In "Renaissance Rock," we introduce students to more than fifteen fascinating wind and string instruments of the Renaissance. Through a lighthearted, varied, and highly interactive program featuring consort music from England, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy, students explore the uniquely modular sound and instrumentation possibilities inherent to Renaissance music and instruments. The highlight is a “mixed consort” presentation, in which we invite students to participate by suggesting and hearing different instrument combinations for the dance tunes they get to know. When space permits, the students even get up and learn several simple Renaissance dances themselves, which allows them to connect with the music on a physical level and enhances their understanding of Renaissance culture. Students will leave excited about history, having thought critically about the similarities and differences between music's important societal roles in Renaissance and its roles in our own society.
- To introduce students to the mechanics of universal musical concepts such as vibration, resonance, and pitch; to explore the basic building blocks of Western musical language (common to both Renaissance and modern popular styles), i.e., rhetoric, mood ("affekt"), and compositional form
- To allow students to connect with music physically through dance, thereby enhancing their understanding of the link between physical movement and musical gesture
- To challenge the students to vividly engage with history through examining different period instruments, hearing stories about other time periods, and experiencing cultural diversity through comparing and contrasting music and dances of Spain, Italy, France, and England.
- To become aware of music as a means of expressing a wide variety of emotions and ideas. This encourages tolerance in our hugely diverse society of differing opinions, and helps students recognize and articulate complex emotions in a welcoming yet intellectually stimulating environment.