Take her to sea Mr Murdoch: Horner

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  • Take her to sea Mr Murdoch - James Horner
    • Structure
      • Through-composed: as ships engines grind into life-music builds, tempo increases & tonality changes
      • Repetition
      • Bar 30 folk song 'The leaving of liverpool'
        • also dance tune later: structure defined by melodic ideas
    • Harmony
      • Pedal notes (bar57 cello and DB)
      • Mostly root & 1st inversion chords
      • Not many perfect cadences
      • Diatonic & tonal: functional
      • Bar 37: traditional, diatonic harmony fitting with traditional dance theme
      • Bar 41-53 spells out circle of 5ths in bass part
    • Resources
      • Orchestra, voices & synthesised sounds
        • Brass section quite standard
        • Double woodwind: 2 clarinets, 2 oboes, contrabassoon
        • Percussion: timpani, suspended cymbal, bass drum, tubular bells, bell tree, glockenspiel, sleigh bells
        • 2 harps & piano
        • Uses instruments traditionally- part doubling
        • Limited tessitura: stays mainly in stave
    • Tonality
      • Tertiary modulation (up&down 3rds)
      • Tonally ambiguous at start as no key written but flats appear
      • No perfect cadences to establish modulations to unrelated keys
      • Traditional diatonic & functional
      • Opening Eb maj but incl. Lydian mode raised 4th
    • Rhythm
      • bar 57: quaver triplets
      • At end horns, flutes & clarinets have augmented opening melody
      • Quavers, semiquavers: fairly standard
      • Bar 86: augmented Liverpool notated at 2x original length
      • bar 37: 2x as fast
    • Melody
      • 2nd is inversion of 1st bar
      • Opening figure: raised Lydian 4th- modal quality for Irish folk
      • b30 Liverpool only in 1st 2 bars in Gmaj: outlines arpeggio & Gmaj scale
      • b12 same rising figure as opening (notes excluded) & viola has ostinato pattern
      • Imitation between parts in opening melody
      • b37 dance melody: 5/4 then 6/4 in b68. Syncopated, up&down pattern like waves
      • Dance melody: conjunct & repetitive (like ships mechanics) b41-43 descending sequence in violin+synth
      • b57: violin develops Liverpool & cello+horn have triplet countermelody. Also developed in b86
    • Metre
      • 3/4 changes frequently: 4/4,5/4,3/2,2/2
        • Makes beat slightly ambiguous
        • 5.4 folk feel to represent Irish
    • Texture
      • Imitative (opening)
      • Heterophonic (b21)
      • Homorhythmic (b37)
      • Homophonic (b80)
      • Pedal notes (b11 DB)
      • Bar 6: violins ostinato figure (accented D at start of each figure (&) viola has accented pedal notes


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