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Alligator Alley by Michael Daugherty

Introduction & Overview ............................................................................................................ pg 3
Alligator Alley Musical Element Analysis..................................................................................... pg 4
Background Information ............................................................................................................. pg 9
Composer Biography
Program Notes
Music Map
Glossary ..................................................................................................................................... pg 14
Summative Assessment Worksheets ........................................................................................ pg 22
Well Rounded Vocabulary
Alligator Alley Composer & Background Assessment


1. Recognize, Define & Locate Musical Elements in Alligator Alley
2. Introduction to Alligator Alley Warm-Ups
3. Alligator Alley Warm-Ups
Rhythms & Accents
Main Themes
1. Listen & Respond to Alligator Alley
2. A Musical Menagerie
1. A Musical Menagerie Composition
2. Composing for a Specific Performer


1. Endangered & Threatened Animals
Daughertys Alligator Alley (Mini-Lesson)
Alligator Facts (Mini-Lesson)
Animal Research Project
2. Who Created Alligator Alley (Mini-Lesson)
3. There Really is An Alligator Alley (Mini-Lesson)
4. Write Your Own Program Notes

Featured readings and
worksheets designed to be
printed and shared with
students can be found
throughout this curriculum.
They are easily identifiable
each page has a border and
contains an image of Rondo,
the BandQuest mascot!

Teachers Guide
BandQuest was conceived and launched by the American Composers Forum to create
new music for middle level bands. In addition to commissioning works by some of
todays leading composers, BandQuest also provides rich curricula with multiple
resources for ensembles and music classrooms. The two goals of the BandQuest
curricula are:

To provide music educators with the tools to create ensemble lessons that teach students how to
perform the piece.
To presents resources that support interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

We believe that when band students make connections between the music they play and other disciplines and
understand the music they perform through multiple entry points, they are also developing critical thinking skill.
The materials were developed using a curriculum planning strategy called the Facets Model (Barrett, McCoy, &
Veblen, 1997). The Facets Model is a comprehensive approach for studying musical works in depth, and helping
students relate music to other disciplines in meaningful ways. The model has been used to create curriculum in
many settings, but especially in designing the content of the BandQuest curricula. For in-depth information on
the facets model, visit the BandQuest website at
The materials for each BandQuest curriculum can be downloaded. The curriculum for each work includes:

Teachers Guide
Introduction to the Composer
Program Notes
Guided Listening resources
Rhythm Practice and Warm-ups
Lessons for Creating Music
Interdisciplinary Lessons and Resources
Readings Pages prepared especially for students
Assessment Strategies
Links to other web based resources

ALLIGATOR ALLEY was composed in 2003 by American composer Michael Daugherty.

Daugherty worked in residence with band director Gene Bartley and students at Slausen Middle School
in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to create a work tailored to young musicians interests and abilities. On the
surface, the music tells a vigorous and humorous story. Daugherty also created Alligator Alley to bring
attention to the plight of threatened and endangered animals all over the world.


An analysis of the musical elements contained in Alligator Alley is provided on the following pages, along with a
definition and an indication of measures that contain each element. If measure numbers for an element are not
cited for an instrument, then the element does not occur in that instruments part.

Interval - Major 2 :
Used as motivic material for main Alligator theme

mm. 16-22

mm. 6-13

mm. 78-84

Trumpet/French Horn
mm. 79-84

mm. 25-31 (Vib.)
mm. 26-31 (Mar.)

Chromatic Scale Fragments:

A small portion of a chromatic scale (a scale made up exclusively of all half-steps) is used for thematic materialin this
case, 4 notes

mm. 44-51

mm. 44-51

mm. 44-51

Melodic Sequence Pattern:

A portion of a melody is repeated, each time a step higher or a step lower

mm. 110-112

mm. 109-111

Baritone Saxophone
mm. 116-118

Bass Clarinet
mm. 116-118
Trumpet/French Horn
mm. 57-59

mm. 108-110

Alto/Tenor Saxophone
mm. 57-59
mm. 57-59 (Vib/Mar.)

