Cast: Narrator:________________________________________________ Brilliant Scientist- _________________________________________ Hippy Pop Star-__________________________________________ Johann Sebastian Bach-_____________________________________ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart-_________________________________ Nannerl Mozart-__________________________________________ Ludwig van Beethoven-_____________________________________ Singer-__________________________________________________ Innkeeper-_______________________________________________
Scene 1 - Hippy's Apartment
Hippy Rock Star: (“Air guitar” play along with opening music.)
Narrator: Scene 1. A young, hippy wanna-be-pop-star is in his apartment listening to his favorite song, pretending to be his favorite rock star.
Suddenly, there is are several knocks on the door. He turns off the stereo, and goes over to open the door.
(turn off music)
Brilliant Scientist: Hello young neighbor. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Albert, and I live in the apartment above you.
I must say, your music is SO loud that I’m having trouble concentrating on my latest project.
Hippy Rock Star: Hey man. Albert is a cool name. Wow, are you like a scientist or something?
Brilliant Scientist: Why yes! In fact, I am on the verge of discovering something NEVER done before!
Hippy Pop Star: Cool man. What’s that?
Brilliant Scientist: Well, you must promise to keep it a secret, but I have discovered the secret to time travel!
Hippy Pop Star: No way! Radical man.
Brilliant Scientist: Young man, you seem to truly enjoy music.
Hippy Pop Star: Yeah, I’m gonna be a rock star one day. (when music starts, he “air guitars” along with music)
Audio: Eagles – Life in the Fast Lane
Brilliant Scientist: (shouting over the music) Interesting. You know, if you want to be a great musician, it is important to learn about ALL types of music. Have you ever heard of the great composers Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven?
Ludwig van Beethoven
Hippy Rock Star: Uh …. Like did they write this song on the radio now?
Brilliant Scientist: No. Actually, I believe this is “Life in the Hard Lane” by the rock group The Eagles.
Do you mind turning that music down?
(Hippy turns down the music -- music stops – then Scientist continues reading:)
No, the music of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven was quite different. These were famous composers from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Hippy Rock Star: Cool. Like did these dudes wear wigs?
Brilliant Scientist Yes, indeed. Many different styles of wigs! Although, by the time Beethoven came along the wigs were going out of style.
Just as the fashion in clothes, wigs, and hats has changed over the years, so has music.
The music of today is very different from the music people made 300 years ago.
Do you mind if I use your stereo?
Narrator: Albert the scientist goes to the stereo and changes the dial on the radio to the Classical channel.
(pause reading until music starts)
Audio: “The Four Seasons” by Vivaldi
(once the music starts, continue reading):
Narrator: As the two listen, Albert the scientist smiles brightly and looks to the ceiling, savoring every sound!
At first, the young hippy looks confused, since he has never heard music like this before.
However, after listening a little while, he begins to move his head to the beat …. then tap his foot. Soon, he is standing up, pretending to play his air guitar along with the music.
Hippy Pop Star: Hey man, I dig this beat! I’ve never heard anything like this before! Which rock band is it?
Brilliant Scientist Actually, this is “The Four Seasons” which is a composition by an Italian Baroque composer named Antonio Vivaldi. He lived in the late 1600’s and 1st part of the 1700’s in Venice, Italy.
Narrator: The young hippy continues to play “air guitar” along with the music.
Hippy Pop Star: Cool. I’ve always wanted to go to Italy. What did you mean when you said he was “broke”?
Brilliant Scientist No, no, no, no. I said he was “Baroque” …. The Baroque Period in music was from 1600-1750. Vivaldi lived and composed during this time, so he is a Baroque composer.
Hippy Pop Star: Yeah, his music is really different from what I usually listen to, but I dig it.
Brilliant Scientist Yes, Vivaldi’s music sounds very different from music written during the 1500’s, or 1800’s or 1900’s, or even the music written today.
Over the years, music historians have categorized music according to its style and characteristics.
Narrator: Albert the scientist then begins to explain that music historians have often disagreed on the exact dates.
He then writes down the most common breakdown of the main periods of music history for the young hippy.
Brilliant Scientist (write the following down on the whiteboard as the narrator reads): 1450-1600: Renaissance Era 1600-1750: Baroque Era 1750-1825: Classical Era 1825-1900: Romantic 1900-Present: Contemporary”
Narrator: (read the following, as the Brilliant Scientist writes on the whiteboard):
The Renaissance Era lasted from 1450 to 1600. The Baroque Era lasted from 1600 to 1750. The Classical Era lasted from 1750 to 1825. The Romantic Era lasted from 1825 to 1900 and our current Contemporary period began in 1900.
