GCSE Music 9-1 - AoS3 Defying Gravity

Questions on Stephen Schwartz's 'Defying Gravity' from AoS 3 for GCSE Edexcel Music 2018. (including background, dynamics, rhythm, texture, structure, melody, instruments, tonality and harmony.)

  • Created by: Spikettee
  • Created on: 01-06-18 16:25
When was 'Defying Gravity' first performed, and who wrote it?
2003 in the musical 'Wicked', composed by Stephen Schwartz
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Who is Stephen Schwartz?
an American music theatre composer, who won a Grammy for 'Wicked'
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What is song about in the play 'Wicked'?
Elphaba (wicked witch) wants to fight the Wizard of Oz and be free; Glinda (the good) tries to stop her; about the nature of good and evil
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varied in intro; quiet in V1, loud in chorus, suddenly quiet in bridge, very loud in coda. (frequent cresc. and dim.)
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colla voce and andante (intro&bridge); allegro; maestoso (coda); rallentando just before coda
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3/2 and 2/2 in intro; 4/4 bar 88 (bridge); 2/2 bar 115 (revised intro)
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syncopation ('some things'), dotted rhythms, triplets ('can't I make'), off-beat entry (15, in intro), rests, fermatas (coda)
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melody-dominated homophony, but brief monophonic intro, and some polphony in coda
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intro, V1(34), C1, V2, C2, Bridge(88-103), C3, Revised intro ('now that you're'), V3, C4, Coda (168)
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mostly syllabic, based on motifs transformed throughout, high vocal range (eg:V3)
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MELODY - intervals
starts conjunct; 'and leap' - perfect 5th; 'un-limited' - octave leap (used in 'S.O.T.Rainbow' but syncopated here)
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duet: Elphaba = mezzo soprano, Glinda = soprano; large orchestra (incl. piccolo, cor anglais, bass clarinet, tubular bells, timpani and harp)
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INSTRUMENTS - techniques
b.34 tremolo strings, b.122 cymbal roll to key of F, b.135 full band, b.147 tubular bells (ethereal, 'to those')
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tonic is Dmajor, some sudden but related keys like B-F in b.22 ('you can still'), intro = ambiguous, bitonal in bridge (G&C), coda is in Bm until the finish on D majot chord
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root, 1st inversion and sus chords; some dissonance; circle of 5ths D-G-C (b.69 'till I try'); warmer intervals of a 3rd in Revised Intro
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HARMONY - cadences
perfect b.62-63 ('grandeur' - confidence); imperfect A-B ('time to try'), interrupted V-VI (in coda 'bring me down')
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Who is Stephen Schwartz?


an American music theatre composer, who won a Grammy for 'Wicked'

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What is song about in the play 'Wicked'?


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