George Frideric Handel Language Arts Curriculum Guide
- Poetry is a type of imaginative writing that uses sound, rhythm and language to express feelings and thoughts, and elicit an emotional response from the reader. Some poems rhyme, but many do not. Explore poetry at the Poetry website for kids and find a great poetry unit study that includes different literary devices (such as imagery and personification) here.
- Use an encyclopedia to learn about these three poets/writers of the 18th century who were writing around the time that Handel was composing. William Blake "Songs of Experience- The Fly", Samuel Taylor Coleridge "To Nature", William Wordsworth "I wandered lonely as a cloud", (listen to a reading of this poem here).
- A series of books on different composers and their lives, beginning in childhood, by Opal Wheeler is a wonderful addition to a composer study. She has written one on Handel (amazon.com). Each one includes a CD and is especially written to be fascinating for children.
- Here is a list of popular kids' books in England. Many are ones that are popular in America too. It just goes to show that great literature is a treasure anywhere!
- Write a journal or diary entry by a musician in the patronage of royalty. Think about how it would feel to compose at will for specific occasions, and not based on your own inspiration. Composers under the patronage system were secure in their jobs, but had a "boss" that was often very demanding. Think of a situation that may have occurred and write about it in first person. The website Baroque.org has this to say about patronage:
- "Any discussion of a baroque composer's artistic philosophy should be tempered, at least slightly, by the reality of their lives. In modern times, artists frequently earn a living producing exactly the kind of art they are moved to create. Accordingly, we often think of the artist-and the degree of his or her artistic inspiration-as the starting point for a work of art. Throughout much of the baroque era, however, composers only earned a living writing music if they were fortunate enough to be on the payroll of a political or religious institution. The musical needs of that institution, therefore, dictated the music the composer produced. Bach wrote the number of cantatas he did, for example, not necessarily because he found the form inspirational, but because of the liturgical demands of the Leipzig church that employed him. When viewed in this light, baroque music can provide a fascinating window into history.
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