Tag Archives: Green music

Seashell Trumpets Around The World

Nagak Seashell trumpet from KoreaDid you know a seashell can be a musical instrument?

Years ago, I saw a picture of a conch shell used as a trumpet in an ancient Aztec drawing. As I’ve visited other counties, I’ve discovered that large shells have been used in many different ways in ancient and modern times, all over the world.

Here are just a few of the world music traditions that use sea shells as natural trumpets and horns.

MEXICO

In Aztec culture, the shell trumpet was very symbolic and often associated with the breath of life as well as the rhythms of the sea. Similarly, it was associated aztec conch trumpetwith the call to prayer, marking time during the day and night, rhythms of the moon, fertility and with Ehécatl – the Aztec God of the Wind.

Here is the first picture that piqued my curiosity. It is a musician called a “quiquizoani” playing the conch trumpet. Researchers found 7 different types of conch shell trumpets played in the ancient Aztec culture of Mexico. They also discovered that conch shell trumpets were used by the Aztec military in a manner similar to modern day bugles.

One of the best sites for information on Aztec instruments, including great pictures from important archeological sites is Mexicolore.com. You can find Mexico Lore’s conch shell page here: 
http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/music/conch-trumpet

KOREA

A nagak is a large elegant seashell used as a trumpet, mainly in military parades. You can see it above in a photo of a procession at the royal place in Seoul, Korea. Also called the na, sora or godong, it is made from the shell of a sea snail that is sometimes called Triton’s Trumpet.

JAPAN

horagaiIn Japan, large conch shells called Horagai (法螺貝) (or jinkai (陣貝) have been used as trumpets for many centuries. Special schools still teach students to play the traditional music associated with the conch.

In ancient times, conch trumpets were used by certain sects of Buddhist monks to signal their movements across mountains or to accompany religious chanting. Unlike shell trumpets from other parts of the world, Japanese shell trumpets are fitted with mouthpieces of bamboo or bronze that allow them to create several different notes rather than just one single trumpet blast. Samurai used the war shell; known as the jinkai, as a communication device during battles. Playing different combination of notes would signal warriors to attack, withdraw, or change strategies during battle. Here is an example of the Japanese shell trumpet where you can hear the different notes being played:

PUEBLO CULTURE (USA)

Although the location is many days travel from the ocean, conch shell trumpets were found in the burial chambers of recently discovered (Native American) Pueblo ruins in New Mexico. You can read about what else was discovered there, here: https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/conch-trumpets-flutes-and-turquoise-beads-treasured-items-of-an-ancient-culture/

FLORIDA (USA)

Not to be left out, there is a conch shell trumpet contest every year in the Florida Keys. Adults and kids participate and try to make beautiful music – or at least long sustained blasts – from their own gorgeous shells.

You can check out some of the champion “conch honkers” from the 50th anniversary contest in Key West, here:

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Sing An Earth Day Song In Spanish

Earth Day Song in SpanishMusic is such a wonderful way to promote learning languages and bilingualism. If you’re celebrating Earth Day, here’s a fun way of combining caring for our planet with expanding your language skills in Spanish.

The song is based on my earth Day anthem heard all over the world, and if you haven’t heard it yet, check out the official video below (in English) and hear it yourself.  We’re working on Spanish and other language video versions now.  now!

Tenemos Todo El Mundo En Nuestras Manos

(New version of lyrics in English)
 Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou
 (Spanish translation) Cecelia Fencer

little boy and shekereTenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
 (chorus – sung four times)

 

Debemos reciclar, ahora que podemos.

Reducir, reusar y reciclar

Reducir y reciclar ahora que podemos.

Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

 

Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra,

plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.

Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.

Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

 

Tomemonos de las manos, como hermanos.

Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos.

Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos,

tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos

 

Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,

ten tus anhelos y lucha por ellos.

Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,

tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
 (chorus – sung four times)

Links and Resources



world in hands iconFree Lyric Sheet – We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands (English) https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Earth-Day-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2451013

Earth Day Song – On ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/daria-sings-for-earth-day-ep/id428500463

We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands – Youtube Video – (In English) https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=eIQUOIyE7q0

Earth Day CD Plus E-Book With 10 Recycled Activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EARTH-DAY-CD-PLUS-E-BOOK-OF-10-RECYCLED-MUSICAL-ACTIVITIES-658096

Official Earth Day Site: http://www.earthday.org/

How To Make Bottle Cap Bangles For Recycled Musical Instruments

tambourine-with-zilsIf you’ve ever made a homemade tambourine or sistrum, you’ve probably wanted to use bangles like those seen on traditional middle eastern drums or instruments.  Technically, these round thin mini-cymbals are called zils.  You can see some lovely large zils on this antique tambourine from the Middle East.

