MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! 🎅🎄 "The Nutcracker" in 10 minutes!
Go on a magical Christmas adventure with a girl named Clara as she is whisked away by a nutcracker prince to the Kingdom of Sweets.
The Nutcracker - Waltz of the Flowers New York City Ballet
"Oh So Quiet" is an enchanting masterpiece that oscillates between serene whispers and explosive crescendos. Her whimsical vocals and playful orchestration create a captivating sonic journey that leaves listeners in awe. In 1995, it reached the top 10 in several countries, including the UK, Ireland and New Zealand.
"Hyperballad" by Björk is a mesmerizing blend of haunting vocals, pulsating beats, and poetic lyrics. It explores the depths of human emotions, blending introspection and vulnerability with a touch of surrealism, creating an unforgettable sonic experience. Live at Royal Opera House.
"Jóga" by Björk is a sonic masterpiece that merges ethereal vocals with sweeping strings and intricate electronic beats. Its introspective lyrics and powerful melodies capture the raw emotions of personal transformation, making it a standout track in Björk's discography.
The official video for "Earth Intruders" by Bjork from the album 'Volta'. "Earth Intruders" by Björk is a dynamic and exhilarating exploration of sound. With its infectious beats, tribal rhythms, and Björk's commanding vocals, the song becomes a powerful call to action, urging listeners to confront the urgent issues facing our planet.
Björk's album "Biophilia" is a groundbreaking musical project released in 2011. It explores the intersection of nature, technology, and music, featuring innovative interactive elements and a unique blend of organic and electronic sounds as well as newly-created instruments.
OCTOBER: TRACY CHAPMAN
"Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman is a poignant folk-rock ballad that tells the story of a young woman longing for a better life. With her raw and emotive vocals, Chapman explores themes of escape, dreams, and the pursuit of happiness amidst challenging circumstances.
"Talkin' Bout a Revolution" by Tracy Chapman is a powerful folk anthem that addresses social and economic inequality. With her soul-stirring voice and acoustic guitar, Chapman calls for unity and change, urging listeners to rise up and work towards a better world.
"Freedom Now" by Tracy Chapman is a compelling protest song that confronts issues of oppression and injustice. Chapman's impassioned vocals and poignant lyrics shed light on the struggle for freedom, urging society to take action and fight for equality and human rights.
"Change" by Tracy Chapman is a thought-provoking song that reflects on the need for societal transformation. Chapman's introspective lyrics and soulful delivery encourage listeners to embrace personal growth, challenge the status quo, and strive for positive change in the world.
Tracy Chapman singing Three Little Birds live at the One Love, the Bob Marley all star tribute One Love, the Bob Marley all star tribute concert in December 1999
"Across the Lines" by Tracy Chapman is a profound song that explores racial divisions and the universal desire for unity. Chapman's evocative vocals and poignant lyrics serve as a call to bridge the gaps and find common ground amidst social conflicts.
SEPTEMBER: BOB MARLEY
Bob Marley "Is This Love" official video from Bob Marley & The Wailers' 1978 album, 'Kaya.' It was filmed at the Keskidee Youth Centre in London and features a special appearance by a then 9-year-old Naomi Campbell.
Bob Marley & The Wailers "Three Little Birds" official music video.
"Trenchtown Rock" by Bob Marley is a reggae anthem that captures the essence of Jamaica's Trench Town neighbourhood. Released in 1971, it showcases Marley's infectious rhythms and empowering lyrics, celebrating the spirit of unity and resilience in the face of adversity.
Bob Marley - I Shot The Sheriff (Uprising Live!) The Uprising Tour ran in Europe from May 30th to July 13th 1980 with five further dates in the USA in September. It was Bob Marley's last tour before his tragically early death in May 1981 at the age of just 36. "I Shot the Sheriff" by Bob Marley is a captivating reggae track released in 1973. The song narrates a tale of a protagonist who admits to shooting a corrupt sheriff, reflecting themes of accountability, resistance, and the pursuit of justice.
"Is This Love" by Bob Marley is a soulful reggae ballad released in 1978. It explores the theme of romantic love, expressing affection, longing, and the quest for genuine connection. Marley's iconic vocals and heartfelt lyrics make it a timeless love anthem.