Moving the slide to include all pitches between the starting and ending note.

In trombone parts in mm. 119-138.

*The glissando that occurs in the second trombone part in measures 119-138 is challenging to perform and is only possible
on a trombone with an F attachment. The performer should start in 2nd position with the trigger depressed (B natural)and
quickly move to 4th position and release the trigger (G natural) so that the pitch is secure and in tune.

Changing Meter:
Changes in time signatures change the number of beats in each measure
The first occurrence of meter change takes place in m. 6 in all parts.

Placing additional stress, weight, or emphasis on a weak beat or a weaker part of the beat
mm. 16-22

mm. 16-22

mm. 6-15

mm. 54

mm. 78-84

mm. 25-35 (Mar.

3+3+2+2 Divisions of Beat:

Instead of 5 beats equal quarter notes divided into 2 eighth notes each,
the measure is organized as

mm. 145-147

Bass Clarinet/Bassoon
m. 147

Alto/Tenor Saxophone
mm. 146-147

Baritone Saxophone
m. 147

2+2+2+2 followed by 3+3 Divisions of Beats:

4/4 meter with 2 eighth notes dividing each beat followed by a measure in 6/8 meter with three eighth notes grouped
In all parts in mm. 148-149

Rhythmic Ostinato:
A repeated rhythmic pattern in an accompaniment
mm. 88-99
mm. 52-60

Bass Clarinet
mm. 52-60
String Bass
mm. 35-44

Trumpet/French Horn
mm. 35-44
mm. 35-44
mm. 16-24 (Wdblk.), mm. 35-44 (Perc. 2, 3, 4); mm. 52-60 (Bongos, Bs. Dr.); mm. 8288 (Perc. 1); mm. 78-88 (Perc. 1, 2, 3, 4, Timp.)

Outline of Instrumentation/Timbre/Texture:
For each measure cited, the relative density of the music will be graphically represented, from thin to dense:


m. 1

m. 6

m. 10

m. 16

m. 25

Individual solo percussion


Solo bassoon.

Solo bassoon with addition

of clarinet accompanying
chords and solo percussion

Main melody doubled in

all upper woodwinds.
Saxophone section and
String bass take over
accompanying chords.
Additional percussion

Flute, oboe, and

vibraphone start melody
followed by contrapuntal
imitation of melody in
bassoons and marimba
one measure later.

m. 29

m. 32

m. 35

m. 44

m. 52

Triangles and accompanying

chords in clarinets added.

Imitation ends and parts

are homophonic.

Imitation of melody is
repeated between bassoons,
bs. clarinet, and marimba vs.
flute, oboe, clarinets and
vibraphone. Accompanying
chords in Saxophones,
muted trumpets, and string
bass. More rhythmically
active percussion parts

Chromatic scale
fragments of varying
speeds in flute, oboe,
and solo clarinet parts
accompany a more
lyrical bassoon melody.

After the first measure,

upper woodwinds stop.
Melody in alto/tenor
saxophones, trumpets,
French horns, vibraphone,
and marimba
accompanied by chords in
baritone saxophone, low
brass, and sting bass.
Active bongo part.

m. 60

m. 64

m. 66

m. 68

m. 78

Addition of flute doubling the

melody adds emphasis.

Solo bongo.

Same as m. 60-64.

Main melody is
harmonized in parallel
moving chords in upper
woodwinds. Saxophone
section plays
accompanying chords
while upper woodwinds
sustain half note in m.

Addition of saxophones
and vibraphone to
harmonized melody and
accompanying chords
added in low brass, string
bass, and timpani. More
active tambourine and
woodblock part added.

m. 79

m. 88

m. 95

m. 98

m. 101

With addition of trumpets,

French horn, and vibraphone to
melody, this is the first time in
the piece the entire band is

Contrast in density
Melody in flute and
oboe, accompanied by
ostinato in bassoon, with
occasional accented
chords in the
saxophones and brass

Clarinets and alto/tenor

saxophones added in parallel
harmony to melody. Bass
clarinet added to ostinato.

