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Earliest Civilisations: Shang Dynasty
Music

In this creative block, find out about the instruments (bells, pipes, cymbals, flutes) and music made by the Shang people. Make simple instruments and compose a piece of instrumental music about the final days of the Shang Dynasty.

Session 1 Shang music

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake an in-depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
  • They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Music

  • Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions.

Teaching and Activities

Children will learn about Shang musical instruments, discuss what these musical instruments could have been used for, find modern equivalents and try them out.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about musical instruments in the Shang period.
  • To play similar musical instruments to explore the sound of Shang music.

Children will:

  • Describe features of the music.
  • Explain some of the features of ancient Chinese music.
  • Play musical instruments in a way that recalls the ancient Chinese music.

You Will Need

  • Bells
  • Panpipes
  • Flutes
  • Drums
  • Cymbals
  • Ocarinas
  • Chimes

Session 2 Emotive music

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake an in-depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.

Music

  • Appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians.
  • Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes.

Teaching and Activities

Listen to different compositions that tell a story or evoke an emotion and examine how the pitch, tempo, timbre and structure communicates elements of a story or an emotion.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To think about the range of music possible with Shang musical instruments.
  • To appreciate and demonstrate that music can tell a story or create an emotion.

Children will:

  • Appreciate the emotional aspect of music.
  • Improvise music to create a certain emotion.
  • Discuss the Shang use of music.

You Will Need

  • Bells
  • Pan pipes
  • Flutes
  • Drums
  • Cymbals
  • Ocarinas
  • Chimes

Session 3 Downfall of the Shang

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake an in-depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.

Music

  • Improvise and compose music for a range of purposes.

Teaching and Activities

Tell children the story of the downfall of the Shang dynasty. Children improvise a composition to accompany the story. Note down what tempo, pitch and timbre each part of the orchestra plays during each section of the story.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about the end of the Shang Dynasty.
  • To compose a piece to accompany the story of the fall of the Shang.

Children will:

  • Improvise a piece of music to tell a story.
  • Contribute to a composition that tells a story.
  • Perform a composition to tell a story.

You Will Need

  • Bells
  • Pan pipes
  • Flutes
  • Drums
  • Cymbals
  • Ocarinas
  • Chimes

Session 4 Perform the Shang piece

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake an in- depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.

Music

  • Play and perform in ensemble contexts.

Teaching and Activities

Children will practice and perform the Shang piece to an audience.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To present information about the Shang.
  • To perform the piece they have composed.

Children will:

  • Plan a performance.
  • Explain features of Shang music.
  • Take part in an ensemble performance.

You Will Need

  • Bells
  • Pan pipes
  • Flutes
  • Drums
  • Cymbals
  • Ocarinas
  • Chime bars

Weblinks

There are no weblinks needed for this session.