Explore Music at Home Holst The Planets
Hello from the Creative Learning Team!
During this time we've been working hard on exciting new projects that we can't wait to share with you! We've also been reflecting on some of the amazing projects we've already worked on and thought we'd share a few that you can enjoy with your family at home.
This week, we look back to 2018 when we partnered with The University of Edinburgh's Institute of Astronomy to delve deeper into the music of Holst's The Planets before it was performed by the Orchestra at the 2018 Virgin Money Fireworks Concert.
We hope you are ready to watch, listen, and make some noise as we explore this musical masterpiece and uncover the galactic inspiration behind it! Scroll down to begin exploring.
Explore | holst the planets
Gustav Holst - A SNAPSHOT
- Holst was a British composer (someone who writes music) who lived 100 years ago.
- He was fascinated by space, astrology, religion, meditation, and vegetarianism.
- Alongside composing he worked as a teacher and it took him two years to write The Planets Suite which was made up of four different sections known as movements.
- In each movement Holst wanted to show the different personalities of each of the planets - Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Jupiter.
Mars, the Bringer of War
This week we will be focusing on the first movement called Mars, the Bringer of War.
Watch below as India Friswell from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh talks to us about Mars - the planet and the music.
more fun facts about marvellous mars
- Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun
- It is named after the Roman God of War
- Mars is a terrestrial planet which means that, like Earth, it has a solid surface. Scientists think that long ago there was liquid water on the planet’s surface because we can see the traces it left.
Interested in finding out more about Mars? Click here.
Create Music at home
Rhythm is very important in Mars with lots of patterns of short and long sounds.
What things do you do everyday that produce rhythm? Why not give them a go?
Here are some of our ideas! Walking and running, breathing and heartbeats (slow when you’re sitting, fast when you’re running), brushing teeth, drumming or clicking fingers, clapping.
Need some more inspiration? In this clip, percussionist Iain Sandilands talks about rhythm in Mars.
Tell the Story
Finally, why not listen to the whole piece of music? Can you make up a story or draw a picture to go along with it? Can you write about the personality of Mars, do you think it is quiet or loud/cheerful or sad?
To help you with your story, there are many performances of 'The Planets' on YouTube and Spotify that you can listen to. Here is one is by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Hickox
We hope you can join us next week as we explore the remaining movements:
Saturn, The Bringer of Old Age | Uranus, the Magician | Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
Please share your creations! We would love to see what you have been inspired to create, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org