Frequency of accented
chords in brass and
percussion increases
along with dramatic
dynamic changes and

Heavy, full downbeat

chord in entire band
followed by solo
percussion section

m. 103

m. 119

m. 141

m. 145

m. 155

Return of contrapuntal imitation

of main theme, starting in
bassoons, followed by clarinets
(m. 104), fl. & ob. (m. 105), bs.
Clar. & bari sax (m. 111).

Tpt., Fr. Hn and keyboard

percussion added to
counterpoint. And
accompanying chords in
low brass, including
glissando in tbn. part.
More active bongo & bs.
dr. parts. Big build up to
m. 141.

Sudden change in texture as

all instruments abruptly stop,
except for cymbals. Then
upper woodwinds and high
brass play homophonic
chord progression until all
other instruments are added
on final chord with fermata.

Homophonic chords in
upper woodwinds.
Texture becomes more
dense as additional
instruments are added
until all wind
instruments are playing
(m. 148).

Homophonic. Block chords

in entire band with a Rit.
leading to a loud, full
chord with a fermata.

m. 160

m. 161

Solo percussion sounds.

Upper woodwinds state

first main bassoon
melody one last time.
Texture suddenly
changes as all
instruments play
homophonic chords in
last two measures.

Use of Straight Mutes:

Changes tone color of instrument and dampens the volume
In trumpet part in mm. 35-44

For an overview of the form, please refer to the Music Map.

Metronomic marking:
The number of beats per minute
The speed is 138 beats per minute starting in m. 1.
Accelerates up to 148 beats per minute in m. 101.

Subito piano:
Suddenly soft

In m. 85 in all parts.

Accelerando poco a poco (accel. poco a poco):

Increase speed little by little
In m. 98 in all parts.

Molto Ritardando (Molto rit.):

Slow down a lot
In m. 143 in all parts.

Everyone play, many times following a solo part.
In m. 52 in clarinet parts.

Hold note longer than the music would otherwise indicate
In m. 144 in all parts.

Michael Daugherty is one of the most commissioned, performed, and
recorded composers on the American concert music scene today. His
music is rich with cultural allusions and bears the stamp of classic
modernism, with colliding tonalities and blocks of sound; at the same
time, his melodies can be eloquent and stirring. Daugherty has been
hailed by The Times (London) as a master icon maker with a
maverick imagination, fearless structural sense and meticulous ear.
Daugherty first came to international attention when the Baltimore
Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Zinman, performed his
Metropolis Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1994. Since that time,
Daughertys music has entered the orchestral, band and chamber
music repertory and made him, according to the League of American
Orchestras, one of the ten most performed living American composers.
In 2011, the Nashville Symphonys Naxos recording of Daughertys Metropolis Symphony and Deus ex Machina
was honored with three GRAMMY Awards, including Best Classical Contemporary Composition. Also in 2011,
Naxos released a new CD of Daugherty's orchestral music to great acclaim entitled Route 66 with Marin Alsop
conducting the Bournemouth Symphony.
Born in 1954 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Daugherty is the son of a dance-band drummer and the oldest of five
brothers, all professional musicians. He studied music composition at the University of North Texas (1972-76),
the Manhattan School of Music (1976-78), and computer music at Pierre Boulezs IRCAM in Paris (1979-80).
Daugherty received his doctorate from Yale University in 1986 where his teachers included Jacob Druckman,
Earle Brown, Roger Reynolds, and Bernard Rands. During this time, he also collaborated with jazz arranger Gil
Evans in New York, and pursued further studies with composer Gyrgy Ligeti in Hamburg, Germany (1982-84).
After teaching music composition from 1986-90 at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Daugherty joined the
School of Music at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 1991, where he is Professor of Composition and a
mentor to many of todays most talented young composers.
Daugherty has been Composer-in-Residence with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra (2000), Detroit Symphony
Orchestra (1999- 2003), Colorado Symphony Orchestra (2001-02), Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music
(2001-04, 2006-08, 2011), Westshore Symphony Orchestra (2005-06), Eugene Symphony (2006), the Henry
Mancini Summer Institute (2006), the Music from Angel Fire Chamber Music Festival (2006), and the Pacific
Symphony (2010).
Daugherty has received numerous awards, distinctions, and fellowships for his music, including: a Fulbright
Fellowship (1977), the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award (1989), the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the
American Academy of Arts and Letters (1991), fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1992) and
the Guggenheim Foundation (1996), and the Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
(2000). In 2005, Daugherty received the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra Composers Award, and in 2007, the
Delaware Symphony Orchestra selected Daugherty as the winner of the A.I. DuPont Award. Also in 2007, he
received the American Bandmasters Association Ostwald Award for his composition Raise the Roof for Timpani
and Symphonic Band. Daugherty has been named Outstanding Classical Composer at the Detroit Music

