GCSE Edexcel Music 9-1 - AoS3 Star Wars

Questions on John Williams' Star Wars IV 'Main Theme/Rebel Blockade Runner Theme', from AoS 3 GCSE Edexcel Music 2018. (including background, dynamics, rhythm, texture, structure, melody, instruments, tonality and harmony.)

  • Created by: Spikettee
  • Created on: 02-06-18 12:09
Who composed 'Main Title/RBR', what for for and when?
John Williams wrote it for Star Wars Episode IV (A New Hope), released in 1977
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What is Williams famous for?
film music for...Jaws, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park; often composing for Speilberg films
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What happens in the film during this piece?
scrolling text sets the scene, followed by 2 spaceships in pursuit
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DYNAMICS
loud fanfare and melody A, mf in melody B, frequent accents and cresc.&dim., fade at end
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TEMPO
brisk tempo, ritardando b.47-50 (before codetta), fast in last 10 bars
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METRE
4/4, change to 3/4 (b.44 in march)
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RHYTHM
triplets, syncopated accompaniment, Melody B begins with anacrusis
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TEXTURE
mainly MDH with imitation (eg in fanfare for polyphony), homophonic 44-50, pedal ostinato on C (end), light in RBR theme, often doubled in octaves
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STRUCTURE - Main Title
intro fanfare(1-3), Main Title is ternary (A, B, A'), LINK, TRANS: unstable harmonies, rapid string arpeggios
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STRUCTURE - Rebel Blockade Runner
RBR piccolo theme, LINK (fast violins), MARCH (42-50), CODETTA (51-60)
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MELODY - Main Theme A
trumpets, leitmotif, strong perfect5th but uses minor7ths and perfect4ths, rhythm(triplets, accents, syncopated), inverted tonic pedal
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MELODY - Main Theme B
strings, chromatic, dotted, quartal harmony perfecte 4ths, scalic&leaps, dominant pedal
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MELODY - RBR Theme, Link, March
RBR = piccolo idea, thin texture. LINK = scurrying upward figures. MARCH = C pedal in ff bass&gong, ominous timpani rhythm
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INSTRUMENTS
full symphony orchestra, no electric effects, mainly strings, typically Hollwood style. Herbert Spencer orchestrated it
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INSTRUMENTS - techniques
tutti (full band) at A', tremolo strings b.1-6, harp glissando b.29 (after A')
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TONALITY
Main Title: Bb major (bright+optimistic). RBR = almost atonal. End of A' onwards= unstable, less clear. Last 10 bars = bitonality on Db and C
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TONALITY - pedal notes
inverted tonic pedal b.1-6, dominant F pedal Melody B
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HARMONY - chords
unrelated (before RBR), augmented 5ths (b.32 - rapid violins), cluster chords (from b.44)
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HARMONY - modulations
after A' (b.30) it is unstable from Bbm-Cm, not the tonic. RBR uses C chord inflected with Cm notes (Ab, Bb) - a rich vibrant effect
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HARMONY - techniques
quartal harmony in fanfare, parallel triads (last 4 bars) in Db and Fb over a C pedl note, dissonant end
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is Williams famous for?

Back

film music for...Jaws, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park; often composing for Speilberg films

Card 3

Front

What happens in the film during this piece?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

DYNAMICS

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

TEMPO

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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