KS3: Hans Zimmer – Earth

Hans Zimmer

  • Born: 1957
  • Nationality: German

Why is he a Trailblazer?

Today most people first hear orchestral music in the cinema or online – and perhaps more than any other composer, trailblazer Hans Zimmer has helped to shape the sound of today’s film, TV and games music.

Using driving rhythms, hypnotic chord patterns and electronic samples he has created unique and powerful soundtracks that have influenced a whole generation of musicians.

Hans Zimmer © Zoe Zimmer
Naomi Wilkinson introduces this piece Earth, written especially for Ten Pieces by the world-famous trailblazer Hans Zimmer. Hans talks all about what has inspired him to write this piece.

Fast Facts

  • As a child in Germany Hans Zimmer tried piano lessons but quickly gave up. Instead he taught himself music and, convinced the piano could continue to ‘evolve’ as an instrument, attached items like chainsaws to it.

  • Zimmer moved to England and played keyboards and synthesizers in rock and punk bands like Ultravox and The Damned – and the influence of rock and roll helped to shape his film music.

  • He has written the music for over 150 films including The Lion King, Madagascar, The Simpsons Movie, Kung Fu Panda and TV series like Blue Planet II.

  • Hans is passionate about encouraging young musicians and told Ten Pieces: “I think anybody who goes and gets their piece of music finished is a Trailblazer! Everybody’s got a voice. Everybody’s got a story to tell.”

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Chorus perform Earth by Hans Zimmer.

Earth

Hans Zimmer has composed Earth especially for Ten Pieces.

The piece is his personal celebration of the planet we live on.

With his trademark sense of scale and drama, Hans captures the majesty and beauty of our home, as if seen from space.

The piece written is for live performance – and has a fantastic role for a children’s choir, making it perfect for schools or community groups to learn.

Hans has also set every child a challenge – to take his piece and create something new from it. In his own words: “The piece of music I’ve written is just the beginning of the sentence. I want you guys to finish it!”

Resources

KS3 Lesson plans
KS3 Powerpoint slides
Downloadable mp3
Multi-ability instrumental arrangements
Figurenotes arrangement

Where next?

  • You could explore another of the planets and discover Gustav Holst’s Mars.

  • Or discover how, long before cinema was invented, Handel created musical suspense and blockbuster drama, in Zadok the Priest.

  • Explore our other Figurenotes arrangements and discover more about Inclusive music-making with Ten Pieces.

  • Get creative and upload your responses using the Ten Pieces Uploader!

Ten Pieces uploader