Awards in 2007, 2009 and 2010. His GRAMMY award winning recordings can be heard on Albany, Argo, Delos,
Equilibrium, Klavier, Naxos and Nonesuch labels.

To say that a composer's style is unique merely states what should be true of
every composer, and yet when confronted with Michael Daugherty's music
one feels compelled to make this claim. Enzo Restagno, Artistic Director of
Settembre Musica in Torino, Italy has written:
To observe The American landscape in Michael Daugherty's company
is an unforgettable experience which I had during a long nocturnal
walk through the streets of New York. Naturally we talked about
music, but our talk was interrupted every minute because he kept
stopping ecstatically outside a show window or some public building.
He wanted to call my attention to some gadget or individual
abounding in symbolic value. Clothing, menus, items for everyday use, gestures, posters, billboards,
photographs, and architecture, all inspired lengthy observations endowed with great insight, but, at the
same time, an affectionate irony. Like the energy that radiates from the icons housed in our European
museums and art galleries, Michael Daugherty's music successfully releases the poetic power of
American icons.
It is in part this fascination with the vernacular that sets Daugherty's music apart. By using sophisticated
compositional techniques to develop his melodic motives combined with complex polyrhythmic layers, he has
created a style that is bursting with energy and truly unique.
Daugherty's connection to the pop world infuses his work at every level. The inspiration for much of his music
comes from icons of the American pop culture. He acknowledges his debt to pop culture, saying:
"For me icons serve as a way to have an emotional reason to compose a new work. I get ideas for my
compositions by browsing through second book stores, antique shops, and small towns that I find driving
on the back roads of America. The icon can be an old postcard, magazine, photograph, knick-knack,
matchbook, piece of furniture or roadmap. Like Ives and Mahler, I use icons in my music to provide the
listener and performer with a layer of reference. However, one does not need the reference of the icon to
appreciate my music. It is merely one level among many in the musical, contrapuntal fabric of my
The Metropolis Symphony and Bizarro are based on the Superman story; Desi is inspired by the television
character Ricky Ricardo. One hears urban Detroit in the industrial sounding Motown Metal and the courage of
an Afro-American civil rights icon in the emotional charged Rosa Parks Boulevard. UFO is inspired by the
unidentified flying objects that have been an obsession in American popular culture since 1947.
Not surprisingly, Niagara Falls draws its inspiration not only from the falls themselves, but most importantly
from the pop culture that surrounds this natural wonder.
"My parents went on their honeymoon and I've visited there many times as I have in-laws in Syracuse so
we stop at Niagara Falls on the way. Niagara Falls is a destination for honeymooners and its also one of
the biggest capitals of tourist traps in North America. I think that to even write a piece inspired by this

