CIE iGCSE Music Unprepared Listening Revision Guide

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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
note a step below.
Acciaccatura: A crushed note.
Appoggiatura: A leaning note.
Turn: A type of ornament in which the main note alternates with its two auxiliaries a step above and
Intervals + Relative Keys:
Semitones Name Key Signature Key
1 Minor 2nd C major or A minor
2 Major 2nd F G major or E minor
3 Minor 3rd F, C D major or B minor
4 Major 3rd F, C, G A major or F# minor
5 Perfect 4th F, C, G, D E major or C# minor
6 Augmented 4th
7 Perfect 5th B F major or D minor
8 Minor 6th B, E B major or G minor
9 Major 6th B, E, A E major or C minor
10 Minor 7th B, E, A, D A major or F minor
11 Major 7th
12 Octave
Melody + Rhythm
Chromatic Scale: Consists of an ascending or descending line that advances by semitones
Pentatonic Scale: Consists of five notes, found in Scottish and Chinese Music.
Metre: They can be categorized as duple or triple (according to whether the BEAT (I) or PULSE is
organized in twos or threes) and as simple or compound (whether those beats are subdivided into
duplets or triplets).
Syncopation: Notes are played off the beat.
Polyrhythm: Different rhythmic patterns in a piece at the same time.

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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 usually has a
heterophonic texture (due to its strong element of improvisation), and often consists of a fast upper
part and a slow lower part.…read more

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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
Repetition: A device often used in African music to organise the music.…read more

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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 percussion instruments
Use of chromaticism/chromatic harmony
Lyrical melody
Many appoggiaturas
Wide piano range
Large orchestra (but no extensive percussion)
Regular phrase lengths
Diatonic harmony
Use of wind instruments as soloists
Melodic material shared around…read more

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Pitch bending…read more


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