2 Oct 2008

A Charlotte Mason moment

Sometimes something happens when you're homeschooling that you couldn't plan in a million years.

We had one of those moments today - a real CM moment, I call them.

As you know, our French folksong at the moment is Cadet Rousselle. You can hear it here. It is very old song written in 1792 by M. Gaspard de Chenu, a writer of spiritual and satirical songs. He wrote wrote the song - about Cadet Rouselle, a real person, to the tune of a song by Jean de Nivelle.

There is a Jean de Nivelle mentioned in the song - or rather his dog is... apparently le chien de Jean de Nivelle (the dog of Jean de Nivelle) is an animal or a man who does not want to obey when called and runs away instead. Whether this is the same M. de Nivelle, I don't know.

Anyway, our CM moment happened not during folksong study, but during our Composer study.

We don't follow the AO rotation for composers in the earlier years - I feel that some composers are more 'user-friendly' for younger kids - but we do use their music selections.

This term we are studying Tchaikovsky, with a particular emphasis on the Nutcracker. in the lead up to Christmas. Today I discovered that the tune to the character dance, Polichinelle (The Clown), is...you guessed it...Cadet Rouselle!

At first I thought that the folk tune must have been taken from the ballet - there are many songs set to Beethoven's Ode to Joy, for example - but a little googling revealed the truth - that the tune really is supposed to be the French folk tune - it came first!! Mme Gingembre and her Polichinelles enter to the French tune Giroflé-Girofla and the oompah tune the children dance to really is Cadet Rouselle.

Quelle coïncidence! I never in a million years could have planned this! It is a real CM moment, and is another reason why I love our liberal education!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this information - I knew about Giroflé Girofla, but couldn't identify the other one, but now I have. I've linked to this page on my post about this piece (I collect things like this) http://jonathanstill.com/2014/02/17/and-another-french-song-in-the-nutcracker/


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