Hartmann’s sketch that inspired this movement was supposedly a picture of a clock in the shape of Baba Yaga’s hut with chicken legs.  What does that mean?  Who was Baba Yaga?

Baba Yaga is a legendary witch from Russian folklore.  Read more about her here.

Here are two narrated versions of the legend of Baba Yaga.


Listen to the story.  Re-listen/watch the Mussorgsky movement of Baba Yaga.   What instruments do you see/hear?  What is the tempo of the music?  What is the mood of the music?  What special effects or dynamics (volume changes) that you learned about in Year 1 do you notice the string instruments doing?  This movement is in the form of a sandwich — it has two outer sections that are the same (the bread) and a middle section that is different.  Listen for the change in sections — can you describe the difference in the mood between the outer sections and the middle section?  Can you describe how and why the music sounds like the story?  Why do you think Hartmann’s picture had a clock in it? Does the music have any clock-like characteristics?

Brainstorm your picture as you listen to the music.  What does Baba Yaga look like?  Is it just her or are there other people in the picture?  Can you see her hut in the picture?  What is the background?  Is the setting inside or outside?  Is there action in the picture?  What’s the atmosphere like — is it a friendly picture?  A scary picture?  Is it dark, light, colourful?  Do you want to include a clock in your picture?  (Not at all obligatory!)