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MUSIC LITERACY FACT SHEET
TITLE
1. “Birdsong
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------STYLE PERIOD/GENRE 1. Contemporary
2. Choral Music
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------COMPOSER/ARRANGER/EDITOR 1. Paul Read
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------COMPOSER INFO 1. Pianist, saxophonist, composer and arranger Paul Read is Director
of Graduate Jazz Studies at the University of Toronto where he teaches graduate courses,
ensembles, and theory and conducts the 10 O’clock Jazz Orchestra. Besides earning degrees
in music and education at the University of Toronto, Paul also studied at Berklee College
(Boston). His compositions and arrangements are published with Boosey & Hawkes, UNC
Jazz Press, Beldriana, and Warner Bros. He has appeared at the Downtown Toronto Jazz
Festival, in Toronto jazz clubs and broadcasts on CJRT.FM and CBC and has recorded 6 CDs
as pianist/arranger and conductor. His recording, The Heart of Summer (2004), features
Barry Elmes, Kieran Overs and New York based saxophonist, Scott Robinson. He also leads
his own 18 piece professional big band, P.R.O. (Paul Read Orchestra). Paul is founder of the
NMC (National Music Camp) Jazz Program and is a member of the Executive Board of the
International Association for Jazz Education (Canada Representative).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TEXT 1. By an unkown child in the Terezin Concentration Camp Czechoslovakia.
Birdsong is a celebration of life. The text comes from a collection of poems written by
children , who, while incarcerated in the Terezin Concentration Camp in
Czechoslovakia during the Second World War, wrote of their experiences and their
dreams. In Birdsong the young author writes of the beauty of the world rather than
of the horrors and destruction of the then present circumstances. The text’s positibe
and uplifting message is all the more striking when placed against the backdrip of
war and the loss of personal freedom.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SOUND 1. 2 – part treble voices. 2. piano
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------HARMONY 1. Major
2. Key changes
3. Darker with jazz overtones
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------MELODY
1. Bouncy (many skips/leaps)
2. Clear (often times all voices in
unison)
3. Unpredictable
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------RHYTHM
1. Gentle
2. Dancelike (celebration) 3. Always in motion 4. Tempo
– quarter note = 88, then quarter note = 108
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------GROWTH/FORM 1. AABA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TIME SIGNATURE
1. 4/4 (four beats in each measure, the quarter note
equals one beat
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------KEY SIGNATURE 1. Eb Major (3 flats) 2. C Major (no # or b’s) 3. A Major (3
sharps) 4. F# Major ( 6 sharps) 5. Then back to Eb Major
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------IMPORTANT TERMS/SYMBOLS/SIGNS
poco accel. (poco accelerando) – gradually speed up little by little
ff (fortissimo) – very loud
f (forte) – loud
mf (mezzo-forte) – medium loud
mp (mezzo-piano) – medium soft
rit. (ritardando) = gradually get slower
unis. (unison) – voice parts or sections sing together
subito - suddenly
C = common time, 4/4 – four counts per measure, the quarter note gets one count
2/4 = two counts per measure, the quarter note gets one count
(crescendo) – gradually get louder
(decrescendo) – gradually get quieter (softer)
(fermata) – hold longer than the original intended note value
Quarter note = 88
Quarter note = 108
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------NOTEWORTHY