sort of concept is still uncommon in concert music. Yet when I am writing the music I am extremely
serious about putting the notes, the dynamics and the articulations, the timbre, the structure and the
counterpoint. When I compose, I think in a very structural logical way as Webern and Bach did."
Daugherty's melodic material--usually short motives that are repeated in sequences or canons--frequently
comes straight from jazz or Latin musical idioms with strong syncopation. Often the accompanying figures are
rooted in big band jazz, whether the closely harmonized scale fragments typical of a saxophone section or the
explosive interjections by the brass. All of this occurs over rhythmic ostinati or grooves in the bass and
percussion sections--the classic rhythm section of pop and jazz.
-- Timothy Salzman (2001), from the composers website,

Other Biographical Information at: with an extensive biography and links to audio and
video interviews



Alligator Alley is the nickname for the east-west stretch of Interstate 75 between Naples and Ft.
Lauderdale that crosses through the Florida Everglades National Park. It is home of the American
alligator king of the Everglades. Indigenous to the US south-east coastal regions, the American
alligator has changed little from its original form some 180 million years ago. Male alligators can grow
up to 16 feet in length and female alligators can grow up to 10 feet, and can reach weights of over 800
pounds. Removed from the US Fish and Wildlife list of endangered species in 1987, the American
alligator is still on constant watch by the national parks services, as its habitat is threatened by illegal
poachers, industrial contaminants and housing and commercial developments.
Composer Michael Daugherty celebrates Alligator Alley, bringing our attention to this unique animal
and the American highway traveled by many observing the alligator in its natural environment. There
are two main musical themes in Alligator Alley. The first theme, called the alligator theme is played
at the beginning of the composition by the bassoons. In 5/4 time, the alligator theme evokes the four
legs and tail of the alligator as it slithers through the Everglades. The second theme is called the
hunters theme. Performed by the brass, it reminds us of the hunters and poachers who trap and kill
the alligator for profit. To evoke the sound of the alligator, Daugherty has included a whip in the
percussion section. When the two pieces of wood of the whip are struck together, it is meant to evoke
the sound of an alligator snapping its large and very strong jaws.

A note from the composer:

My hope is that Alligator Alley will snap us to attention that the alligator deserves to live in peace. The
continued survival of the American alligator in the Everglades now depends on careful management
programs carried out by the National Park Service.