"Redemption Song" by Bob Marley is a poignant acoustic track released in 1980. It serves as a powerful anthem of hope and liberation, addressing themes of freedom, self-determination, and the triumph over oppression through the power of music and inner strength.
Bob Marley performing Get Up, Stand Up (Live At The Rainbow 4th June 1977).
"One Love" is a children's book by Cedella Marley based on the song by her father, Bob Marley. Illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Additional music and recording by Paper Bagg Band!
Bob Marley was an advocate for human rights and was optimistic that people could unite to create a beautiful world for us all to live in. His music reflects this positivity and passion.
JULY: BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB
This is the group's most well known song,
A short film about the making of the Buena Vista Social Club first album.
JUNE: CLARA SCHUMANN
Life and work of Clara Josephine Schumann born Clara Wieck. Learn about the life of one of the most famous Female composers in the Romantic Era.
Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason performs Clara Schumann's fiery Scherzo No.2 in C Minor, Op. 14. The session was filmed at Air Studios in London as part of Classic FM's Live Music Month. Isata recorded Clara Schumann's Scherzo for her debut album, 'Romance - the Music of Clara Schumann' which was released on Decca earlier this year.
Isata's debut album: https://decca.lnk.to/IsataRomanceID Isata Kanneh-Mason visits Leipzig ahead of the release of her debut album, to learn more about the amazing life and career of Clara Schumann in her 200th anniversary year.
Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell and acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk, a MacArthur Fellow, performed works by Schumann and Brahms in The Greene Space at WQXR.
This piece of music by Clara Schumann was on the Grade 8 piano syllabus last year. If you are studying to do a Grade exam now, this is what Grade 8 piano music looks and sounds like!
A beautiful ballad in D minor from 'Soirées Musicales' (op. 6, 1834-1836).
MAY: LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
Ladysmith Black Mambazo & Paul Simon
Famous American singer and songwriter Paul Simon travelled to the capital of South Africa (Johannesburg) to play and record music with African musicians. It was very difficult due to Apartheid. He invited Ladysmith Black Mambazo to record with him in London. The album they produced, called Graceland, is seen by many as
one of the best modern albums of all time. It won a Grammy Award in 1987 and has sold over 14
million copies! This song and 'Homeless' are both from this album.
This song is from the album 'Long Walk to Freedom, released on 24 January 2006.
The song was written for the soundtrack of the movie ‘Neria‘ which is about the struggles of a woman in rural Zimbabwe who lost her husband through an accident. Oliver Mtukudzi’s very emotional song is about the strength of women and how they succeed in facing live challenges. In the lyrics, Mtukudzi tries to console and encourage the woman: “Don’t be disheartened Neria, God is with you (Mwari anewe). May your heart be strong, be strong, God is with you. Death is jealous, it separates those in love.Don’t be disheartened my sister, God is with you.”
Ladysmith Black Mambazo perform Nomathemba (Mother of Hope) on the Arts Show.
Recorded February 1, 2016.
A funny song about how hard it is to be a kid sometimes!
APRIL: JONI MITCHELL
This is the 2018 official lyric video for Joni Mitchell's classic "Big Yellow Taxi" from the album 'Ladies Of The Canyon' (1970)The song was a hit in her native Canada as well as Australia and the UK. “Big Yellow Taxi” is Joni Mitchell’s call to action to prevent the damage we are doing to the environment. It refers to lack of human awareness; only too late we recognise the profligate destruction done to the environment. We value what we have in retrospect.
Joni Mitchell singing Chelsea morning from a television concert sometime in the seventies. Released in 1969, it is a folk song about living freely. Previous American president, Bill Clinton, named his daughter Chelsea after hearing this song!
In this song (1969) Joni Mitchell tells the story of a child's journey to adulthood. We can look back but we can’t return.
Although Joni was mostly known for her singing voice and guitar playing, she also played the piano, oboe and dulcimer.
Possibly the only Joni Mitchell song with no sad lyrics or melodies. Miss Wright can't find any others but maybe you can?!
Before the music starts, Joni tells the story of why she wrote this song. Enjoy her beautiful piano playing.
A heart-breaking but beautiful song about ambition and failure..
