music for a while - henry purcell

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  • MUSIC FOR A WHILE
    • texture
      • melody and accompani-ment
      • accompaniment - ground bass
      • RH harpsichord - counterpoint w vocal line
    • tonality
      • key signature A minor
        • reflects the sombre nature of lyrics - a lament
      • modulates in the middle to relevant keys: E minor, C major and A major, then returns to tonic Amin
      • use of perfect cadences V-I
      • sometimes ambiguous due to chromatic notes
      • tierce de picardie
        • a major chord at the end of a minor piece
    • melody
      • word painting
        • technique of writing music that reflects sad nature of the song
        • 'eternal' -lengthy melisma
        • 'drop' - repeated in a descending pattern
        • free the dead - bright G maj key
        • 'pains were eased' - dissonance on pains, resolution on eased
        • mostly minor key appropriate for mood of the piece
      • mostly conjunct with small leaps
      • passing notes are frequent (notes that don't belong in the chord)
      • mostly syllabic with melismatic moments
      • rests are used to break up phrases
      • use of ornaments
        • trills
        • apoggiaturas
        • grace notes
        • mordents
        • common to Baroque music
      • descending sequences
    • tempo, metre and rhythm
      • no tempo marking, but slow tempo would be appropriate
      • written in 4/4
      • dotted rhythms sometimes used in vocal line
      • uses a variety of rhythms but mainly quavers and semiquavers
      • occasional syncopation
      • ground bass is entirely quavers
    • dynamics
      • no marked dynamics
    • background information
      • written in the Baroque era
      • composed in 1692 for a play telling the Greek myth of Oedipus
      • 2nd of 4 movements
    • instruments
      • soprano singer
      • harpsichord
        • LH harpsichord and bass viol act as ground bass
      • bass viol
        • LH harpsichord and bass viol act as ground bass
      • voice and continuo
    • structure
      • ground bass structure in ternary form
      • 3 bar repeating ground bass
    • harmony
      • dissonance used occasionally
      • perfect cadences
      • suspensions
      • diatonic

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