Area of Study 4 - Edexcel GCSE Music

Notes for all of the set works in edexcels gcse music area of study 4 

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Set work 10: Capercaillie: 'Skye Waulking Song' from Nadurra
Style and period · Folk fusion music:
Western pop
Celtic folk music
Context · Waulking song refers to a man's song
which would be sung while working
· Waulking is the process by which tweed
is beaten against a board after being
soaked in urine; this was done by a group
of women who worked together
· Traditional songs up to 1 hour to keep
the team working
· The singing is usually led by one person
and answered by the rest of the team ­
call and response
Melody · Vocals ­ nonsense syllables
· Melodies are in counterpoint with each
other
· Would have been improvised around the
same melody simultaneously
· Vocal part is pentatonic throughout
(G-A-B-D-E)
· Lyrics mainly syllabic
Harmony · Simple harmony with only 4 chords used
in total.
· Chord changes are more easily noticed
because they change often.
· Line minimalism.
· Based around G major scale. The main
chords are: G, Em and C
· Instrumental sections include cluster
chords- chord made of notes which are
clustered together.
· In the coda, the alternating C and G
chords sound like plagal cadences.
Texture · Monophonic- one melodic line(voice)
· Contrapuntal ­ independent melody lines
playing simultaneously
· Heterophony- 2 or more instruments
playing the same melody but different
versions(Pipes and fiddle)
· Melody and accompaniment- most
common texture
· Call and response-Wurlitzer piano and
Bazouki in intro, backing vocals and lead
vocals later on.

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The texture slowly builds up starting with
synth and fiddle and adding other
instruments in later (9secs).
· A few parts give a thin texture, the
Bazouki and keyboard plan an
interweaving melody. The voice joins in
(33secs) adding to the polyphonic
texture. The texture stays the same until
1:37 when the voice sings on its own
(monophonic). The voice also stops for a
few seconds sometimes.
· The texture becomes thicker when all the
instruments come in verse 4.…read more

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Outro
Dynamics · Relatively simple dynamics
· Start quietly and build up becoming
louder when all the instruments join in
· Dynamics are not written in the score but
are for the performer to decide
Rhythm · Syncopation is found
· A variety of note lengths with complex
rhythms
· Lilting (swaying rhythms) are found
throughout
Instrumentation · Traditional:
Fiddle
Accordian
Uilleann pipes
Bouzouki
· Modern:
Synthesiser
Bass guitar
Drum kit
Wurlitzer piano
· The words are in Scottish Gaelic.…read more

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Set work 11: Rag Desh
Style and period · Indian classical music is built up in three
layers:
A melodic line played on a solo
instrument
A rhythmic pattern played on the
drums
A drone played on a stringed
instrument
·
Context · Rag Desh is an example of Indian
classical music from North India. Indian
classical music has a very long history. It
is an improvised form of music, although
improvisations take place within
well-defined structures and conventions.…read more

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Harmony ·
Tonality ·
Texture ·
Structure · Performances of a rag are often in three
parts, progressing from a slow to fast
tempo ­
· Alap
A slow introductory section
The notes and mood of the rag are
introduced against a drone
There is no regular pulse and no
percussion
· Gat
A fixed composition that is improvised
on by the solo instrument
Percussion enters
A clear pulse is introduced
· Jhalla
A fast final section
The music becomes more virtuosic and
decorative
Instrumentation…read more

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Tintal ­ a sixteen-beat cycle ( 4 + 4 + 4
+ 4)
· Keherwa tal - eight-beat cycle (2 + 2 +
2 + 2)
· Rupak: a seven-beat cycle (3 + 2 + 2)
· Ektal: a twelve-beat cycle (2 + 2 + 2 +
2 + 2 + 2)
Dynamics ·
Metre ·
Tempo…read more

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Set work 12: Koko: 'Yiri'
Style and period · Sub-saharan/tradition west
African music. Features:
Repitition
Improvisation
Polyphony
Call and response
Complex rhythms
· Mood: upbeat ­ achieved by a
fast tempo and repeititive
patterns with major vocal parts
Context · Talking drums are used to send
messages to other tribes; the
local materials used help the
instrument speak the local
language. Some African
languages are known as tone
languages as the pitch of words
contributes to the meaning.…read more

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Repetitive
· Short melodies
· Balafon parts include tremolos
and acciaccatura
· Simple
· Regular 2 bar phrasing
· Balafons have regular octave
leaps and semiquaver,
demisemiquaver patterns ­
virtuosic
Harmony · There is no harmony
Tonality · Major but sounds modal as the
piece is hexatonic (6 pitches
from major scale are used) and
the leading note is avoided
Tempo · Moderate tempo is established
by first Balafon
· Seems to speed up near the
end
· The tempo is unvaried
Rhythm · Main…read more

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· In this piece there are 2 balafons, a higher
pitched one, and a lower pitched one. They
are the African versions of xylophones.
Gourds are hung under the wooden tone
bars and act as resonatoroften made of
rubber, orange peel or other natural
materials.
· Dundun ­ double headed bass
drum played with sticks.
· Talking drum- hourglass
shaped drum which is held
under the arm. Played with a
hook-shaped beater or hand.…read more

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Voices sing in unison.
· When all parts play together
there is a polyphonic texture.
· There is call and response
between the vocalists and
singers.…read more

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