March 07, 2007

A child's introduction to classic art and classical music

New to me, from the March 2007 issue of Canadian Family magazine, found yesterday at the library:

Can You Hear It?, book and accompanying audio cd, by William Lach of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (published by Abrams); suggested for ages four to ten. From the Met Store website:
A bustling cityscape full of cars and people; the interior of a circus teeming with wild animals; ice-skaters gliding on a frozen pond in winter; a fascinating underwater world swimming with fish and sea creatures—classical music can inspire the imagination to envision scenes within melodies. Our book includes 13 pictures that set the stage for the music on the CD. A Japanese print by Ando Hiroshige of a hovering bee illuminates the trilling flutes in The Flight of the Bumblebee, while a Jazz Age painting by Kees van Dongen of a traffic jam at the Arc de Triomphe captures the rousing opening of An American in Paris, and a gilded Mughal watercolor of an elaborately-costumed elephant by an unknown artist gives life to the majestic creature from The Carnival of the Animals. Accompanying each image are guided questions and a CD track number that prime readers to listen for specific sounds. When the track is played, readers will look and listen as never before. The CD includes American and European orchestras playing 13 short works or excerpts of longer works by various composers like Rimsky-Korsakov, Vivaldi, Saint-SaĆ«ns, Gershwin, and others. Also included in the book is an introduction to musical instruments, illustrated with beautiful and historically significant examples from the Museum's collection, including a Stradivarius violin, a crystal flute, the oldest piano in the world, and one of Segovia's guitars. Following this section are notes on each artist and composer, and information on the visual and musical works presented both in the book and on the CD.
From the Met's "Can You Find It?" series of art books for children.

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