GCSE Music Section B Answers (Edexcel)

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  • Created on: 02-03-17 20:23

Handel - 'And the Glory of the Lord' I

HANDEL - 'AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD'

General Points:

  • It was composed by George Federick Handel
  • Handel died in 1759 and was buried in Westminster Abbey
  • It's from an oratorio (a narrative, large scale piece of music)
  • It was composed in 1741 (the Baroque period, 1600-1750)

Baroque Period Features:

  • Ornamental melodic parts
  • Major/minor key structures
  • Homophonic/polyphonic textures
  • Terraced dynamics
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Handel - 'And the Glory of the Lord' II

Structure:

  • motif A: 'And the Glory of the Lord' - alto part (11-14), syllabic, A major key, low A at the beginning and high A at the end setting a confident mood.
  • motif B: 'Shall be Revealed': tenor part (17-20), 'revealed' is melasmatic
  • motif C: 'And all Flesh': alto part (43-46), same melody is repeated three times
  • motif D: 'For the Mouth of the Lord': tenor part (51-57), introduced with two parts using the same pedal notes, long notes are used to show importance.

Instrumentation:

  • written for soprano to bass strings
  • strings often double the voices
  • doubles basses play the same as the celli but at different octaves
  • starts with just strings
  • harpischord improvises the harmony from the bassline
  • Handel later added bassoon and oboe
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Handel - 'And the Glory of the Lord' III

Rhythm:

  • time signature is 3/4
  • uses hemiolas, eg: bars 9-10
  • long notes highlight motif D
  • driving crotchets and quaver movement shows affection
  • the ending is silence then a sustained cadence

Texture:

  • alternates between homophonic and polyphonic with short monophonic sections
  • combines motifs to create a polyphonic texture
  • contrasts between a single voice and the whole choir
  • the instruments double the voice line at different octaves
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Mozart - Symphony no 40 G minor I

MOZART - SYMPHONY NO 40 G MINOR 

Classical Period Features:

  • (1750-1830)
  • balanced phrases
  • simple textures
  • harpischord replaced by piano
  • range of wind instruments

Structure:

  • sonata form
  • exposition:
  • two main themes are introduced the first theme is in the 'home key' (G minor), whereas the second contrasts with the first and is in the relative key (Bb major)
  • development:
  • The ideas introduced in the exposition are developed, it features varied keys, avoiding the tonic and dominant (starts in F# major). It's ambiguous and feels restless due to the key change.
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Mozart - Symphony no 40 G minor II

  • recapitulation:
  • The exposition is 'recapped', the first subject is in the tonic key (G minor) like in the exposition, so is the second subject, there is no modulation as it draws to a close, sometimes with a small coda.

Melody:

  • Balanced phrases (4 or 8 bars), sounding like 'call and answer'.
  • Many scaling phrases (made up of the scale).

Harmony:

  • diatonic and functional harmonies
  • based around standard major and minor chords with examples of chromatic chords.
  • a circle of fifths progression is heard in the second subject.
  • pedal notes are heard in the alto part before the second subject.
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Mozart - Symphony no 40 G minor III

Rhythm:

  • 4/4 throughout
  • molto allegro (very fast)
  • simple rhythms, sometimes dotted rhythms and syncapation to create momentum and interest.

Texture:

  • mostly homophonic
  • uses imatation and octave doubling (different parts playing the same thing but at different pitchtes)
  • dialogue between woodwind and strings.

Dynamics:

  • In the exposition the first subject is mainly quiet, the second starts louder.
  • In the development there is a loud section in the middle but starts and ends quickly.
  • The recapulatio is similar to the exposition dynamics.
  • Most dynamics are sudden with a few crescendos; no diminuendos.
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Mozart - Symphony no 40 G minor IV

Instrumentation:

  • chamber orchestra (strings, woodwinds and horns)
  • Strings are busy doing things such as the melody, running scales, sustained notes and chords.
  • Woodwinds don't play as much as the strings, they have more sustained notes, without as many quick runs. They share the start of the second subject with the strings.
  • There are two horns in different keys, maximising the number of notes.
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Chopin - Prelude no 15 in D flat major, op 28 - 'R

General Point:

  • Raindrop Prelude is one in a collection of 24 preludes, one of each in the 12 major keys and 12 minor keys.
  • Composed in 1839.
  • Light repeated quavers heard throughout sounding like raindrops, thus 'raindrop prelude'

Romantic Period Features

  • Music is more expressive and emotive.
  • Rich chromatic harmonies and a lot of dissonance.
  • Modulation between keys.
  • Pieces of music are much longer.

