Section B for Area of study two: Something's coming

Breakdown of what may be asked for Section B for 'Something's coming' by Bernstein

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  • Created by: Cora H
  • Created on: 11-05-12 09:20
Preview of Section B for Area of study two: Something's coming

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Something's Coming
West side Story
Bernstein
Written: 1958
Structure:
The structure of this piece is: Intro, Section A, Section B, Section B(repeated
shorter), Section A(repeated shorter), outro.
Instrumentation:
West side story uses a 31 piece band in the whole show, however in
Something's Coming violins, clarinets, trumpets, horns, saxophones, drum kit,
piano, flutes and a cello are used. During the piece the trumpets are muted.
The double bass plays pizzicato in the beginning intro. The drum kit is played
with wire brushes on the snare and the hi-hat.
Melody:
The piece has three themes. Theme A is made up of a twelve bar phrase, with
short syncopated two bar riffs. It has a soft syncopated opening theme and has
push rhythms on the last note of each bar. Theme B has lots of accented,
repeated crotchets. The four crotchets move towards a syncopated rhythm. In
this theme there are mainly two pitches and there is an overall loud, strident
and more forceful melody. Theme C uses longer sustained notes with
ascending intervals of a 5th. This section has a legato lyrical melody.
Tonality and Harmony:
The song is in D major, with the two contrasting sections in C major. The
harmony in tonal and has been influenced by jazz. Overall D and C are
unrelated keys; however C is the flattened 7th in the D major chord, a blue
note. Within the harmony there are subtle dissonances and the bass riff and
tritone adds colour as they have chromatic notes. There is an unresolved
harmony at the end by the sustained 7th to create a sense of expectancy. At
the end there is no clear cadence, it just fades out giving it good momentum.

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Rhythm, metre and tempo:
The metre alternates between 3/4 and 2/4. The three beats in a bar is
emphasised and confirmed by the bass riff. There are cross rhythms between
the melodic riff and the harmonic riffs. The bass mainly follows the metre,
whereas the accompaniment is off the beat.…read more

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