Theatre music for Bluebeard

Composing pieces for the Theater. Composers and interpreters at their first experience

    School sections
    • Upper secondary school
    Educational subjects
    • Choir
    • Instrumental practice
    • Aural skills (Ear training)
    • Composition
    • Theatre/music
    • soundscapes
    • Music and technologies
    • Vocalism

Theatre music for Bluebeard

The core idea of the project “Theatre music for Bluebeard” was to lead the students – who were not composers and had never played in a real theater – to compose musical pieces commenting a theatrical performance (interpreted by their peers attending another school). The pieces were then performed and interpreted by the students who had composed them.

The teacher/composer – who in this project cooperated with the classes of Ensemble Music and History of Music and with the teacher who coordinated the students-actors – took care of drawing up the general musical project, coordinating the pieces to be composed, including a detailed planning of the music interventions, of their features (atmosphere, duration, velocity/danceability) and of the definitive instruments, on the basis of:

- the members at disposal for the ensemble;

- a certain timbre variety;

- the absence of performance difficulties in the pieces (when working with classes different from one’s own, the young composers/interpreters can present various abilities because coming from different classes of the two-year/three-year period).

Work tools

The project provided for the cooperation between various teachers/subjects, and was organized according to three distinct stages: composition, orchestration of what composed, final performance. The first stage can be conducted in the classrooms of the common subjects, and requires the use of a piano and an IWB, and a continuous sharing with the teacher in charge of the theatrical text. The second stage has to be necessarily conducted both in the ensemble music classroom and in the place of the performance. The third stage of this project was conducted at the Piccolo Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and it was particularly laborious because it was the first time in which the students-musicians (in the orchestra pit) and the students-actors (on stage) interacted. A recorder was necessary in order to record the music rehearsals and send such recordings to the actors-students who used them during their rehearsals.

Resources for the composition

classroom with a piano
Internet connection
software for music writing
suggested books (at least for the teacher)

Resources for the ensemble music rehearsals
large classroom
music stands
podium for the conductor
recorder (with or without an external microphone)

Educational purposes

The skills, goals and training objectives selected by the teacher for this experience are shown below.

    • Analysis
    • Comprehension
    • Execution
    • Composition
    Reading and Writing
    • Use of unconventional analogic music notation
    • Use of conventional analogic music notation
    Lower secondary school
    • Understands and evaluates events, materials, and musical works recognising their meanings, also in relation to his/her own musical experience and the different historical/sociological context.
    • Actively participating in music experiences through the execution and the interpretation of vocal and instrumental music pieces belonging to different genres and cultures.
    • Capacity to conceive and create music and multimedia messages, also though improvisation or collective elaboration processes, using also IT tools, in critical confrontation with models belonging to the musical heritage
    Reading and Writing
    • Using different notation systems functional to reading, analysis and reproduction of pieces of music
Educational targets

The students learned how to:

- analyze and imitate the style of a conductor;
- identify the differences between microform and macroform in music;
- understand the peculiarities of musical composition for the theater;
- identify the difference between instrumentation and orchestration;
- produce original musical ideas and brief pieces (even guided by the teacher) using conventional/non-conventional musical languages;
- orchestrate their ideas (even guided by the teacher) according to a compulsory instrumentation indicated by the teacher;
- use (or perfect the use) of a musical notation software;
- behave correctly in a Theater both during rehearsals and during the performance.


Commenti inseriti
Slide "Theatre music for Bluebeard"
Presentazione della buona pratica Download
Link utili
Il sito di P. Alessandro Polito Click here
La playlist con tutti i brani di Barbablù Click here
Il sito del metodo di P. Alessandro Polito Click here
Materiali finalizzati all'azione didattica
Progetto per la messa in scena di Barbebleue Download
Programma di sala dello spettacolo Barbebleue Download
Bibliografia Download
Manifesto dello spettacolo Barbebleue Download