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How Music Works

Study an Orchestra using Online Video

A selection of 15 of our online music appreciation videos provides middle-school and homeschool students with the opportunity to learn about and study the structure of an orchestra, to the required K-12 standards.

Recognize the instruments in a symphony orchestra through a summary of their history and development, and through demonstrations of the appearance and sound of each. Learn to recognize the four different families of instruments in a symphony orchestra and study the strengths and special abilities of each. Identify the members of the string, woodwind, brass, and percussion families by appearance, sound, and musical capability.

Trace the origin and development of all the symphonic instruments, including their prehistoric roots. Explore the history of musical performance from the harpists of ancient Egypt to the troubadours and jongleurs of medieval Europe to the modern symphony.

Examine the purpose and process of sectional rehearsals attended by all members of a musical group and follow the Denver Young Artists Orchestra as it prepares for and performs a concert to gain a greater appreciation of the orchestra through performance excerpts and instrument orientation. You will also have the opportunity to listen to performances of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, Copland's Billy the Kid, and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

Then use our online interactive quizzes to discover what you have learnt and strengthen your understanding of the subject.

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Music Appreciation