Hippy Pop Star: I really like this Baroque music. What did the music from the other periods sound like?
Brilliant Scientist You know? To understand and interpret musical style, one must recapture the spirit of the environment in which composers lived, created and performed. What was the political situation? What were the customs of the day? What did people wear? What was happening in the world of science and art and architecture?
Hippy Pop Star: Sounds like your time travel machine would be the way to really learn about all the different music styles, then!
Do you think it would be possible for me to travel with you?
Brilliant Scientist: Well, I’ve designed the machine to carry 2 grown adults, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Hippy Rock Star: Awesome dude! Where are we going first?
Brilliant Scientist Since you liked Vivaldi’s music so much, I think we should go back to the time of another great Baroque composer, Johann Sebastian Bach!
Scene 2 - Time Travel Machine
Narrator: Scene 2. Sitting inside the time travel machine, the young hippy and Albert the scientist begin their travel back in time to visit the great composer, J.S. Bach.
Hippy Rock Star: So like, what is this Johann dude going to look like? Is he Italian, too?
Brilliant Scientist: Bach was a German composer. During his lifetime, “periwigs” were very fashionable.
Hippy Rock Star: What’s a “periwig”?
Brilliant Scientist: The word wig is short for periwig and first appeared in the English language around 1675. Everyone who was anyone during the 16th through 18th centuries wore wigs. It was more difficult to bathe in this time period and people were not as healthy as we are today. So, sometimes people wore wigs because they were bald, or just to look better. Also, in the 16th century there was more problem with head lice so it was easier to shave the head and replace with a wig which was easier to clean. Hippy Rock Star: That’s really gross, man.
Brilliant Scientist: Yes, Kings Louis the 13th and14th in France made it popular for men to wear wigs in the 1600’s. It soon became popular to wear these wigs in the English court as well however some people were afraid to wear wigs during the plague years.
Narrator: Suddenly, the time travel machine comes to a halt and the 2 travelers are jerked forward as they land in their 1st stop.
Scene 3 - Leipzig Germany - J.S. Bach
Scene 3: Leipzig Germany – J.S. Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Narrator: Scene 3. In a bit of a daze, the 2 travelers step out of the time machine and realize they are standing in the middle of a large church.
Brilliant Scientist: I set the dial for 1727, Leipzig Germany. If my calculations are correct, we must be inside St Thomas Church, where Bach worked as an organist and choirmaster for many years.
Narrator: Suddenly, the sounds of a loud pipe organ are heard.
Audio: Organ piece by Bach Prelude and Fugue in G Major
The 2 travelers listen for a short time to the magnificent sounds.
Brilliant Scientist: (when the music pauses, read the following):
That must be the maestro himself practicing the organ!
Johann Sebastian Bach.
Hippy: Hey, man, we ought to go up and introduce ourselves to this John guy.
Brilliant Scientist: It’s “Johann” … which is German for John. Let me do the talking, o.k.?
Narrator: Albert and the hippy walk over to the organ – when the organist sees them, he stops suddenly and turns to the 2 guests.
Bach: (speaking in a German accent) May I help you gentlemen? Are you here for the choir audition?
Brilliant Scientist: My apologies, maestro, for interrupting your practice, but we have a traveled from quite a distance to meet you.
Hippy: Hey, man, I really like your wig!
Narrator: Albert gives his friend a stern look and then says …
Brilliant Scientist: Your music is amazing, and I wanted to tell you that one day many years from now it will be loved and treasured all around the world.
I am trying to teach my friend here about the different styles of music. Would you mind explaining a bit about the music being composed now?
Bach: Well, I’m quite busy, but since you said you traveled from far away I can visit briefly.
Music of our day is full of fancy ornaments such as trills and turn. Sometimes music has 2 or more melody lines that are played at the same time. This is called “Polyphonic music”.
Hippy Rock Star: Do you make a lot of money? Are you like a rock star?
Bach: I’m not sure what you mean, young man, but I make a fair living though I’m not by any means rich. And, no, I do not study rocks or stars, I study MUSIC!
I currently work for this church, but I have also worked for wealthy noblemen.