Instrumentation and Dynamics

  • written for piano
  • uses the middle and lower range of the piano
  • this work is not virtuosic and focuses on the legato tone
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Chopin - Prelude no 15 in D flat major, op 28 - 'R

  • Wide range of dynamics (pp - ff)
  • Lots of crescendos and diminuendos - no sudden contrasts or changes in dynamics.

Structure:

  • turnary form (ABA)
  • Section A (Db Major)
  • quavers in the left hand and the melody in the right hand.
  • Section B (C# Minor)
  • quavers in the right hand and the melody in the left hand
  • Section A (Db Major)
  • this time it finishes with a brief coda 

Rhythm:

  • 4/4 throughout
  • uses septuplets in bars 4 and 23
  • rubato is used in the recording, meaning it is played at a flexible tempo for expressive effect.
  • repeated quavers are used throughout.
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Chopin - Prelude no 15 in D flat major, op 28 - 'R

Melody and Texture:

  • lyrical
  • decorated with ornaments, eg: acciaccatura (bar 4) and a turn (bar 11)
  • in section B the melody is in the bassline with a narrower range and longer notes.
  • homophonic texture (excluding two bars at the end which are monophonic).

Tonality and Harmony:

  • Bb major
  • diatonic harmonies with the occasional chromatism 
  • modulates to the enharmonic tonic minor
  • section A and B both end in imperfect cadences but the whole prelude ends in a perfect cadence
  • dominant pedal can be heard throughout the piece.
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Schoenberg - 'Peripetie' I

General Points:

  • Composed by Arnold Schoenberg.
  • 4th piece in a set of 5 orchestral pieces composed in 1909.
  • First performed in 1912.
  • Schoenberg was very important in the expressionist movement and was the pioneer of atonal music.

Instrumentation:

  • Performed by a large orchestra with all sections.
  • Instrumentation changes rapidly throughout, creating lots of timbre contrasts.
  • Performers are required to play at extremes of ranges.
  • Uses of unusual effects, eg: the cymbals being played with a mallet and a cello bow.
  • 90 people are needed to perform in this piece.
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Schoenberg - 'Peripetie' II

Melody:

  • Made up of short fragmented motifs combined in different ways to create interest.
  • Melodies are disjunct and often sound angular.
  • Octave displacement is used in the main melodies.

Rhythm, Metre and Tempo:

  • The metre changes between 2/4 and 4/4.
  • The ttempo is 'sehr rasch', meaning very fast.
  • The rhythms are complex and varied and change very quickly. In parts of the piece, Schoenberg layers a number of different rhythmic patterns on top of eachother to create a complex contrapuntal texture.

Tonality and Harmony:

  • This piece is atonal (has no key).
  • Uses lots of dissonant harmonies.
  • Chords and melodies are built up from hexachords (a group of 6 notes)
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Schoenberg - 'Peripetie' III

Texture and Dynamics:

  • This piece has a largely contrapuntal texture, but has some occasional homophonic moments.
  • Complex textures are built up through the use of imitation and inversion.
  • There are frequent and sudden changes, leading to extreme contrasts.
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Bernstein - 'Something's Coming' I

General Points:

  • Composed by Leonard Bernstein.
  • A song from West Side Story, based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
  • First performed on Broadway in 1957
  • Sung by a solo tenor voice, 'Tony'.

Instrumentation:

  • Solo tenor voice
  • Accompained by a chamber orchestra, consisting of woodwind, brass, percussion and strings.
  • Quiet dynamics, soft timbres, the use of mutes, pizzicator and a clear homophonic texture are used to make sure the instruments don't overpower the voice.
  • The music illustrates the words, eg: 'the air is humming'
  • Harmonies and tremelos are used in the strings.
  • The instruments often imitate eachother at different octaves.
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Bernstein - 'Something's Coming' II

Melody and Structure:

This piece is almost entirely syllabic and based on three main themes:

  • A quiet, syncopated opening theme
  • A loud, strident theme in 2/4 that starts at bar 21.
  • A lyrical slow moving theme that starts at bar 73.
  • The themes are repeated a number of times but are varied each time by Bernstein.
  • Bernstein changes things such as the metre or words each time a theme is heard.

