Activity #13: Register, Arrangement, Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds

The central focuses are discovering how the audiences respond to different arrangements, registers, timbre/tone colors, and dynamics from a composition.
  • Students will recognize performers’  interest in and knowledge of musical works, understanding of their technical skills, and the context for a performance influence the selection of repertoire. (Pr. 4.1)
  • Students will recognize composers' selection of musical works is influenced by their interests, experiences, understandings, and purposes through openness to new ideas, persistence, and the application of appropriate criteria. (Re: 7.1)
  • Students will identify how response to music is informed by analyzing context (social, cultural, and historical) and how creators and performers manipulate the elements of music. (Re: 7.2)
  • Students will recognize various families of instruments and how the audience reacts with different moods and emotional feelings to the above elements. (Re: 8.1)
  • Students will make the connections to varied societal, cultural, and historical contexts, and daily life enhances musicians’ creating, performing, and responding. (Cn 11.0)

SEL:

The focuses of this unit are to guide students to explore self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, social awareness, and responsible decision-making. 

  • Students will be able to discover their roles, contributions, and the importance of sharing and making decisions as a group to protect Hawaiian nature and culture.
  • Students will develop reflection and evaluation skills ("I notice"), gratitude, and appreciation ("I value"), as well as a sense of curiosity and the ability to give constructive feedback ("I wonder"). This tool can help students improve self-confidence and engagement and help them open to the ideas and perspectives of others.

 

FOCUS KNOWLEDGE/SKILLS SONGS/CHANTS/BOOKS

TONE COLORS

 

REGISTER

 

ARRANGEMENT

 

  • Tone Colors
  • Register
  • Arrangement
  • Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds

In Activity #12, you have learned the hula and mele of Kāhuli Aku. Kāhuli is an endangered species, we need to protect them. Unfortunately, in Hawai`i, some bird species are distinct, Kaua‘i ‘Ō‘ō bird is one of those.


*Symphony of Hawaiian Birds

*The goal of this grassroots project is to deal with an issue that is critical to Hawaiian values – preserving nature and protecting Hawaiian birds, especially endangered species.



In this activity, we will learn about Hawaii’s native bird species, especially the Kaua‘i ‘Ō‘ō bird and the importance of conservation efforts. You will also learn about instruments with varying tone colors and ranges from all four orchestral instrument families (Activity #3).


First, watch the above video. It was about a male ‘Ō‘ō bird singing to a female ‘Ō‘ō bird during mating season. But the female bird did not come. The ‘Ō‘ō bird has vanished since then.

SEL:
  • Does the ‘Ō‘ō call and other sounds from nature sound like music? Why or why not?
  • Why is it a tragedy that “we stopped listening” to nature?

Five composers from Hawai`i composed five movements based on the theme of the Hawaiian birds. In the fourth movement - Vanished Voices: A Farewell to the ʻŌʻō. Dr. Itoh used his composition music to depict how the ‘Ō‘ō vanished from this world. Watch the video.

SEL:
  • How did the music at the beginning of the song make you feel compared to the end of the song?
  • How does the animations/cartoon match the music that you hear?
  • How did you feel when the ‘Ō‘ō’s call goes unanswered at the end?

REGISTER & TONE COLORS

REGISTER in music refers to the "height" of the note - whether a note is high, middle, low. Changing the register can also signal shifts in emotions.



1. Which instruments are playing in a high register? Which ones are playing in the middle? Low?You may refer to the pictures below. (High: piccolo & flute; middle: clarinet*, violin*, & trumpet*; low: bassoon & tuba)

*these instruments are capable of playing in the higher register as well, but for the most part in this video, they are playing in the middle register.

2. Describe the tone qualities of these instruments: 

  • Violin (light, thin)
  • Piccolo (bright, thin, light)
  • Flute (bright, thin, light)
  • Clarinet (bright, nasal)
  • Bassoon (deep, heavy, thick)
  • Trumpet (bright, nasal)
  • Tuba (deep, heavy, thick)

3. What are some similarities and differences that you notice between the different instruments based on their size, how they produce sound, and what they are made of?

