Edexcel Expressionism, Schoenberg.

Revision notes on Peripetie by Schoenberg

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Music GCSE Notes Features of Expressionism Keywords
- It is atonal Chromaticism - music based on the chromatic scale,
- Expresses one intense emotion non-harmonic tones
Early 20th century - Composers make full use of the pitch range of instruments Impressionist - a style of music that seeks to describe
exploring the difference in instrumental colour a feeling or experience
A.Schoenberg - Timbre is felt to be as important as melody Atonal - absence of tonality (key)
Peripetie - Pieces tend to be quite short Klangfarbenmelodie - 'tone colour melody' a word
used to describe how timbre contributes to melody
- A high level of dissonance
From Five Orchestral Pieces - Extreme contrasts of dynamics in addition to pitch and rhythm
- Constantly changing textures Hexachord - a group of six notes selected from the 12
Op. 16 (1909) - `Distorted' melodies and harmonies available pitches that are used as a musical motif or
- Angular melodies with wide leaps chord
Section A Compliment - the six semitones not used in the first
Bar 1-18 Peripetie is structured in 5 sections - Hauptstimme - Principal Voice
Principal voice - the main melodic line
but it is not in Rondo form N - Nebenstimme - Secondary Voice
0:00 - 0:31 Secondary voice - the next mot important melodic
Has a full orchestra
Clarinets and flutes state two hexachords line after the principal voice
A' Prime row (P) - the musical material on which a
Tempo/Rhythm piece of serial music is based, normally consisting of
Sehr rasch - very quick 35-43
the 12 notes in any order
Metronome mark is 100-108 bpm 1:00-1:16 Inversion (I) - process of turning a part upside down
Contains short triplet and sextuplet bursts Beginning of the third section is marked by the string
Retrograde (R) - a method of developing a series by
After demisemiquaver hexachord burst the tempo is slower section and a flourish of the horns
reversing the order in which the pitches are heard
Returns to horns hexachord in pp
There is and illusion the tempo is slightly slower than it Retrograde inversion (RI) - a method of developing a
Other instruments disturb the horns chord
actually is series by reversing the order in which the pitches of
Mood is menacing rather than tranquil
the inverted series are heard
Instrumentation/Texture Section C Enharmonic - different ways of 'spelling' the same
Full orchestra pitch eg Bb and A#
Brass dominate texture till bar 8 - woodwind take over
Instrument combinations drop in and out very quickly 1:16-1:50
Homophonic bursts Bassoon takes the principal voice then to solo
Texture thins after hexachord to leave a single clarinet cello
Pitch/Melody Tempo/Rhythm
No sense of key Alternates between ruhiger (calmer) and heftig
Full pitch of the orchestral instruments will be heard (passionate)
Clarinet melody is expressive and quite gentle but still
angular including dissonant leaps of a minor 9th and major Instrumentation/Texture
7th Texture is more sparse
Create tension Overlapping combinations of solo instruments
Motif A opens the movement. It is a short
Dynamics Dynamics
fanfare played by three clarinets, a bass clarinet
Piece begins loudly becoming louder Range from pp
and three bassoons. Notice the angular line, the
By bar 5 beat 3 it is fff before dying away to pianissimo individual instruments rising above others with
use of triplets and the six different pitches. The
Trumpets are playing muted crescendos to fff
dynamic is forte (loud) with a crescendo.
Finally to almost nothing near the end of the section
Section B
Motif A is immediately followed by a short
Bar 18-34 chromatic scale played by three muted trumpets
0:31-1:00 A'' and four trombones. Trombones 1 and 2 play a
Cello takes over as principal voice - plays in a Bar 59-66 glissando (a slide).
higher register 1:50-2:09
Speeding up to the original tempo and a
Tempo/Rhythm triplet figure in the clarinets in the and 2nd
The tempo returns to it original marking
Full orchestra is used
Some rhythmic patterns return
Not all at once though for climatic points
Busyness and volume whilst the violins and cellos have a
soft line
Starts with just the clarinets and strings
Texture is very polyphonic and complex
Instruments introduced one by one
All together for a climatic chord at bar 64
Pitch/Melody MOTIF B
Principal voice snakes through much of the orchestra
Bounces from one brass instrument to another Next comes Motif B for three flutes and piccolo, three oboes and
Material from the beginning is developed
KLANGFARBENMELODIE cor anglais, plus three clarinets in B flat and one in D (a very
No voice marked more important
Secondary voice appears for its only time in the piece in unusual clarinet). Notice all the accidentals creating the dissonant
Tremolo in double bass
flutes , piccolo and clarinet chord at the end of the motif.
Dynamics Next we hear the powerful sound of six horns playing motif C,
Crescendos quite quickly from pp to fff
Section begins quietly another angular line. Again the motif is in triplets but this time
Immediately dies away to nothing
Immediate crescendo triplet quavers. Notice the use of the dissonant interval of a 7th.
Dynamics are very varied - change dramatically and
frequently MOTIF C
Principal and secondary voice parts are always f-fff
Other parts range from very quiet to very loud These are the first three motifs. Seven motifs are heard,
one after the other, in the opening. Each motif has a
different orchestral colour and mood.
Expressionism Page 1


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