Area of Study 1 - Edexcel GCSE Music

Notes for all of the set works from area of study one

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  • Created on: 13-05-12 13:06
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Set work 1: Handel. 'And the Glory of the Lord'
Style and period Baroque era (c.1600-1750)
· ornamented melodic parts
· establishment of the
major/minor key system
(replaced modes)
· use of the diatonic chords of I,
IV, V, II and VI
· 'basso continuo'
· different musical textures, e.g.
monophonic, homophonic and
· use of the Baroque orchestra
· the conveylance of one
'affection' or mood
· the contrasting of dynamics on
two levels ­ loud and soft
(terrassed dynamics)
Melody · Four melodic motifs
1st ­ begins triadically and
moves scalically, surrounds
the tonic.
2nd ­ descending sequences.
3rd ­ repeated idea.
4th ­ only two notes and
longer note values for
· Sometimes syllabic, sometimes
Dynamics · Terrassed dynamics of loud and
Tempo · Allegro
· Hemiolas used extensively
· Longer note values in the
fourth motif ­ for emphasis
Rhythm · Dotted rhythms and crotchet
Metre · Triple simple time metre (¾) ­
dance like
Structure Structure of the oratorio:
· The recitative
fundamental idea is to
concentrate on getting the
words of the narration over
with a minimal use of music

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The aria:
essentially a solo song
which often reflects on a
mood or emotion
much more elaborate music
to display the vocal qualities
and expertise of the singer
· Chorus
Aria leads directly into the
first main chorus
the chorus has the function
of summing up the action of
the story at the particular
point in the drama
Structure of the piece:
· 1st two motifs introduced and
imitated in A major
· Modulates to E major for a
homophonic section
· Short orchestral link…read more

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Oboes and clarinets added later
· The harpsichord, cello and
double bass form the basso
· Strings double voices
· All instruments have a modest
· Orchestra intro and links occur
Context · The church had forbidden
biblical stories to be acted out
in the theatre, so Handel
produced oratorios for concert
performance instead
· Chorus from 'Messiah"
· Handel performed the famous
'Messiah' in 1741
Texture · Overall a mixture of homophony
and imitative counterpoint
· Some monophony
· Often counterpoint of…read more

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Set work 2: Mozart - 1st movement from Symphony No. 40
Style and period · The Classical Era
· Features:
Restrained style
Regularly phrased melodic
Tonal music
Melody-dominated texture
musical structures used
always had a sense of
symmetry and balance
(e.g.…read more

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Melody · 1st subject ­ repeated falling
semitone, arch-shaped,
motivic (use of motifs)
· Bridge ­ triadic and use of
· 2nd subject ­ chromatic,
"pathetique" mood,
sequences, dialogue between
strings and woodwind
· Melody often in strings but is
passed around in
· Mixture of conjunt and disjunt
· Contermelodies used
· Periodic phrasing
Dynamics · 1st subject ­ quiet
· Bridge passage ­ loud
· 2nd subject ­ begins quietly
and grows towards the end
· Development ­ begins and
ends…read more

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Metre · Simple quadruple time (4/4)
Structure · Sonata form
· No introduction ­ three beats
and in
· Exposition - 1st subject,
bridge passage, 2nd subject,
· Development ­ material from
1st subject
· Recapitulation ­ material from
exposition in the tonic key (G
minor), bridge passage
extended, coda longer
· Periodic phrasing throughout
Tonality · G minor
· Modulates to Bb major
(relative major) in the bridge
· some chromatic writing
· Development starts in F sharp
and includes rapid
modulations…read more

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Woodwind also sustains
harmony, but shares melodic
material as well, like in the
2nd subject
Texture · Mostly homophonic but some
counterpoint in the
· Octave doubling of melodies
· 2nd subject is a dialogue
between strings and
Context · The symphony is written in G
minor and the melancholy feel
of this key pervades the first
· Comprises four movements
· Unusually, Mozart uses sonata
form to structure the 1st, 2nd
and 4th movements
· The 3rd movement is the…read more

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Set work 3: Chopin ­ Piano Prelude No. 15 in D flat major, Op. 28
Style and period · Romantic Era
Melody · At the start the melody is
lyrical in the right hand and
it's decorated with ornaments
like aciacaturas and turns.
· Features dotted rhythms and
· In section B the melody
moves to the bass and there
are longer notes: more
minims and semibreves and
crotchets compared to the
many quavers in section A.…read more

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Tempo · No tempo marking on the
Rhythm · Uses some triplets and dotted
· Septuplets in bars 4 and 23
· Dectuplet in bar 79
· Rubato used by performer ­
makes it more expressive
Metre · Quadruple simple time (4/4)
Structure · Ternary form (ABA + codetta)
· Section A ­ melody in the
· Section B ­ melody goes to
· Short coda at the end
Tonality · Db major
· Key changes to the relative
minor (C…read more


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