Harmony and Tonality:

  • Written in D major, although there are two contrasting sections in C major (heard in bars 32-72 and 106-127)
  • Use of tritone which is an interval of 3 whole tones (eg: C - F#)
  • Last note of the entire piece is a flattened 7th, which remains unsolved and creates a feeling of incompletion.
  • The harmony is jazz-influenced.
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Reich - 'Electric Counterpoint, movement III' I

General Points:

  • Composed by Steve Reich.
  • Written for famous guitarist Pat Metheny.
  • First performed in 1987.
  • One of three pieces (movemets) which follow a tipical fast-slow-fast pattern.

Minimalism Features:

  • The reptition of simple ideas
  • Layered textures,
  • Diatonic harmonies,
  • Slow harmonic rhythms,
  • Little variety in instrumentation.

Instrumentation:

  • Written for live guitar
  • When performed the live guitar is accompained by prerecorded 7 guitars and 2 bass guitars
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Reich - 'Electric Counterpoint, movement III' II

  • The live guitar is amplified to blend in with the backing track.

Structure:

  • The movemt builds up in three layers:
  • a syncopated quaver motif, which is introduced in the live guitar and the top four guitar parts, one at a time,
  • a new syncopated quaver motif which is introduced in the bass guitars,
  • a more sustained motif which is built around three chards which begins in the live guitar aprt and is then transferred to the other parts.
  • After all three layers have build up, layers 2 and 3 fade out together, leaving layer 1 to continue until it comes to rest on a held chord.

Melody and Texture:

  • The melody is made up of a 1 bar motif that is repeated continuously to form an ostinato.
  • The motif is introduced by the live guitar and the top 4 guitar parts at different times (the first layer in the structure above). This creates a canon.
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Reich - 'Electric Counterpoint, movement III' III

  • In some parts, note addition is used to build up the melody, this means that notes are gradually added to the part untill all notes in the melody are heard.
  • At one point, the live guitar plays a melody that is made up from selected individual notes from the other guitar parts creating resultant melodies.
  • It has a contrapuntal texture.

Tonality and Harmony:

  • Electric counterpoint is in binary form (AB) with four sections within the A and B sections.
  • The entire piece ends with a coda.
  • At the start of the piece there is tonal ambiguity but there are hints towards it being in the key of E minor but this does not become clear until the bass guitar is introduced.
  • The three chord progressions used in section A-3 are C-Bm-E5-C-D-Em and C-D-Bm
  • The tonality is modal.
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Davis - 'All Blues' I

General Points:

  • Comes from the album 'Kind of Blue'.
  • The band is a a 'sextet', consisting of a front line and a rhythm section.
  • The album was recording with next to no rehersal and the musicians have no score, they were told only the following things: structure, basic chords sequence, main melodic idea and which mode/scale to improvise on.

Instrumentation:

  • The band consists of 2 different sections, the front line and the rhythm section. In the front line there is: Miles Davis (trumpet), Julian Adderly (alto sax), John Coltrane (tenor sax). In the rhythm section there is: Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums).

Structure:

  • 'All Blues' is based on a 12 bar blues progression.
  • The main melody is called the head and is played by the trumpet, it can be heard at the start and end of the piece.
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Davis - 'All Blues' II

Melody:

  • The head melody is quite simple and is characterized by rising 6th (D->B). The head is then followed by four solos:
  • TRUMPET - lasts for four choruses and is made up of short syncapated motifs.
  • ALTO SAX - lasts for four choruses and uses quicker notes and a wider range than the trumpet.
  • TENOR SAX - lasts for four choruses and uses fast scales and quick runs, very virtuosic.
  • PIANO - lasts for two choruses, it's much more calmer improvisation than the others with a simple melody and a string of parrallel chords.

Harmony and Tonality:

  • The piece is in Gmajor, but has a flattened 7th (a blue note) to play this scale you would go from G->G on the piano using only white notes.
  • This is the same as being in the mixolydian mode and so this is why we can describe this piece as an example of modal jazz.
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Davis - 'All Blues' II

Melody:

  • The head melody is quite simple and is characterized by rising 6th (D->B). The head is then followed by four solos:
  • TRUMPET - lasts for four choruses and is made up of short syncapated motifs.
  • ALTO SAX - lasts for four choruses and uses quicker notes and a wider range than the trumpet.
  • TENOR SAX - lasts for four choruses and uses fast scales and quick runs, very virtuosic.
  • PIANO - lasts for two choruses, it's much more calmer improvisation than the others with a simple melody and a string of parrallel chords.