mm 16 to 24

m 25

m 35

m 42
m 52

m 68
m 78

m 85
m 88
m 98

m 119
m 141
m 145

m 155
m 161
m 162

Cymbals, drum, & whip play a short pattern 3 times. Music moves immediately into the Theme 1.
Theme 1: Woodwinds Take the Lead
Bassoons play the alligator theme (0:10). It is a swinging, syncopated descending tune in 5/4. (Daugherty
imagines alligators in 5/4 meter with 4 legs + 1 long tail.)
Theme repeats; clarinets accompany (0:19). An extension or bridge leads to the next section.
Flutes & clarinets play alligator theme with the bassoon. (0:28) As the musical texture gets thicker, clarinets,
saxophones & percussion add accents. Woodblock plays a steady eighth note ostinato. They repeat the tune,
then add a short extension. (mm 23-24)
Alligators theme repeats, but with a variation. It begins in flutes & oboes (0:46), and one measure later the
bassoon echo or imitates this melody. In the percussion, the triangles add color and the marimbas and
vibraphone also play the theme. An extension runs from mm 32 through 34
Bassoon takes back the alligator melody (1:05). A measure later, flutes, oboes, and clarinets imitate or echo it.
Texture again expands as brass & saxophones play sharp accents. Mallet percussion shadow the woodwinds.
Bongos play an ostinato & the whip reminds us of snapping jaws.
Transition: Meter change to 4/4; bassoons hint at the new theme, flutes play repeated fragments, oboes on
even quarters, and clarinets play a swirling motif with chromatic 16 notes.(1:22) Ends with loud accent. (1:35)
Theme 2 Poachers & Hunters Appear
Theme enters with trumpets, trombones & all the saxophones playing the bold, strong syncopated hunters
music. Mallet percussion play along. Music is loud.
Bongos play a new ostinato pattern; cymbals crash & the bass drum booms. Flutes add their high pitches to the
scene. Sounds like movie music for the advancing army.
A wild, crazy bongo solo bursts out of the ensemble (1:54), but brass instruments return & take the hunters
theme to the end of the section.
Theme 1 Return of the Alligator (2:00)
Wood winds decisively play the alligator theme twice along with the cracking whip
Alligator theme repeats - the texture is very rich. In addition to flutes, oboes, and bassoons, saxophones,
trumpets & horns play. Lots of action from the tambourines, woodblock & bass drum too. Low brass play sharp
Subito piano the volume of the music drops back to piano even though all are playing (2:33), then reverses
direction & expands through a long crescendo.
Theme 2 Hunters Return
Upper woodwinds play their theme others add slashing accents (2:38)
More instruments are added to the melody. A crescendo & accelerando (2:53) pushes into another section of
imitation. Bassoons play the melody; one measure later clarinets play the same melody as though they are
shadowing the bassoons. Finally flutes & oboes enter, like a 3 part round. During this counterpoint section,
maracas keep a steady ostinato pattern & tambourines add color. Eventually low woodwinds double the
bassoon melody.
Counterpoint becomes more complex as trumpets & horns join in to weave through the strands of the Hunters
theme. (3:26) Percussion includes bongos, drums, & mallet instruments.
Moving into the CODA
3 cymbal crashes (4:03) and slow, forte chords crescendo to a fortissimo long note with fermata (4:05).
5/4 meter returns in a soft section of even 8 notes that rise in pitch and expand with a crescendo (4:21).
The momentum builds through 10 measures of agitated music. The meter shifts from 5/4 to 4/4 to 6/8 to 3/4
& all the instruments jump into the piece.
A loud accent and slow chords push the music forward (4:37)
Arriving at the climax, the band pulls away from fortissimo to piano then re-ignites with a crescendo on a long
chord. Bongos play rapid 16 notes.
Then a surprise: the cymbal-drum-whip pattern that opens the piece (4:43) gives way to four measures of the
alligator theme.
At the very end, a final Big and Loud measure!!!



12 bar blues

Music organized in 12 measures that uses a blues scale or a blues chord progression in
its melodies and harmonies.


Music organized in 3 distinct sections in which the last section is a repeat of the first.


To gradually get faster.


Emphasis or stress on certain beats or parts of the beat. Indicated with the symbol >.


An expressive marking meaning agitated.


Music that is determined by chance or by the performer.


A note or series of notes that occur prior to the first full measure of a phrasea pick-up
note or notes.


A piece that is adapted to be performed by a different group of instruments or vocalists

than what was originally composed.


Separation or connection between notes and the amount of emphasis on the attack of
each note. For wind instruments this is controlled by the tongue and airstream. Some
articulation marks include the slur, phrase mark, staccato, staccatissimo, accent,
sforzando, rinforzando, and legato. Each articulation is represented by a different symbol
placed above or below the note.


Music with no specific identifiable key center (i.e. music that is not created in a
traditional key).


Steady pulse that underlies most music.


The form of a piece that is divided into two distinct sections (e.g. AB form).


Blues progression

A 12-measure series of chords built upon the I, IV, and V chord and used as the basis for
many pieces of jazz and pop music. The distinctive sound of the blues progression comes
from the inclusion of the lowered 3rd, 7th, and sometimes 5th step of a major scale.

Blues scale

A series of notes used in a blues chord progression based upon a major scale that also
includes a lowered 3rd, 7th, and sometimes 5th step of the scale.


A contrasting section of music that prepares to return to the first main theme. Can be
the third 8-measure phrase in 32-bar pop music form.


