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High Pipes and Stick Music of Spain

Grade Level: 7–8

World Library of Folk and Primitive Music: Spain
Alborado de Vigo — J. M. Rodriguez, Galicia

Danza de Ibio — Stick dancers of Cabezón de la Fuente, Santander

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Lesson Plans

Activity #1: High Pipe Music
1. Listen to "Alborado de Vigo", a soloistic instrumental piece (known as alborado, a morning tune). Discuss the sound.
Q: What melody-producing instrument do you hear?
A: A high flute or pipe sound, which is played on a panpipe of eight holes, which is called a chifre.
2. While listening, trace the direction of the melody.
Q: Does it move up, down, or in a somewhat static and straight line?
A: It begins with a fast upward scalar melody (1) , fluctuates on a few pitches for a while (2), then in a series of three patterns moves gradually downward (3).
Repeat listening, and try to find the three sub-sections.
3. Sing the beginning phrase that quickly runs upward in minor key from the tonic pitch (1-2-3-4-5) and then adds a sharp 6 (the first six pitches of a rising melodic minor scale). Sing the phrase on "loo" or other neutral syllable.
4. Through repeated listening, learn the entire melody to sing or play on recorder, piano, or band or orchestral instrument.
5. Explain that chifre melodies are commonly heart in Galicia (located in northwest Spain) and in northern Portugal. Players may be small-time vendors and service-workers, such as knife-grinders or even (as in the case of the player featured here) a castrator of pigs. The high-pitched melodies sail over the countryside, announcing to people that they and their services are nearby.

Activity #2: Stick Dance Music of Spain
1. Listen to "Danza de Ibio" for instruments and rhythms.
Q: Why do you think it is called "Stick Dance"?
A: Perhaps because the drums are played by sticks (rather than by hands).
Q: What instrument is producing the two pitches?
A: A conch shell that is blown, with the player's fist moving and out of the mouth of the shall.
2. Using the two index fingers, play the three accented pulses of the pattern on the edge of a table or desk, alternating sides:

/ / / -
right left right rest

Try the same pattern, using pencils with erasers.
3. Slow the tempo slightly, and play the unaccented pattern in between the accented pulses. Pick the speed up as the pattern becomes increasingly comfortable.
4. Play the accented rhythms with the recording, and sing the two pitches of the conch shell when they occur.
5. Play the rhythm on snare drums, and designate melody instruments to the do-re-do pitches; play the two-pitch rhythm every eight measures.
6. The music is played for an ancient dance on the northern coast of spain, near the Basque country. Devise a movement that fits the rhythmic pattern, to be danced individually, in partners, in a circle, or in a line. Such movement as a simple stepping pattern that alternates right and left-foot stepping (or hopping or stomping) works well.

Cultural Link:
Basque Country

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