Guided Listening #1: Exploring Textures

For this Guided Listening you will need the following:

A copy of these teaching steps
Flash asset: Score of Air d'Espagne, Calla de la botica by José Evangelista (for student copies or overhead)
Audio asset: Excerpt I from Air d'Espagne, Calla de la botica by José Evangelista
Audio asset: Excerpt II from Air d'Espagne, La alegria by José Evangelista
Audio asset: Excerpt III from Air d'Espagne, Amante, Amante by José Evangelista
Audio asset: Excerpt IV from Air d'Espagne, Dansa by José Evangelista
Audio asset: Excerpt V from Air d'Espagne, La ronda by José Evangelista
Audio asset: Excerpt VI from Air d'Espagne, Munerais by José Evangelista
Audio asset: Excerpt VII from Air d'Espagne, Nana by José Evangelista
Audio asset: Excerpt VIII from Air d'Espagne, Charrada by José Evangelista
(optional) map or globe

All assets are provided below.

I. Building Background

  • Write the words Air d'Espagne on the board and ask students what it means and to give a quick prediction of what they think they might hear.
  • Listen to Excerpt I from Air d'Espagne, Calla de la botica by José Evangelista. Did we hear any of what we predicted?
  • Have a student read aloud the composer's description:

This piece consists of 15 folk melodies from Spain. They include work songs, lullabies, entertainment songs and religious songs. They come from a variety of regions and most of them are probably fairly old. The melodies are presented as such, or at most repeated, without formal developments or modulations. My purpose has been to emphasize the melodic character of this material. There is a systematic use of ornamentation and heterophony which nearly gives the impression of real polyphony, but with no counterpoint or chords. Composer José Evangelista.

  • Share the following: One of the important influences on the music of Spain came from the Roma people (formerly known as gypsies), whose own musical influences reflect their origins and journeys through India, the Middle East and northern Africa. The music we're going to listen to today was inspired by the music of Spain and the Roma people. (Optional: identify these locations on classroom map or globe.)
  • Explain that in the eight excerpts presented here, the Spanish melodies are accompanied in different textural ways, e.g., accompanied with drones (homophony), or the melody being played by 2 instruments at almost the same time (heterophony).
  • Write these terms on the board, checking for student understanding of the meanings.

Homophony: a single melodic line with chordal accompaniment

Heterophony: two (or more) versions of a melody heard at the same time but not quite in unison; often refers to music of non-Western traditions

II. Listen

  • Provide student copies (or use an overhead) of the flash asset: Score of Air d'Espagne, Calla de la botica by José Evangelista.
  • Listen to audio asset Excerpt I from Air d'Espagne, Calla de la botica.
  • Examine the score, and identify the kind of texture used. (It is heterophonic – note how the melody lines in the violin I, violin II, and cello parts feel like they're chasing each other, almost catching up.)
  • Listen to audio asset Excerpt II: Air d'Espagne, La alegria, noting its homophonic texture. All parts are moving together in eighth notes except for the long notes in the double bass line.
  • Listen to the remaining short excerpts and identify the kind of texture that you hear as homophonic (with a drone as accompaniment) or heterophonic. Use the notes below to assist you in guiding the students.

Excerpt III: Amante, Amante - the heterophonic melodic line generates echoes of itself

Excerpt IV: Dansa- homophonic with drone accompaniment in viola and double bass

Excerpt V: La ronda - heterophonic parts feel like a chase, similar to Excerpt I

Excerpt VI: Munerais - homophonic, with dance-like melody in violins, drone in bass

Excerpt VII: Nana - heterophonic melodies with drone accompaniment

Excerpt VIII: Charrada - homophonic with rhythmic treatment of chord roots

III. Reflect

  • Listen to the full composition NACmusicbox TIMELINE and identify further examples of homophony and heterophony. You may also wish to explore the additional information about the Air d'Espagne available in the Program Notes.
  • Discuss: what musical ideas did José Evangelista borrow from Roma music to create this orchestral piece? Encourage students to notice the use of drones, dance rhythms and elemental harmonic outlines as well as the homophony-heterophony they have already explored.

