Purcell Music for a while

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  • Purcell- music for a while
    • Performing forces and their handling
      • voice and continuo
      • scored for soprano, harpsichord and bass viol
      • r-hand of harpsichord is an elaborate realisation
      • L-hand of the harpsichord plays ground bass
      • ground bass also played on bass viol
    • Text setting and word-painting
      • vocal line is mainly syllabic
      • melismatic moments 'wond'ring' bar 10
      • repetition is used 'drop' bar 23
      • 'pains' dissonance bar 12
      • 'eas'd' bar 14 dissonance resolved
    • Melody
      • compass/range of a ninth, just over an octave
      • mostly conjunct
      • frequent passing notes
      • extensive use of ornaments: trills -bar 13, Appoggiaturas-bar 35, mordents
    • Structure
      • ground bass structure
      • 3-bars long
      • quaver rhythms
      • semitone intervals
      • it modulates
    • Texture
      • melody- dominated homophony
      • accompaniment provided by ground bass
      • right hand of harpsichord provides counterpoint with vocal line
    • Tonality
      • A minor key (coloured by tierce de picardie
      • tonality is sometimes ambiguous due to chromatic nature of the ground bass
      • central section modulates to related keys
      • modulations are confirmed by perfect cadences
    • Tempo, metre and rhythm
      • 4/4 metre
      • slow tempo
      • dotted rhythms and syncopation
    • Harmony
      • chords are diatonic and functional
      • perfect cadences and cadential 6-4
      • suspensions
      • dissonance
      • false realisation seen in groundbass and harpsichord


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