As children, we are exposed to many new and intriguing elements. One of those new items of exploration is the element of music. When children are brought home from the hospital and are crying without end, mothers and fathers sing to them in order to calm them down. Before putting them down to sleep, a lullaby is a common practice of parents. Songs are also very evident in children’s television shows, movies, and even books that have buttons that make music while reading the book. At a young age music enters into the grasp of children and as they grow and mature music has an even bigger impact on their life. Three pieces of music that are examples of childhood music are “Brahms’ Lullaby,” “Tse Tse Kule,” and “Nobody’s Perfect.”
“Brahms’ Lullaby” as written by Johannes Brahms and was published in 1868. It is better known as “Wiegenlied.” Brahms wrote the piece in celebration of Bertha Faber, a friend of Brahms, who had just given birth (Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia). Although the lullaby is a classical piece of music, it is very evident in today’s culture. It is a very popular piece that parents hum or sing in order to calm down a crying child. The piece is also very evident when walking down the baby aisle of many department stores. Many stuffed animals or baby mobiles have a button that when pressed plays the beautiful sounds of Brahms’ Wiegenlied. It speaks volumes of the popularity of the piece because it is still very popular today. Culturally, it has become a “theme song” per say for childhood. When a couple has a new baby, it is almost as if “Wiegenlied” must be present in their child’s life in order to follow the standard of the cultural norm.
Many elements of music are found in Brahms’ “Wiegenlied” and they contribute to the overall meaning of the piece. The piece is homophonic with a main melody that is accompanied with underlying harmonies. As the harmonies are sounding together, it forms a smooth and peaceful song that reaches its purpose of lulling a child to sleep. The harmonies are also very consonant and pleasing to the ears. If the tones were harsh or dissonant, children of western cultures would have a difficult time falling asleep.
An example of a worldly children’s song is “Tse Tse Kule.” It was recorded by Ivan Annan and Folkways Records. Folkways Records is owned by the Smithsonian and is a record label that seeks to bring forth folk, world, and children’s music. “Tse Tse Kule” is a Ghanaian children’s song and it expresses the importance of music in Ghanaian culture. In Ghana, children’s songs are mainly of the call and response style. They are used to help teach children certain concepts and also help the children learn their school lessons. Music is a large part of Ghanaian culture and in order for music to continue throughout time, it must be taught and instilled into a person’s life during childhood. It is for that reason that songs are incorporated into the schooling of children. Songs are presented during...