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MUSIC and visual arts

Pilar Resurrección

Music inspired by pictures

Programme Music

Dance, Music and Sculptures


Basado en materiales didácticos de la Fundación Juan March

Gnomus from Pictures at an exhibition by Mussorgsky


Activity 4

Orchestral version by Ravel

Activity 1

Activity 2

Activity 3

GNOMUSThe painting that illustrates this piece represents a nutcracker in the shape of a little gnome that clumsily lengthens its crooked legs.Mussorgsky designed for him a disturbing motif, whichit is presented again and again to alternate with an chordic passage of a mysterious character and evocative, perhaps, of distant legends.In music, as in painting, it is necessary to haveof a motive that expresses something and that focuses the attention of the listener or the observer. A musical motif is a short rhythmic or melodic idea that retains its own identity despite being capable of being imitated, varied or developed.

GNOMUS BY KANDINSKYTry to compose a small characteristic musical motif in order to illustrate the work of the painter Kandinsky, which is, in turn, a reinterpretation of Hartmann's Gnomus painting.Look closely at the box and extract an element. For example, the parallel lines that appear on the right side of the box. A way to replicate them musically could be done with a series of sixths, or a duplicated melody.

Listen now to the original version of Gnomus written for piano and answer the following questions:what is the music like? Is it fast or slow? Intense or smooth? Is it repeated or is it changing? Is it happy or sad?What is the sensation? Provide a word that describes this reflection

Gnomus is part of the collection of paintings that were exhibited in the exhibition organized by the writer, music critic and advisor to the Balakirev Circle, Vladimir Stásov (1824-1906), as a posthumous tribute after the death of the painter and architect Viktor Hartmann (1834 -1873) at age 39. This work represents a wooden carved nutcracker in the shape of a strange gnome with twisted legs and a haunting gaze. In Russia at the time, nutcrackers were very common as children's toys that were used in the decoration of the Christmas tree.

Yellow = sharp, loud, happy sound. The clearer the sharperBlue = low, deep sound. The darker the more serious.Green = quiet sound.White = momentary silence.Black = deep and continuous silence.Gray = motionless and heartbroken sound.Brown = hard sound like a drum.Orange = loud sound like a bell.Violet = muffled and sad sound.


Activity 5

we are going to work in groups of 5. Each group will choose an image of Kandinsky and taking into account the relationship of the colors with the music, a musical improvisation will be made using all the instruments in the classroom

Throughout the history of music, composers have always sought to express emotions, suggest moods, recreate environments and evoke all kinds of objects with their music.

Observe in this excerpt from the movie The legend of 1900 a pianist who, while improvising, explains how his music springs inspired by the people he has around him and by what he imagines about them:


Exercise 1

Basado en los materiales didácticos de la Fundación Juan March

Rouen Cathedral, morning fog by Monet, 1894

The gust of wind by Millet, 1873


Impressionist painting discovered in the viewer the changing value of light and its movement, and introduced elements such as new pigmentations of purer and brighter colors. An example of this is Las Barcas, regattas in Argenteuil by Monet

Looking at the fragments of the score of Fireworks by Debussy, it can be seen that the melody drawing has the visual appearance of the trajectory of rockets and fireworks.

Fireworks by Debussy

El Cohete by Edward Middleton Manigault

Activity 6

While you are listening to the music of the audio make a visual composition in the manner of the impressionists.

DANCE, MUSIC and sculptures

Basado en materiales de Elia Bernat



Movement motif

Sequence of movement


Basic movement actions:Locomotion: All forms of movement that move the body from one place to anotherGesture or posture: Movements of parts of the body that do not move it from one place.Stillness: Situations in which the body is stopped.Elevation: Activities in the opposite direction to the force of gravity.Rotation: All kinds of movements that rotate on an axis.

Sitting on the floor. Observe which parts of your body touch the ground, how you are sitting, how your companions are sitting. Imitate the way another partner feels.Change of position. Levels (low, medium and high). We start from the ground, low level. The teacher marks a beat of 4 beats and the students change their position on the fourth beat. Try changing the number of supports (supporting 5 points, 4 points, 3 ..., etc.), leaving different parts of the body “glued” to the ground (one foot, two hands and two feet, one hand and one foot ,. ..etc). Naturally, the medium level and high level are gradually introduced.

We imagine that we are inserted inside a cube (kinesphere) in space. This cube is configured by 6 surfaces: front / back, left / right, up / down.We let the students propose a specific part of our body. It is advisable to use joint areas: elbow, knee, hip or specific body points (such as the center of the head).We in turn select one of the surfaces of our cube. With the chosen body element, we draw in the space a content whose choice is completely free: you canbe a random word, our own name, a place, etc. You can chain several contents that involve different movements.During the process, the teacher has to guide the students to emphasize various factors:• The width of our cube: the larger it is, the greater the movement made.• The specificity in our choices: the selection of both the surface and the body part must be clearly represented.• The transition between one movement and another: it is essential that we use the residual movement generated in our first selection (final action), that is, "first content", as the beginning of the next one when "drawing" the content. This creates a clear sense of continuity and homogeneity; therefore, a movement phrase.MUSIC:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiFihmQ6y90https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgIqecROs5M

Sequence of movement in pairs.You have to create a movement sequence in which the 5 basic actions can be seen (locomotion, gesture, rotation, stillness and elevation) in the order you want and totally free in in terms of speed and duration.We see what you have created. We go back to the circle and see all the motion sequences. Each pair goes to the center and does their sequence. Others have to watch carefully and try to discover the order they have chosen.Finally we are going to dance our sequence of movement in pairs again but adapting our movements to the pulsation set by the teacher. We will also have to adapt to the duration of the piece, which will be 32 pulses (four phrases of 8 pulses each).Some will have to lengthen their piece, others will have to shorten it, others will have to make their movements more active ... We analyze what changes we observe in our work, how or in what qualities our piece changes ...

