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Surprises can be wonderful or shocking, delightful or jarring. And when musicians find clever ways to surprise listeners, things get really interesting. Here’s a look at unpredictable music from Björk, Igor Stravinsky, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Claude Debussy and The Yoshida Brothers. 

Stuff to think about after you’ve listened:

  • Which of the ideas of surprise in music that were featured in this episode do you want to listen to again? 
  • What are some ways to use sound that are surprising to you? 

Ready to explore more surprising sounds? Check out this playlist on Spotify or Apple Music:

This is one of eight Music Blocks episodes exploring how musicians express emotions through sound. You can listen in any order.

Hear about:

Find more discussion questions and playlists at MusicBlocksPodcast.org.

Tell us how you're using Music Blocks in the classroom or at home, or share your playlists and music creations inspired by the podcast! Email us: [email protected]

Music Blocks is a production of Colorado Public Radio's Audio Innovations Studio.

Hosts and Producers: Luis Antonio Perez and Rebekah Romberg
Editors: Jo Erickson and Dennis Funk
Education Advisor: Carla Aguilar, Ph.D.
Executive Producer: Brad Turner

Thank you: Monika Vischer at CPR Classical, Bruce Trujillo and Willobee Carlan at Indie 102.3, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Mia Rincón, Clara Shelton, Hart Van Denburg, and all the teachers and students who shared feedback and attended virtual focus groups as we developed this podcast.

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