Cultural Influences and World Connections

Composers look through many lenses, composing music in response to the world around them. Sometimes the lens is the music of a specific culture, which might be from their own background, or not. The compositions used in Cultural Influences and World Connections all include some form of cultural reference. Such musical references invite us as listeners to consider the world from a point of view that may not be our own, ultimately confirming the universality of human experience.

Cultural Influences and World Connections contains a sequence of listening exercises and learning activities designed to help students hear specific cultural influences in works by Canadian composers Glenn Buhr, José Evangelista, Steven Gellman, Srul Irving Glick and Kelly-Marie Murphy, and to examine the composers' thinking in introducing the cultural references. Students also consider why composers look to the music of different cultures – whether their own, or far removed from their own experience – for musical inspiration. Finally they have the opportunity to improvise a short composition using some of the musical influences they have studied.

Cultural Influences and World Connections is designed for students and educators to meet the following objectives:

  • Learn about how composers are inspired by music, stories and ideas from a specific culture or religion.
  • Consider how composers can borrow and incorporate specific musical ideas from different cultures in their own very different musical contexts.
Virtual Museum of Canada

To access the Virtual Museum of Canada's complete digital learning resources and lesson plans, visit the VMC Teachers' Centre.