EDEXCEL AS Music- shostakovich context question.


Shostakovich context question:


  • Arch form
  • Section A form bars 0-27
  • Section B from bars 28-49
  • Section C from bars 50-86.
  • Section B1 from bars 87-104.
  • Section A1 from bars 104- 126.

You can see with the form here that the piece is arch form because the pieces sections form sort of a half semi circle or arch shape.


  • Motto theme DSCH- D, E flat, C, B natural--- this is really important you must remember this as this is the main theme throughout the piece and is the whole point of the piece. You see Shostakovich wrote this string quartet in memory of himself so the DSCH motto theme is his initials so the exam board shall probable test you on this- althugh remember that there is a lot of controversy around this particular string quartet.
  • Bar 11 has the motto theme starting on D in octaves between the 1st and 2nd violins.
  • Bars 28-30 sees a new chromatic motif in the 1st violin, utilising the semitone interval of DSCH.
  • Final appearance of the motto theme in the 2nd violin at bars 118- 120.
  • Melodic line is relatively chromatic with the 1st violin in bar 29.
  • Sequential repetition- 19-23 in the viola.


When talking about harmony you may be asked for both tonality and harmony within a compare and contrast question


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