Music A2 Revision - Cage

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Melody

- Some melodies immediately repeated but are not usually recapitulated later in the music.

-Short statements with defined shapes and phrases separated by rests

-Arch-shaped melodies are common, for example in sonata 1 bars 15-16, sonata 2 bars 1-2.

-Limited number of pitches sometimes suggests pentatonicism e.g. 1-8 in sonata 1.

-Tendency to use conjunct movement e.g. sonata 3.

-Decorative use of grace notes and rhythmic embellishments.

-In sonata 3 the melody is treated with familiar melodic devices such as repetition, sequence, inversion and augmentation.

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Rhythm

- Rhythmic ideas may repeat immediately but are not recapitulated as the music progresses.

-Irregular groupings of rhythm are common and may obscure the natural pulse.

-Each sonata has a variety of rhythmic patterns, from sustained or static to fast-moving and decorative.

-Expected stresses often displaced, causing strong beats to be unclear and the metre to be vague.

-Frequent metre changes

-Irregular metres used freely in order to satisfy structural rhythm

-Significant periods of silence punctuate each sonata.

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Texture

-Often sparse


-Chordal texture bar 1 of sonata 1.


-Monophony sonata 2 bar 1.


-Two part homorhythm sonata 2 bar 10.


-Treble movement over static or ostinato accompaniment, sonata 3 bar 1.


-Layered textures sonata 2 bar 30.

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Structure

Sonata 1:

-Length of each component part relates to the number 7.

-Uses 7-crotchet units in multiples of 4 1 3; 4 1 3; 4 2; 4 2.

-Internal Structure:
1-7 = 4 x 7 // 8 = 1 x 7 // 9-12 = 3 x 7 Crotchets (repeated)

13-18 = 4 x 7 // 20-26 = 2 x 7 crotchets (repeated)

-Overall, binary structure composed of 2 sections of 56 and 42 beats.

-Note the missing quaver because of the 9/8 in bar 11. There is, however, a compensation.

Sonata II

-Length of each of component parts relates to the number 31.

-Sonata uses 31-crotchet units in multiples of 4 2 ; 4 2 ; 9 and a half ; 9 and a half.

Internal Structure

bars 1-9 = 1 x 31 crotchets

Bars 10-14 = 1/2 x 31 crotchets (repeated)

Bars 15-23 = 1 x 31 crotchets

Bars 24 - 32 = 1 x 31 crotchets

Bars 33 - 37 = 1 x 11 and a half crotchets (repeated).

-Overall the binary structure is composed of two sections of 46 1/2 and 73 1/2 beats.

- Note frequency of 3/8 bars, many of them silent, which punctuate the phrases and the departure from the underlying pattern at the close.

Sonata III

-Length of each of component parts relates to 34.

-Uses 34-crotchet units in 1;1;31/4;31/4.

-Bars 1-8 = 1 x 34 (repeated)

-Bars 9-32 = 31/4 x 34 (repeated)

-Overall binary structure is made of two sections of 34 and 1101/2 beats.

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Tonality

- Tonal relationships of scale or key are absent due to prepared piano - tonality notions destroyed by sound it makes.

-Does not lend itself to conventional harmony.

- Passages repeat themselves, thereby giving emphasis on certain pitches

-Phrases approach cadential points with a sense of closure due to rhythm and stepwise movement.

-Pitched notes exist to form pentatonic patterns

-Uses cadences which are not articulated by chord progressions.

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Harmony

-Cage dismissed harmony as a 'tool of western commercialism'.


-Uses harmony in traditional way: continuous flow of harmonic progression moving betweeb hierarchical chords, leading to modulations and creating tension.


-G7 chord at opening


-B20 = parallel chords.

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