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The Birthday CD As a Music Education Tool

    Even though the primary purpose of The Birthday CD is to entertain, it can also serve as a valuable music education tool and teaching aid. By listening to this CD, a person will be exposed to fifty different musical styles from all over the world, in less than one hour. By associating the music with the title of the piece, one will automatically learn the name of that style of music. If a person happens to be excited about a particular style of music on this CD, he or she can explore other music CDs that are devoted exclusively to that genre. Also, if he hears one of these fifty styles of music in a different context (such as in a movie or a TV show), he would now be able to recognize that style and identify it by name.

The Birthday CD is also useful as an ear training aid. Since everyone is exceedingly familiar with the short and simple "Happy Birthday" melody, one would think it would be easy to identify. But when that melody is put into fifty distinct musical settings, where it might be altered with melodic embellishments or rhythmic variations, the task of following the melody throughout the piece becomes more challenging. In many of the fifty renditions, the "Happy Birthday" melody is juxtaposed with a familiar countermelody, or is played in a different harmonic context (for example, in a minor key instead of the usual major key). This makes identifying the melody, let alone singing along with it, even more of a challenge.

The Birthday CD can offer the layperson insights into how music composers, arrangers, and performers alter and modify the basic elements of music in order to make a piece more interesting and appealing. Everybody can easily recognize and sing the simple "Happy Birthday" melody. And with a little guidance from the following pages, and by listening to The Birthday CD a few times, you will be able to also hear and understand how this simple melody was sliced and diced, and shaked and baked into many different moods and styles, to create a richly textured music CD.

Continue on to Basic Musical Concepts

Or for more in-depth musical information on the 50 different renditions, click here

***Click here to buy The Birthday CD for only $9.95***

(you can also listen to 30-second audio samples of ALL 50 tracks on The Birthday CD MP3 Edition here)