Harmony and Tonality:

  • The piece is in Gmajor, but has a flattened 7th (a blue note) to play this scale you would go from G->G on the piano using only white notes.
  • This is the same as being in the mixolydian mode and so this is why we can describe this piece as an example of modal jazz.
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Davis - 'All Blues' III

Rhythm, Metre and Tempo:

  • The score is noted in 6/4.
  • The tempo is described as 'Jazz Walts', as the 6/4 can be divided into two sets of 3/4 per bar.
  • This piece is performed with swinging quavers.
  • There is frequent use of syncopation.
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Buckley - 'Grace' I

General Points:

  • Composed by Jeff Buckley.
  • Released in 1994.
  • Grace is a rock ballad.
  • Buckley only completed one album 'Grace' before dying at 31 in 1997.

Instrumentation and Texture:

  • Buckley is a vocalist who is accompained by guitars, bass guitars, synthesizer strings and a drum kit.
  • The guitar is in drop d tuning.
  • Synthesizer strings drop in and out to add effect and vary texture.
  • The texture thickens throughout the piece, especially in the coda.

Technology:

  • The use of modulation on the synthesizer at the start of the song.
  • The use of distortion and flanging on the guitar.
  • The use of EQ in the final verse.
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Buckley - 'Grace' II

Structure:

  • 1. intro - verse 1 - prechorus - chorus
  • 2. link - verse 2 - prechorus - chorus
  • 3. middle 8
  • 4. link - verse 3 - outro

Tonality and Harmony:

  • The song is written in Eminor although it's often ambiguous.
  • The intro focuses on the chord of D and the key only becomes clear halfway through the first verse.
  • Chromatic chords that move in a parrallel motion.
  • The use of dissonant harmonies.

Melody and Word Setting:

  • The vocal part ranges over 2 octaves and sometimes sound is improvised.
  • Falling vocal phrases reflect the sadness of the song.
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Buckley - 'Grace' III

  • Most of the word setting is syllabic, although there is some use of melisma on certain words.
  • In the bridge there is vocalization/wordless singing during which Buckley uses falsetto.

Rhythm, Metre and Tempo:

  • Time signature of 12/8
  • Lots of syncopation in vocal melody and bassline.
  • Vocal melody is rhythmically free.
  • Use of cross-rhythm.
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Moby - 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?' I

General Points:

  • A single from Moby's dance music album called 'Play' (1999).
  • This album sold over 9 million copies.
  • Other Moby albums include Hotel and Last Night.
  • The tracks on 'Play' were written and played by Moby then recorded and mixed at his home studio.

Melody:

  • Mainly provided by two samples, taken from a recording of a 1953 gospel choir.
  • Male singer - 'Why does my heart feel so bad?' in the verses.
  • Female singer - 'These open doors' in the choruses.
  • Moby left the the background noises in for a greater emotional impact.
  • Simple and repetitive as a result of the looped melodies.
  • String synthesizers play a countermelody.
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Moby - 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?' II

Texture and Structure:

  • intro -> verse -> chorus -> verse -> breakdown -> chorus -> verse
  • Texture is built up as individual tracks are added in one at a time (every 8 bars).
  • piano - voice enters -> drums and synth-string countermelodies -> bass and held chords -> syncopated piano chords.
  • After the breakdown, the texture becomes thinner.
  • Contrasts are made by changing the instrumentation use of silence and using static chords as well as syncopated.

Rhythm:

  • 4 crotchet beats in a bar.
  • Steady tempo of 98bpm.
  • Syncopation used in the piano, vocal and synth parts.
  • Rhythms are varied to create contrast between sections.
  • Drum loop is too perfect and too in time to be performed 'live'.
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Moby - 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?' III

Instrumentation and Technology:

  • Synthesisers - string, bass and piano
  • Sampler - vocals and part of the drum track
  • Drum machine - to create the drum track
  • Effects used are: panning, reverb, delay, EQ

Genre:

  • Club dance music
  • Strong beat - 'four to the floor' drumbeat.
  • Short phrases
  • Electric sounds - technology became more sophisticated.

Harmony and Tonality:

  • diatonic made up of three sample chord progressions, each lasting 8 beats.
  • VERSE (first sample): Am - Em - G - D
  • FIRST HALF OF CHORUS: C - Am - C - Am 
  • SECOND HALF OF CHORUS: F - C - F - C  
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Capercaillie - 'Sky Waulking Song' I

General Points:

  • Capercaillie are a Scottish band who combine the traditional Galic folk music with elements of rock music.
  • Their music is described as 'Celtic Rock'.