If you’re crafting an instrument that uses these bangles, it’s easy to make a simple version of zils out of recycled bottle caps using a few tools that are handy around any home or garage.

bangles-work-areaWhat You Need

Metal bottle caps
Piece of Wood
Hammer
Large nail with a head
Safety Goggles

 

Safety First

Although this is a reasonably safe and easy project, it’s always a good idea to use caution.  Wearing safety goggles means that your eyes and face are protected if you accidentally hit the cap too hard and it bounces off the wooden work surface. In general, a good tip for this project is to use the hammer slowly and gently, tapping repeatedly until you get the desired results.

Set Up A Work Area

Set the piece of wood down either on the floor, the ground or a sturdy table.  Place the metal bottle cap (cap-side-up) and then position the large nail above it, directly in the center.  Gently tap until the nail has pierced the cap and reached down into the wood.  This creates the hole that will allow you to thread it onto whatever you are making.

Next, With cap-side-down, next gently strike all the edges of the bottle cap until it slowly flattens.  This can take 15, 20 or more gentle taps with the hammer.

bangles-from-bottle-capsNext, turn the bottle cap over.  Continue to tap the outer edges and the inner circle until all the sharp edges are flattened and pressed into the cap’s surface.  Although some recycled projects use the bottle caps in their original form – such as the wooden sistrum from Africa seen below – flattening the bangles makes them safer to handle and use in any project.

If you’re doing this project with very small children, you might wish to create the bangles in advance and focus more on how the children can string the bangles plus other rattling objects onto their craft instrument.

giveaway-wooden-sistrum-africaWondering what else you could add to a tambourine or sistrum project?  In addition to bottle cap zils, you can add paper clips, buttons, jingles, beads or pull tabs from soda cans.  Remember, while you’re reducing, reusing and recycling, you’re also teaching kids to limit their use of resources but never limit their imagination or creativity!

And that’s a win/win for everyone!

Links and Resources

Color An Ancient Egyptian Sistrum  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Color-An-Ancient-Egyptian-Rattle-The-Sistrum-2166721

Ancient Instruments – Make Your Own Egyptian Sistrum https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Instruments-Make-Your-Own-Egyptian-Sistrum-Rattle-1617163

Ancient Instruments From The Middle East, Kids Mini-Lesson https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ancient-Instruments-From-The-Middle-East-Mini-Lesson-2127995

Sing A Song For Earth Day In Spanish

Screen shot 2016-04-11 at 11.44.18 AMMusic is such a wonderful way to promote learning languages and bilingualism. If you’re celebrating Earth Day, here’s a fun way of combining caring for our planet with expanding your language skills in Spanish.

The song is based on “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands”, an Earth Day anthem heard all over the world.  But if you haven’t heard it yet, make sure you get your free mp3 download at the links below or cruise over to the videos and hear it yourself.

Spanish Language Cheat Sheet

Thanks to the translation skills of a wonderful bilingual mom – Cecelia Fencer – here’s the Earth Day song in Spanish.

If you’re unfamiliar with Spanish, here’s some of the recurring words with their English translations.

Tenemos – We Have

Todo El Mundo – The Whole World

Manos – Hands

Reciclar – Recycle

Tierra – Earth

Plantas – Plants

Animales – Animals

Hermanos – Brothers

Sueños – Dreams

Tenemos Todo El Mundo En Nuestras Manos

New version of lyrics in English/c 1994 Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou
c 2104 Spanish translation Cecelia Fencer

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.

Debemos reciclar, ahora que podemos.
Reducir, reusar y reciclar
Reducir y reciclar ahora que podemos.
Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra,
plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.
Tenemos plantas y animales en nuestra tierra.
Tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.

Tomemonos de las manos, como hermanos.
Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos.
Tomemonos de las manos como hermanos,
tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos

Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,
ten tus anhelos y lucha por ellos.
Encuentra tus sueños y haz lo que puedas,
tenemos al mundo en nuestras manos.

Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.
Tenemos todo el mundo en nuestras manos.

Links and Resources

Lyric Sheet – We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands (English) http://www.dariamusic.com/wholeworld.php

Write Your Own Earth Day Song http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/classroom-music/sing-your-own-earth-day-song/

Earth Day CD and CD Plus 10 Recycled Activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EARTH-DAY-CD-PLUS-E-BOOK-OF-10-RECYCLED-MUSICAL-ACTIVITIES-658096

DARIA’s free resources for Earth Day  http://www.dariamusic.com/earthday.php

Official Earth Day Site: http://www.earthday.org/

Sing Your Own Earth Day Song!

small hands change the worldMany years ago, I wrote a simple parody of the beautiful song “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” and I’m proud to say that it has since become an Earth Day anthem used all over the world.

From Singapore to South America, from Scotland to China and all across the USA, people are humming this familiar tune and have added new verses about what it means to care for and protect the Earth.

Although you can see the recorded lyrics and video below, I’d love to encourage you to write your own version. The chorus is oh-so-simple:

We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands

To write your own version of the song, ask your kids or classroom to suggest their with ideas for protecting and nurturing Mother Earth. They can be as simple as “don’t throw trash” or “make more parks”. Or they can share more complicated ideas such as “stop global warming” or “use more solar power”.

