For this Guided Listening, you will need the following:

A copy of these teaching steps
Audio assets: Excerpts I and II of Divertimento No. 6 by John Weinzweig
Text asset: John Weinzweig, Divertimento No. 6
Flash asset: page 6 of the score image of Divertimento No. 6 (on overhead or provide student copies)

Audio excerpts, images and textual information are provided below the Guided Listening.

I. First Impressions
• Listen to Excerpt I of Divertimento No. 6 by John Weinzweig.
• Focus on the string parts and how their seemingly random chromatic notes seem to ask a question.

II. Score Study
• Show the score image on an overhead and share the following information:
     This section of Weinzweig’s Divertimento No. 6 begins with the strings playing each c Read More
For this Guided Listening, you will need the following:

A copy of these teaching steps
Audio assets: Excerpts I and II of Divertimento No. 6 by John Weinzweig
Text asset: John Weinzweig, Divertimento No. 6
Flash asset: page 6 of the score image of Divertimento No. 6 (on overhead or provide student copies)

Audio excerpts, images and textual information are provided below the Guided Listening.

I. First Impressions
• Listen to Excerpt I of Divertimento No. 6 by John Weinzweig.
• Focus on the string parts and how their seemingly random chromatic notes seem to ask a question.

II. Score Study
• Show the score image on an overhead and share the following information:
     This section of Weinzweig’s Divertimento No. 6 begins with the strings playing each chromatic note once before repeating any of them. D, F, F#, B, C, Eb, A#, C#, A, G#, G, E. For just over two measures no note has more importance than any other; a serialist technique developed by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg.

III. Discuss
• Ask: How does using each chromatic note only once liken to a question?
• Introduce the concept of central pitch, and how Schoenberg began 12-tone composition to rid music of a resting pitch.
• Share these definitions:
     o 12-tone music: Music in which no note is repeated until all other chromatic pitches have been used. The note order is fixed and called a “row”.
     o Serialism – A form of composition based on 12-tone technique, in which pitch classes, rhythms, and/or dynamics are determined systematically.
• Listen to Excerpt I again and notice how the saxophone attempts an answer at 2:05, then again the strings ask the same question, with a slightly different inflection at the end.
• Listen to Excerpt II. The question and response searching continues until the strings seem to give up at 5:41 with a loud upward glissando.

IV. Reflect
• Listen to this excerpt again and focus on the saxophone’s differing attempts at an answer. Does the saxophone succeed at answering?

© 2010, National Arts Centre. All Rights Reserved.

John Weinzweig (1913-2006) was one of the most influential composers in Canada because of his success as a composer and because of the successes of his numerous composing students. Divertimento No. 6 was commissioned in 1972 by Paul Brody for the Third World Saxophone Congress. In this composition Weinzweig uses non-traditional techniques such as extended instrumental methods like instrument key clicking or humming through the instrument. He also displays his use of serialism for a source of melodic material shown by repeated note ordering that does not have any tonal centre. The work was first performed at the Third World Saxophone Congress in Toronto with the aid of a grant from the Canada Council.
John Weinzweig (1913-2006) was one of the most influential composers in Canada because of his success as a composer and because of the successes of his numerous composing students. Divertimento No. 6 was commissioned in 1972 by Paul Brody for the Third World Saxophone Congress. In this composition Weinzweig uses non-traditional techniques such as extended instrumental methods like instrument key clicking or humming through the instrument. He also displays his use of serialism for a source of melodic material shown by repeated note ordering that does not have any tonal centre. The work was first performed at the Third World Saxophone Congress in Toronto with the aid of a grant from the Canada Council.

© 2010, National Arts Centre. All Rights Reserved.

Page of score of John Weinzweig's Divertimento No. 6.

This section of Weinzweig's Divertimento No. 6 begins with the strings playing each chromatic note once before repeating any of them. D, F, F#, B, C, Eb, A#, C#, A, G#, G, E. For just over two measures no note has more importance than any other; a serialist technique developed by Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg.

John Weinzweig, Divertimento No. 6, 1972, Score (unpublished), p.6.
Canadian Music Centre

© 1972, John Weinzwieg.


An excerpt from Divertimento No. 6 by John Weinzweig (1:48-3:45).

John Weinzwieg

© 1972, John Weinzweig.


An excerpt from Divertimento No. 6 by John Weinzweig (3:54-5:52).

John Weinzweig

© 1972, John Weinzweig.


Learning Objectives

Breaking the Rules: Non-Traditional and Extended Techniques is designed for students and educators to meet the following objectives:

• Learn about and experience non-traditional compositional strategies composers use to create new and distinct music.
• Consider the role of “breaking the rules” in music as a way to encourage important questioning of how we hear and of personal taste and interest.
• Make a personal connection with the challenges and enjoyment of non-traditional listening, composing, and performing.

Breaking the Rules: Non-Traditional and Extended Techniques begins with a series of exercises, each of which focuses on a non-traditional technique used by a composer to explore new ways of music making.

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