KS1: Make up simple instrumental patterns to represent contrasting fairytale characters from different pantomimes. Try Jack (quiet short sounds) and the Giant (loud long sounds), Dick Whittington (sprightly) and his Cat (slinky), or Cinderella (graceful) and the Ugly Sisters (ungainly). What instruments are best suited for playing these different kinds of sound?

KS2: Improvise music for typical pantomime episodes. For a quarrel involving slapstick, you might convey the deadpan surface seriousness by using a regular pulse, and the comic eruptions by adding weird harmonies or sliding melodies. For a transformation scene, make the music change from wooden sounds (xylophones and woodblocks) to metal (glockenspiel and bells), or from the minor to the major key - or both at once.

KS3: In groups of three or four, mime the walks of classic commedia dell'arte characters - the Capitano's blustering swagger, Pantaloon's bumbling shuffle, Columbine's elegant glide. Take turns to improvise repeated rhythms to match the movements, then add melodies that arise from the rhythms.


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