Some of this will be done in the afternoon--it depends on how much we can get finished before lunch.
Old Testament: readings from The Book of Adam to Moses, "with necessary omissions"
Arithmetic: Clue Finders CD-Rom, or do one puzzle from Arithmecode.
Grammar (30 minutes allowed, but may not take that long): Continue with "Case closed"
French songs, break (30 minutes total). "Joli Tambour"
History (20 minutes): Story of Greece. "Pelopidas and Epaminondas" (Illustrations here.)
Memory work: work on chosen poem
Shakespeare play (30 minutes)
Composer study (begin study of Handel).
1. General information about Handel (Boyhoods of Great Composers)
2. History of "The Harmonious Blacksmith." "Although the title was supplied by his publisher, not Handel himself, it remains a compelling image - not just as a blacksmith whistling while working, but also as musicians shaping harmonies into works of art. Harmonious Blacksmith also alludes to Pythagoras's ancient discovery of acoustics, as he passed a blacksmith's forge and noticed the higher and lower pitches of smaller and larger hammers striking the anvil." (From the Harmonious Blacksmith website) "According to Iamblichus, Pythagoras immediately ran into the forge to investigate the harmony of the hammers....He analyzed the hammers and realized that those that were harmonious with each other had a simple mathematical relationship--their masses were simple ratios or fractions of each other. That is to say that hammers half, two- thirds, or three-quarters the weight of a particular hammer would all generate harmonious sounds. On the other hand, the hammer that was generating disharmony when struck along with any of the other hammers had a weight that bore no simple relationship to the other weights." (this story found here, along with some neat illustrations)
What about the piece of music itself? There are several different stories about this, all involving blacksmiths. Here is one of them: "The title “Harmonious Blacksmith” was bestowed on the music in the nineteenth century, and a story of its origin claims the piece was a favorite of a William Lintern, a blacksmith apprentice and an amateur musician. He was often heard whistling his favorite piece, Handel’s “Air and Variations”, giving his friends the reason to call him “the harmonious blacksmith”. Lintern later became owner of a music publishing company, the first to publish the piece under The Harmonious Blacksmith title." (Program notes found here.)
Pip, the main character in Great Expectations (which we read last year) is fondly given the nickname of Handel by the character Herbert Pocket: "We are so harmonious- and you have been a blacksmith."
3. Listen to the theme carefully (midi file at the second link given above).
4. Listen to the whole piece, including the variations.