After you have a list of ideas, pick one phrase and work it into a sentence for the verses. For instance, the suggestion of “use more solar power” could turn into a verse like this:

Use the power of the sun or the wind for our homes.

Or the idea of having more parks:

Build more parks where all the people can play.

You get the idea. Each line is about 10 – 12 syllables long, but if you sing it out loud, it’s so easy to adjust any phrase until it becomes a singable sentence!

Whatever you do this year, remember that these little changes can make a big difference. We do have the whole world in our hands!

We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands

Links and Resources

Lyric Sheet – We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands: http://www.dariamusic.com/wholeworld.php

Earth Day CD and CD Plus 10 Recycled Activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EARTH-DAY-CD-PLUS-E-BOOK-OF-10-RECYCLED-MUSICAL-ACTIVITIES-658096

DARIA’s free resources for Earth Day  http://www.dariamusic.com/earthday.php

Official Earth Day Site: http://www.earthday.org/

Earth Day Song in Spanish https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/an-earth-day-song-in-spanish/

Kaleidoscope Rattles

kaleidoscope rattle and shayHave you ever looked through a kaleidoscope to see an ever-changing array of beautiful colors?

Here’s a fun little rattle that creates a lovely flow of colors when it’s played. And it’s nice and quiet so it’s perfect for music-making with a large group of children or for kids who have noise sensitivity. It’s also one of our favorite projects for creating with kids on the autistic spectrum as it’s fun to make, easy to control and the sound is soothing and not harsh or abrupt.

Here’s what you need to make your own kaleidoscope rattles.

Supplies

Clear Recycled Plastic Bottles (like from water or juice) with a lid
Q-tips
Washable markers
Electric tape (for sealing the rattles)

What To Do

Clean and dry the plastic bottles thoroughly. You can do this easily by rinsing them out and placing them upside down in a regular glass or a jar.

Kaleidoscope Q tipsNext take the washable markers and color the tips of the Q-tips any color that you like.  Color as many as you like and drop them into the bottle.

Every so often, shake the bottle to see if you like the sound. The tone of the rattle will change each time you add another Q-tip to the container!

When you’re satisfied with the array of color and the sound of the rattle, put the lid on and seal it up with electrical tape to keep the contents inside.

Time To Play!

kaleidoscope tableShaking the rattle around in a circular motion displays a wonderful changing series of colors.  But since this is a rattle, you can play it any way you like. Shake it up and down, side to side or get up and dance with it!

Shake it along with a favorite song that you love to sing. Or play along to recorded music. Make several and compare the sounds as well as the colors as you enjoy your handiwork.

Have fun and keep making music!

Sing A Song For Earth Day!

whole world hands

Over a decade ago I wrote a song for Earth Day that has made it literally around the world.  Since it was recorded, it’s been used in programs and presentations in Taiwan, China, Singapore, Japan, Scotland, South America and across the entire United States, too!  It’s just a fact that honoring the Earth is a concept shared by everyone, everywhere, all around the globe!

“We’ve Got the Whole World In Our Hands” had very humble beginnings.  I was working with a group of elementary school students on an Earth Day project and they were excited about the many ways they could make a difference for the Earth.   To share what they learned, we decided to write a song to a melody that everyone recognized.  We chose the beautiful spiritual song  “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” and changed the lyrics slightly to reflect the idea of being a good steward of the Earth.

earth day handsNext, we added the children’s ideas to the song.  Naturally, the first suggestion had to do with the three “R”s – reduce, reuse and recycle.  Then the kids got really creative.  They offered dozens of suggestions that encompassed not only being green and living simpler, but also being kind to everyone and everything around them.  It was truly inspiring to see their vision of a planet filled with peace, harmony and more thoughtful life choices!

The original song has over 10 verses filled with great ideas about caring for the Earth.  When we recorded the song, we had to limit it to 4, so the song would not be too long.  Here’s the words to our final version:

Chorus:      We’ve got the whole world, in our hands
                     We’ve got the whole world, in our hands
                     We’ve got the whole world in our hands
                     We’ve got the whole world in our hands

We should recycle now – all that we can
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – all that we can
We should recycle now – all that we can
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Be kind to the plants and animals – of our land
Be kind to the plants and animals – of our land
Be kind to the plants and animals – of our land
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Join hands with sisters and brothers – throughout the land
Join hands with sisters and brothers – throughout the land
Join hands with sisters and brothers – throughout the land
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Dream your bright dream – then do all that you can
Dream your bright dream – then do all that you can
Dream your bright dream – then do all that you can
We’ve got the whole world in our hands

Here’s the video!

Lyrics and songsheet here:

http://www.dariamusic.com/wholeworld.php

An Earth Day Song Challenge!

Stay tuned.  Next week we’ll be asking you to write your own version of this song.  Cool prizes and more details to follow!