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On the Waterfront
Bernstein

Context
Originally a film ­ film score ­ later Bernstein transcribed elements from the film and
created a Symphonic Suite
Composed (original) 1954, On the Waterfront starred Marlon Brando ­ about NY
docklands, deals with corruption ­ edgy quality which music represents
Film won 8 Oscars…

Page 2

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Tonality
Opening based on blues pentatonic scale
Gb in b.5 (flattened 6th) ­ bluesy idea
Fugue ­ generally similar ­ blues feel ­ major 3rd (B natural) in G minor scale
B.26 ­ G feel ­ timpani below playing C# and F# - bitonal section
B.72 ­ atonal ­ dissonant…

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