For this Guided Listening, you will need the following:
A copy of these teaching steps
Audio asset: Excerpt from Three Atmospheres by Norman Symonds
Image asset: Lawren S. Harris, Rocky Mountains (LCD projector for class viewing)

Audio excerpts, images and textual information are provided below the Guided Listening.

I. First Impressions
• Listen to the depiction of mountains in the Audio asset: Excerpt from Three Atmospheres by Norman Symonds. This comes from the beginning of the second movement, "Mist and Mountain".
• Think of adjectives that can describe this music and also a mountain in mist.

II. View and Listen
• Look at the image asset: Lawren S. Harris, Rocky Mountains. What do you see?
• Listen to the excerpt again while looking at the sketch.Think of the long sou Read More
For this Guided Listening, you will need the following:
A copy of these teaching steps
Audio asset: Excerpt from Three Atmospheres by Norman Symonds
Image asset: Lawren S. Harris, Rocky Mountains (LCD projector for class viewing)

Audio excerpts, images and textual information are provided below the Guided Listening.

I. First Impressions
• Listen to the depiction of mountains in the Audio asset: Excerpt from Three Atmospheres by Norman Symonds. This comes from the beginning of the second movement, "Mist and Mountain".
• Think of adjectives that can describe this music and also a mountain in mist.

II. View and Listen
• Look at the image asset: Lawren S. Harris, Rocky Mountains. What do you see?
• Listen to the excerpt again while looking at the sketch.Think of the long sounds being represented by long lines, and the shorter, louder sounds being the jutting mountain.

III. Perform as a Graphic Score
• Split the class into groups of five to ten singers and/or instrumentalists. Have each group prepare a performance using Harris’ sketch as a musical score.
     o Use thinner lines for quieter sounds and thicker lines for louder sounds.
     o Try adding notes at the beginnings, endings or in the middle of the lines.
• Discuss: Do the performances sound like a mountain? How can each group make their version sound even more like a sonic description of a mountain?

IV. Create
• Ask each student to choose and sketch a favourite landform, body of water, or type of vegetation from the Canadian Landscape.
• Have each student make a graphic score incorporating the sketch.
• Decide as a class on a trio of available instrumentalists that can perform these pieces.
• Ask students to think about how they can have their score direct the musical sound while also depicting their chosen landform (or body of water, vegetation).
• Have a concert of the landscape-inspired pieces.
• Discuss the effectiveness of each piece.

© 2010, National Arts Centre. All Rights Reserved.

An excerpt from Three Atmospheres by Norman Symonds (6:53-8:21).

Norman Symonds

© 1987, Norman Symonds.


Lawren S. Harris, Rocky Mountains

This is a Lawren S. Harris sketch of the Rocky Mountains. The black and white depiction draws attention to the shape and somewhat foreboding shadows cast by the almost unreal size of the mountains.

Lawren S. Harris, 1924
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

photo © National Gallery of Canada


Learning Objectives

Landscape and Soundscape is designed for students and educators to meet the following objectives.
  • Learn about how the landscape of Canada influences our identity
  • Understand how musical composition can make use of environmental sounds.
  • Make a personal connection to the landscape and/or soundscape through listening to the music of these five composers and also make a connection through composing music inspired by immediate surroundings.

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