summary of edexcel music gcse


And The Glory Of The Lord A0S1

  • It was composed in 1741 by Handel
  • It is Baroque
  • It is a chorus from the oratio "Messiah"
  • it comes after a tenor aria and before a bass recitative 
  • The orchestra doubles with the stringers
  • There is a religious word setting
  • It has a 3/4 meter and a steady tempo
  • There is a hemiola in bar 9
  • It is in A major but modulates to E major twice and B major once
  • It is written for a small baroque orchestra and SATB
  • There is a basso continuo played by the harpsichord and double bass
  • Mainly homophonic texture but in bar 91-107 is polyphonic
  • Ends with a plagal caedence
1 of 10

Symphony No.40 in G minor A0S1

  • It was composed by Mozart in 1788
  • It is one of only two symphonies in a minor key
  • It is played by a small orchestra with NO percussion 
  • The only brass instruments are french horns
  • It is written in sonata form
  • Exposition->Development->Recapitulation
  • It starts piano, which is unusual for a classical symphony
  • The first subject is played in octaves by the first and second violins in Gm
  • The second subject is played by the woodwind and is in Bb major
  • The bridge section is forte and uses lots of sfz
  • All the musical ideas in the development started in the exposition
  • It begins in f# minor but passes through many different keys
  • From bar 140 onwards there are pedal points used
  • The recapitulation is the same (first subject) but the second subject is in Gminor. 
  • The bridge passage is longer and passes through Eb, Fm and D
  • It is polyphonic and ends with a perfect caedence
2 of 10

Raindrop Prelude A0S1

  • It is a Romantic piece written by Chopin in 1839
  • It is in ternary form
  • It starts in Db major but modulates to the relative minor, then back again
  • It has a 4/4 meter
  • There is use of rubato in the piano part and a dominant pedal that imitates a raindrop
  • There are irregular phrase lengths and lots of ornaments 
  • A section is piano but with use of cresc and dims
  • The B section gets gradually louder until it is ff
  • The repeated g# in bars 64-7 form an inverted pedal point
  • The B section passes through G#m and F#min
  • Bar 75 is where it modulates to the ori d ginal key and A repeats
  • There is an example of monophonic texture in 81-3
  • The rest of the piece is melody dominated homophony 
  • The final two bars are pianissimo
  • It ends with a gentle rituento
3 of 10

Peripetie AOS2

  • It was written by Schoenberg in 1909
  • Peripetie means sudden changes
  • It is an expressionist/serialist piece
  • It was written for a very large orchestra
  • There is no conventional structure but it could be described as a free rondo
  • It is atonal
  • There is use of a hexachord (6 different semitones) and a compliment (the other 6 semitones)
  • It is only 66 bars long
  • It is marked sehr rasch (very fast), heftig (passionate) and ruhiger (calmer)
  • There is use of klangfarbenmelodie to break up the parts
  • The dynamics suddenly change for ppp-fff
  • The texture suddenly changes from thick polpyhony to monophony 
  • The timbre changes suddenly, ie. group of instruments playing the tune change suddenly
  • The note lengths change suddenly; semibreves to demi-semi-quavers 
  • There are no caedences
4 of 10

Electric Counterpoint AOS2

  • It is a minimalist piece written by Steve Reich in 1987
  • It has 7 electric guitars and 2 bass guitars as well as a solo guitar part
  • The other parts where pre-recorded and the solo guitar is the only one who plays live
  • It is marked crochet = 192 (fast)
  • It is mainly 3/2 but a few guitars sometimes play in 12/8 while the others play in 3/2
  • There is no variation in timbre (all guitars)
  • It is made up of short riffs/ostinatos
  • Looping is used to build up layers and they are played in a canon
  • It is a polyphonic texture and canon are used between the solo guitar and the other guitars
  • The parts fit together harmonically
  • The tonality changes throughout the piece between Em and C, there are 14 modulations, some only lasting 4 bars
  • Harmony is static
5 of 10

