Director’s News

“Doc Talk”/Class Lesson 6/2/2020

“DOC TALK”/CLASS LESSON – Tuesday, June 2, 2020





1) This Thursday, June 4th, from 9:00am-3:00pm, students may stop by the band room to do the following types of activities:

-Return concert music, instruments, accessories (mouthpieces, mutes) – this is especially critical for SENIORS!

-Pick up instruments to be used for marching band, this includes mallet instruments to take home to practice.

-Students who have earned positions in the East Central District Honor Band and All-State Band, as well as senior Tri-M members, can pick up their medals and honor cords.

-You are also welcome to just drop by to see meJ

-There will likely be some restrictions in place (masks, entrance locations, etc.); please check the school’s website and I will also try to keep you informed.


2) Registration for Marching Band is OPEN on our website!!!

Please sign up ASAP, and spread the word, especially to rising 9th graders!  The due date is Friday, June 19th.


Monday’s Lesson: “Toy Story” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” Tableaux 1-2

Today’s Lesson: “Toy Story” and Igor Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” Tableaux 3-4

In the interest of time, we are going to pick-up right where we left off yesterday, so if not watched yesterday’s video, please do so before watching this one as everything will make more sense.


Tableaux 3:  The Moor’s Room

Music cue #1:  15:00-17:05 in the attached link

The Moor is the 3rd puppet, the prince, the handsome one from a middle-eastern country.  After a stormy introduction, his stately, exotic-sounding, mysterious dance is stated by the Bb clarinet and the bass clarinet in octaves over pizzicato strings and light percussion (bass drum and cymbals).  As this passage continues, the exoticism is further enhanced by the timbre of the English horn, oboe trio and bassoon trio.


Music cue #2:  17:05-17:35 in attached link

The Ballerina decides to visit the Moor and she has her own special dance.  This is one of the most well-known trumpet orchestral excerpts in the book!


Music cue #3:  17:48/18:30/19:25 in the attached link

The Ballerina and the Moor now share a waltz.  At first, a more “traditional sounding” melody is played utilizing arpeggiated tonic and dominant chords (Eb and Bb).  Then the music grows a bit more complex in design and further into the dance one can sense a dissonance—as depicted in the English horn—as Petrushka is watching this dance from outside the room and growing increasingly more agitated.


Music cue #4:  20:00-20:55 in the attached link

As they are dancing, Petrushka enters the room, depicted by the arpeggiated motifs sounded in the trumpet.  A fight ensues and Petrushka is thrown out of the room by the moor.


Tableaux 4:  The Shrovetide Fair (Toward Evening)

As in a symphony, it is the first and fourth movement that are usually the largest– and this piece shares that commonality.  Like the first movement, all of the action takes place outside in place of large crowds.  The first part of this movement depicts several dances by actors/actresses and much of the music comes from actual Russian folk song.  Think of the “Nutcracker Suite” by Tchaikovsky and all those dances that represent different countries and personages.


Music cue #5:  22:14-24:00/24:00-24:38 in attached link

“The Wet-Nurses” Dance played by first by the oboe and then the horn against a pulsing accompaniment in the strings.  A second dance is sounded later in the passage and then the two are combined.


Music cue #6:  24:38-25:30 in the attached link

Here’s a very, very random passage, once again depicting the uniqueness and often macabre/bizarre nature of some of the fair attractions:  A “Walking Bear” accompanied by the sound of a pipe.  Note that the bear is depicted by the solo tuba in a very high register.  [This is another well-known orchestral excerpt for the tuba.]  Stravinsky often utilized instruments in their extreme ranges to create a special feeling (like the very high bassoon solo in the opening of the “Rite of Spring”).


After a few more dances, the music returns to the story of the puppets.


Music cue #7:  30:45-31:29 in the attached link

Announced by a high F# sustained by the entire trumpet section, Petrushka dashes from the little theatre pursued by the Moor, whom the Ballerina tries to restrain.  The furious Moor catches Petrushka and strikes him with his saber.  Petrushka falls; his head broken.


Music cue #8:  32:42-end in the attached link

The magician retrieves the broken puppet and places him back in the theatre.  As he is walking out, the ghost of Petrushka is seen above the theatre—mocking, harassing, and thumbing his nose at the magician.  Note that the final two notes of this work, as sounded in the lower strings, are C and F#.


Cool, eh?

It takes a bit of time to learn to truly enjoy this music—but you will.  Just like Debussy’s “La Mer,” this music has lasted for over 100 years and maintains a steadfast position in the orchestral repertoire.  By stretching your ear, you will broaden your musical tastes and find all music even more enjoyable!


And remember, this music is GREAT in part because it “can stand on its own” without the story.  However, like the “Nutcracker Suite,” “The Planets” and “Til Eulenspiegel,” the story makes the music all the more enjoyable!



1)  Listen to the last two two tableaux of “Petrushka” several times.  Do your best to keep up with the story.  Once you get the hang of it, I believe that you will find the music quite interesting, and the novel sounds quite refreshing .

2) Watch the actual ballet!!!  This may be the best way to enjoy this work!!!

3) Below are a few video analyses of this work that are very easy to understand—and they will really help you enjoy this piece more!  I highly encourage watching them!




Dr. Jerry Markoch, Director of Bands

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