Hippy Rock Star: So, if you’re not rich, why do you fool with all this? Bach: I believe the aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.
Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.
Brilliant Scientist: Beautifully articulated maestro, just like your music.
Do you have any final words of advice for my young friend here? He is hoping to become a great musician one day. What has made you such a success?
Bach: I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.
Narrator: Just then, several singers from Bach’s choir entered the room.
Singers: (Walk in the room)
Singer: Hello Maestro! Are these new choir members?
Bach: No. Allow me to introduce you to 2 guests who have traveled from far away.
Narrator: The singers all bow to Albert and the hippy. Albert and the hippy at first reach out their hand to shake, but then realize the custom is to bow, so they bow as well.
Bach: My young visitor hopes to be a musician one day. What instruments to you play?
Hippy: I play the guitar and drums! I also teach the guitar. One day, I’m going to be a famous rock star!
Bach: My, you certainly are fascinated with rocks and stars.
Singers, our guests are traveling the world to learn about different music styles. Do you have any advice for him?
Singer: Why certainly!
Audio: Mr. Guitar Teacher (singers act out – pretend to sing the words – lip syncing the words)
Lyrics: Hey guitar teacher thanks for assigning this song It's a swell melody and it isn’t very long My dear mother prefers that it's not blues or rock It is Johann Sebastian Bach They say classical music's an old noble art And if you listen to it, then it will make you smart With some other composers I think that's a crock Give me Johann Sebastian Bach Every single note that the old master wrote Was as perfect as perfect could be In a Fugue or a Mass no one else could surpass His divine sense of melody or harmony If someone should insist that you make up a list Of composers that you can recall It takes no Ph.D. it is easy to see Mr. Bach was the best of them all So guitar teacher thanks for this musical treat It's got great counterpoint, and I like the steady beat It's a piece I will practice and play ’round the clock ’Cause it's Johann Sebastian Bach
Narrator: After final farewells, Albert and the Hippy return to their time machine to travel to their next destination.
Scene 4: Salzburg, Austria – W.A. and Nannerl Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Maria Anna (Nannerl) Mozart (1751-1829)
Narrator: In hopes of meeting the great Classical pianist and composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and his sister, Nannerl, who was also a musician, they traveled to Salzburg, Austria in 1780.
As they crawled out of the time machine, they heard music in the distance.
Audio: Mozart piano concerto --- in the distance
Brilliant Scientist: Why, I do believe that is a composition by Mozart!
Hippy: Woah --- that’s a LOT of people over there by that palace. You think that’s where the music is coming from?
Brilliant Scientist: Let’s go find out! Maybe we’ll actually see Mozart performing!!!
Narrator: As they walked toward the crowd, the music grew louder and louder ….
Audio: Mozart piano concerto --- music getting louder
Narrator: They pushed their way through the crowd until they reached the front.
Brilliant Scientist: (whispering) – It IS Mozart -- and someone else is playing the 2nd piano part!
(pause and listen a bit)
Young lad, what do you think of this magnificent music?
Narrator: The hippy rock star listens to the music. Albert looked over and saw the future rock-star start to smile. His smile grew bigger and bigger. His eyes grew wider and wider …
Brilliant Scientist: (whispering) – If I didn’t know better, I would say you liked this music!
Narrator: The hippy smiled and nodded his head. Then he held up his hands and made the “a.o.k.” sign.
Audio: Mozart piano concerto CADENCES – audience claps
Narrator: The audience clapped and clapped. The performers bowed over and over.
Brilliant Scientist: Did you notice that Mozart was conducting the orchestra from the piano? In this time, the pianist would serve as the conductor.
Also, did you notice that the pianoforte he is playing is much smaller than the modern-day grand piano? This is an example of some of the EARLIEST pianos ever made!
Hippy: Cool. I guess they didn’t have electric guitars yet, since there was no electricity.
It looks like the orchestra players are starting to leave. Should we go up and introduce ourselves to Mozart?
Brilliant Scientist: By all means! Let’s go!
Hippy: Who’s that girl with the cool wig talking to Amadeus?
Brilliant Scientist: We’ll have to ask him!
Narrator: As the visitors approached, Amadeus Mozart turned and smiled.
Having learned his lesson with Bach, Albert bowed slowly at the hips, instead of reaching out to shake his hand.
The hippy clumsily bowed as well, and Mozart smiled and nodded.
