Leonardo's Lightship

by M.C. Handel/arr. Paul Jennings

In title and style we wanted to achieve a song that was a nice combination of older acoustic sounds and newer ethereal sounds. Real strings and brass add depth to the recording and the great feeling that your players are surrounded by a real studio orchestra as they play G, A, B, and D. At three points in the song, you have the option of letting your players play divisi, dividing 2, 3, or 4 ways. At bars 3, 31, and during the coda, you may let one group play the long D or G while the others play the half notes. You may even let some players stop on each of the notes and hold it. It is a very neat effect, mirrored in the strings and synth, and the kids will have a great time making such a different sound with their limited playing resources.

As an interesting extension to this tune, discuss the title of the tune and how it applies to the music, which may be seen as a sound painting. Could Leonardo (Da Vinci, not DiCaprio) have planned a lightship? What is a lightship? (Think sci-fi.) And, hey, who was Leonardo? How can we account for all of the amazing things he dreamed up hundreds of years ahead of his time? What will our next few hundred years bring? It is neat stuff to ponder in these millennial times. And as an interesting aside, you will note that the typeface used for the song is actually based on Da Vinci's signature.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.