Edexcel Music Set Works

Handel - And the Glory of the Lord

Baroque Period:

ornamented melodies, major/minor key structures, basso continuo, homo/polyphonic textures, one mood throughout the piece, terraced dynamics.

Baroque Orchestra: violin family, harpsichord, trumpet, horns and timpani.

Time Sig. : 3/4, tonality - A maj.

Allegro tempo, joyous mood, mezzo-forte to forte, terraced dynamics, 

SATB vocal range, driving on-beat crotchets rhythms, use of hemiola

Major harmonies to match joyful words. Perfect cadences used throughout, with plagal cadence ending the chorus. 

Alternating homophonic and polyphonic sections. Chorus ends with a chordal homophonic coda. Both syllabic and melismatic (re-ve-a-led) word setting. 

violins, violas, cellos, continuo (harpsichord/organ), trumpets, timpani used. Later oboes and bassoons added by Handel.

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Mozart - First Movement From Symphony No. 40 in G

Classical Period: 

Balanced, elegant melodies shorter than those in Baroque music, clearly marked cadence points, less complicated texture than Baroque - more melody and accompaniment, development of string quartet, sonata form, symphony and concerto, a growing orchestra, harpsichord less common, woodwind has own section, strings were the most prominent instrs.. Piano replaced harpsichord.

Common time sig., G minor - associated with sadness by Mozart, molto allegro tempo. Dynamics start off piano by lots of contrast, including use of sfz and accents. 

Violins play 1st subject in octaves. The 1st subject has a crotchet and quaver rhythm. Limited pitch range. 2nd subject moves chromatically and has a slower, legato rhythm. It is in B flat maj. in exp. but back to G min. in recapitulation.  

Mainly homophonic. Pedal notes used in development, as were polyphonic textures. Recap. ends with a codetta. 

2 violins, violas, cellos, double basses, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons and 2 horns. Trumpets and timpani NOT used. 

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Chopin - 'Raindrop' Prelude

Romantic Period:

A freedom in form and design, fantasy, imagination, adventure etc., lyrical, song-like melodies, denser, weightier textures, expansion of the orchestra, especially brass section, variety of piece length and enormity, links with other art forms, so concert overtures etc. developed, use of recurring themes, technical virtuosity - especially pianists and violinists. A strong sense of patriotism and nationalism.

Common time sig., D flat major, use of rubato, piano dynamics, although it varies in Section B, pitch range is moderate, top note being B flat. 

There is a distinctive 'A' rhythm. The texture is largely homophonic - Section B has a thick, chordal movement. 

Pedals are used - Acciacatura - a 'melodic decoration', Sostenuto - a sustained pedal, and the pedal note, in this case A flat. 

It is in ternary form  - Sect. A is D flat maj (as is the codetta). Sect. B is C# minor. The piece is written for a solo piano.

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Schoenberg - Peripetie

20th Century Expressionism: 

Melody - glissandi, angular and dissonant, based on note rows.

Harmony - discords and hexachords.

Rhythms - ostinati, syncopation, irregular metres.

Timbre - exotic and unusual, extreme pitch ranges, unconventional ways of playing etc..

Free rondo form - A B A1 C A2. Sect. A is very quick (sehr rash), whilst B uses different overlapping rhythms, and C alternates between calm and passionate. In Section A, full orchestra with h.phonic and solo sections, in B percussion and woodwind have very thick textures, and in B the texture is sparse. Dissonant harmonies and motifs based on hexachords.

Instrs. - 3 flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, as well as piccolo, cor anglais, clarient in D, bass clarinet, and contrabassoon. There are extra horns, trumpets and trombones plus a tuba. There is a percussion section that includes a xylophone, cymbals, a tam tam and a bass drum. Instruments play at their registral extremes, often. 

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Bernstein - Something's Coming

Features of Stage Materials:

Types of songs include solos, duets, action songs and chorus songs. The melodies are memorable and singable. They are often influenced by jazz and later, rock music.  Song, dance and dialogue are used to tell stories. 

Time sig. 3/4, but cross-rhythms make it sound as if it is 6/8. It is in a D maj. 'happy' key to reflect the song's mood. The tempo is fast at 176 bpm. The dynamics start off as pp. A lot of short riffs are used - a combination of short phrases and long sustained notes. 

There is lots of syncopation, rhythmic ostinati, cross-rhythms, push rhythms and accented off-beats. The tritone (the devil in music) is the augmented 4th, and it shows that something bad may happen. Jazz harmony is used. The song does not have any clear texture - just lots of different layers at various points. It is not a typical verse-chorus structure, it has an intro, Sections A, B, A1 and B1, and an outro. 

