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The Orchestra as Ecosystem

Balance is defined as a condition in which various elements are in proper proportion or arrangement. Within an ecosystem, balance is key in maintaining a harmonious interaction among a biological community of interacting organisms and their environment. Balance is also a vital component in music. In this Learning in Concert Online program, we will explore the concept of balance in musical orchestration and texture, and among the living parts of an ecosystem.

Feel free to send any questions or comments to Terry at twolkowicz@nbsymphony.org.


Keystone Species in Ecosystems and Music:

Keystone species, like the American Alligator, are vital to maintaining a balanced ecosystem. In music, we can find melodies that are just as important to maintaining balance in a piece of music. We call these keystone melodies. In this video, we hear a keystone melody in a piece by Aaron Copland.



Biodiversity in Ecosystems and Mozart’s Music

Biodiversity helps to maintain balance and stability in an ecosystem. In music, we can also hear biodiversity in the combination of many musical parts. In this video, we explore biodiversity in a salt marsh ecosystem and in the ways that Mozart combines many melodic lines in the finale of his Symphony No. 41.



Building the Ecosystem from the Bass Line Up

In this video, NBSO Music Director, Yaniv Dinur and Education Director, Terry Wolkowicz explore the lower support structures in music and the bottom support structures in an ecosystem. They then perform Bach’s Passacaglia in C Minor to build a musical ecosystem from the ground up.

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