Poulenc: Sonata for horn, Trumpet and Trombone DR SMITH

This is a DR SMITH (Dynamics, Rhythm/meter, Structure, Melody, Instrumentation, Texture, Tonality, Harmony) analysis of the edexcel A2 Music set work (2013) - Sonata for horn. Trumpet and Trombone (Poulenc).

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  • Created by: alisha97
  • Created on: 17-06-13 19:04
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  • Poulenc
    • Dynamics
      • Detailed dynamics - Modern feature e.g. Horn marked louder than other parts when it has a solo at bar 30.
    • Rhythm/meter
      • Mostly uses Crotchets, quavers and semi-quavers.
      • At bars 36-38  the trumpet plays large leaps (octaves). These notes are minims.
      • At bar 39 trumpet plays a semi-quaver scale 'ad lib' (freely).
      • The music begins in 4/4 but changes to many different time signatures throughout the piece.
        • e.g. 3/4 in bar 9.
        • e.g. 9/8 in bar 39.
        • e.g. 5/4 in bar 65.
      • Syncopation e.g.bar 13.
    • Structure
      • The overall structure is ternary form (ABA1) + coda.
      • The A sections (or refrains) have 3 sections: 1) bars 1-8. 2) bar 9-17. 3) bars 18-25.
      • Section B is split into 2 intersections. The first half is slow and the second half is quicker.
    • Melody
      • Diatonic.
      • Contrasting themes e.g. in section B there are two contrasting themes: 1) bars 26-39. 2) bar 40-57.
      • The first 3 notes of the trumpet (D-B-G) outline a descending tonic triad. This motif is developed throughout the piece e.g. in the trumpet part in bars 23-24 it is played in the minor version.
      • Trumpet mainly plays the melody but in section B there are some points where the horn has the melody e.g. bars 30-33 where it is the horn solo and also bars 40-47.
      • At bar 39 trumpet plays a descending scale marked 'ad lib' (freely).
      • Brs 36-38 trumpet plays minims in leaps of an octave (bars 36-37 are a rising sequence).
      • Uses classical feature - periodic phrasing i.e. balanced phrasing e.g.  bars 1-2 are a 'question' phrase and bars 3-4 are an 'answering' phrase.
      • Scalic and arpegiaic
      • Some ornaments e.g.  bars 12(2) on trumpet.
    • Instrumentation
      • Brass Trio - unusual as would more commonly have been written for quartet so there could be 3 accompaniments (to play each note of the chords).
      • Trumpet mainly plays melody except for some parts in section B where horn plays melody e.g. bar 30.
      • Other parts play a simple chord-based accompaniment
      • At bars 40-45 the trumpet and trombone play an accompaniment which has an 'oom-pah' feel.
    • Texture
      • The Texture is generally melody-dominated homophony - melody and a chord based accompaniment.
      • Trumpet generally plays the melody but horn has the melody at some points in section B.
      • Other parts (trombone and horn) play a chord based accompaniment other than when horn has the melody - then trumpet and trombone play accompaniment.
      • There are some brief monophonic parts e.g. bars 21(4)-25.
    • Tonality
      • Tonality is not functional - sections are defined by change in mood rather than keys.
      • Key signature in the A sections is G major.
      • Key signature changes to Bb major at the start of section B.
      • Modulates through various keys e.g D major at bar 6.
      • Opening descending tonic triad (trumpet) is heard in minor version at bars 23-24 (trumpet).
      • Some chromatic phrases e.g. trombone in bars 86-87.
      • Whole tone scales e.g. bar 56.
    • Harmony
      • Mostly root position and first inversion chords.
      • Takes classical cadence (cadential 6/4) and modernises e.g. at bar 4 it is now Ic-V11(no third)-I instead of Ic-V7-I.
      • Uses regular cadence to help establish keys e.g. the perfect cadence in D at bar 8.


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