A Level Music: Kinderscenen by Schumann: No 1

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  • Kinderscenen: No. 1, Of Foreign Lands and People' by Schumann
    • Structure
      • Rounded binary form (A: BA)
        • Binary because the double bar lines divide the piece into 2 sections and Rounded because the 2nd section (B) is rounded off by a return of the opening
        • A: doesn't modulate, repeated exactly same. B: melodically distinct from A, fleeting reference to E min and triplet figuration in middle part that continues
      • Each part is repeated (the first 8 bars are repeated at end, after a 6-bar middle section)
    • Tonality
      • G Major
      • Modulation  to E Minor at bar 12 with no resolution to tonic
    • Harmony
      • Perfect cadences: bars 21-22
      • Chord V usually has added 7th: heard in 1st inversion: bar 2, root position: bar 7 and 3rd inversion: bar 12
      • Ambiguous harmonic touches
      • Sophisticated chromatic harmonies: diminished 7th chord: bars 1-3
    • Rhythm
      • Dotted rhythms
      • Frequent rhythmic blurring when dotted pattern coincides with triplets
        • Performers therefore plays rubato, encouraged by ritardando followed by pause: bars 12-14
    • Metre
      • 2/4
      • Ambiguous: continuous triplet rhythm obscures the metre
    • Textures
      • Melody dominated homophony
      • Broken chords shared between both hands
      • Contrast between legato and semi-staccato bass at beginning
      • 2-part counterpoint between outer parts: bars 9-14
      • Sustained notes in inner parts: bars 5-14
      • Balanced periodic phrasing
      • 3 textural layers in A: upper melody, inner quaver triplets and independent bass line
        • In B, 3 layers continues but notation is different: upper melody is thickened in 3rds whilst triplets associated with bass line as it adapts the melody of bars 1-8
    • Melody
      • Simple
      • Repetitive: opening 2-bar phrase
      • Entirely diatonic
      • Sequence: bars 9-12
      • Juxtaposition of unrelated triads of B maj and G maj: bar 12
      • LH countermelody based on circle of 5ths: bars 9-12
      • Thematic feature of a rising minor 6th leap, followed by a stepwise descent: bars 1-2
      • Bass melody: bars 9-12: borrows elements of opening bars
      • Range isn't extreme

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