Something's Coming Analysis

Analysis of everything about Bernstein's "Something's Coming" from West Side Story I made this last year for my gcse exams and found them really useful for the longer essay questions

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  • Created by: Laura_mae
  • Created on: 30-01-14 21:29
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Something's Coming - Bernstein
Tony starts singing pianissimo, in a half whispering style
Lots of crescendos used
The dynamics help create the excited/impatient feel
Dynamics The accompaniment is quiet throughout.
Opens with tony singing offbeat syncopated accents
Cross-rhythms throughout
Several changes between 3/4 and 2/4
Rhythm Can feel like 6/8 , with 2 dotted crotchets per bar
Uses triplets in theme C of the vocals e.g. `around the corner'
Fats throughout ­ reflects Tony's excitement
176 crotchet beats per min.
Tempo is kept feeling fast by the off-beat accompaniment.
Tempo
From The musical West Side Story which was set in 1950's New York.
It is based on Romeo and Juliet, but Maria (Juliet) doesn't die.
It looked at social problems in America.
It was completed in 1957 with music by Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen
Context
Sondheim.
Doesn't follow traditional musicals' song like form.
It uses 3 different main themes
Theme A is fairly tentative, and uses the tritone a lot.
Structure Theme B uses lots of accented notes, is louder and sounds more confident.
Theme C is very lyrical and sounds optimistic.
Tony sings most of the song syllabically.
There are 3 main melodies/themes.
Glissandos/portamentos are used
Melody
Uses a BIG orchestra.
Also includes Latin-American instruments.
Guitars, saxophone, piano, and celeste are also used.
Instruments Tony (the singer) is a tenor.
Very thick homophonic texture
Consists of the melody (Tony) and accompaniment.
Lots of ostinatos are used, plus repetition/imitation.
Texture

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Something's Coming - Bernstein
There are a lot of tritones used ­ notes with an interval of 3 whole tones.
This is an evil/scary sounding interval.
Written in D major, but there are two C major sections in it.
Final note is a flattened 7th (minor seventh), which gives the piece an
Harmony
incomplete feel.…read more

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