Full revision notes of OCR GCSE Music

Here is an revision guide for OCR GCSE music, with detailed notes on area of study 2 and 3.

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GCSE Revision
Part II
Areas of Study
The Ultimate GCSE Revision Notes
OCR 2008
Area of Study II
Techniques of Melodic Composition:
Folk music of the British Isles
Melody in the Baroque and Classical periods

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The Blues
Northern Indian Classical Music
Area of Study III
Dance Music:
Elizabethan Pavanne and Galliard
19th Century Viennese Waltz
Area of Study IV
Traditions and Innovation:
Area of Study 2
Techniques of Melodic Composition
This area of study focuses on the ways in
which melodies are created and structured.
The melodies are constructed differently in
each of the genres listed below ­ here is a
very brief summary.…read more

Page 3

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Serialism Note row
Blues Blue scale
Northern Indian Rag
Also you should be able to identify a
whole-tone scale
and microtonality (where the gaps between
the notes are smaller than semitones.
Plainchant ­ track 1
Official liturgical chant used in the Roman Catholic Church. It
was first heard in the late 6th Century.
The melody is mainly scalic
Any intervals are followed by scalic movement in the
opposite direction of the leap.…read more

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Important words are set to melismas ­ where one
syllable is stretched out over several pitches
Plainsong is unaccompanied, and therefore has no
The most important note is called the final
The music follows the form of the words. If the text is
in verses this will be reflected in the music.…read more

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Harmonies are simple and repetitive
Often based on the primary triads
Strophic structure
Other simple structures such as binary and ternary
Very simple chorus that repeats between verses
Portable instruments that can be easily carried e.g.…read more

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All based around chords I and V - Tonic and
Cadential cliché ­ IIb Ic V 7 I
Harmonic Sequences
Tonic or Dominant Pedals (where the bass note stays
the same, usually either the tonic or the dominant,
while the chords above change)
Based around the contrast between Tonic and
Binary ­ AB
Ternary ­ ABA
Theme and variations
Sonata form
Baroque Classical
Strings Strings
Oboes, flutes, bassoons as Baroque but with clarinets,
all wind instruments…read more

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This can be played in several orders:
o Prime Order ­ the original order
o Retrograde ­ Backwards
o Inversion ­ mirror image
o Retrograde Inversion ­ backwards mirror image
Resulting melody is often extremely disjunct
The rhythm is often determined by a pre-composed
sequence of rhythmic values.…read more

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United States by the late 19th
century. It became a popular genre in about 1910 and by 1950
had merged with other genres such as jazz to create new
sounds like Rock n Roll and Rhythm n Blues.…read more

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You would hear this music in pubs, or more likely jazz / blues
Northern Indian Classical Music ­ Track 7
Originally perceived as an art form for the educated,
traditional performances are often given to a knowledgeable
audience, where most people understand the music and how it
is put together. The music is based around improvisation,
although short, fixed compositions are often juxtaposed with
Based on a rag, a collection of ascending and descending
notes somewhere between a melody and a scale.…read more

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Sitar ­ long-necked plucked string instrument with frets.
Seven main strings plus 12 or so sympathetic strings that
vibrate and create the characteristic shimmering sound.
Tabla ­ a pair of two drums played with the hands, one
wooden and one metal. They can create many different
Tanpura ­ an instrument used to play the drone, it has
no frets and only four strings
You would hear this music in classical concerts in India or
at world music festivals.…read more


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