Music Key Stage 4
Do siblings/ best friends help you out or get you into more trouble?
Play ‘Eccovi il medico‘ followed immediately by ‘Di scrivermi ogni giorno’. Ask pupils to listen, considering how many voices are singing and how the different voices seem to relate to each other.
Explain the story at these two moments in the opera and initiate a discussion about how different musical writing for characters in an ensemble can clearly show their agreeing or disagreeing opinions.
Using formal musical terminology and with structure and guidance as necessary, ask the class to analyze how the composer’s musical choices make each of the character’s individual feeling and intentions clear addressing features such as: when characters sing either together or apart, fragmenting the text at the start of the second extract, characters moving between syllabic text and more legato phrases.
After drawing together thoughts into a class discussion, explain briefly the context of ‘Soave sia il vento’. Play it to the class and use as a further comparison, asking the pupils to listen specifically to how all three characters sing together at the start but how Don Alfonso breaks away to his own thoughts at the end.
Take the Act 1 Finale as a whole. Divide the class into five, each taking one of the five sections of the Finale. Using vocal scores (easily available online), analyse each section according to the way Mozart makes the plot and relationships between characters clear through clever use of ensemble, before bringing the whole section together as a class.
- Write descriptions of 2 modern characters and a list of all musical elements that might be used best to represent them, similar to the ones here. Compose a short piece to show the relationship and dialogue between these characters, demonstrating clearly distinguishable musical personalities.
- Research the duet ‘Fra gli amplessi’ discovering the plot and characters involved. After your research, write an account of how Mozart uses music to represent the changing relationship between the characters.