by Si Osgrove
Si's current jobs are full-time grad student in Educational
Technology and Dad to a wonderful seven-year-old son, Benjamin. Si
loves camping and creating things like computerized instructional
products photographs, and poems.
Instructional Objective The learners will use this card
game to build upon and reinforce previous information about the major
classical music forms (e.g., sonata, overture, etc.), composers, and
major examples of the musical forms.
Learners/Context The learners are primarily adults who have
familiarity with classical music either from musical training (on an
instrument or college music appreciation course), or listening to
classical music in the home or by attending concerts. They are people
who want a challenging game.
Rationale A card game is useful because
- it is not only fun, but also mentally challenging and
- it will help players learn more about musical forms while
playing the card game;
- players will gain more knowledge about famous composers, and
- it, hopefully, will tie together in players' minds the three
types of information: musical form with composers and examples of
Object Of Game The underlining object of the game is to
learn more about classical music forms, composers, and specific
works. The overt object of Classical Cards is to be the first player
to score 100 points or more. Players collect points by
A) correctly answering question cards
B) "Going Out" by correctly laying down a TRIO and FOUR OF A
- A TRIO is one "musical form" card , a "composer" card, and one
"composition" card, all of which match
- FOUR OF A KIND is any four cards in one of the three
categories just mentioned.
Number of Players Two to four people.
Playing Rules The game is played as follows:
- A dealer is selected who divides the deck (except for the red
Lose Points cards which are kept in a separate pile) into
approximately two halves. He shuffles both and from one pile deals
seven cards to each player. Cards are dealt clockwise. The
remaining cards are combined and placed face down into one pile,
THE DECK, for drawing during play. The top card is turned face up
to form the DISCARD PILE.
- Players sort their cards into the four different
1) Composer 2) Musical Form 3) Composition
(examples of musical forms) and 4 ) Question (?).
- After taking time to read the information on the cards, they
then try to group cards by putting together three cards
consisting of a musical form ( for example sonata), along with
a composer who wrote in that form (for example, Beethoven),
and a composition card--a specific work of music written by
that composer (for example, Moonlight Sonata).
The first player to the left of the dealer plays first (play goes
- If any player has a question card (?), the player may
ask the question, when it is his/her turn, to the player to
his/her left. If other players agree that the question was
answered correctly, or if the Correct Answers verify the answer,
the player answering PUTS THE CARD ON THE TABLE IN FRONT OF HIM.
It is scored when the hand is over.
If answered incorrectly the card is put into the bottom of the
deck , the player who answered incorrectly gets a Penalty
card to put down on the table before him/her, and he or she
looses their turn. The player asking the question draws another
card so that he/she still has seven cards in his/her hand.
- When its his/her turn a player may either draw a card from the
deck or from the face up discard pile. If the player can use a
card s/he keeps it. Player then places one card onto the discard
- Play continues clockwise until one player GOES OUT with both a
TRIO and FOUR OF A KIND. (The player lays his seven cards face up
on the table.)
- If the other players do not agree with the TRIO, or if the
CORRECT ANSWERS say the TRIO is incorrect, then the player must
pick up the cards. (It will be obvious if the FOUR OF A KIND are
correct or not.) Play continues to the next player.
- In the unusual case where no one goes out before the deck is
used up, the dealer reshuffles the pile of discards, puts them
into a new deck and turns one card face up. Play continues.
Scoring A piece of paper can be used to keep a running
score. A player who goes out CORRECTLY receives 30 points.
Each question card which was correctly answered gives the player
10 or 20 points. Each PENALTY card removes five or ten points from
the player's score.
Deck Design Cards are the size of regular playing cards.
There are 140 in the deck consisting of: 20 for definitions of major
musical forms cards, 40 question cards, 40 composer cards (not all
different), and 40 examples of musical compositions. In addition
there are 40 Penalty cards: 20 red 5-Point and 20 red 10-Point
Design Process I began thinking about a card game about the
environment, pollution, and players being responsible citizens of
planet Earth. Most of the game's rules were written when I realized
the game would have more variety and educational value if it became a
board game--so it will for the next assignment in this course.
My mind next focused upon creating a card game that involved
something I have loved since I was a college freshman, classical
The decision was made to use this not only to involve composers
and examples of their compositions but also the musical
forms of the compositions. I chose musical forms because I
realized there were many I had heard about but really did not
understand well. After seeing an example of a poorly designed card
game , I knew my game had to get students to think, to do more than
just find matching cards. I wanted them to read all the cards to
learn more about a subject with which they already had some
familiarity. This led to adding another type of card, the
question card. Players would receive musical questions
randomly throughout the game, which is modeled after Gin Rummy.
Not having previous experience with game design I asked our
instructor for feedback. He said it was on the right track but did
not involve the players enough--in terms of them bringing previous
knowledge with them to the game. Therefore, I decided to remove more
of the information from the cards. The player's, I decided would be
people who already knew something about classical music. Most cards
are randomly missing one essential fact, e.g., the composer's name,
the musical form, the word name of the composition (if the number of
composition is given or vice versa), or both the name and number of
the composition. In order to have enough variety in questions, I
decided the deck would have 140 cards,