MARCH: WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Take a peek at this giant of classical music! Get an idea of his early life, hear a handful of his best-known tunes and remember why he's considered one of the all-time greats.
Mozart's first documented composition is a Minuet and Trio in G major. He was only five years old when he wrote it! All Mozart's compositions were given a listing beginning with KV and then a number. This piece is KV1 and his final piece was KV626 - Requiem.
The Magic Flute is one of Mozart's most well known operas. In this scene, filmed at The Royal Opera House, the Queen of The Night is full of vengeance and rage. The melody is very colourful and very high so only skilled, soprano singers can perform it.
The cast and creative team of The Royal Opera's Magic Flute explore what makes Mozart's The Magic Flute a classic.
Miss Wright performed this at a recital many, many years ago!
Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525, is a 1787 composition for a chamber ensemble by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The German title means "a little night music". The work is written for an ensemble of two violins, viola, cello and double bass, but is often performed by string orchestras
Mozart's Rondo from the Horn Concerto Nr 4 KV 495 in this trio arrangement by Joshua Davis. Played by Sarah Willis - horn, Tamás Velenczei - trumpet and Jesper Busk Sorensen - euphonium Recorded in the Berlin Chamber Music Hall for the Pacific Music Festival 2021 as a virtual chamber music concert.
As part of its performance at the BBC Proms in August 2014, Aurora Orchestra performed Mozart's Symphony No. 40 from memory.
The Marriage of Figaro is another of Mozart's operas. An overture is a piece of music for the orchestra to play at the beginning of an opera or ballet. The word comes from the French word for "opening" because it "opens" the show. Overtures usually have tunes which are going to be heard during the opera or ballet. In this way it prepares the audience for what is to come.
FEBRUARY: ARETHA FRANKLIN
Aretha Franklin - Think
Song written by Aretha Franklin & Ted White
Album: Aretha Now (1968)
Aretha Franklin had a small acting part in the film 'The Blues Brothers' in 1980. However, she stole the show with her rendition of the song Think!
Following her success in the original Blues Brothers film, Aretha performed RESPECT in the film sequel in Blues Brothers 2000.
Aretha Franklin performs "I Say A Little Prayer," October 9, 1970.
This song was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney in 1970. They wanted Aretha to record her own version of it so they sent it to her record company. Aretha released her version before the Beatles released it themselves but the Beatles version became much more well known.
"Oh Happy Day" by Aretha Franklin and Mavis Staples
Aretha Franklin performed at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors this year, paying tribute to Carole King, who helped co-write the song she performed "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."
(16 Aug 2018) Aretha Franklin brought down the house at President Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009. Her performance was as memorable for her hat as it was for her rendition of "My country 'tis of thee." (Aug.
JANUARY: SIGUR ROS
"Hoppípolla" is a song by Sigur Rós from their 2005 album Takk. The song title means "hopping into puddles", and the lyrics are mainly in Icelandic, with some nonsensical phrases, a "language" the band calls Vonlenska ("Hopelandic"). This song has been featured on the BBC's 'Planet Earth' and 'Blue Planet'..
Sigur Ros released Stendur æva in 202. It is a song from their orchestral album Odin's Raven Magic. Stendur Aeva means 'Stands Alive'. The instruments in this piece are a really unusual combination of sounds. Look out for the marimbas made from rough pieces of stone at the start of the pice. There are also two very different solo voices, a choir a brass section, as sting sections, keyboards....what else can you spot?
This video includes footage of Sigur Ros performing at an open air concert in 2006. Look out for the lead singer & guitarist, Jónsi, playing his electric guitar with a cello bow and singing in his falsetto voice.
This song was taken from the album "Takk" which means 'thanks'. Roughly translated the title of the song (Glósóli) means 'glowing sun'. The video consists of children dressed in old-fashioned Icelandic clothing, migrating towards a very characteristic cliff which is to be found in Reykjanes Peninsula in the SW of Iceland. The song culminates at the end when the children reach a large hill and the leader starts beating his drum rapidly. When the song climaxes, the children start to run full speed up the hill. It is then shown that the hill is in fact a cliff, ending at the ocean. When the children reach the edge, they jump off and swim through the air. NB LONGFLEET - DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME - YOU CANNOT FLY!