SEL:
  • And, can you add ("I notice"), gratitude, and appreciation ("I value"), you did a good job in Activity 3?
*Did you want these statements for the students to reflect upon when working in a group to answer these questions? Or as audience members listening to the musicians playing the excerpts?
For example:
  • I noticed that my group members did not agree on which instrument sounded the most like an ‘Ō‘ō.
  • I value that we all were respectful and allowed everyone to share their thoughts, even when we did not agree on what register an instrument was in.

OR

  • I noticed that the instruments played in different registers based on their size. The smaller instruments were usually in the higher registers and the bigger instruments were in the lower registers.
  • I value how the different instruments all were able to imitate bird calls but they sounded different because of their register and tone color.
  • I wonder if the tuba can play in a high register or if a piccolo can play in a low register?

ARRANGEMENT

Arrangement: choosing which instrument plays a particular part can be an effective way to enhance the emotions that the audience might feel. For example, by bringing the register downward from the high violin melody from before, the music sounds darker and more ominous.

Let's explore other instrument, for example, timpani. Here is a video about timpani.


From the below video, describe the sound of the percussion instruments during the storm.

  • What kind of instruments did you hear? (There are the low, boomy, roaring sounds of the storm played by the bass drum and the timpani. You can also hear some high pitched percussion instruments like the triangle and the suspended cymbals, perhaps depicting the strong gusts of wind.)

 


In the quiz, the composer mentioned major and minor scales and tonality that you learned in Activity 6? Listen and pay attention how the composer used those tonalities when composing this piece.

First clip: Minor - When the male ‘ō‘ō was lonely.


Second clip: Major Key - When the male ‘ō‘ō met the female bird.


Third clip: Minor - When the female ‘ō‘ō disappeared. Do you know what happened to her?

Fourth clip: Minor Key - When the storm came, things went from bad to worse; besides hearing the minor key, what else do you hear?



Let's watch the video again:

  • What instruments were heard in the beginning to depict morning/ the environment that the Ō‘ō lives in? (flute, upper woodwinds)
  • What registers and tone colors were used? (high, bright)
  • How does the composer make it seem like the birds are talking to one another?
  • What instruments are added when the birds are happy together? (brass, percussion) What registers and tone colors were used? (middle, full)
  • How does the register and tone colors change when the female bird disappears and the environment is changing? (dark, deep)
SEL:
  • What message/feelings does this music communicate?
  • How is this different than communicating with words?
  • Would you be able to imagine the story without the cartoon/animation? What is benefit of watching it while listening? Is there a downside?
  • How do the instruments/musicians work together to tell this story? What role do the composer and conductor play?
  • How does the composer use musical elements (form, harmony, dynamics, etc.) to communicate different feelings or emotions?
  • Listening to analyze a piece of music is different than listening for recreation. How did carefully listening to the musical components change your understanding and appreciation of this music?

Let's explore the Quiz below:

Note: This quiz can benefit the teacher by using it to assess the students’ understanding. For the lower grade level students, the teacher should read the questions aloud and have the students choose the answer as a class. Older students may take the individual quiz. Since this quiz provides immediate answers, students can test their knowledge and learn if they make a mistake. Also, students receiving a certificate may let them gain a feeling of accomplishment. Lastly, the students will be more aware of taking care of the nature around them through the tragic story of the Kaua‘i ‘Ō‘ō bird. (Courtesy from Rana Harada)


*Between Fall 2018 and Spring 2019, pre-service teachers from the University of Hawai`i were involved in the Symphony of the Hawaiian Birds project. The goal of this grassroots project is to deal with an issue that is critical to Hawaiian values – preserving nature and protecting Hawaiian birds, especially endangered species. The content of this project is delivered using a combination of music (western classical instruments) and native Hawaiian mele and hula. This project has reached more 10,000 Title I, public and private schools, elementary and secondary students of O‘ahu through science, music, and art.



Post your comments here

Comments: 2
  • #2

    Lauren F (Sunday, 22 May 2022 20:21)

    SEL (video 1):
    Does the ‘Ō‘ō call and other sounds from nature sound like music? Why or why not?
    Why is it a tragedy that “we stopped listening” to nature?


