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Northaw CE Primary School and Nursery

Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith

Western Classical Tradition and Film

Rondo alla Turca

Title: Rondo alla Turca
Composer: Mozart
Period: Classical

Rondo alla Turca, written for piano by Mozart in 1783, is partly inspired by the sounds of the Turkish Janissary bands.


Janissaries were the elite infantry units that formed the Ottoman Sultan’s household troops and were the first modern standing army in Europe.

Mars from The Planets

Title: Mars from The Planets
Composer: Handel
Period: 20th Century

In ancient Roman religion Mars was the god of war.


Holst composed this piece in anticipation of the outbreak of World War One.

Night Ferry

Title: Night Ferry
Composer: Anna Clyne
Period: 21st Century

This single-movement piece for orchestra takes the form of a musical voyage – telling the story of a ship, struggling through the night.


Listen out for rolling strings, jabbing brass and delicate Tibetan singing bowls coming together to make an expressive impact. 


Title: Bolero
Composer: Revel
Period: 20th Century

Ravel was a French composer who liked to experiment with ideas and was inspired by all kinds of music including Baroque, Classical and Jazz.


This iconic piece by Ravel was written in 1928 as a ballet. 

Hallelujah from Messiah

Title: Hallelujah from Messiah
Composer: Handel
Period: Baroque

European immigrant G. F. Handel provides us with one of the great works of the English language with 1741’s Messiah.


The Hallelujah chorus is the best known of the parts of Messiah.

Night on a Bare Mountain

Title: Night on a Bare Mountain
Composer: Mussorgsky
Period: Romantic

Born in Russia, where his mother was a piano teacher, Mussorgsky started to compose at the age of 12, often basing his music on traditional folk songs and stories.


Night on a Bare Mountain describes witches dancing throughout the night, casting spells as part of a wild and wicked party.

Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire

Title: Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire
Composer: A R Rahman
Period: 21st Century

Rahman pursued music as a career at a very young age taking after his father who was a composer and arranger in South India.


Rahman’s track for Slumdog Millionaire demonstrates the way in which film music, perhaps more than any other genre, is liberated to draw from a range of cultural traditions.

Symphony No. 5

Title: Symphony No. 5
Composer: Beethoven
Period: Classical

Beethoven is considered one of the greatest musical geniuses who ever lived.


He may be most famous for his nine symphonies, but he also wrote many other kinds of music: chamber and choral music, piano music and string quartets, and an opera.

O Euchari

Title: O Euchari
Composer: Hildegard
Period: Early

One of the most extraordinary figures in music history, Saint Hildegard was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, mystic and visionary.


O Euchari tells the story of Saint Eucharius, a third-century missionary, travelling preacher and worker of miracles.

For the Beauty of the Earth

Title: For the Beauty of the Earth
Composer: Rutter
Period: 20th Century

John Rutter is an English composer and conductor, associated mainly with choral music and active internationally for many years.


This masterful anthem is one that has connected with singers and congregations all over the globe.

English Folk Song Suite

Title: English Folk Song Suite
Composer: Vaughan Williams
Period: 20th Century

Ralph Vaughan Williams came from the village of Down Ampney, where his father was a minister.


Vaughan Williams was dedicated to collecting and studying English folk music to preserve it for the future.

Symphonic Variations on an African Air

Title: Symphonic Variations on an African Air
Composer: Coleridge-Taylor
Period: 20th Century

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was an English composer, conductor and political activist who fought against race prejudice with his incredible compositions.


Coleridge-Taylor composed his Symphonic Variations on an African Air in 1906.

This Little Babe from Ceremony of Carols

Title: This Little Babe from Ceremony of Carols
Composer: Britten
Period: 20th Century

Benjamin Britten was an English composer, conductor and pianist.


Composed in 1942, this Christmas choral piece is one of Britten's best-known works.

1812 Overture

Title: 1812 Overture
Composer: Tchaikovsky
Period: Romantic

This important piece from the Romantic era provides a route to discuss how music can portray key events from history, in this case the 1812 French campaign against Russia.


The musical narrative tracks the route of the war, and Tchaikovsky includes cannons to accentuate the melody with striking warlike sounds.

Connect It

Title: Connect It
Composer: Anna Meredith
Period: 21st Century

Anna Meredith is a Scottish composer who writes electronic and acoustic music.


She likes to work with orchestras, bands and choreographers to create music that uses clapping, stamping, shouting and beatboxing instead of instruments.