Music for a While- Henry Purcell

  • Created by: EvieWong
  • Created on: 15-04-18 11:09


Ternary ABA Structure

Section A- Bar 4

Section B- Bar 22-23

Section A1- Bar 29

Ground Bass played by the Basso Continuo (harpsicord and bass viol) Part

Ground Bass is 3 Bars long

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Tempo, Metre, Rhythm

4/4 Time

No change in time signature

No Tempo indication

Slow tempo would be suitable (lament)

Bass viol and left hand of harpsicord part plays all quavers (except a semibreve at the end)

Right hand of harpsicord part plays mainly quavers and semiquavers

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Basso Cotinuo

Homophonic melody and accompaniment texture

Left hand of harpsicord and bass viol play the ground bass

3-Part Texture


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A Minor Key

Slightly Ambiguous Key due to Accidentals/ Chromatic Notes (C# Bar 2, G# Bar 9)

Modulates to E Minor- Bar 15

Modulates to G Major- Bar 16

Briefly Modulates to E Minor- Bar 27

Modulates back to A Minor (A1 Section- Bar 29)

Tierce de Picardie (major chord in a minor key)- 'Snakes' Bar 23 (Word Painting)

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Diatonic Chords- All the parts playing notes which fit the key the piece is in

Perfect Cadences (V - I) - Bar 3- 4

Dissonance- 'Pains' Bar 12 (Word Painting)

False Relations- G# left hand Harpsicord part, G Natural right hand Harpsicord part (Bar 9)

PDR (Preparation Dissonance Resolution) Suspension- A A G# Bar 3

Last quaver beat Bar 3- Chord V

First quaver beat Bar 4 when Soprano comes in- Chord I

Ends with perfect cadence in A minor

Last note in right hand of harpsicord is arpeggiated

Each group of 4 quavers has same start and end note (in ground bass)

Middle two notes of eachgroup of 4 quavers in ground bass are a semitone apart

Ground Bass- Played by the Basso Continuo, 3 Bars long

Pitch of the ground bass continuously ascending

Tierce de Picardie (major chord in a minor key)- 'Snakes' Bar 23 (Word Painting)

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Henry Purcell

Lived during Baroque period (c. 1600-1750)

English composer

Wrote for church and popular entertainment

Composed musical dramas and incidental stage music

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'Music for a While'

Written for Dryden and Lee's play 'Oedipus'

Written in 1692

Legend came from Greek mythology

Alecto was one of the Furies in Greek mythology who had snakes for hair

'Music for a While' calms Alecto until she drops her whip and the snakes fall from her head

Written for Soprano Voice and Basso Continuo

Basso Continuo- Played by bass viol and harpsicord

Incidental Music (from a play)

Lament (sorrowful feelings, falling phrases, minor key, slow tempo)

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