Brilliant Scientist: Maestro Mozart, please allow me to introduce ourselves. I am Albert, a brilliant scientist, and this is my young friend. We have traveled from afar to learn about different music styles.
Mozart: A pleasure to meet you. Allow me to introduce my sister, Maria Anna. She is also a wonderful musician as well.
Narrator: Albert and the hippy started to bow, but then realized that she had presented her hand. The hippy was the first to figure out what to do! He bent down and kissed the top of her hand.
Albert looked at the hippy with pride. Then, he whispered …..
Brilliant Scientist: (whispering) – How did you know how to do that?
Hippy: (whispering) – I saw it in a movie once.
Anna Maria (Nannerl): It is a great honor to meet you. My formal name is Maria Anna, but friends call me Nannerl. From what country have you traveled?
Hippy: We live in America.
Mozart: Oh my, that is indeed a long trip.
Hippy: Yeah, man … if you only knew the half of it!
Narrator: Both Amadeus and Nannerl looked a bit confused. They couldn’t understand why the hippy felt the need to point out he was a man.
At any rate, thinking perhaps it was an American term, Amadeus then replied . …..
Mozart: What exactly do you hope to learn, young man?
Hippy: Well, the scientist here is trying to teach me about different styles of music.
Your music was really cool and, man, you are an AMAZING pianist! Your fingers sure moved fast all over that piano!
What is it about your music that makes it sound so cool, man?
Mozart: Thank you very much for your generous compliments.
The music of our time is very elegant. The harmonies and melodies sound simple and clean in comparison to those fancy, decorated, tacky Baroque pieces of Bach.
You may have noticed that our orchestra is much larger than those in the time of Bach. We have more woodwind and brass instruments.
Also, the pianoforte was just being invented in Bach’s time. He mainly only had harpsichords, pipe organs, and clavichords to use. But, with the development of this AMAZING new instrument, we can create soft AND loud sounds. It is truly a modern-day marvel.
Brilliant Scientist: Yes, the famous writer, George Bernard Shaw once wrote: “The pianoforte is the most important of all musical instruments. Its invention was to music what the invention of the printing press was to poetry.”
Nannerl: I’ve never heard of this writer.
Narrator: Realizing his mistake, since this writer was not even born until 1856, Albert tried to back-paddle quickly.
Albert: Oh, well not many people here have probably heard of him. He is from a small town in Ireland.
At any rate, I believe that soon, very soon, the piano will become the most popular instrument ever invented. I believe that most every home will have a piano in the parlor.
Narrator: Mozart and his sister looked doubtful, but smiled politely.
However, Albert was correct.
While the printing press allowed people to read the literature of every nation, the development of the piano allowed people of all walks of life to participate in music-making.
The development of the piano coincided with the French and American revolutions and with the rise of the middle class. From the coal miner’s humble dwelling, to the President’s mansion, a house was not a home without a piano in the parlor.
Hippy: So like, are you a rock star of your time, or what? I noticed how that audience kept clapping and clapping!
Narrator: Both Amadeus and Nannerl looked a bit confused. Why was he talking about rocks and stars? They were thinking this boy might be a little “off” in the head.
But, being polite, Nannerl responded:
Nannerl: My brother is indeed a tremendous musician. I know that people will remember him and his music for generations to come.
Brilliant Scientist: I do believe you are right about that. I know we truly enjoyed this chance to hear you play and meet you. We are forever in your debt.
Mozart: Please, the pleasure is all mine. I bid you both safe travels on your journeys.
Nannerl: Farewell dear guests from America! I do hope you will be able to visit another wonderful Austrian city, Vienna, while you are here. The palace and concert halls are magnificent. We shall be traveling there soon ourselves.
Brilliant Scientist: In fact, we are planning to travel there next. We must be leaving now, but please know how very thankful we are for your music, Maestro Mozart. Blessings upon you both!
Narrator: After Albert and his friend traveled a bit around the quaint town of Salzburg, they returned to the time machine for their final trip.
Scene 5: Vienna, Austria – Ludwig Van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) Narrator: Sitting in the travel machine, preparing for their final trip, Albert dialed in “1810, Vienna, Austria.”
Albert had read that this was the year Beethoven composed his famous piano bagatelle, “Fur Elise”, and was hoping to meet the YOUNGER Beethoven, before he began losing hearing and becoming grouchy and ill-mannered.
The time machine SHOOK violently, but very soon, jerked to a hault.