Something's Coming AOS2

  • It is a solo action song sung by Tony (tenor) in West Side Story
  • It was written by Leonard Bernstein in 1957
  • He uses lots of jazz elements like blue notes and syncopation
  • The lyrics talk about the 'miracle' coming
  • The song is in 3/4 but sometimes feels like it is in 6/8 due to the quaver accents on the first and fourth quavers
  • There are a lot of cross rhythms
  • It is played crochet = 176 (a fast song)
  • He starts pp, sounds like he is whispering
  • It is in D major throughout
  • There are lots of ostinati in parts and a lot of imitation to 
  • The final word 'tonight' is echoed in the song 'tonight' that Tony and Maria sing
  • There are a lot of accented off beats
  • The texture is polyphonic in the orchestra but it is an accompaniment to a melody
  • There is use of tritones (D and G#)
  • Tritones used to be known as the devil in music
6 of 10

All Blues AOS3

  • It was written by Miles Davis in 1959
  • It is a blues/jaz piece
  • The solos were played lyrically, based on modes, in the lower register and had a tuneful melody
  • All instruments played in lower registers
  • The piece is mainly mf except for a few loud trumpet bits
  • The time signature is 6/4
  • There is a very mellow timbre (Ghost noes, rests, mutes)
  • Simple texture, the wind instruments play in 3rds and 4ths while the piano and double bass play a simple riff and chords. Drum plays a steady beat
  • Variation of standard 12 bar blues in G(repeated under solo/melody)
  • It is mainly improvised
  • There are a few repeated ostinati in the head and in intro and outro
  • I7 I7 I7 I7 Iv7 Iv7 I7 I7 V7#9 V1b7#9 V7#9, I7 I7
  • Band is made up of a trumpet, alto saxophone, tenor sax, piano, double bass and drums
  • It is modal(mixilydian)
7 of 10

Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? AOS3

  • It was written by Moby in 1999
  • It is made up of gospel choir samples and a hip-hop drum beat
  • He uses a Roland Drum machine and adds samples together using cubase
  • The drumbeat has been adjusted to fit the tempo and he uses synth strings and a keyboard
  • The samples are looped
  • THEME A - Am Em G D
  • THEME B - C Am C Am F C F C
  • Verse Chorus Structure
  • Delay (echo) and EQ (boosting frequencies) are used
  • The texture is changing by adding and taking away samples, adding synth countermelodies and adding electronic effects
  • There is a layered texture that builds up throughout
  • It is based on two 8 bar themes
  • It is electronica, 4/4 time signature and a steady meter
8 of 10


  • This is a rock song written by Jeff Buckley in 1994
  • It has a 12/8 meter and a verse-chorus structure
  • Each verse has an intro and there is a bridge section
  • The verses have different words
  • It has a folk rock feel
  • It uses the two vocal techniques of vocalisation and falsetto
  • It is in E minor and uses chromatic harmony
  • There are mellismatic vocal lines
  • He uses cross rhythms 
  • Typical rock band accompaniment
  • There is a very thick texture at the end because of vocalisation
  • A flange effect is used on the guitar creating a sweeping sound
  • 7th chords are used to create more interesting harmonies
  • Chords move in parallel motion
9 of 10

Skye Waulking Song AOS4

  • It is by Capercaille and it was written in a Celtic Rock style
  • It has a 12/8 time signature
  • Its based around C, Em and G
  • It has 8 verses, opens with intro and fades out with an outro
  • A waulking song is a work song
  • There is use of call and response and simple melodic phrases
  • It uses modern instruments: synth, wurlitzer piano, bass, drum kit
  • It uses folk instruments: violin, accordion, pipes and bouzouki
  • The vocal line is pentatonic and has a narrative element
  • There is use of refrains and nonsense words are used in refrains
  • Use of a scotch snap rhythm (a short accented note before a long one)
  • It is sung by an alto (woman)
  • It is a folk song
10 of 10


No comments have yet been made

Similar Music resources:

See all Music resources »