Instrumentation:

  • This piece combines both folk and rock instruments.
  • The rock instruments include a synthesizer, Wurlitzer piano, bass guitar and a drum kit.
  • The acoustic instruments that are usually associated with folk include a violin (fiddle), accordion, pipes and a bouzouki.

Texture:

  • A layered, contrapuntal texture is created through the following.
  • A rhythmic pattern on the drum kit.
  • A bassline played by a bass guitar.
  • Chords on the synthesiser and accordion
  • Countermelodies on the melodic instruments.
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Capercaillie - 'Sky Waulking Song' II

Structure:

  • PHRASE 1 - call (in Gaelic)
  • REFRAIN 1 - response (vocables)
  • PHRASE 2 - call (in Gaelic)
  • REFRAIN 2 - response (vocables)
  • Overall structure: intro - verse 1 - verse 2 - coda

Melody:

  • This piece is pentatonic.
  • Mainly syllabic
  • Alternates between 1 bar phrases.

Rhythm and Metre:

  • Time signature: 12/8
  • Frequent syncopation in vocal and instrumental lines
  • Use of cross-rhythms at the start of the song created by hihat.
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Capercaillie - 'Sky Waulking Song' III

Harmony:

  • key: G major
  • entirely diatonic
  • G, E minor and C are the main chords in this piece.
  • It has a modal feel.
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Rag Desh - Version One (Anoushka Shankar - sitar)

Structure:

ALAP:

  • A slow introductory section which helps to set the mood.
  • Free rhythm, no regular pulse.
  • Unaccompained apart from the drone.
  • Usually moves from the lower notes to the higher notes
  • Gradually gets faster.

GAT 1:

  • A fixed composition which is often varied by adding improvised decoration.

GAT 1:

  • [see GAT 1]
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Rag Desh - Version One (Anoushka Shankar - sitar)

Instruments:

SITAR:

  • A long-necked plucked string instrument with movable frets and a gourd resonator.
  • Played by plucking the strings with a metal plectrum.
  • Has six or seven main strings and twelve or more sympathetic strings running underneath which resonate in sympathy.
  • Has a characteristic shimmering sound

TABLA:

  • A pair of small drums placed side by side on the floor in front of the player.
  • Their main job is to keep in time, but they sometimes interact with the soloist with short solos

Dynamics:

  • Do not cary a lot but quieter in the alap.
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Rag Desh - Version One (Anoushka Shankar - sitar)

Texture:

  • Gradually builds up

Speed:

  • ALAP - slow and unmetered (freetime)
  • GAT 1 - medium speed
  • GAT 2 - faster than gat 1

Other:

  • In the alap, the sitar is unaccompained.
  • Gat 1 is a fixed composition played with ornamentation. Tabla enters then the sitar starts to improvise.
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Rag Desh - Version Two ('Mhara Janam Maran' by Chi

Structure:

ALAP:

  • A slow introductory section which helps to set the mood.
  • Free rhythm, no regular pulse.
  • Unaccompained apart from the drone.
  • Usually mvoes from the lower notes to the higher notes.
  • Gradually gets faster.

BHAJAN:

  • A devotional song, literally means 'sharing'.
  • Has no presscribed form, or set rules, is free in form, normally lyrically.

Instruments:

VOICE

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Rag Desh - Version Two ('Mhara Janam Maran' by Chi

SARANGI:

  • A bowed short-necked string instrument, said to have the most resemble the sound of human voice as it's able to imitate vocal ornaments such as gamaks (shakes) and meends (sliding movements)

SAROD:

  • A string instrument which is known for a deep, weighty, introspective sound. It's a fretless instrument able to produce continuous slides between notes known as meend/glissandos.

PAKHARAJ:

  • An Indian barrel-shaped, two-headed, a standard percussion instrument used as an accompainment. It has a low mellow tone and is very rich in harmonies.

SYMBALS:

  • A concave plate of brass or bronze plate that produces a sharp, ringing sound when it's strung.
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Rag Desh - Version Two ('Mhara Janam Maran' by Chi

TABLA:

  • A pair of small drums palces side by sied on the floor in front of the player.
  • Their main job is to keep in time, but they sometimes interact with the soloist, and have short solos.

Dynamics:

  • Louder during the Bhajan than the alap.

Texture:

  • Builds up throughout the piece; the singer thats off then more instruments are gradually added.

