It's Electric!
Music Blocks
by Colorado Public Radio
4M ago
Electronic instruments like synthesizers and computer software use electricity to make sound. They've also changed music. The electrophone instrument family expands the range of musical colors in a composer's toolkit. In this episode, check out how musicians like Dua Lipa, T La Rock and Yellow Magic Orchestra infuse their pieces with all kinds of electrophone tones and color. Stuff to think about after you’ve listened: What makes electrophones sound interesting to you? What kinds of electrophone sounds might you use to create a piece of music? Ready to explore more colorful electrophones ..read more
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Good Vibrations
Music Blocks
by Colorado Public Radio
5M ago
In this episode, we check out instruments that musicians use to deliver some amazing rhythmic impact. Idiophones make sound from the vibrations of an instrument's body. A lot of the time, musicians whack them or shake them rhythmically. Let’s talk about how musicians like Ruth Brown, Los Angeles Azules and Queens of the Stone Age use idiophones to give us exciting percussion parts full of accents and syncopation. Stuff to think about after you’ve listened: Have you ever made an instrument out of a desk or a table? What are other ordinary things that you can turn into instruments? What mate ..read more
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Drumroll Please!
Music Blocks
by Colorado Public Radio
5M ago
In this episode, the spotlight is on membranophones! Membranophones make sound from the vibration of a tightly stretched material. Think of drums that you strike to make a sound. But there are other cool membranophones. Let’s get to know more about these instruments and the musicians who bring us the beats, like The White Stripes, Bomba Con Buya and Ciara. Stuff to think about after you’ve listened: How does a membranophone contribute to a piece of music? What do you think makes composers or musical artists choose to include a membranophones in making music? What membranophone do you want ..read more
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Take a Deep Breath!
Music Blocks
by Colorado Public Radio
5M ago
Musicians who use the power of air breathe life into the music they play. They create beautiful and ear-catching melodies. The instruments they play are called aerophones. In this episode, we talk about aerophones and the musicians like Astor Piazzolla, Harry Styles and Francis Bebey who use these instruments to create gorgeous notes and melodies. Stuff to think about after you’ve listened: Which aerophone do you want to play? What aerophone sound appealed to you? What aerophone would you use to write a melody? Ready to explore more empowering musical stories? Check out our playlists on ..read more
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Strings And Things
Music Blocks
by Colorado Public Radio
5M ago
All around the world, musicians use stringed instruments to make music. The way musicians play these instruments creates beautiful and distinctive sounds. In this episode, say hello to chordophones! Chordophones are instruments that make sound from the vibration of strings. Checkout how musicians like John Legend, Michiyo Yagi and Johann Strauss II have made chordophones sing with different articulations. Stuff to think about after you’ve listened: Which articulations stood out to you when listening to the chordophones? Are there articulations you want to hear again? Can you name other ins ..read more
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Yes You Can! Stories of Empowerment
Music Blocks
by Colorado Public Radio
5M ago
Sometimes you need a little extra motivation, and music is a great place to look for it. A well-crafted song can tell a story that makes listeners feel confident, carefree or powerful. If you love uplifting choruses and pounding beats, check out these empowerment anthems by artists like Run-DMC, Koji Kondo and Jane Zhang. Stuff to think about after you’ve listened: What kinds of sounds are empowering to you? How would you include them in a song you are creating? When you want to feel empowered, what song is your go-to? What story does it tell? Ready to explore more empowering musical sto ..read more
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Gone But Not Forgotten
Music Blocks
by Colorado Public Radio
5M ago
We all struggle with how to cope when we lose someone we care about. So how do musicians use those universal feelings to tell stories about death and grief? This episode looks at some moving examples, including music from songwriter Chalino Sánchez, composer Benjamin Britten and the musical Dear Evan Hansen. And just a quick note: this episode is a little sadder than most of our episodes, so you might feel some strong feelings if you listen. Stuff to think about after you’ve listened: What musical sounds represent death to you? How might that be different from another person you know? Whi ..read more
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Stand Up! Stories of Protest
Music Blocks
by Colorado Public Radio
5M ago
Protest music is about highlighting problems in society and calling for change. And telling a story through music is an especially powerful way to move a listener to action. Check out some potent sonic storytelling about human rights, the environment and anti-colonialism from artists like Yothu Yindi, Hurray For The Riff Raff and Joni Mitchell. Content warning: This episode covers some topics that might be unsettling for some younger listeners. It’s the kind of material you might learn in a high school history class, rather than in elementary school history. You might want to listen to a diff ..read more
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The Sound of Heartbreak *Sob*
Music Blocks
by Colorado Public Radio
5M ago
A great song might not heal a broken heart, but it’s a moving way to tell a story when someone or something leaves you feeling shattered. Here’s a look at the clever techniques musicians use to share stories of heartache. Get ready for sad, weary sounds from Ella Fitzgerald, Katy Perry and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Stuff to think about after you’ve listened: Are there particular sounds, artists, or songs that you connect with feeling heartbreak? Which of the songs in the episode stood out to you with a connection to your experience with heartbreak? Ready to explore more music about heartbreak ..read more
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Welcome Home!
Music Blocks
by Colorado Public Radio
5M ago
Music is a powerful way to tell a story about the place you call home. A composer could write music about a place using a simple and evocative melody. A songwriter might write an anthem to evoke a sense of unity and pride. In this episode, we hear musical stories about home from artists like Jean Sibelius, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen and Howard Shore – along with a pair of memorable national anthems. Stuff to think about after you’ve listened: Is there a song that reminds you of home or a place where you really feel like you belong? If you created a song about your home, what sou ..read more
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