Music Area of Study 2

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Peripetie, Schoenberg

Requires a large orchestra. Instrumentation changes rapidly, creating many contrasts in timbre. Performers required to play to the extremes of their range. Unusual effect are used.

Haupstimme = most important part. Nebenstimme = second most important part.

Many short fragmentended motifs. Melodies are disjunct and often sound angular. Use of techniques: inversion and augmentation.

Metre changes between 3/4, 2/4 and 4/4. Tempo = very quick. Rhythms are complex, varied and change quickly.

Piece is atonal and uses lots of dissonant harmonies. Also it's often built from hexachords.

Texture is contrapuntal. Complex textures are built up using imitation and inversion. the final climax is created from 3 canons. Frequent sudden changes of dynamics cause extreme contrasts between ppp and fff.

The piece is in free rondo form with 5 sections. 

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Something's Coming, Bernstein

Song if for solo tenor singerand the band is made up of woodwind, brass, percussion and strings. The accompaniment uses quiet dynamic, soft timbres and a homophonic texture. The strings use harmonics and tremolo.

Melody is almost entirely syllabic. it is alternated between 3 different themes : the quiet, syncopated opening theme; the loud, strident theme in 2/4;  the lyrical, slow-moving theme.

The metre changes between3/4 and 2/4. The changes of metre, tempo amd frequent syncopation maintain a feling of excitment and anticipation.

It's in D major and has 2 contrastig sections in C major. The harmony is tonal and jazz-influenced, with a frequent 7th chord and other added note chords.

The texture of the song is homophonic. There are 3 main ideas in the accompaniment: the repeated riff, the short syncopated chords and a fast um-cha accompaniment.  

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Electric Counterpoint, Reich

The live guitar part is amplified. 

The movement builds up in 3 layers: a syncopated quaver motif, a new syncopated quaver motif and a more sustained motif.

The melody is made up of a 1-bar motif that is repeated continuously to form an ostinato. The meody is built up through the process of note addition. The piece has a contrapuntal texture.

The main metre is 3/2. The tempo is very fast. There is little rhythmic variety. There is frequent syncopation. 

The piece is in the key of G major with some shorter sections towards the end in Eb major. It is entirely diatonic. He uses hexatonic scales.

 The dynamic remains fairly constant. Parts gradually fade out. 

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