Preparing your school for the Ondas Ensemble’s visit


Program Description, “From the Old World to the New World”

The Ondas Ensemble is a chamber music ensemble dedicated to promoting new and historic works by composers with ties to the Americas.   Programs are designed to show audiences connections that may not be readily apparent in music and culture.   In this program, members of the Ondas Ensemble explore the connections between music from Europe and the Americas.  European settlers, Africans from the large slave trade and the indigenous population all contributed to the resultant music in the New World.  Audience members have opportunities to participate and explore rhythms and compositional techniques such as the fugue.   The Ondas Ensemble encourages good listening skills and appropriate audience behavior during musical selections.  The ensemble also demonstrates each of the four instruments, illustrating how they produce sound and discussing their roles in the ensemble.  A brief question and answer session concludes each presentation.


  • Classical music
  • Chamber music
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Violin
  • Piano
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Europe
  • South America
  • Africa
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Fugue
  • Composer
  • Melody
  • Rhythm
  • Tango

 Musical excerpts to be selected from the following*
*(program subject to change):

Bionne                                                          Chiquinha Gonzaga

Sonata                                                          Zipoli

Sonata                                                          Handel

Row, Row, Row Your Boat              

Fuga y Misterio                                             Astor Piazzolla

Devoto Viejo (or Recuerdos)                        Gustavo Leone

El Porteñito                                                   Angel Villoldo

Three Pieces                                                 Sivestre Revueltas

Questions for follow-up discussion:

Name the four instruments of the Ondas Ensemble.
            A: Flute, clarinet, violin & piano.

How did woodwinds get their name?
    A: It is made out of wood, or was made out of wood in the past (as in the case of the flute).

Which instrument uses a reed?
            A: Clarinet

Which instrument uses a bow?
            A: violin.

What is a bow made of?
            A:  The hairs from a horse’s tail and wood.

What is the highest instrument in the ensemble?
            A: The flute.

How many people are in a quartet? Trio? Duo?
    A: 4, 3, 2
What do we call a person who writes music?
            A: Composer.

What language do they speak in Brazil and why?
            A: Portuguese, because only Brazil was colonized by the Portuguese.

What language do they speak in every South and Central American country except for Brazil – and Why?
            A: Spanish – because the Spanish colonized all of these countries.

Where does the rhythmic influence come from in a lot of South American music and why?
            A: Africa – because the colonists brought Africans over to the Americas to work as slaves until the late 1800s.

What is a fugue?
            A:  A piece of music in which each instrument plays the same melody, but their entrances are at different times, overlapping each other.

Guidelines for Student Feedback
Ask your students to write to the IMF using some of the following questions or topics.

What was your favorite piece and why?

What was your favorite instrument and why?

How did the Bionne, the first piece on the program, make you feel?

The clarinet and flute are both woodwind instruments.  In what ways do they sound different?  How do they produce their sounds differently?

A few things I have learned about music in the Americas…

Listening to the music of the Ondas Ensemble makes me feel….

When I hear pieces from South America I….

Draw a picture of…

Imagine a story about…

Feel the way I feel when….

Please send artwork / essays / evaluations to:

International Music Foundation
Attn:  Maria Valdes-Vargas
30 E. Adams Street, Suite 1206
Chicago, IL   60603

11 E. Adams St., Suite 350-B
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312/670-6888
Fax: 312/670-9166