OK, so strictly speaking this isn't by Sigur Ros! Jonsi is Sigur Ros' front man and has also released solo music. He wrote and performed two songs for the How To Train Your Dragon films - this one and 'Where No One Goes' from HTTYD2.
The physical geography of Iceland is incredibly dramatic and has influenced the music of Sigur Ros. Iceland is largely an arctic desert punctuated by mountains, glaciers, geysers, hot springs, volcanoes and waterfalls. Most of the vegetation and agricultural areas are in the lowlands close to the coastline. Iceland's most distinctive features are the glaciers that cover over 4,600 square miles. (The music in this video is not Sigur Ros - it is just on here to help you understand why the Icelandic landscapes inspire their music!)
DECEMBER: ELTON JOHN
For their traditional Christmas advert 2018, John Lewis & Partners worked with musical legend Elton John. He sings his power ballad "Your Song". The emotional two-minute video tracks John's road to stardom - from playing in pubs to sold out stadium shows.
Elton's second concert at London's Royal Festival Hall was an opportunity for him and his band to perform their newly-recorded album Honky Château in its entirety. This live debut of 'Rocket Man' two months before its release as the album's first single is striking in its freshness and its ability to nearly replicate the studio arrangement on stage.
"Candle in the Wind" came from the Live In Australia With The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra album. The video is from Elton's 1986 concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. The sound of applause is the audience responding to the orchestra lighting candles, unbeknownst to Elton.
"Circle of Life" is performed and composed by Elton John, with lyrics by Tim Rice. The song features in the iconic opening sequence of Walt Disney's The Lion King and this music video features alternative lyrics from the soundtrack version. It was also nominated for Best Song at the 1994 Academy Awards.
NOVEMBER: ETHYL SMYTH
As well as being a musician, Smyth was also a suffragette who devoted herself to the cause for women's rights for two years, giving up her music in order to focus on it completely. In 1911, her piece, "The March of The Women" became the anthem of the women's suffragette movement. The piece became a symbol of the movement and was sung not only at rallies but also in prisons where the women were on hunger strike. The Votes For Women newspaper described the song as 'at once a hymn and a call to battle'.
Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney traces the history of the women's movement in Britain and discovers how women won the vote. **Please note, this series was originally broadcast in 2013 and all information was correct at the time of recording.
The "Concerto for Violin and Horn" by Ethel Smyth, performed by concertmaster Juraj Cizmarovic and solo hornist Marcel Sobol with the WDR Funkhausorchester under the baton of its principal conductor Frank Strobel. Recorded live at the WDR Funkhaus Wallrafplatz on September 10, 2021.
This orchestral piece is in four movements. A movement in a piece of music s a bit like a chapter in a book.
00:00 - I. Allegro non troppo
14:27 - II. Scherzo: Allegro vivace - Allegro molto
20:37 - III. Allegretto grazioso - Molto vivace grazioso
26:21 - IV - Allegretto grazioso
Ethel Smyth's opera, "The Wreckers" was considered the most important English opera of the time. However, it was not until her 75th birthday in 1934, hat her work was celebrated at the Royal Albert Hall in front of the Queen. Heartbreakingly, at the moment of long-overdue recognition, Smyth was completely deaf and could hear neither her own music nor the cheering of the crowds.
Smyth's greatest influence was Johannes Brahms, a German romantic composer. In 1878, she was lucky enough to see him when he arrived in Leipzig to conduct his new symphony. The became friends and he greatly admired Smyth's compositions. She was forever inspired by his music. You may recognise the very famous melody of this piece by Brahms.
OCTOBER: NINA SIMONE
A fantastic bit of research from Edie in Year 4: Nina was a proud, young girl. When her mum was at church, Nina, unnoticed, climbed up the organ bench and learned to play “God Be With You Til We Meet Again”. She was three years old then. When she was five years old, her mother’s employer offered to pay for piano lessons and Nina started training to become a classical pianist. She was committed, hard working and hugely talented. At twelve, she gave her first concert. Her parents were sitting in the front row, but they were forced to sit at the back of the hall to make room for some white people who came in. Nina refused to start playing until her parents were seated at the front. Nina poured passion and pride into her music, and she could not stand racism. She wanted black people to be free, be proud, to embrace their talents and their passions free of judgement. That’s why she wrote songs like “Brown Baby” and Young, Gifted and Black”. Nina Simone knew how racism hurt black people and she wanted them to find strength in her songs. “The worst thing about that kind of prejudice,” she said, “is that while you feel hurt and angry and all the rest of it, it feeds your self doubt. You start thinking perhaps I am not good enough.” Nina decided to cultivate her talent, rather than her fear and eventually she became one of the most famous jazz singers in the world.
