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Elgar Soundscapes

Visitors in the garden in autumn at The Firs, Worcestershire
Visitors in the garden at The Firs | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Elgar Soundscapes: Creating Musical Journeys through Nature. Discover a musical family experience in the garden at The Firs to find the 5 ingredients needed to build musical compositions.

A composer’s job is to create musical recipes using sounds, which the orchestra performers can follow to recreate compositions.

Elgar Soundscapes is an interactive activity inspired by our Curating Elgar project, developed with over 200 participants to respond to Elgar’s story, music and connection to landscape and nature. Visit The First to have a go at creating your own musical journeys by exploring sounds within the garden and try it out in your own green spaces.

Elgar Soundscapes: Creating Musical Journeys through Nature

The garden contains 5 ingredients needed to build musical compositions. Explore the site by locating the boards and scanning the QR code to discover some of the different ingredients you can use to create your own music.


Musical Instruments

Musical Instruments create lots of different beautiful sounds that can be combined in an orchestra. Gardens are full of natural materials and textures that create different sounds.



Melodies are the parts of a composition that you can hum along to. They are the catchy tunes that gets stuck in your head – ear worms! Melodies are all around you, waiting to be discovered.  Enjoy the peace of the garden like Elgar did, listen to the birds singing in the trees.



Rhythm is what makes you want to tap your feet or start dancing. This beat has the important job of giving songs their energy.



Dynamics are the changes in volume you hear in music. Nature is full of dynamic sounds that can be as soft as a whisper or as LOUD AS THUNDER.



Harmonies are created when families of sounds are combined together.  Nature is full of different sounds that can be layered to create harmonies. Listen to the melodies of the birds over the thundering harmonies of the cars passing by.