This Month in Music: April

by Abby @ Quaver on April 3, 2012

in This Month in Music


 Fight off April’s gloomy showers with a slew of great Music History knowledge!
Explore these dates in April’s Musical History with your students this month!



1869 – Composer Albert Charles Paul Marie Roussel was born. A French composer. Roussel turned to music as an adult, and became one of the most prominent composers of his time. His early works were strongly influenced by the impressionism of Debussy and Ravel. Listen to some of Roussel’s work and compare it what you know of Impressionism from Quaver’s Episode!


1927 – Geroge Antheil’s “Ballet Mécanique” was presented for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New York City. It was the first symphonic work that used an airplane propeller and other mechanical contraptions not normally associated with the ballet. The performance also featured xylophones, electric bells, anvils, sirens, assorted percussion instruments, player pianos, and regular pianos, including one played by a 26-year-old Aaron Copland.


Speaking of the Ballet – Have you checked out the brand new QDancer in Quaver’s Studio at Choreograph your own routine in ballet or hip-hop style! No airplane propellers available at this time :)


1958Bobby Darin recorded “Splish Splash” – a silly song about a surprise party that took the early Rock and Roll world by storm! They say Darin and his friend took a bet that they couldn’t write a song starting with the words “Splish splash, I was takin’ a bath.” Well, they did!

Just try not to smile when you watch this live version of the song!


1741 – Composer Johann Gottlieb Naumann was born. Naumann is best known for his composition of a chord sequence which became known as The Dresden Amen. The sequence is significant in Western classical music because it has been used in various forms by composers since the 19th century – including Richard Wagner in his last opera, Parsifal. Listen to Naumann’s famous sequence here!



2003 – The iTunes Music Store opened with over 200,000 items to purchase. Just a year later, in 2004, the store marked its first anniversary with over 70 million songs sold!

Do some research to find out how many songs have been sold to date! (Hint: It’s a lot!)



1899 – Composer Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was born. Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and big-band leader who wrote over 1,000 compositions in his lifetime! A big player in the history of jazz – which he called “American Music” – Ellington also influenced blues, gospel, classical, and pop music. He went on to earn 12 Grammy’s! 

Learn more about Duke Ellington and listen to some of his most famous compositions here!


What are you learning in your classroom this month?

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