Edexcel AS Music Instrumental Set Works 2011, Stylistic Features

Question 3 of the exam paper will ask you to write about the stylistic features of 1 Set Work, and compare and contrast 2 features of 2 Set Works.

Here are some revision cards listing the stylistic features of each of the 4 Instrumental Set Works.

  • Created by: F
  • Created on: 13-05-11 08:18

Bach, Sarabande & Gigue

  • Use of Harpsichord
  • The music modulates to closely related keys
  • The structures are different types of binary form
  • The Sarabande is improvisatory in style
  • Performance directions are rare
  • The music is ornamental, particuarly the Sarabande
  • Performer's own embellishments added during repeated sections
  • Sarabande: evidence of stress on the second beat of the bar
  • Each dance developed by exploting motifs heard in the first bars
  • Sarabande: Use of basso continuo in the left hand
  • Use of petit reprise (repeating the last few bars of the piece)
  • The Gigue is based on the Italian style, popular at the time
  • The Sarabande is in slow triple time
  • The Gigue is in fast compound time
  • The mood is maintained throughout movements
  • Relatively fast harmonic rhythm
  • Cadences are mainly on the strong beat
  • Typical 18th Century modulations and cadences
1 of 4

Haydn String Quartet in Eb

  • Lots of tonic/dominant harmony
  • Frequent use of a dominant pedal
  • Regular (period) two bar phrasing
  • Melody dominated homophony
  • Only 1 or 2 chords per bar
  • Use of crescendos and diminuendos
  • Modulations only to related keys
  • Sections are short, and are repeated
  • Lots of melodic sequences
  • Use of circle of fifths harmony
  • I-V, V-I opening phrases
2 of 4

Webern Quartet Op22, Movement 1

  • Use of a tone row that is transposed, retrograded, inverted or a mixture of these
  • Almost every note is marked with some kind of performance direction
  • No sequences, familiar chords or lyrical melodies
  • Short, fragmented melodies instead of cantabile melodies
  • Use of extreme dissonance
  • Lack of key signature
  • Concords completely avoided
  • Frequent use of syncopation
  • Regular change of meter to obscure the pulse
  • Wide and varied range of timbres used
  • Instruments' ranges exploited
  • Use of klangfarbenmelodie - melody line distributed between the instruments
  • The rhythms are serialised - only three rhythm groups used throughout the piece
  • Dynamic range is wide
  • Angular melodies
3 of 4

Tippett Concerto for Double String Orchestra

  • Wide leaps and intervals in the melody
  • Use of dissonant intervals
  • There is often extreme dissonance
  • Greater proportion of discords to concords
  • Use of Jazz harmony
  • Use of frequent syncopation
  • Unusual metres used
  • The metre is sometimes changed to obscure the regular pulse
  • Polyrhythmic - more than 1 rhythm is played simultaneously
  • Double String orchestra is an unusual choice of instruments for a concerto - this would not be used until more modern musical eras
  • Tippet often uses non-period phrasing, especially in the middle of the piece
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