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George Lewis welcomes Cambodian composer Chinary Ung and violist Susan Ung for a demonstration of the unusual sounds of traditional Cambodian instruments and the effect of culture on music.

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  • Culture and Music--how culture influences musical growth and creativity
  • Creativity in Composition--explores the process of creating a musical composition from conception to notation
  • Visualization in Music--explores the relationship between visual representations and music and how one can influence the other
  • Improvisation--demonstrates how every performance is slightly different and some composers write to emphasize this difference
  • The role of the composer in music
  • Concepts of musical notation and alternatives to traditional notation, such as "Spatial Notation"
  • Music and instruments from Cambodia; what it meant to become a musician in Cambodia
  • "Crossover"--combining music of different cultures
Discussion Points
  • Where does music come from? Where does a composition begin?
  • What is the purpose of notation?
  • What is the definition of "culture"? What does culture mean to you?
  • What is your cultural background and how can that be used to inspire you?
  • While watching the video, have students point out when someone is being "creative". Discuss the definition of creativity.
  • How is music used in the media to create suspense and drama, etc.?
  • Have one student draw an abstract picture of lines, colors, curves, dots, etc. on a piece of paper. Draw from the left side of the paper to the right. Next, have another student "interpret" the drawing musically using voice or instrument.
  • Play a piece of music and have the students "notate" it using lines, colors, curves, etc.
  • Explore the relationship between our surroundings and music. What sounds might represent a clear blue sky? A cloudy sky? A stormy sky?
  • Use the visual example of a haiku poem as a spatial type of notation and perform it vocally.
  • Hear a piece of music and improvise a dance/movement piece to complement it.
  • Listen to a piece of music and draw what you hear.

Introduction to Musicians and Middle Schools |
Using the Videos in the Classroom |

What Creativity Means: Anthony Davis, Cecil Lytle, Steven Schick,
Bertram Turetzky, Chinary Ung & Susan Ung |

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