[Updated June 2016]
As we start Shark Week, let’s explore some musical connections. Sure, the easy thing to do is to find music that has the word “shark” in the lyrics or play the ubiquitous and ominous music from “Jaws.” We’re going to get a bit more creative here and discuss some connections to Shark Week that are a bit less obvious. Have fun sharing with the family or others who may be interested!
To begin our journey of musical connections to Shark Week let’s consider the bizarre finding that Sharks are attracted to death metal (or at least according to the Discovery film crew). Read more about it how “Death Metal Attracts Sharks, Documentary Crew Finds Out.”
Shark week fans might want to learn more about how composer J. Ralph created music specifically for Shark Week 2015 to change the public’s perceptions on sharks. Find out more about this wonderful immersive experience to learn more about Ralph’s composition Theodora with great footage of sharks.
Consider using this as inspiration to have children create their own shark theme music. Ask them what a hammerhead shark’s music might sound compared to a great white shark’s music? What would a shark’s theme music sound like when it is calmly moving throuh the ocean and what would it sound like when it is ready to get some dinner?
Ok so it’s not a shark, but whales also live in the ocean and are pretty awesome, so learn more about the Bowhead Whale’s singing! Given that sharks live in oceans, here are some interesting musical connections to their natural habitat. What a great way to explore nature through music!
Listen to this episode of Musical Planet focusing on the music of ocean communities. The radio show Hammered!’s exploration of composers “with pacific ocean roots and sensibilities with music inspired by the Pacific rim – the ‘ring of fire’ – an active vast region of ancient and new volcanoes and fault lines.”
Check out Sam Lardner’s Oceans are Talking, that according to his website won the “2011 PARENTS’ CHOICE AWARD for outstanding children’s educational media.” His music is designed to educate young people about issues concerning our oceans.
Jackson Browne performed a song on TED inspired by the ocean to save the ocean. Listen to this great interview with the composer John Luther Adams who composed the music, Become Ocean.
Composers and Classical Music Inspired by the Ocean
Of course, many composers have been inspired by the ocean. Perfect for any of you looking to expand children’s musical horizons or address K-12 and homeschool music curriculum. (Affiliate links are included below) Listen to and learn about:
- The Seattle Symphony Orchestra perform John Luther Adams’s Become Ocean (the most contemporary of music on this list)
- The London Symphony Orchestra perform Debussy’s La Mer
- The London Symphony Orchestra perform Vaughn Williams’s Sea Symphony
- The English Symphony Orchestra perform Britten’s Four Sea Interludes
- The London Philharmonic perform Elgar’s Sea Pictures
- The Scottish National Orchestra perform Sibelius’s The Oceansides (AKA Aallottaret)
- The Czech Philharmonic perform Sibelius’s On The Sea Shore (AKA Au bord de la mer from Pelleas et Melisande)
- Susan Hoeppner and Rachel Gauk perform Takemitsu’s Toward the Sea
- BBC National Orchestra of Wales perform Bawden’s The Sailor’s Tale
- London Symphony Orchestra perform Mendelsson’s Hebrides Overture
- The College of Wooster Symphonic band perform McBeth’s Of Sailors and Whales
Though we opt for a more project-based approach to music education, listening to these composers connected by a nature theme would be great for those of you interested in homeschool music appreciation or people who use a Charlotte Mason approach !
Whether children engage with this music and related projects for Shark Week or a theme of oceans and nature, we think kids would benefit from many of these musical connections.
What other ways do you see potential creative connections to Shark Week and the ocean theme?