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Fine Arts Friday: First Term Tunes

Ah, September and the back to school bliss even when we don’t go to school.  We’re starting new everything this month, so I thought I’d cover the music we’re listening to this week.

Our composer this term is Franz Joseph Haydn. We read this short bio geared to kids, and we found Austria on the map. Then the kids made the connection with Austria and Mozart and The Sound of Music, and this mama’s heart burst with pride.

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Here’s one of the string quartets we’re studying.


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I love the line this line in the Haydn bio, “When he arrived, he discovered that he was a famous composer with many of his compositions being performed and sold as sheet music for many years.” Apparently, copyright wasn’t a thing then. Just a note about hymns and lyrics. I generally get our lyrics from the Timeless Truths Online Library, but almost every version of this hymn I found online does not follow the traditional lyrics, but does the first two verses, the first part of the third verse, then back to the top of the first verse. It’s confusing if you’re trying to read the sheet music. We’re using this video because you can see the lyrics at the top of the screen.

Finally, our folk song is “The Three Ravens,” a British song put on pen and paper at the beginning of the 17th century, but probably a lot older. Again, one of my primary considerations in choosing videos for hymns and folk songs is the ability to sing along. This gentleman has a lovely voice that’s easy for us to accompany. Some of the versions were four or five octaves too high. (I may be exaggerating.)

The story of the folk song is interesting. Three ravens are talking about what to eat, and one of them says “Hey, there’s a dead knight! Let’s eat him.” However, they find the knight guarded by his hawks and hounds. Then his pregnant lover comes, buries him, and dies. I kinda glossed over the “pregnant lover” part of the story and just said “his lady.” Sheesh 17th century British folk songs! Clean up your act!

And that’s what we’re singing and listening to this month! What are you listening to?

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