The Fourth of July is just around the corner and very soon the sky all across America will be lit up with sparkling colors from fireworks.
The tradition of setting off fireworks for celebrations has been around for centuries. It was even around during the Classical era when a composer named George Frederick Handel was working for King George III of England.
However, fireworks don't always behave themselves well, and even though we use them to celebrate, they can cause a lot of trouble!
Music for Royal (Can't-Get-Them-To-Light, Building-Burning) Fireworks
Back then there was a war that had just ended and the people in London wanted to celebrate with a huge party - complete with music and fireworks. King George asked Handel to write some music for this party and Handel appropriately named it, "Music for Royal Fireworks".
The evening of the party finally arrived and huge crowds of people gathered in a park to listen to Handel's music and see all the fireworks.
Handel played his Music for Royal Fireworks under a brand new pavilion the king had built just for the party. Everyone loved the music, and then it was time to see the fireworks show.
But guess what.
It rained that day!
The king's assistants couldn't get many of the fireworks to light. And when some of them did finally go off, they accidentally landed on a brand new pavilion where the orchestra had just been sitting!
That fancy new pavilion caught fire, making it possibly the biggest fireworks fiasco in the history of classical music.
I'm sure everyone agreed they enjoyed Handel's music much more than they enjoyed the fireworks.
Listen to Music for Royal Fireworks
Listen to the fourth movement from Handel's Music for Royal Fireworks.
Use this listening sheet to help you write down what you hear.
May your Fourth of July be filled will music as awesome as Handel's, but without the ill-behaved fireworks!
For more music activities like this one, check out my book, Sounds We Found. It's full of classical music songs, games, and activities your kids will love. Find it here.