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Expressive Arts- Music

Little Train of Caipira

In 'The Little Train of the Caipira,' Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos was inspired by the sounds of little trains that travel through the Brazilian countryside

Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2 - Little Train of Caipira (Royal Philharmonic, Batiz)

Think about trains. They make a lot of different sounds. Can you make a list of all the sounds a train makes? Use words or sentences to describe as many train sounds as you can. Draw or paint picture of a train and label any parts that make a sound.

If you want to see musicians playing the sounds you heard in the first video, watch this video:

Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras Nº 2 - IV. Tocata (O trenzinho do caipira) . Minczuk

Maybe you noticed a wind-up sound, especially at the beginning. That's a percussion instrument called the ratchet.


Did you notice that the tempo, or speed of the music, starts slow in the beginning and then speeds up, like a train gaining steam? In music, that's called an accelerando (ah-CHEL-er-ahn-doe). Can you try saying that? When the music slows down at the end- like a train pulling into the station, musicians call that ritardando (ri-tar-DAN-doe.) Try saying ritardando.


If you can find some sandpaper, make some homemade sandpaper blocks. Here are instructions:


• Find two small boxes. Empty soap boxes work very well.

• Cut out two rectangles of sandpaper to the size of the front of the box.

• Tape, glue, or staple the sandpaper to the front of the box.

• Rub the boxes gently back and forth, sandpaper on sandpaper, to get a great sound.


Sandpaper blocks make a great "chugga chugga" train sound. Use your sandpaper blocks to make an accelerando, like a train starting off, and then use them to make a ritardando, like the train coming to a stop.


Can you use Purple Mash to compose your own soundtrack? Maybe you could record your own piece of music and send the video or photo on JIT.