Essay Question Model answer Bernstein

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Comment on how Bernstein uses the following musical elements in this piece:

  • Metre and Rhythm
  • Melody
  • Tonality
  • Texture
  • Structure

Bernstein composed 'something's coming' for his musical 'West Side Story' in 1957. This song is sung by Tony who is tenor.

Rhythm is created throughout the song by the use of syncopation, this is evident in bar 1 which is used as a motif through the whole song. He also uses cross-rhythms between the bass parts and piano to create rhythm. The metre starts in 3/4 however changes to 2/4 this adds to the jazz feel of the piece.

The melody is introduced through the tenor voice. Throughout the piece the melody is mainly syllabic, with one note per syllabol. Also word-painting is used within the melody 'it comes cannon-balling down through the sky' is an example of this


Former Member

could you add in dynamics and mood along with instrumentation

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