Instrs. - male tenor solo singer, five woodwind, two horns, three trumpets, two trombones, seven violins, four cellos and two double basses, as well as a drum kit, two other percussionists, piano, elec, and acous. guitars, saxophones, a mandolin and a celeste. Castanets and maracas are also used to reflect the Puerto Ricans in the musical.

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Reich - Electric Counterpoint

Features of Minimalism:

Looped melodies, harmonies made by layering patterns, a reduced style, repetition, giving the music a hypnotic quality. Techniques include phasing, additive melody, metamorphosis, layering, drones, ostinati/loops, note addition, note subtraction, rhythmic displacement, augmentation, diminution, static harmony.  Music technology is also used. 

The time sig. goes from 3/2 to 12/8, and back again to 3/2. Reich uses tonal ambiguity; the bass guitars are in the Aeolian Mode. The piece finishes on an open E5 chord. The dynamics largely stay the same. The parts playing riff no. 1 stay at mezzo-forte, whilst other parts go from diminuendo to crescendo, and the finishing solo part is ff. 

The 3rd guitar uses additive melody, where 2 or 3 notes keep being added until the whole riff is heard. Rhythmic layered ostinati are phase-shifted and displaced, whilst the tempo stays constant throughout.  The texture is multi-layered due to the multi-tracking technology Reich used. Panning is also used with the bass guitars. 

The piece has two parts, A and B, with a coda to finish. The instruments enter as follows: Guitar 1, Live Guitar, Guitar 2, Guitar 3, Guitar 4, Bass Guitars 1 and 2, Guitar 5, Guitar 6 and Guitar 7.

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Davis - All Blues

This is an example of modal jazz. Modal jazz generally includes modes being used, giving the soloist more freedom than in the earlier, more restrictive, jazz sub-genres. Hence, improvisation is prominent in modal jazz. Modal jazz songs are generally longer than those in be-bop and cool jazz, allowing for longer solos. 

Time sig. is 6/4 - a 'jazz waltz'. Davis improvises on the G Mixolydian Mode. The texture is comprised of riffs. The head melody and solos are played over the 12-bar-blues chord sequence. The improvisations are ornamented and combine riffs together. The dynamics are mainly p, although in Head 4, there is a diminuendo. 

The Rhythm Section provides the harmony and rhythmic background of drums, bass and piano - this section also provides the comping. The tempo of crotchet is 156. 

12-bar-blues: G7 x 4, C7 x 2, G7 x 2, D7#9, Eb7#9/D7#9, G7 x 2.

Instrs. - Frontline: Trumpet (Davis), Alto Sax, Tenor Sax. Rhythm: Piano, Bass and Drums.

Structure: Intro, Head, Link, Head 2, Improv. Solo x 4, with links in between, Head x 2, Outro

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Buckley - Grace

Features of guitar music/rock:

Guitar textures/soundscapes, power chord sequences, effects including whisper and reverb.

Time sig. is 12/8. Key is D maj. Rhythm is highlighted by use of high-hat 'driving' and cymbal. Solid rock beat. Melisma and falsetto used by Buckley. 64 bpm, dotted crotchet, maintains this tempo throughout. Song starts off as p. 

Textural contrast - some parts occasionally drop out. Strings play pizzacato in pre-chorus 2. In the M8, thick polyphonic texture. 

In the verse, the guitar plays power chords. 

Structure: Intro V1 P-C1 C L V2 P-C2 C M8 L V3 O

Instrs. - Drum kit, bass guitar, three electric guitars, acoustic guitar, lead male vocal. Also, backing vocals and synth. strings, used for effect and to add tension to the texture.

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Moby - Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?

The song is built around 2 vocal samples from a gospel choir in 1953. 

Features of dance and electronica music include: roots in club music, sampling and sequencing electronic instrs., use of technology - particularly reverb, delay, panning and EQ, simple harmonies; the song is built around just 6 chords, selected for the emotional effect on the listener. 

Common time sig. Tempo is constant throughout at 98 bpm. Both vocal samples are in the key of A min. however Moby harmonises the second to give it the feel of C maj.. There is a backbeat throughout, and the piano accompaniment gives a syncopated rhythm in Verse 1+. The dynamics begin as p, but increased as per the texture. The piano provides accompaniment to the vocals with a synth. pad doubling some of the notes, but it occasionally also plays the melody. There are elements of call-and-response between the piano and the vocals.

There are three chord sequences: Am, Em, G, D. C, Am, C, Am. F, C, F, C. Sus2 and Sus4 chords replace the third of the chord, giving it a richer, more harmonic sound. The texture varies, as instrs. drop in and out, providing textural contrast. Texture in outro = synth. pad and vocal 1. Echoes and shouts added in chorus, w/ Telephone Voice EQ. Structure - Intro V1 C V2 B C O. Instrs. include Multi-effect unit, drum machine, synths, and a sampler.

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