A Level Music: Kinderscenen by Schumann (Overview)

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When was this piece composed?
1838, at a time of change (the romantic period), when programme music was being developed and so were daring compositional techniques
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What age was Schumann when he wrote Kinderscenen?
28
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What does Kinderscenen translate to?
Scenes from Childhood
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What are they?
A collection of 13 short pieces: Piano minatures.
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Is the music designed for children to play?
No, it is ABOUT children and childhood
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What do some people say these pieces are a reflection of?
Of Schumann's own personal life, during his law battle to marry Clara
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Name the resources
Piano
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What major changes occurred to the piano?
Use of felt rather than leather to cover the hammers, which altered the tone to a mellower, less strident quality. Iron frame, which gave greater resonance and had better sustaining power. Addition of sustaining pedal.
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What happened as result of these changes?
The way that the piano was played changed, i.e. the techniques. More virtuosic playing.
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What is the structure?
Rounded binary form: typical form for baroque dance movements. Gives a nostalgic simplicity.
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What is the tonality of this piece?
Functional. Modulates to related keys.
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Talk about the harmony
Functional, mostly diatonic with occasional chromatic chords.
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Are the cadences clearly defined?
Yes
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What is the metre of this piece?
Duple time signatures for all three pieces (other pieces in this set use simple triple and quadruple).
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Describe the rhythm
Simple, typically established and maintained for the whole piece.
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What did romantic composers do with rhythm?
Based a piece of a single rhythmic idea which embraces the melody and the accompaniment
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What does this naturally lead to?
Shorter pieces that capture a mood in a single phrase
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What are the textures?
Melody dominated homophony
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Describe the melody
Diatonic, balanced phrasing (these are 'songs without words' that could accompany lines of lyric poetry)
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What age was Schumann when he wrote Kinderscenen?

Back

28

Card 3

Front

What does Kinderscenen translate to?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What are they?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Is the music designed for children to play?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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