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GCSE Musical Features

Trill: A type of embellishment that consists in a more or less rapid alternation of the main note with the
one a tone or semitone above it.
Mordent: A type of ornament which consists in the rapid alternation of the main note with a subsidiary

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Perfect Cadence: V I
Imperfect Cadence: I V
Plagal Cadence: IV I
Interrupted Cadence: V VI (I)

Ensembles + Instruments

Orchestras: Large groups of instruments made up of members of the four families - strings,
woodwind, brass and percussion.
Gamelan: Percussion-based Indonesian music played with gongs and metallophones. It…

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Ternary: Made up of three sections like a sandwich (A-B-A)
Rondo: 4 parts in the pattern: ABACA
Theme and Variation: A main motif is altered every time it is repeated.
Ground bass: The term used in Baroque music where a bass part is repeated over and over again.

Compositional Devices…

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Regular phrase lengths
Simple, mainly diatonic harmony
Homophonic texture
Strings dominate the orchestral sound
Small woodwind and/or percussion section
Alberti bass
Use of scalic passages
Limited range of piano
Dominant right hand melody
Small orchestra consisting mainly of strings
Timpani playing tonic and dominant notes
Timpani are the only…

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Pitch bending


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