mahandouts.php)

Piano or keyboard

 

  1. Play “New San Antonio Rose” by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (CD track 2).

 

ASK

What time signature is this tune in? (4/4.)

Does it start off in a major or minor key? (D major.)

What instruments do you hear? (Brass, woodwinds, bass, drums, guitar, piano.)

Can anyone describe the rhythmic feel? (Swing, with pairs of consecutive eighth notes.)

So what style of music is this? (Western swing.)

Which elements of the song hint at a Mexican influence? (The trumpets with their lines harmonized in thirds.)

Which elements suggest a jazz influence? (The rhythmic feel.)

Based on your reading, can you identify the group? (Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys.)

What happens to the music at around 0:45? (It modulates to a new key, Af major.)

 

  1. Play “Call It Stormy Monday” by T-Bone Walker (CD track 3).

 

ASK

What time signature is this tune in? (4/4.)

Is it in a major or minor key? (G major.)

Name the I, IV, and V chords in this key. (G, C, D. You might also have students identify each chord as they’re listening to the song.)

What instruments do you hear? (Saxophone, muted trumpet, piano, bass, drums, electric guitar.)

What style of music is this? (Blues.)

In which part of Texas did a lot of blues originate? (Dallas.)

 

  1. Play “Beautiful Texas” by Willie Nelson (CD track 4).

 

ASK

What time signature is this tune in? (3/4, or waltz time.)

Is it in a major or minor key? (E major.)

What instruments do you hear? (Upright bass, drums, pedal steel [explain what this instrument is, and point out where it’s heard on the recording], guitar.)

In most measures, on which beat is the bass picked? (Beat 1 only, but it plays on all three beats when transitioning between certain phrases.)

What is the basic rhythmic pattern on the snare drum? (Quarter notes on beats 1 and 3 and a pair of eighths on beat 2.)

What style of music is this? (Country.)

Based on your reading, can you identify the artist? (Willie Nelson.)

 

CLOSE

Hand out copies of the Pitch and Melody worksheet. Then play Texas’ official state song, “Texas, Our Texas.”

 

After that, play the first eight bars of the melody on the piano, using the notation below. Repeat as many times as needed while the students fill in the worksheet.

 

ASSESS

Were the students engaged in discussing the three listening selections?

Did they complete the Pitch and Melody worksheet?