Sing Up Music | Year 5 | Building a groove

Background information

About the composer – Herbie Hancock:

  • Herbie Hancock is an American jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer. 
  • He was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1940 and is an icon of jazz and groove music. 
  • He was just 22 when he wrote Watermelon man.

About the music – Watermelon man:

  • Watermelon man has an infectious groove, inspired by Herbie Hancock’s childhood memory of a watermelon seller in Chicago in the 1940s. 
  • The infectious groove is based on the sound of the watermelon seller’s clackety vehicle, which travelled down the cobbled streets.
  • Herbie recorded Watermelon man several times (first in 1962) but the version we will be focusing on in this unit is from the album Head Hunters, which was released in 1973.

Before you begin the unit

  • Download the PowerPoint and enable content so that the videos play.
  • Watch/listen to all the songs and pieces, making sure to familiarise yourself with the musical material.
  • Lesson 1: this lesson will require untuned percussion instruments.
  • Lessons 2 & 3: these lessons will require tuned instruments.