In the Mood

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Explore how composers and musicians add feeling to music using a variety of musical elements, such as dynamics, tempo, and articulation.

In the performance, we saw how musicians communicate certain feelings through the music and how music can affect our own mood and actions. Composers and musicians add feeling to the music using a variety of musical elements, such as dynamics, tempo, and articulation.

Mood: a state of mind or feeling. In music, it is the feeling that the music communicates.

1. Review musical elements as a class and then listen for them in music from the performance. (See musical elements and audio links below)

2. As you listen to the music, encourage students to move, use hand gestures, or draw visual representations of what they hear.

  • What dynamics and tempo do you hear? Does it change or stay the same?
  • Is the music smooth or choppy? Do you hear a pause or rest?
  • What images come to mind when you hear this music? What is the mood?

Musical Elements: Definition and Symbols

forte symbol
forte (loud)

piano symbol
piano (soft)

crescendo symbol
crescendo (getting louder)

decrescendo symbol
decrescendo (getting softer)

presto (really fast)
allegro (fast)
andante (moderate)
adagio (slow)
largo (really slow)

legato symbol under three quarter notes
legato (smooth)

staccato symbol over quarter note
staccato (choppy, detached)

accent symbol over quarter note
accent (emphasis on one note)

fermata symbol over quarter note
fermata (to hold or pause)

Watch and Listen

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