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.

Tutorial: 'Sonic battle' - Part 1

Tutorial 1: Part 1 - join Nigel Pilkington to learn the song 'Sonic battle'

Key timings in the tutorial are:

00' 00":
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":
Learn Verse 2, which is sung by the rebel army to exactly the same tune as Verse 1.

05' 19":
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":
Stand up to sing through Verses 1 and 2, including the rap that comes between them.

Tutorial: 'Sonic battle' - Part 2

Tutorial 1: Part 2 - join Nigel Pilkington to learn the song 'Sonic battle'

Key timings in the tutorial are:

00' 00":
Learning the middle section of the song, beginning 'Now let the battle begin...'

01' 19":
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).

The story

Episode 1 of the story


Scotland in the 11th century. A group of Scottish rebels has joined forces 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 descendants will also become kings.

See Resources below for a quiz about the story episode.

Song: 'Sonic battle'

Song 1: 'Sonic battle' (vocal)
Song 1: 'Sonic battle' (backing)

Learn the song ‘Sonic battle’ - about the battle between the rebels and soldiers loyal to King Duncan.

Once you have learnt the song singing with vocal version you can polish your performance singing with just the backing track.

Click here for the lyric sheet.

Click here for the music sheet.


Teacher's Notes
Pupils' pamphlet
Vocal warm-up
Meet the characters
Lyrics - Sonic battle
Music - Sonic battle
Song 1 - tutorial transcript
Episode 1 - story transcript

More from this series

2. Destiny
3. Temptation
4. Assassins