Music GCSE - Schoenberg: 'Peripetie' from 5 Orchestral Pieces

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Schoenberg: ‘Peripetie’ from Five Orchestral Pieces


            This piece was composed in 1909 and was first performed in 1912 at the Proms in London. It is the fourth piece in Schoenberg’s Five Orchestral Pieces. ‘Peripetie’ means ‘A sudden reversal’.

            This piece has no key and therefore is atonal. The harmonies of the piece include clashing harmonies, dissonance, augmented chords and chromatic notes.

            The melody of the piece isn’t clear. It is made up of short fragmented motifs and it has a klangfarbenmelodie – interweaving melodies and canons. Schoenberg also uses octave displacement in the melodies which are disjunct. It has a hauptstimme and nebenstimme – principle voice and secondary voice.

            The metre changes between ¾, 2/4 and 4/4 throughout the piece and the tempo is sehr rasch, meaning very quick. It


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