This is most definitely in Miss Wright's top 5 songs! Enjoy the beautiful acapella vocal at the beginning and then the full, rich sounds of the band when they play their iconic opening notes. How many different instruments can you hear? Originally written for the 1964 musical "The Roar Of The Greasepaint-The Smell Of The Crowd" it has since been covered by many artists, including Muse, Sammy Davis Jr., Bobby Darin, Traffic, Michael Bublé, The Pussycat Dolls, George Michael, John Barrowman, John Coltrane, Toše Proeski, Frank Sinatra Jr., and Adam Lambert. ENJOY THIS!
Originally recorded by Nina Simone in 1957, this song made a big come back in 1987 when it was used in an advert. This wonderful animation was also made in 1987. While you're enjoying the two cool cats, keep an eye out for the footage of the piano the snare drum and the double bass.
Nina Simone's greatest influence was classical composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach was a German composer who lived from 1685 - 1750. Nina's musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music along with her expressive vocals. "Once I understood Bach's music, I wanted to be a concert pianist. Bach made me dedicate my life to music." In this song, you can see the evidence of her training as a classical pianist. She was a truly talented and wonderful musician!
You might recognise this song because it was written by George Harrison! This is Nina Simone's version - how do you think it compares to the Beatle's original?
Nina Simone playing live in London, 1968. ‘I Got Life’ is a real celebration - there are always reasons to choose the positive side of life, no matter how bad things seem or how difficult the way ahead looks. Nina Simone’s exuberant response to adversity brings to mind the words of poet Maya Angelou, another civil rights activist:
‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.’
This song reminds us that music has the power to do so much more than just entertain us. This is a powerful protest song about all the acts of violence and oppression against Black communities in the segregated South of America. “It was my first civil rights song,” she later recalled, “and it erupted out of me quicker than I could write it down.”
SEPTEMBER: THE BEATLES
'I Want to Hold Your Hand' was the first Beatles' record to top both the UK and the US charts. It was also their first to be recorded on a 4-track, as opposed to the usual 2-track, tape machine.
How many different instruments can you hear in this one?
We all need a little bit of help sometimes!
You might recognise this song from 'Bee Movie'. Quite a few musicians have covered it. Miss Wright's favourite cover version is by Nina Simone.
Hey Jude topped the charts in Britain for two weeks and for 9 weeks in America, where it became The Beatles longest-running No.1 in the US singles chart as well as the single with the longest running time. I think the Beatles were being a little bit silly at the start of this video but it is nice to see them doing a live performance with an audience.
Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney of The Beatles perform "With A Little Help From My Friends" with special guests at the 2015 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony. You can find other recordings of the original Beatles version on youtube but it's nice to see the two surviving Beatles performing together and also to see all the instruments that were in this song!
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
Our cookies ensure you get the best experience on our website.
Please make your choice!
Some cookies are necessary in order to make this website function correctly. These are set by default and whilst you can block or delete them by changing your browser settings, some functionality such as being able to log in to the website will not work if you do this. The necessary cookies set on this website are as follows:
A 'sessionid' token is required for logging in to the website and a 'crfstoken' token is
used to prevent cross site request forgery.
An 'alertDismissed' token is used to prevent certain alerts from re-appearing if they have been dismissed.
An 'awsUploads' object is used to facilitate file uploads.
We use Matomo cookies to improve the website performance by capturing information such as browser and device types. The data from this cookie is anonymised.
Cookies are used to help distinguish between humans and bots on contact forms on this website.
A cookie is used to store your cookie preferences for this website.Cookies that are not necessary to make the website work, but which enable additional functionality, can also be set. By default these cookies are disabled, but you can choose to enable them below: