Summer time (Geroge Gershwin)

Revision Cards for Summertime, George Gershwin - Music AS set work 2011

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Background

  • Composed 1935
  • Aria/number from an Opera

- Performed early in the opera, as a long opening number. Tender Lullaby to a baby

  • Fusions of folk, jazz and classical opera

- "American Folk Opera"

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Rhythm and Metre

  • Duple time - 2/2
  • Rocking lullaby rhythm conveyed by steady minims in accompaniment
  • Typical devices include:

- Swung Rhythms

- Syncopation ("Fish" bar 11)

- Triplets

  • Violin countermelody (not heard on CD) in verse two is mainly in quavers
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Melody and Word-setting

  • Vocal part spans an octave
  • American dialect within lyrics
  • Four-bar phrases
  • Pentatonic vocal line, except for C# in bar 14 and 32
  • Ornamentation includes portamento (slides between notes). Notated bar 21, and sung bar 10
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Harmony

  • Chords outline a 16-bar blues pattern in B minor
  • Characteristic features include:

- Added 6th chords (minor triad plus major 6th)

- False relations arising from "blue" chromatic notes - clashing E and E# i bars 14 and 32

- Circle of fifths (B E A D G C F#)

- Perfect cadence at end

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Tonality

  • Key of B minor
  • Dominant preparation - F# bars 3-7
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Structure

  • Two-verse Strophic, 16-bar song structure
  • ABAC Pattern
  • Balanced four-bar phrases
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Resources and Texture

  • Soprano soloist
  • Vocalise (wordless singing)
  • Solo Viloin
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • MELODY DOMINATED HOMOPHONY, enriched by additional layers in second verse
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Comments

Rachel

This is really good, I was just creating the same type of thing for the instrumental set works :)

Matthew Spear

George :)

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