The musical phrase at the end of a piece of music or the end of a major section within a
piece of music and the harmony that accompanies it.

Chord progressions

A series of chords and their relationships.


The use of semi-tones or half steps in a melody that are not a part of the diatonic major,
minor, or modal scale.


The concluding section in a piece of music.


The shape and direction of a musical phrase.


The combination of two or more melodies that work together in a uniform harmony.


To gradually get louder.


Notes contained in a scale of a specific key (e.g. the notes contained in a C major scale).


To gradually get softer.



To have a specific note simultaneously occur in more than one octave, or in

orchestration or arranging, to have a note performed simultaneously by more than one
instrument or voice (e.g. the C in the oboe part is doubled in the flute part).

Endangered animals/
endangered species

Listing in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of animal species that are at risk of become
extinct and who receive protection under ESA.


A region of subtropical wetlands located in South Florida.

Extended chords (7th,

9th, 11th, etc.)

Additional notes added in thirds to the root, 3rd, and fifth of a triad.


A symbol placed over a note that indicates it should be held for longer than its normal
duration. Indicated by the symbol:



Glissando / glissandi

Rapidly changing pitches gliding through scale-like, consecutive tones produced by

sliding over keys or strings of a piano, harp, string instrument, or smoothly moving the
slide of a trombone.

Harmonic rhythm

The rate at which chords change.


The rhythmic relation of three equal notes in the time of two.


Music in which a single melody is supported by other parts with a series of chords.


The repeated use of a melody or part of a melody in different voices.


The distance between two pitches described as a number (e.g. 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc.).



In a smooth, connected style.


A term that describes an interval, scale, or a chord. The major scale is constructed with
the following series of whole steps and half steps: whole, whole, half, whole, whole,
whole, half. A major chord is a triad constructed with a major third on the bottom of the
chord and a minor third on the top.


An expressive marking that means marked or emphatic.


A series of pitches that are sung on one syllable.


The rhythmic organization of accents or beats in music.

Minor (natural,
harmonic, melodic)

A term that describes an interval, scale, or a chord. The natural minor scale is
constructed with the following series of whole steps and half steps: whole, half, whole,
whole, half. whole, whole. Harmonic and melodic are labels applied to altered forms of
the natural minor scale. A minor chord is a triad constructed with a minor third on the
bottom of the chord and a major third on the top.

Minuet and trio

A musical dance in 3/4 time at a moderate speed. It was typically used as a ternary (3part) form for a movement in a classical sonata or symphony (Minuet-Trio-Minuet).

Modes (Dorian,
Phrygian, Lydian,
Mixolydian, Aeolian,
Ionian, Locrian)

A series of notes that formed the basis of melodies and harmonies, organized in a
specific pattern of whole steps and half steps, originating from Medieval times.


Change of key or tonal center.

Molto expressivo

Very expressive.


A single line of melody.



A brief portion or fragment of a longer melody.


(noun) A device that softens the volume and changes the tone of an instrument; (verb)
Insert or apply a device that softens the volume and changes the tone of an instrument.


Improvised or written embellishments (decorations) for a melody including grace notes,

trills, turns, and mordents.


A rhythm or short melody that is repeated over and over.

Pedal Tones

A sustained bass note that persists as the harmony changes.


A scale consisting five notes within an octave. The most typical form can be heard by
playing the five black keys within an octave on a piano.


A musical line that states a complete idea, often a part of a much larger section of music.


Music in which different melody lines are played or sung together, creating harmony in a
linear fashion.


The use of two or more conflicting rhythms that do not seem to come from the same
meter or sub-division of beat.

Pop song form

Music organized in sections using a verse, chorus, and bridge. The most typical form is 32
measures long.

Quartel harmony

Chords constructed in 4ths rather than in 3rds (ternary).


The lowest to the highest pitch in a series of pitches.


When pitches or rhythms occur over and over.


