Musical Features

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  • Created by: Zoe5
  • Created on: 05-06-16 06:48

Melody & Rhythm

  • Anacrusis
  • Augmentation, diminution
  • Countermelody 
  • Cross-rhythm: conflicting rhythms
  • Descant:countermelody above main melody 
  • Diminution
  • Hemiola
  • Imitation
  • Inversion
  • Melismatic/ syllabic
  • Polyrhythm: different pulses
  • Obbligato: prominent instrumental part
  • Ornamentation: trill, mordent, acciaccatura
  • Range/ tessitura
  • Repetition
  • Retrograde
  • Sequence
  • Syncopation
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Articulation & Performance

  • A capella
  • Arco
  • Glissando
  • Pizzicato
  • Rubato
  • Sotto voce
  • Sprechstimme
  • Staccato, legato
  • Sforzando, accent
  • Tremolo
  • Vibrato
  • Virtuosic
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  • Atonal
  • Bitonal: two different keys used simultaneously
  • Cadences: perfect, imperfect, interrupted, plagal
  • Chromatic
  • Diatonic
  • Dissonant
  • Enharmonic change: chords go from having lots of flats to lots of sharps or vice versa
  • False relation: chromatic contradiction between notes heard simultaneously in different parts
  • Harmonic rhythm: rate at which harmony changes
  • Modulation
  • Modes: dorian, aeolian, mixolydian
  • Pedal: tonic, dominant, inverted
  • Pentatonic
  • Primary chords, secondary chords, chromatic chords
  • Tierce de Picardie
  • Whole tone
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  • Alberti bass accompaniment: arpeggiated- low, high, mid, high pattern
  • Antiphony, call & response
  • Arpeggio: the notes of the chord are played in order
  • Block chords: harmonising a melody by having all the notes move in parallel
  • Broken chords: separating the notes of the chord and playing them on alternate beats
  • Heterophonic: musicians perform a single melody simultaneously, each add subtle variations
  • Homophonic, chordal
  • Monophonic, unison, octaves
  • Parallel motion, contrary motion
  • Polyphonic, contrapuntal
  • Triadic
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  • Canonic: an initial melody is imitated at a specific time interval by 1+ parts
  • Fugal: systematic imitation of the subject in simultaneous melodic lines
  • Stretto: overlapping of statements of the subject in a fugue
  • Strophic: the music is repeated for each verse
  • Through-composed: (i) different music for each verse (ii) stage work not split into numbers
  • Verse and chorus
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  • Doubling: When? Octave/unison? Instrument?
  • Word painting: Which words/phrases are enhanced? How?
  • Texture: Changes? Are vocals always at the top or doe instrumental lines weave in/out?
  • Melody: Instrument? Imitation? Moves into a lower part?
  • Instrumental tone colour: Different instruments for different sections? Special techniques e.g. pizzicato or mutes? 
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Interpretation by the Composer

  • Read the block of text at the start of Section A on the question paper
  • Re-read the relevant section of text so you know what the passage of music is about
  • Refer to melody & rhythm, articulation & performance, harmony, texture, structure or accompaniment etc.
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Interpretation by the Performers

LISTEN for aspects which are not printed in the score. These might include:

  • Tempo changes: faster/slower than indicated, unmarked tempo changes, accelerando, ritardando, oause, rubato
  • Dynamic changes
  • Rhythm changes
  • Pitch changes
  • Accents, staccato etc.
  • Particular emphasis on certain words: extra clear enunciation, rolled 'r' etc.
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