Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Comparison/Contrast Composer Study
Freda Reynolds
Social Studies
Time Frame:
nine-week class
Music History

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

One composer study will be required for this quarter. You may choose any two composers from the required list. You will compare and contrast your two composers. You should use at least three different sources: one search engine, one book, magazine or newspaper and one encyclopedia. You should also include a photo of each of your composers. Search engines could include Yahooligans, Ask Jeeves for Kids, or Yahoo.


Students will develop research skills as well as learn about famous composers

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:

Show Me Standards Covered: Goal 1:#4 and #8 Goal 2: #4 and #7 Fine Arts: #5

Kansas Standards

Benchmark 4: The student engages in historical thinking skills.

5. (A) observes and draws conclusions.

6. (A) uses research skills to interpret an historical person or event in history and notes the source(s) of information (e.g., discusses ideas; formulates broad and specific questions; determines a variety of sources; locates, evaluates, organizes records and shares relevant information in both oral and written form).


Benchmark 1: The Student identifies by genre or style aural examples of music from various historical periods and cultures.

Benchmark 4: The student identifies and describes roles of musicians in various music setting and cultures.


Technology Required:
  • Yahooligans
  • Ask Jeeves for Kids
  • Yahoo
  • Full description of activity or assignment.

    Students will choose two of the composers listed below. Then they will reseach the answers to the questions given below.


    Hildegard Von Bingen
    Francesca Caccini
    Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel
    Clara Wieck Schumann
    Clara Kathleen Rogers
    Cecile Chaminade
    Dame Ethel Smyth
    Amy Cheney Beach
    Margaret Ruthven Lang
    Alma Werfel Mahler
    Ma Rainey
    Florence Price
    Lili Boulanger
    Bessie Smith
    Ruth Crawford Seeger
    Louise Juliette Talma
    Mary Lou Williams
    Julia Amanda Perry
    Thea Musgrace
    Joan Tower
    Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
    Barbara Kolb
    Shulamit Ran


    Guillaume de Machaut
    Francesco Landini
    Guillaume Dufay
    Josquin Des Prez
    Giovanni Palestrina
    Orlando di Lasso
    William Byrd
    Claudio Monteverdi
    Girolamo Frescobaldi
    Henry Purcell
    Antonio Vivaldi
    Jean-Philippe Rameau
    George Frederic Handel
    Johann Sebastian Bach
    Domenico Scarlatti
    Franz Schubert
    Felix Mendelssohn
    Frederic Chopin
    Robert Schumann
    Franz Liszt
    Richard Wagner
    Giuseppe Verdi
    Johannes Brahms
    Gustav Mahler
    Christoph W. Gluck
    Joseph Haydn
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Ludwig van Beethoven
    Giocchino Rossini
    Claude Debussy
    Arnold Schoenberg
    Charles Ives
    Bela Bartok
    Igor Stravinsky
    Anton Webern
    Alban Berg
    George Gershwin
    Duke Ellington
    Aaron Copland

    The Twenty Categories:

    Please list the composers' names.

    What is their birthdate?

    Where was their place ofbirth?

    What was their life like as achild?

    What were their parents' names?

    What was their parents 'occupation(s)?

    What education did the composer receive?

    What instrument or talentwas the composer known for? .

    What was their occupation?

    Why are they famous?

    What was happening in history at the time?

    What was their most famous work(s)?

    Were they married or single?

    Did they have any children?

    What did you find most interesting about this person?

    Did the composers encounter hard times during their life?

    Who influenced their lives?

    What odd or interesting characteristics can you share about the composer?

    What was their date and place of death?

    Were they more famous before or after their death?

    Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:

    Assessment and Reflection:


    • Composer rubric
    • Student assessment of own work

    Quarter Project: Composer Rubric


    Excellent 5 points Acceptible 4 Points Not Acceptible 3 Points
    1. Compared and contrasted all 20 categories. Compared and contrasted at least 10 categories. Compared and contrasted at least 5 categories.
    2. Included 2 photos. Included 1 photo. Included no photos.
    3. Used at least three sources: one search engine from the internet; one book, newspaper or magazine; and one encyclopedia. Used two of the three required resources. Used one of the required resources.
    4. Report has less than 5 errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar. Report has less than 10 errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Report has 10 or more errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.


    Points possible: 20

    Points earned:

    Grade percentage:

    Teacher's comments:

    Student's comments: