Area of Study 2 - Edexcel GCSE Music

Notes for each of the set works in Area of Study 2 

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  • Created on: 13-05-12 13:10
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Set work 4: Shoenberg: 'Peripetie'
Style and Period · Expressionist, Modernist
· Expressing intense emotions
· Schoenberg felt like chromaticism
had been developed as much as it
could be in the romantic period and
so he started writing in
expressionism (atonal) as he felt he
had to follow in the footsteps of the
great Austrian composers and move
music forwards.
· Key features:
Atonal- avoids traditional
keys-each semitone has equal
Each piece expresses an intense
Composers use the full pitch
range exploring timbres at the
extremes of the instrument's
Use of extreme dynamics
The timbre is as important as the
pitch in contributing to the
melody- Pieces are usually quite
short- difficult to structure music
without keys.
Use of large orchestra
Rhythmically complex
Detailed dynamic and technique
· Klangfarbenmelodie-tone colour
melody- moving parts rapidly
through different instruments
· Hexachords-set of 6 pitches- are
used throughout to create melodies
and chords.
· Heftig- passionate
Melody · Melodies:
use the hexachord to build up
Use tuplets, when rests are
added to these it weakens the
Are highly chromatic due to all
the semitones being used
Use extreme ranges of the

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Are disjunct- sometimes use
octave displacement and jump
around a lot.
Complex and unpredictable
· Melodies are developed the middle 3
sections by:
Melodic inversion
· H and N are used (Hauptstimmer
and Neben stimmer) to show who
has the most important melody at
that point in the score.…read more

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Tonality · This piece is A-tonal, there are no
keys used
Harmony · Hexachords are often used in the
harmony (bar 8 in bassoons)
· Dissonant and highly chromatic
chords are used throughout- help
make it atonal
· No conventional chords are used.-
make it more complex
Instrumentation · Full orchestra. The orchestra has an
unusually large Brass and woodwind
section with a relatively small string
· Mute- not used conventionally to
play quieter but for its sound
quality.…read more

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Set work 5: Bernstein: 'Something's Coming'
Style and Period · Composed in 1958
· Musical Theatre
· Song is derived from `Romeo
and Juliet' where Tony is the
tragic hero
Melody · Tritone; frequently repeated
within the melody (G +
Dsharp)/ full of stress/ helps to
add to the feeling of
· Long-held notes; static effect,
`Could be..…read more

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Dynamics · Wide ranging
· Tony sings pianissimo at
beginning to increase moody of
· P subito ­ suddenly quieter
· Sempre dim ­ getting quieter
all the time
· Piece ends with a fade out due
to music technology
Tempo ·
Rhythm · Syncopation ­ together with
blue notes evokes the influence
of Jazz
· Push rhythm ­ adds to
expectancy, Tony sings
anacrusis a quaver early
· Long helds notes ­ static
· Triplets ­ add to the
syncopation; make rhythm…read more

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Five woodwind ­ clarinet, sax,
trumpet etc
· Five percussion
· Seven brass ­ French horns,
trombone etc
· Strings
· Guitar
· Piano
Texture · Melody + Accompaniment
between Tony and the
· Polyphonic between orchestral
parts with countermelodies
Set work 6: Reich: 3rd movement (fast) from Electric Counterpoint
Style and Period · Minimalism…read more

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Features of minimalism:
Phasing(almost identical
parts going in and out of
sync with each other)
Metamorphosis- gradually
changing one idea to
another, often done by
changing one note at a time.
Layering-adding new parts,
often one at a time to
create a complex texture
Note addition
Note subtraction
musical phrases so the
accent falls in different
Non-functional harmony-
chords do not follow the
conventional dominant, tonic
pattern.…read more

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Live guitar comes in with
strummed chords (bar 36)
Guitars 5-7 imitate these
strummed chords, each with
their own distinctive chord
Once this counterpoint is
complete, the live guitar
returns to the resultant
melody (bar66) which it
plays until the end.
· Bass
A two ­bar ostinato pattern
in bass line is introduced
gradually using note
addition; this solidifies the
key of Em.
A second Ostinato pattern is
introduced for the bass in
bar 82, at bar 86 bass 1
inverts................…read more

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Section B
· Coda
Tonality · The piece is tonally ambiguous.
· Changes between E minor and
C minor but the piece is modal.
Harmony · The harmony is unrelated
(non-functional); Reich doesn't
follow conventional chord
sequences, typical for
minimalist pieces.
· Strummed chords:
· Guitar 5:C, Bm,E5(40)
· Guitar 6:C,D,Em(52)
· Guitar 7:C,D,Bm(64)
· These chords are played at
different times in the bar
meaning when they overlap
more complex chords are
created.…read more

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