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Listening for Styles and Genre

Aim: How can we identify music of different styles?
Summary: Students brainstorm strategies to guide their listening as they describe and label music of different genres.
Standards: US 6, 7, 8, 9; NYC 2, 3, 4
Modality: responding
Materials: Student Worksheets and recordings from different musical styles and genres
Time Required: 15 minutes


  1. Making inferences. How could you make a good guess about a type of music if you’ve never heard it before? Could you know what style it might be or which part of the world it’s from? What clues can we pay attention to that would help us as we listen?
  2. Listening. Using the Student Worksheets, look at the images and listen to clearly distinctive examples of various musical styles (e.g., a symphony orchestra, marching band, South African ensemble, and Chinese folk song)
    Download Student Worksheet: What Do I Hear? | Download Student Worksheet: Musical Styles

Suggested listening for Chinese folk song

Suggested listening for marching band

Suggested listening for South African ensemble

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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