Auric - Passport to Pimlico: The Siege of Burgundy

Revision cards outlining the Context and Musical understanding needed for Unit 6: Further Musical Understanding for 2012. 

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  • Created by: Misha Mau
  • Created on: 21-04-12 14:30

Context/Background Information

  • Composed in 1948 for Ealing Studios Comedy film
  • Buried treasure found in Pimlico belonged to Duke of Burgundy. Pimlico is found to be part of Burgungy. Inhabitants declare independence. British authorities border Pimlico
  • This piece is then used to show sympathisers throwing food to break blockade
  • Auric - french composer + pianist
  • Member of Les Six known for sense of humour and avant-garde ideas (anti-romantic)
  • Moved away from romanticism and expressionism
  • Influences came from circus music + Jazz
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Performance forces + handling

  • Standard symphony orchestra with extra tuned percussion
  • Tuned percussion double melody lines b55 celeste doubling piccolo
  • Tubular bells to represent church bells b31
  • Timapni and clash cymbals for climax points b49
  • Full use of strings b7
  • Strings 'chugging' chords b31
  • Pizzicato b11
  • Misses out lower instruments b31 or uses them on their own b15
  • Woodwind/string trills
  • Trumpet fanfare figures b1 with muted trumpet b41
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Rapid changes in texture. 

  • b1-4 brass fanfares with trills and decending scales
  • b5-8 homophonic texture
  • b9-10 polyphonic texture

Misses out/uses only lower instruments to give high low pitched texture b11/b15

Bass dominated homophony b21-2

Melody dominated homophony b55

Tutti at end homophonic

Antiphonal b27 with brass, upper strings + woodwind

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Structure based on scenes.

  • Fanfares + trills b1 anounce headline 'Burgundy Bombared with Buns' 
  • Theme in E b5
  • Theme in G maj b 9 (new accomp + countermelodies)
  • Fanfare b13 another newspaper headline
  • 2nd theme b15 low bass shows seriousness of political meetings
  • 3rd theme b22 pizz strings and basoon. Forte chordal intervention b27 then bassoon tune b33
  • b39 music from b9 returns in E flat maj => E maj
  • Fanfare b49 suspense music b53 is altered version of motif b9 then jaunty tune in piccolo + celeste over pizz stings leads to conclusion
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  • Tonal harmony b9
  • Complicated by dissonant notes, C appogiatura at beginning of bar
  • Chromatic notes in accomp b10-11 cloud harmony
  • Parallel 5th + 8vtes b5
  • Added note harmony b7 added B in 1st chord
  • Powerful chords b49 9th chord - added A to G 7th
  • Perfect cadence b8
  • Final cadence added F# complicates
  • Inverted tonic pedal b13-14
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  • Melodic ideas in major key b5-8 only b15 hints at minor
  • Occasional chromaticism b21 chromatic F double sharp
  • Some melody lines purely diatonic b55
  • 4 note bell chime motif from upbeat to b7 in decending sequence
  • Motif essentially triadic with 2nd to 4th notes outlining chords
  • Opening phrase b5 outlines notes of E chord
  • Scalic music b1 found in horns
  • Final tune b55 ornamental in character
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Rhythm + Metre

  • Opens in fanfare style - long dotted notes by pairs of demisemiquavers
  • Melodic lines based on quavers and semiquavers
  • Opening decending scale in rhythmic diminution b3
  • b48 build up to main climax of triplet rhythm
  • Melodies begin of 1st beat of bar b15 some begin on anacrusis b22
  • Rests added to produce staccato feel
  • Single bar of triple time b51 to fit events on screen. 
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