The 2 travelers got out of the machine, and realized it was night-time.
Brilliant Scientist: Well, I guess I miscalculated the time, but perhaps we will still be able to find the Maestro as it does not seem to be too late. I read that he liked to compose late into the night.
Hippy: Hey, there’s a light on over in that Tavern. Let’s go see if anyone knows where Beethoven might be.
Narrator: They knocked on the tavern door. (knock) An innkeeper greeted them and invited them inside. Innkeeper: Welcome. Would you like something to drink or eat?
Hippy: Yeah, man, I’m really thirsty.
Narrator: The innkeeper seemed puzzled, as she was a woman. She looked a bit insulted, but escorted them to a table anyway.
Brilliant scientist: We are trying to find the great pianist and composer, Ludwig van Beethoven. Do you know if he lives nearby?
Innkeeper: Nearby? I’ll say! He’s right over there, in that corner table. He’s been there all night. Keeps mumbling some piece of music …..something like “ ----“ (hum beginning of fur elise)
Go over an introduce yourselves. But don’t be surprised if he is mad when interrupted.
Narrator: Albert and the hippy decided to wait awhile. They ordered drinks and some food. It was interesting to see how different the flavors were in 19th century Austria! They also studied the people.
Hippy: Yo, Albert. Do you notice that no one is wearing wigs in here?
Brilliant scientist: Very good observation, young man!
Yes, in 1795, the British government added a wig tax. This was one of the reasons that wigs and powder began to go out of fashion. You’ll notice in all of the portraits of Beethoven that he is never wearing a wig.
Narrator: The innkeeper returned to their table to ask if they wanted anything else to eat or drink.
Innkeeper: You know, there are so many musicians in Vienna lately. Crazy lot all of them. I guess Vienna is becoming the musical center of Europe.
That Beethoven over there wasn’t even born here. He’s GERMAN! But now he seems to have made Vienna our home.
I must say, even though he can be rude, he does write beautiful music.
Hippy: It looks like Beethoven’s getting ready to leave!
Innkeeper: This would be a good time to go introduce yourselves.
Narrator: Albert and the hippy walk over to Beethoven’s table and introduce themselves.
Brilliant scientist: We have traveled a great distance to meet you, maestro Beethoven. My friend here is wanting to learn about different styles of music. Do you have any advice for him?
Beethoven: Hmpff. Art! Hmpff. Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess?
Hippy: Yeah, man. I dig it.
Beethoven: My dear sir, YES I am a man, and NO, I do not dig ditches.
Brilliant scientist: Our deepest apologies maestro. We have different cultures and customs in our home country.
May I ask what you have been composing tonight?
Beethoven: It is just a little bagatelle. A short little composition for the piano. I believe I shall entitle it dedicated to Elise.
Brilliant scientist: May I say that I believe you are the greatest composer that ever lived.
Beethoven: You may.
Hippy: You know? I think that piece would make a great song.
Beethoven: Indulge me.
Narrator: Then, the hippy walked over to the piano. He asked Beethoven if he would play his new composition while he sang along.
Audio: Beethoven’s Wig “For Elise”
(Beethoven pretends to play the piano. Hippy lip syncs to this song):
Here’s a short Beethoven piano piece He wrote this piece just for Elise It’s all about a fellow named Maurice Who came from Greece with a valise Maurice loved Beethoven’s piano piece He loved this piece more than Eiise And nobody could keep it from Maurice He fleeced Elise and took her piece He did her wrong he took her song It’s all he cared for all along And when Elise saw that Maurice Had fleeced her piece she called the police They found the piece in the valise They all went to the Justice of the Peace Who sent Maurice right back to Greece It was all right to her delight Elise can play her piece all night And if you hear Beethoven’s piece Played by your nephew or your niece Nephew or niece perform this piece Please tell them to remember that this piece This little piece is for Elise
Brilliant Scientist Dear Beethoven, we must not keep you any longer. I know you must be tired.
Beethoven: Actually, I do have a very important performance tomorrow of my Piano Concerto No. 5. It seems to have been nick-named “The Emperor” concerto. It is quite a demanding piece to play so I must now retire.
It was a pleasure meeting you both, and I do hope you have safe travels back to your strange country.
Brilliant Scientist Do you have any last words for our young music student?
Narrator: Beethoven thought for a while. Then, he replied:
Beethoven: Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets; art deserves that, for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine.