Messages in music at
"Animal Farm” at Cambridge Lakes (2012)

The Question

How can propaganda, narratives, and music convey unique or intertwined messages? How does music play a role in protest and public dissent? What ideas are hidden within the covers of Animal Farm or in music from a similar era?

The Objectives

Know and understand the structural parts of a narrative: plot, setting, theme, point of view, conflict, suspense, climax
Form an educated opinion about the importance of what a character says vs. how the character is described
Know and understand how messages can be communicated in direct and indirect ways
Be able to compose short musical excerpts to represent different parts of a story
Know and understand what makes a good performance


The Process

Members of Fifth House Ensemble and eighth grade students worked together to explore the connections between George Orwell’s iconic Animal Farm and chamber music in this special project. Drawing parallels between literary and musical classics, students composed samples of writing and music to demonstrate the characters, plots, and hidden messages that lie in both artistic mediums. A special focus on propaganda music or music in response to political strife led to new and long-lasting connections for students and musicians alike.