Instrument Exploration: Composers and the Pipe Organ (Part Three)

CN Instrument Thumbnails
Mark Foster

Age Range: Elementary, Middle School

Learning Objective: Students will listen four pieces composed for organ by four different composers.

Note to Teachers: This is the third of a three-part video series featuring the pipe organ. The first lesson is an introduction to the instrument. The second lesson explains how sound is produced on the pipe organ. This video features four composers and the organ.

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ENGAGE students

REVIEW. “This is the third of three lessons about an amazing instrument- the organ! What do you remember about the organ from the first two videos?”

EXPLAIN. “In the first lesson, we learned there are many different kind of organs. In the second lesson, we learned how the pipe organ works. Today we will learn how several different composers used the pipe organ to create different sounds and moods.”

EXPLORE sounds

LEARN. “Timbre (TAM-ber) is an important music word, used to describe the special and unique quality of any sound. Remember that an organist can pull out different stops to create different timbres.”

WATCH. Watch the Class Notes video, Composers and the Pipe Organ. (3 min.)

COMPARE.  Use the provided listening grid to compare and contrast four pieces featured in the video. You might print out grids for students to complete individually or fill it out as a class. Re-watch the video if needed!

SHARE. Share with a neighbor your favorite of the four pieces and why.

EXTEND learning

Choose one or both activities to extend learning.

REVIEW.  Go back and watch Video One or Video Two of the series!

REFLECT.  “If you were to compose a piece of music for the organ, what would it sound like?”

Special thanks to Phil Asgian and the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and Michael Barone, host of Pipedreams, for help and support with this lesson. 

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Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

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