Star Wars: Tempo, Rhythm and Meter

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  • Star Wars: Tempo, Rhythm and Meter
    • The fast tempo chosen for the opening section of this extract matches the mood and genre of the film – this is mainly an exciting action movie and the tempo reflects this.
    •  4/4 metre and the march style also reflect the ‘military’ nature of the wars between the rebels and the Imperial forces.
    • Fanfare – rapid repeated notes and triplets – to create a real feeling of expectation.
    •  The rhythmic feel of the main theme section supports the strong quadruple/duple pulse, continuing to include the triplets first heard in the Introduction.
    • The main theme (A) is often accompanied by syncopated block chords, mixing off-beat quaver and triplet quavers with frequent rests.
    •  From bar 33 onwards the rhythmic feel changes entirely, as the pulse becomes much less obvious.
    • The metre changes to triple time at bar 44.
    • The homorhythmic (rhythmic unison) chords at bars 44–50 create drama by mixing quavers, triplet quavers and crotchets with well-placed rests. The tempo also slows down here, further increasing the effect of these chords
    • At 51 the music sets off furiously, at a very fast tempo, with a one-bar ostinato figure (‘Mars’again) driving the extract to its conclusion.


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