LARGO

From the New World Symphony

by Antonin Dvořák

RHYTHM WARMUP:

Clap, sing, or play along with the rhythm cards!

LISTENING:

Watch and listen to this recording of the "New World Symphony" performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra! The "Largo" movement begins at 10:30.

What instruments do you see and hear?

DVOŘÁK AND

THE NEW WORLD

1841 - 1904, Czechoslovakia

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Dvořák was originally from Bohemia, Czechoslovakia. For much of his life he was a struggling musician and composer.  

At the age of 34, Dvořák received a grant from the Austrian government and began publishing his compositions. He traveled to England and across Europe, gaining acclaim.  

Dvořák was invited to be the director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City in 1892 by a wealthy patroness named Jeannette Thurber. He was reluctant to go but was offered a staggering $15,000, which his family urged him to take.  

While in the US, he wrote the Symphony in E Minor, Op. 95, (The "New World Symphony") and other compositions inspired by the music he heard across his travels in the United States.  

 

An African-American student introduced Dvořák to spirituals, which are said to have influenced the music he wrote in the "New World Symphony."

Dvořák became homesick and returned to his country after three years in the United States.  

Download the full PDF here:

CONNECTING:

SOCIAL STUDIES

  • The country where Dvorak was from has changed its name and territory many times. While it was known as Bohemia in Dvorak's time, today it is known as the Czech Republic

  • The Czech Republic is located in Central Europe. Though it is officially considered to be part of Eastern Europe, it's capital city, Prague, is actually in Western Europe!

  • The Czech Republic is home to more castles than any other country in the world (over 2,000!), and the largest castle in the world can be found in Prague. 

  • The official language of the Czech Republic is Czech. 

SONG ANALYSIS

(Think, track, and sing along!)

What does the rhythm sound like?

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What does the melody sound like?

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Which fingers play this song?

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Which notes are in this song?

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Which hand plays this song?

PRACTICING:

Play along using the keyboard image with the video, or download your own keyboard card:

USE A CURVED HAND POSITION WITH THE THUMB ON MIDDLE C

PRACTICE TRACKER:

How many times did you practice the song on the keyboard card?

0
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PERFORMING:

Play along with and without the video using the interactive keyboard  below!

5       4       3      2       1       2       3      4        5

PERFORMANCE TRACKER:

How many times did you perform the song on the interactive keyboard?

0

CONNECTING:

"Largo" features a prominent solo by the english horn. This first video features the english horn player from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra talking about performing this solo.  The videos below show a few different english horn players performing the famous solo from "Largo."  Watch each video.  How do these solos differ from one another?  How does each musician add something unique to their performance?

Listening Collection:

"Largo"

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LISTENING:

How is this recording different from the other recordings of "Largo" featured on this page?

CREATING:

Compose your own rhythms in 4/4 time like Dvořák!

(Hint: each measure in 4/4 time has 4 beats.)

Click here to download the PDF:

RESPONDING:
Let Music and the Brain hear from you!

How would you rate the song "Largo?"

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How would you rate the "Largo" Lesson Page?

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MUSIC AND THE BRAIN

Strengthening Young Minds Through Music
Building Skills for School and for Life

a program of nonprofit BUILDING FOR THE ARTS

www.musicandthebrain.org

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