Music 101

George Frederick Handel grew up in Germany. Ever since he was a child, he wanted to be a musician. His father wanted him to become a lawyer, but young George had his own ideas. In fact, there is a legend that Handel snuck a clavichord into the house to practice on quietly without his father knowing. Here you can see one of Handel’s keyboard pieces performed on a clavichord. It is a very small and quiet instrument. Whether or not the story is true, Handel learned to compose instrumental music very well. He went on to write pieces for all sorts of instruments. (Use worksheet 1worksheet 2)

Lascia ch’io pianga (from Rinaldo)
Composer: George Frederick Handel

Performer: Julia Lezhneva (soprano)

Gigue (from Suite in g Minor)
George Frederick Handel

Performer: Ryan Layne Whitney (clavichord)


Download & Print 

Listening Worksheets

#1  Listen & Write

#2  Listen & Draw!

#3  Composer or Artist Facts

#4  Link Facts

#5  Free Page!

How to earn 
Listening Points...

Using the content in the Listening Center, complete the Listening Worksheets and

discuss your work with 

your instructor.  

Hand in your completed worksheets to the front desk.  

Each worksheet is worth 
10 points.   


Students will get 

completed worksheets 
back and achievements 
will be recognized at 
the annual recital.

Which worksheets should

I be using?


use worksheets #1 and #2


use with worksheet #3

George Frederick Handel

Other Links:

use with worksheet #4

Baroque Orchestra

Handel’s Water Music

Research on your own!

use with worksheet #5


​​​Besides operas and orchestral suites, Handel was very popular in England for writing oratorios. An oratorio is a big work for choir, orchestra, and solo singers that usually is based on a religious text. The English people liked oratorios because they were sung in English (instead of Italian like the operas) and they told stories from the Bible that they knew very well. You have probably heard this piece from The Messiah before. This oratorio is still very popular today, especially around Christmas time because it tells the story of Jesus’ life.
(Use worksheet 1 & worksheet 2)

Handel was also very interested in writing opera music as a young man. Since Italian composers had a reputation for writing the best operas, Handel went to Italy to study. He later brought his knowledge of Italian opera to England with him, where he composed the opera Rinaldo. In this famous aria, a character named Almirena is being held prisoner by an evil sorceress. She sings this song, called “Let me Weep” about how sad she is to be in prison with no hope of ever seeing the man she loves again. Handel was very good at writing emotions into his music. Listen for the slow, drawn-out notes. These help the music to sound like Almirena is longing to be free.

(Use worksheet 1 & worksheet 2)

​​​​​Featured Composers:

George Frederick Handel

Hornpipe (from the Water Music Suite)
Composer: George Frederick Handel

Performer: Festspielorchester Göttingen


Welcome to our Lifelong Listening Center! 

Inspired by our first performance class of the year, we will be exploring the work of composer George Frederick Handel over the next few months. We will learn a bit about his life and his work, discovering the elements that set his music apart and keep us listening even hundreds of years later. Stay warm and happy listening!​​

​​​​Eventually, Handel went to England and liked it so much that he stayed there for most of his life. He worked for many important people while he was there, including the royal family. This piece was composed for a party thrown by King George I. The party was held on rafts on the river Thames, so imagine this piece played by an orchestra on a raft floating down the river. It must have been quite a sight! Notice all of the unique instruments in the baroque orchestra. This is just one piece of music that was played for that party on the river, and that is why all of the music from that day is called the “water music”. Do the brass instruments and upbeat melody make you think of a party fit for a king?   (Use worksheet 1 & worksheet 2)

Hallelujah Chorus (from The Messiah)
Composer: George Frederick Handel

Performers: Mormon Tabernacle Choir