Rondo (ABACA)

Music organized where the introductory section is repeated in between contracting



Repetition of a melodic pattern, each time occurring a step or the same interval higher
or lower than the previous occurrence.


Intervals larger than a step or half-step.


To move from one note to the next in a smooth, legato style without re-tonguing.

Solo vs. tutti

One player performing verses an entire section of players.

Sonata form

A term used since the 1700s to describe the first movement and sometimes last
movement of a symphony, sonata, trio, quartet, concerto, etc. in which there may be
introduction, exposition, development, recapitulation, and coda sections.


To perform in a detached, crisp manner. Indicated with a symbol that looks like a period

Stepwise movement

Moving from one note to another note that is either a whole-step of half-step away.


Music that is organized with the same melodic material repeated over and over (e.g. a
church hymn), sometimes with alterations from one occurrence to the next (e.g. a theme
and variations).

Subdivision of beat

The dividing of a beat into smaller rhythmic increments.

Subito piano

Suddenly soft.


A style of jazz or popular music originating in the 1930s. It also describes a stylistic
approach to performing a dotted eighth/sixteenth note rhythm.



Placing an accent or additional emphasis on what is normally a weak beat or a weak part
of a beat.


The speed of a piece of music.


To play a note for its full value and indicated with the symbol:


Music constructed in 3 major parts or sections (e.g. ABA).


The tone produced when an instrument or a voice performs in a particular part of its


The density of music determined by the number and range of sounds that are combined.

Theme and variations

A form where musical materials recurs, each time modified or altered in some way, but
where the essence of the melodic material can still be recognized.

Threatened animals

The listing in the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA) for animal species that are likely to
become endangered in the near future.

Through composed

Music that is continuous and that does not include the repeating of previous sections of


The organization of pitches and harmonies based upon a primary starting note or tonic.

Tone quality

The identifying characteristics of a sound.


Music that is re-written for different instruments or voices than what were used in the



Three note chords built in thirds.


The area or region drained by a river, river system, or other body of water.

Whole tone scale

A 7-note scale that includes no half-steps.



Name ___________________________________

DIRECTIONS: Hidden in the circles are musical terms from Alligator Alley. Each word runs clockwise or

counterclockwise, starting with the shaded letter. Write the terms on the line below each circle.















Next, match each word to its definition by writing the circle number next to the definition.
____The ending section of a piece of music
____An emphasis or stress on certain beats or parts of the beat
____The rhythmic organization of accents or beats in music
____Repeated melodic pattern that occurs each time at a step or at the same interval higher or lower
than the previous occurrence
____Melody with semi-tones or half steps not a part of the diatonic major, minor, or modal scale
____Placing an accent or additional emphasis on what is normally a weak beat or a weak part of a beat
____Italian for suddenly as in ____ piano (suddenly soft)
____A rhythm pattern or a short melody that is repeated over and over
____Rapidly changing pitches through a series of scale-like, consecutive tones produced by sliding over
keys or strings of a piano, harp, string instrument


Name ___________________________________________



Class ____________________________________________

DIRECTIONS: Youve read about composer Michael Daugherty and learned about Alligator Alley.

Now match the phrases and questions on the left with the definitions on the right.
____ extinct

A. Alligator Alley is the nickname for

____ the Everglades Parkway

B. Alligators snapping jaws played by the

____ bassoon

C. In the music the alligators four legs and

tail are represented by

____ a highway in Florida

D. Two main themes in Alligator Alley

____ Cedar Rapids, Iowa

E. Endangered plants or animals are at risk

of becoming

____ whip

F. The area or region drained by a river, a

river system, or other body of water

____ 5/4 meter

G. Real name for the real Alligator Alley

____ composition at the

University of Michigan

H. Inspiration for many of Daughertys

compositions comes from

____ alligator & hunter

I. Half of the alligators length is in its

____ tail

J. In the music, the alligator melody is first

played by the

____ watershed

K. Michael Daughertys home town

____ American cultural icons

L. Michael Daugherty teaches