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12 Core Categories Header Image

The Core Music Repertoire by
The Juilliard School

The core music repertoire opens doors to different genres, styles and cultures in your child's learning.

Find out more

The Core Music Repertoire Explained

Curated by Juilliard, the core music repertoire is built around 12 categories of music which explore a wide variety of genres, styles and cultures. Each category is exemplified by an iconic work and several extension works for further exploration.

The works have been carefully chosen based on their iconic quality, teachable moments and to give breadth to your child's musical learning. Your child will study these works throughout their school career to give them a deep engagement and appreciation with each piece.

Interactive activities encourage students to engage with the works and key concepts while developing connections between the pieces, as well as other subjects.

The Instrument as Soloist
J.S.Bach: Cello Suite No.3 in C Major, BMV 1009

By exploring this category, students can focus on the unique timbres, technical capabilities and expressive possibilities of a range of individual instruments.

Music for Small Ensembles
György Ligeti: 6 Bagatelles for Woodwind Quintet

This category demonstrates opportunities for both independence and cooperation; instruments can either blend together to create a singular unified sound or express their distinctive qualities to create rich musical dialogue.

The World of The Orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op.67

Students will learn about different kinds of orchestras and families of instruments. They will also explore the role of the conductor, the forms and structures of orchestral works and other musical elements.

The Concerto
Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64

The Concerto features the contrasting musical forces of soloists(s) against an orchestra. This unique form illuminates the technical and sonorous capabilities of the featured instrument(s).

Improvisatory Music
Thelonious Monk: "Blue Monk"

This category focuses on improvisational music across a variety of cultural traditions. Through listening and playing musical games, students will develop their ability to improvise as a mode of creative self-expression.

Music that Tells a Story
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

Composers have long used instruments to tell stories without words. Learners will investigate the ways in which compositional choices reflect a narrative’s setting, actions, emotions and characters.

Folk Origins
Doudou N’Diaye Rose: Chants du Burgam (Senegal, West Africa)

Folk traditions have inspired countless compositions. This category encourages students to study pieces inspired by this music and to delve into the music and cultural practices of the folk sources themselves.

Music for Dramatic Productions
W.A. Mozart: Music from The Magic Flute, K. 620

Dramatic productions, including operas and pieces for musical theatre, combine instrumental with voices, acting, scenery and dance. The collaboration of numerous disciplines enhances the dramatic arc of the work.

Music for Ancient Instruments
Traditional Chinese: Ambush from Ten Sides

The study of music for ancient instruments allows classes to explore their physical attributes, their evolution over time, their functions within their societies, as well as their connections with music and traditions of other cultures.

The Song
George Gershwin: They Can’t Take That Away from Me

Students will hear distinct vocal timbres, learn the musical devices used to convey poetry and understand the song’s function within culture. They can also learn songs in different languages and compare common forms.

Music for Film
John Williams: Score to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

The art of original film-scoring involves composing music to accompany specific images, moods or actions. Students will study iconic scores both with and without their visuals, focusing on themes, orchestral texture and dramatic elements.

Juilliard Composer-In-Residence
Composer of Today 

Beginning in the autumn of 2016, this category will offer students the unique opportunity to interact with a Juilliard-affiliated composer throughout the school year, providing a window into the music, influences, challenges and motivations of the contemporary composer.