José Evangelista was born in Valencia, Spain in 1943. After studying both physics and music there, he moved to Montréal in 1970, where he studied composition. Evangelista established a Balinese Gamelan Workshop at the University of Montréal, where he is a professor, and he has been commissioned by Canadian and international orchestras and ensembles. Air d'Espagne draws upon Evangelista's Spanish cultural heritage. It is a collection of fifteen arrangements for string orchestra, each based on a different Spanish folk melody, including lullabies, popular and religious music, and work songs.

Score of Air d'Espagne, Calla de la botica by José Evangelista

Excerpt I from Air d’Espagne, Calla de la botica by José Evangelista (0:00:41)

Excerpt I from Air d’Espagne, Calla de la botica by José Evangelista - Play now

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Calla de la botica: In this first selection from Air d’Espagne, Evangelista introduces the lively dance melody in the violin I, violin II and cello parts in succession, as if they are chasing one another. The double bass and viola play a drone accompaniment.

Excerpt II from Air d’Espagne, La alegria by José Evangelista (0:00:20)

Excerpt II from Air d’Espagne, La alegria by José Evangelista - Play now

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La alegria: This quick-paced Spanish dance tune from Air d’Espagne features the string orchestra’s parts moving together in the same eighth-note pattern except for the accompaniment of long notes by the double bass.

Excerpt III from Air d’Espagne, Amante, Amante by José Evangelista (0:00:36)

Excerpt III from Air d’Espagne, Amante, Amante by José Evangelista - Play now

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Amante, Amante: In this excerpt from Air d’Espagne, Evangelista has the strings play a slower, lament-like melody that then echoes itself.

Excerpt IV from Air d’Espagne, Dansa by José Evangelista (0:00:57)

Excerpt IV from Air d’Espagne, Dansa by José Evangelista - Play now

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Dansa: A halting dance is played by the violins and cello in this excerpt from Air d’Espagne, and is accompanied by drones in the viola and double bass parts.

 

Excerpt V from Air d’Espagne, La ronda by José Evangelista (0:00:55)

Excerpt V from Air d’Espagne, La ronda by José Evangelista - Play now

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La Ronda: The folk tune in this excerpt of Air d’Espagne is played by the string orchestra like a round, as if the parts were chasing each other.

Excerpt VI from Air d’Espagne, Munerais by José Evangelista (0:01:18)

Excerpt VI from Air d’Espagne, Munerais by José Evangelista - Play now

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Munerais: The dance-like melody in Excerpt VI of Air d’Espagne is played by the violins accompanied by a drone in the cello and double bass. The violas eventually join the drone, playing the dance rhythm of the melody.

Excerpt VII from Air d’Espagne, Nana by José Evangelista (0:01:08)

Excerpt VII from Air d’Espagne, Nana by José Evangelista - Play now

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Nana: The slow, sustained melodies in Excerpt VII of Air d’Espagne are played over a drone in the lower-sounding instruments.

Excerpt VIII from Air d’Espagne, Charrada by José Evangelista (0:01:42)

Excerpt VIII from Air d’Espagne, Charrada by José Evangelista - Play now

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Charrada: The fast tempo of Excerpt VIII of Air d’Espagne uses lively dance rhythms which are also heard in the drone.

Credits and Copyright

  • Flash asset: Page of Score of Air d'Espagne by José Evangelista
    José Evangelista, 1992
  • Audio asset: Excerpt I from Air d'Espagne by José Evangelista
    1992, José Evangelista
  • Audio asset: Excerpt II from Air d'Espagne by José Evangelista
    1992, José Evangelista
  • Audio asset: Excerpt III from Air d'Espagne by José Evangelista
    1992, José Evangelista
  • Audio asset: Excerpt IV from Air d'Espagne by José Evangelista
    1992, José Evangelista
  • Audio asset: Excerpt V from Air d'Espagne by José Evangelista
    1992, José Evangelista
  • Audio asset: Excerpt VI from Air d'Espagne by José Evangelista
    1992, José Evangelista
  • Audio asset: Excerpt VII from Air d'Espagne by José Evangelista
    1992, José Evangelista
  • Audio asset: Excerpt VIII from Air d'Espagne by José Evangelista
    1992, José Evangelista
  • Flash asset: Elements of Music Chart
    Connexionarts

Dansa: A halting dance is played by the violins and cello in this excerpt from Air d’Espagne, and is accompanied by drones in the viola and double bass parts.

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