The Rite of Spring- Igor Stravinsky- 1923

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  • The Rite of            Spring        Igor Stravinsky 1923
    • Structure
      • The whole work is very representational
      • It is defined by the texture in some parts, as it moves from monophony to polyphony
        • Petals, Saariaho, 1988 wrote a piece where the timbre defined the structure
    • Tonality
      • No clear sense of key
        • Constant use of harsh dissonance
      • Modal throughout
      • Some sense of bitonality
      • Mixolydian mode
    • Melody
      • Opening bassoon melody is based on Lithuanian folk melody
        • Williams, On Wenlock Edge, 1909, folk music influences
      • Frequent use of ostinato in the cor anglais
      • Melodies are generally fragmentary and repetitive
      • Chromatic scalic idea
    • Texture
      • Mainly polyphony with frequent use of fragmented melodies sounding at once
      • Builds from monophonic texture on bassoon to a two-part texture
      • Four-part texture
      • Frequent use of homorhythmic textures
    • Rhythm, Metre & Tempo
      • Frequent use of triplets and quintuplets
      • Polyrhythms can be found at the climax of the introduction
      • Randomised syncopation
      • Cross-rhythms
        • Very common in 20th century music
      • Many changes in time signature
        • Rachel Portman, Mistake of your life 2008, used frequent tempo changes
    • Harmony
      • Modal throughout
        • Opening bassoon melody is based on the diatonic aeolian mode
      • Frequent dissonance
      • Two chords in two different keys being played simultaneously
    • Sonority
      • One of the largest orchestras ever assembled
      • Various playing techniques use by all sections
    • Context
      • The music became popular by itself
      • Very controversial when first performed with the ballet


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