Aos4 Descriptive Music

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Programme Music

  • Romantic Period 1820-1900
  • Aims to represent a mood, story, event, scene or character without any words
  • Larger Romantic Orchestras enabled composers to use different timbres, greater constrasts in textures, less rigid structures and chromatic harmonies
  • Musical motifs: short melodic or rhythmic ideas used to represent characters or images
  • Transformation of themes where a basic theme undergoes changes to mirror a situation
  • Orchestra colour- use of instruments to represent characters or images
  • Direct imitation of sounds e.g birdsong or thunder
  • Harmony, dynamics, tempo and key
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Film Music

  • Film composers also want to portray emotions, people and stories but the music must complement the action on screen.
  • Supports the action by:
  • creating and enhancing the mood
  • linking the appearances of the same character
  • reminding you of something off screen
  • creating suspense
  • providing continuity between scenes
  • Music contained within the action is diagetic
  • Music added on top is non-diagetic
  • Leitmotifs are recurring musical ideas which are associated with a particular idea, character or place
  • Lietfmotifs are manipulated to match the action and mood of a scene:
  • changing the rhythm or pitch
  • changing the instrumentation or accompaniment
  • adding new material
  • developing fragments of the idea
  • Horror films are often atonal
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