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Macbeth: 1. Sonic battle

Macbeth and his comrade, Banquo, are returning from battle across a deserted heath when they come across three strange creatures - the 'Weird Sisters'. They tell Macbeth that he will become Thane of Cawdor, then King of Scotland. They tell Banquo his descendants will also become kings.

The story

The three 'Weird Sisters'
When shall we three meet again?
The 'Weird Sisters'

Scotland in the 11th century. A group of Scottish rebels has joined foces with an invading Norwegian army to threaten King Duncan’s kingdom. Macbeth - the Thane of Glamis - leads the loyal Scottish soldiers on the battlefield, supported by his friend Banquo. Their bravery ensures success. After the battle Macbeth and Banquo go to see King Duncan. On the way they meet three strange creatures - the ‘Weird Sisters’ - who appear to be able to foretell events. They prophesy that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor and thereafter King of Scotland. When Banquo asks what they can tell him about his own future they say that one day his descendents will also become kings.

The main characters

Name Who is...
Macbeth Thane of Glamis, then of Cawdor, then King of Scotland
Lady Macbeth His wife
The 'Weird Sisters' Three strange creatures living wild on the heathland
Duncan The rightful King of Scotland
Banquo Macbeth's friend and comrade
Fleance Banquo's son
Malcolm Duncan's son and heir
Donalbain Duncan's younger son
Macduff Thane of Fife; loyal to Duncan / Malcolm
Angus, Lennox, Ross Three noblemen who initially support Macbeth but later leave him in favour of Malcolm / Macduff

In the song tutorial

Timing Content
00 00 Part 1 Learn Verse 1 of the song, which is a march with a steady beat and a rap, including learning a short note sequence.
03 56 Part 1 Learn Verse 2, which is sung by the rebel army to exactly the same tune as Verse 1.
05 19 Part 1 Learning the rap, beginning 'You know we fight the armies all across the land...' Be ready at 06 33 to rap in two groups, with Group 2 shouting out just the underlined words.
07 15 Part 1 Stand up to sing through Verses 1 and 2, including the rap that comes between them.
00 00 Part 2 Learning the middle section of the song, beginning 'Now let the battle begin...'
01 19 Part 2 Learning the 8-bar Instrumental section which ends the song in two groups - the battle sequence - and adding body percussion to it (knee slaps and hand claps).

Story questions

Who are Macbeth and Banquo fighting against?

A group of Scottish rebels who have joined forces with the invading Norwegians

What do we learn about Macbeth in the battle?

That he fights with great valour and courage

What happens to Macbeth and Banquo on the way to see Duncan?

They come across three mysterious creatures - the 'Weird Sisters' - who appear to be able to foretell events

What do the 'Weird Sisters' tell Macbeth will happen to him?

That the title Thane of Cawdor will soon be added to his title of Thane of Glamis and that thereafter he will become King of Scotland

What do the 'Weird Sisters' tell Banquo will happen to him?

That his descendants will become kings

Resources