Starting composition: Standing, facing forward, in rows occupying the gaps so that we can all be seen. To get to that position, we will leave the stage empty by standing on both sides and during the Introduction we will walk until we reach our starting position.- In part A we play the vowel game with our feet. There are many other possibilities but this time we chose to dance the vowel game with our feet, all in unison.- In part B we will make two groups (half of the pairs in one and the other half of the pairs in another, each one in an area of the room). While the first group does their sequence in pairs, the other group remains in place marking the setback with snaps of the fingers. In the second part of the music, the roles change, the second group performs their sequences and the first sets a setback with clicks.-The next part A is the game of the vowels but this time we can do it with another part of the body (with the hips) or repeat with the feet but this time play with the movements forwards, backwards or turning.MUSIC:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1IUoQrZICA




Movement motif


Starting from the silence, without speaking, without music, the teacher sounds a tambourine for everyone to follow. We make a line and imitate the different types of movement that she makes throughout the room. The teacher begins and then passes it to the person behind her (who will now be the new head of the line) and goes to the end of the line. So on.The leader must be very aware of the group so that everyone can follow him. This involves making the movements well visible and clear. If the group is very large, we can cut the row in three and give a different instrument to each person in the lead (harpsichord, mouth harp ...). Sometimes, if the group is very concentrated, we let all the participants go through the role of leader of the line.How did you feel? Do you prefer to be a leader and propose ideas or do you prefer to follow and imitate the leader?And now with music. We continue with the three rows and continue exploring this idea of shadow imitation but this time with music.Music: Piñon Piñon (Children ́s Dances of Terra Del Zur. The best of Shenanigans ́Dance Music 1980-1990 Vol.I)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwmEnWGIxWEWe imitate the leader of the line but this time we have to adjust our movements to the pulse of the music and the length of the phrase. We observe that we make different trajectories, we use different spatial levels and there is always some movement or proposal that surprises us.What differences do you observe in the quality of your movements? Does music help you or condition you too much? Have you felt that you had little time to improvise? Has it been easier for you to have the impulse of music?

Slow or fast. Explore and know the possibilities of movement of our body in space and time. Free work and work with pulsation.We observe four colored cards on the board that contain four verbs of movement, each constituting a sequence of movement. We put each of them into practice by paying attention to our body.- Fall, roll, get up and walk - Walk, stop, run, jump- Turn, jump, run, stop- Jump, run, turn, walk1. First we practice each sequence freely, each one following its own tempo and natural energy.2. Then we divide the room into two zones: slow zone and fast zone. We experience the different sequences but in one zone and another and moving from one zone to another.3. Finally, we work the sequences with a beat that the teacher marks with a tambourine.We discuss the possibilities of each of the movement verbs and the changes we have to make in each of the areas (slow and fast) of the room.

Statues at different levels. Stop and Go. We divided the group in two: Statues and visitors to the museum.Group 1 begins by making a statue (we will use the motif that each one created with their breathing and touching a part of the body)Group 2 moves freely applying the concepts that we have been working on throughout the session (levels, energy changes and time ...)The person who begins as a statue can only begin to move when a classmate from group 2 stops next to him and imitates her position in mirror or shadow. When 1 moves, 2 must make a statue using the motif of it starting from the breath and from then on, when we go next to a sculpture, instead of imitating it, what we will do is complement it. And so on in an increasingly dynamic way.So that the students do not always repeat the same quality of movement during the transitions between one statue and another, we remember that they can use the movement verbs that they worked on before or we are indicating some suggestions such as floating, taking small steps, with energetic jumps, with steps large ... We can also suggest different visualizations such as imagine that you walk barefoot on the sand of the beach that is burning, on a path full of puddles and you love to step on them, in a container full of honey up to your knees ...)At the beginning we imitate the position of the person next to whom we stop (in shadow or mirror) but then we will complement that position.Complementary movements. We continue making movements and stop next to a statue but then we try to complement that statue. The stop of one generates the movement of the other that is why the work in pairs is more intense and exciting. We also add eye contact and in a natural way the expressiveness of the face is intensified, greater complicity is created between all the members of the group and small stories emerge.On the way to choreography. We are going to design a group choreography using the material that we have worked with throughout the session. It is time to organize what you have learned and give it a form in the same way that the composer and the choreographer do. We have to create a piece in which you can see your solos, a part of group unison and another part of interaction with the members of the group.The material we will use is the following:- Movement phrase (rhythm with breathing and touching a part of the body)- Mirror or shadow imitation of the sculptures.- Transitions and displacements- Complementary movements and eye contact- Unison. Fall, roll, get up and walk sequenceWe contextualize with a little story. The museum statues come to life when the museum is closed and before the museum doors open they stand still.Visitors enter the museum and imitate these precious sculptures. Finally they merge into a single group that dances in unison until they fall to the ground together.MUSIChttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANWj58qJ3gIEach group shows their work. The others observe and analyze.What happens to energy, the quality of movement ... etc, when we have to adapt to music?To be successful, it is necessary to be alert and develop group listening to the maximum. Students who observe, have to analyze, critically assess and verbalize their conclusions so little by little they acquire the specific basic vocabulary of movement and dance.

Create a musical motif with our breath and that ends up touching a part of the body. Each student creates a motif and the others repeat it. You must be able to repeat it and fix it because we will use it later in the choreography.

Thank you!