    SEL (video 2):
    How did the music at the beginning of the song make you feel compared to the end of the song?
    How does the animations/cartoon match the music that you hear?
    How does the composer use musical elements (form, harmony, dynamics, etc.) to communicate different feelings or emotions?
    How did you feel when the ‘Ō‘ō’s call goes unanswered at the end?

    ---------------
    1. Sequence the instruments you heard from this video. You may refer to the pictures below. (flute, piccolo, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, violin, tuba)
    * What do you mean by sequence? Do you want them to sequence them by register (high to low)?

    Maybe instead ask: Which instruments are playing in a high register? Which ones are playing in the middle? Low?

    High:
    Piccolo
    Flute

    Middle:
    clarinet*
    violin*
    trumpet*

    Low:
    Bassoon
    Tuba

    *these instruments are capable of playing in the higher register as well, but for the most part in this video, they are playing in the middle register.

    Then maybe no need the second question.

    Describe the tone qualities of these instruments.
    Violin: light, thin
    Piccolo: bright, thin, light
    Flute: bright, thin, light
    Clarinet: bright, nasal
    Bassoon: deep, heavy, thick
    Trumpet: bright, nasal
    Tuba: deep, heavy, thick

    What are some similarities and differences that you notice between the different instruments based on their size, how they produce sound, and what they are made of?

    And, can you add ("I notice"), gratitude, and appreciation ("I value"), you did a good job in Activity 3
    *Did you want these statements for the students to reflect upon when working in a group to answer these questions? Or as audience members listening to the musicians playing the excerpts?
    For example:
    - I noticed that my group members did not agree on which instrument sounded the most like an ‘Ō‘ō.
    - I value that we all were respectful and allowed everyone to share their thoughts, even when we did not agree on what register an instrument was in.

    OR
    - I noticed that the instruments played in different registers based on their size. The smaller instruments were usually in the higher registers and the bigger instruments were in the lower registers.
    - I value how the different instruments all were able to imitate bird calls but they sounded different because of their register and tone color.
    - I wonder if the tuba can play in a high register or if a piccolo can play in a low register?

    SEL (symphony of the hawaiian birds):
    What is the message of this piece of music? How is it different when this message is communicated through music instead of words?
    Did watching the animation/cartoon help you when listening to the music? What are the benefits or disadvantages of seeing one representation of the music versus listening to it independently (without the cartoon)?
    What is the role of the different instruments in this piece? What is the role of the composer and conductor?
    Listening to analyze a piece of music is different than listening for enjoyment. Did analyzing this piece and listening carefully change how much you appreciated the music? Explain.

  • #1

    Lauren F (Sunday, 22 May 2022 16:14)

    SEL:
    First video - Do the animal sounds/calls sound like music? Why is it a tragedy that "we've stopped listening"?
    Second video - How does the music sound different at the beginning of the song versus the end of the song?
    Explain how the music matched the animations/pictures.
    What musical elements (sound/texture, harmony, dynamics, etc.) did the composer use to convey different emotions or feelings?
    How did you feel when the Ō‘ō 's call was not answered at the end of the song?
    -------------
    1. Sequence the instruments you heard from this video. You may refer to the pictures below. (flute, piccolo, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, violin, tuba)
    *What do you mean by this? You want them to construct a listening map of the order in which they heard the instruments or you want them to just identify the different instruments they heard?
    What instruments were heard in the beginning to depict morning/ the environment that the Ō‘ō lives in? (flute, upper woodwinds) What registers and tone colors were used? (high, bright)
    How does the composer make it seem like the birds are talking to one another?
    What instruments are added when the birds are happy together? (brass, percussion) What registers and tone colors were used? (middle, full)
    How does the register and tone colors change when the female bird disappears and the environment is changing? (dark, deep)

    *Do you want I notice, I value, I wonder questions, based on student contributions to answering the questions or do you want SEL questions based on what the instrumentalists were playing and how it makes the audience feel?

    Let me know and I can add.

    ------------

    SEL:
    What message/feelings does this music communicate?
    How is this different than communicating with words?
    Would you be able to imagine the story without the cartoon/animation? What is benefit of watching it while listening? Is there a downside?
    How do the instruments/musicians work together to tell this story? What role do the composer and conductor play?
    Listening to analyze a piece of music is different than listening for recreation. How did carefully listening to the musical components change your understanding and appreciation of this music?