Speed:

  • ALAP = free time
  • BHAJAN = fast
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Rag Desh - Version Two ('Mhara Janam Maran' by Chi

Other:

  • ALAP: short intro as the sarod player starts then the singer vocalises a melody.
  • BHAJAN: fixed composition. Tabla joins, followed by the sarod then a sarangi solo.
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Rag Desh - Version Three (Benjy Wertheimer - estra

Structure:

ALAP:

  • A slow introductory section which helps to set the mood.
  • Free rhythm, no regular pulse.
  • Unaccompained apart from the drone.
  • Usually moves from the lower notes to the higher notes.
  • Gradually gets faster.

GAT 1:

  • A fixed composition which is often varied by adding improvised decoration.

GAT 2:

  • See gat 1
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Rag Desh - Version Three (Benjy Wertheimer - estra

Instruments:

BANSURI:

  • A side blown flue made from bamboo with six or eight finger holes covering two and a half octaves. The longer the bansuri the deeper the tone and lower the pitch.

ESRAJ:

  • A bowed string instrument, its name is directly translated as 'robber of the heart'. It has a medium sized with 20 heavy metal frets and 12-15 sympathetic strings with 4 main strings.

TAMBURA:

  • A long necked string instrument which is plucked. It has doubled steel strings and is played with a plectrum in the same manner as a mandolin.

TABLA:

  • A pair of small drums placed side by side on the floor in front of the player. Their main job is to keep in time, but they sometimes interact with the soloist and have short solos.
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Rag Desh - Version Three (Benjy Wertheimer - estra

Dynamics:

  • The alap is quieter than both of the gats.

Texture:

  • ALAP -> slow and unmetered (freetime)
  • GAT 1 -> slow tempo
  • GAT 2 -> fast tempo

Other:

  • Alap: drone created on notes Sa and Pa. Bansuri enters.
  • Gat 1: lyrical unaccompained melody on the Bansuri and tabla then a fixed composition becoming more dramatic then ends.
  • Gat 2: ektal tala.
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Koko - 'Yiri' I

General Points:

  • Koko is a group made up of 6 professional musicians.
  • They come from the country Burkina Faso.
  • The word 'yiri' means wood.
  • The song may be called Yiri because all the instruments heard in it (other than the bell) are made up of wood.
  • Koko performed Yiri from memory and the score was made later by notating the music heard on the recording, This is known as 'transcription'.

Instrumentation:

  • The following 3 instruments heard in yiri are:
  • djembe = a drum that is played with the hands
  • balafon = an instrument similar to the xylophone but made up of wooder bars which are all tuned to different pitches.
  • talking drum = a drum played with a hooked strick, used to imitate speech by creating different slides and pitches
  • musicians also sing and are split into a soloist singer and a chorus.
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Koko - 'Yiri' II

Structure:

  • The piece is in 3 different sections:
  • introduction = the balafon plays a solo using tremolo (very quick repetition of a single note)
  • main section = consists of the drumbs playing an ostinato and a stron clear pulse. Choruses and balafon solos alternate in this section and in the very middle there's a vocal solo, in which call-and-response is used.
  • coda = a short phrase for balafon is played 5 times but varied slightly each time.
  • The drum ostinato, first heard in the main section is interrupted by rests and a bell is sounded to mark the end of the piece.

Melody, Harmony and Tonality:

  • Yiri is in the key of Gb major
  • Most of the music is hexatonic (based on a 6 note scale)
  • The balafons play short patterns that fall from high to low and tend to emphasise the notes Gb and Db
  • During the choruses, the group sings together and much like the balafon they sing short, falling phrases that emphasise the Gb and Db notes.
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Koko - 'Yiri' III

Rhythm, Metre and Tempo:

  • The main metre is 4/4 with a couple exceptions.
  • After the introduction, the rest of the piece stays at a steady pulse.
  • Syncopation is used frequently throughout, especially in the vocals and balafon parts.
  • Triplets are used by the vocal soloists.
  • During one of the vocal solos the balafons create cross-rhythms by playing semi-quavers in groups of 3.
  • Rhythmic ostinato are created by the drums and continue throughout the whole piece. The ostinato consists of a quaver then 2 semi-quavers that are repeated.

Texture and Dynamics:

  • The majority of the piece has a layered texture.
  • However, the introduction has a monophonic texture.
  • Occasionally heterophonic textures are created, eg: when the two balafons play different versions of the sam tune simultaneously.
  • There's very little variation in dynamics in this piece.
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