For this Guided Listening you will need the following:
A copy of these teaching steps
Text asset: Michael Colgrass, Delta
Audio asset: Excerpt II of Divertimento No. 6 by John Weinzweig
Audio asset: Excerpt of Delta by Michael Colgrass

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

I. First Impressions
• Listen to the audio asset Excerpt II of Divertimento No. 6 by John Weinzweig. Notice the saxophone. What genre of music do you most often hear the saxophone playing? Does this sound like jazz? What parts do? What parts don’t?
• Share the following quote:

“…jazz and swing elements have become the important elements of my works...[a]bout the only time I go out to hear music is when Harry Somers and I drop in at the Colonial Tavern to hear some good jazz.” John Weinzweig Read More
For this Guided Listening you will need the following:
A copy of these teaching steps
Text asset: Michael Colgrass, Delta
Audio asset: Excerpt II of Divertimento No. 6 by John Weinzweig
Audio asset: Excerpt of Delta by Michael Colgrass

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

I. First Impressions
• Listen to the audio asset Excerpt II of Divertimento No. 6 by John Weinzweig. Notice the saxophone. What genre of music do you most often hear the saxophone playing? Does this sound like jazz? What parts do? What parts don’t?
• Share the following quote:

“…jazz and swing elements have become the important elements of my works...[a]bout the only time I go out to hear music is when Harry Somers and I drop in at the Colonial Tavern to hear some good jazz.” John Weinzweig, Canadian Composer, April 1975

• Provide a quick description of the Colonial Tavern, an important centre for jazz in Toronto in the late 1970s. Located on Yonge Street near Queen (since demolished) it hosted many famous musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie, Gene Krupa, Oscar Peterson and Jeff Healey.
• Ask: Can you hear the influence of Weinzweig’s time spent listening at the Colonial Tavern?

II. Identify
• Listen to the audio excerpt of Delta by Michael Colgrass.
• Notice how:
     o In this section jazz and modern classical shift and at times overlap almost like changing scenes in a movie.
• Ask: What effect does this back and forth have? How is the back and forth different from when the two styles overlap?
• Write the words “New Eclecticism” on the board and tell them that this is a term used to describe the composition category that Colgrass is sometimes placed in. Based on what they have heard in the excerpt of Delta, can they make a supported guess at what they think the term means?
• After students have had time to share a few guesses, read the text asset: Michael Colgrass, Delta for the answer. Check with students: Do you understand what “New Eclecticism” is? How close was your guess?

III. Reflect
• Discuss: What are your favourite two styles of music? What would they sound like together?

© 2010, National Arts Centre. All Rights Reserved.

Michael Colgrass (b. 1932) began his musical career in Chicago as a jazz drummer. He also studied Western composition at the University of Illinois and has spent his life living and working in both the United States and Canada. He has been placed in a movement called The New Eclecticism because of his combination of jazz with various non-traditional Western compositional techniques. In Delta, composed in 1979, Colgrass often layers these two styles so that they are being heard at the same time. The combination is a very sincere portrayal of his background and interests. Delta was first performed in by the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 1979.
Michael Colgrass (b. 1932) began his musical career in Chicago as a jazz drummer. He also studied Western composition at the University of Illinois and has spent his life living and working in both the United States and Canada. He has been placed in a movement called The New Eclecticism because of his combination of jazz with various non-traditional Western compositional techniques. In Delta, composed in 1979, Colgrass often layers these two styles so that they are being heard at the same time. The combination is a very sincere portrayal of his background and interests. Delta was first performed in by the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 1979.

© 2010, National Arts Centre. All Rights Reserved.

An excerpt from Divertimento No. 6 by John Weinzweig (0:00-1:17).

John Weinzweig

© 1972, John Weinzweig.


An excerpt from Delta by Michael Colgrass (4:43-6:45).

Michael Colgrass

© 1979, Michael Colgrass.


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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