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Context and Forces

  • Modern Era
  • Composed 1939; published 1940
  • Double String Orchestra - equally balancedand antiphonally opposed
  • Very detailed score
  • Not many demands on players
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Tonality

  • Modal
  • Broadly said to be 'in A'
  • Ambiguous tonality
  • Pentatonic Scales
  • Lydian Modea
  • Chromatic Notes
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Rhythm and Metre

  • Hard to discern time signature
  • Frequnt changes in time signature
  • Flexible rhythm
  • Syncopation
  • Augmentation
  • Unequal groupings of notes
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Harmony

  • Counterpoint
  • False Relations  (chromatic contradiction)
  • Dissonance
  • Octaves
  • Some root position and 1st inversion triads
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Structure

  • Sonata Form (Exposition, Development, Recapitulation, Coda)
  • Can be seen as in ritornello form
  • Strong thematic contrast in exposition
    • 2 themes are marcato and espressivo
  • Doesn't move to related keys
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Melody

  • Based on motifs
  • Pentatonic scale
  • Sequences
  • Influence of folk song
  • Nosolo melody line
  • Periodic phrasing
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Texture

  • Variety of textures
  • Doubling
  • Octaves
  • Tutti
  • Counterpoint
  • Imitation
  • Antiphony
  • Homophonic
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Key features of Modern Era

  • 2 orchestras
  • Variety of textures
  • No main soloist
  • Detailed score
  • Doesn't move to related keys
  • Dissonance
  • Different and unusual time signatures
  • Changes of time signature
  • Syncopation
  • Lack of functional harmony
  • Avoiding traditional tonality
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Features that echo back to earlier music

  • Baroque
    • Contrasting groups of instruments
    • Counterpoint
    • Written in sections
  • Classical
    • Sonata Form
  • Renaissance
    • False relations
    • Modes
    • Flexible rhythm (vocal music)
  • Traditional string orchestra line up
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