Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Nutcracker: Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy

Sixth Graders are just about finished with studying Tchaikovsky's ballet, The Nutcracker.  This piece features an instrument that was new and groundbreaking during the composer's lifetime: the celeste.  It looks like a tiny piano, with keys that are black and white and played in a similar fashion.  Inside the celeste are metal bars almost like a metallophone that are struck when the keys are pressed.  Here is an orchestra version of the song:

Below is the clip we watched in class of a ballerina dancing to the song.  We discussed that often times the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy goes to the most talented female ballerina in a dance company.

And here is an amazing clip of a couple playing the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy on the Water Harp.  What a science connection - how much water does a glass need to be filled with in order to make a particular musical pitch?