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  • Jemma Van Der Byl

Autumn Term - week 8

Hello Sounding Out families

I hope you have had a good half term break and are now enjoying seeing your friends back at school.

The weather has definitely changed since I last emailed before the holiday and it feels very wintery in the dark evenings now. Perfect for fireworks!


Back in 1749 there was a particularly famous firework display, which was NOT a huge success!

In London, King George II planned an enormous celebration to mark the end of the War of Austrian succession, the grand finale of which was to be a huge firework display in Green Park. He asked famous architects to design a wooden pavilion for the musicians, brought experts from Italy to design the fireworks and asked George Frederick HANDEL to compose a suitable piece of music for the event.


However, the one thing that King George II could NOT control was the weather! On the night of the grand celebration the awful rain caused many of the fireworks to misfire, and as they shot off in the wrong direction, some ended up in the crowd and one ended up setting the pavilion on fire!

So although the firework display was a disaster, Handel’s music was a huge success and it has been performed countless times in the last 270 years. Listen to the opening and hear how Handel has used the brass instruments and drum to create a really exciting atmosphere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5vfAoPwepg

Did you spot some unusual instruments in the video? The musicians are using copies of instruments that would have been played in Handel’s time (called the BAROQUE period). The violins and cellos look familiar but there are definitely some instruments that have changed over the years!


Here is a Baroque trumpet that you can see 13 seconds into the video. It looks quite different to our trumpets today doesn’t it? Can any of our lovely trumpet players tell me how you think you might change the note without any valves?

Have a great week!

Jemma

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