Music - Bernstein 'Something's Coming' - West Side Story

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When was the piece composed?
1957
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What is 'West Side Story' based on?
Romeo and Juliet
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Who sings Somethings's Coming and what is their voice type?
Tony - Tenor
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What was the band made up of?
Woodwind, brass, percussion and strings
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How does the band ensure they don't overpower the soloist?
Quiet dynamics, soft timbres, homophonic texture
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The strings use harmonics and play tremolo. What do these mean?
Harmonics = very high notes / Tremolo = very quick notes
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Describe the melody
Entirely Syllabic
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What are the three main themes the melody is built on?
1) Quiet, syncopated opening theme 2) Loud, strident theme in 2/4 3) Lyrical, slow-moving theme
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How does Bernstein vary the themes?
Changing the words or metre
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What is the metre?
It changes between 3/4 and 2/4
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How is the feeling of excitement and anticipation maintained?
Changing metre, fast tempo and frequent syncopation
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How are cross rhythms created?
On-beat-bass part with off-beat chords
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What is the key?
D major with two contrasting sections in C major
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There is a frequent use of the sharpened fourth and flattened seventh. Which one creates a tritone?
Sharpened fourth
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Tony's last note is a flattened seventh. Why is this unusual?
The note is unresolved, creating a feeling of incompletion
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Tonal or Atonal?
Tonal
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What style of music influenced this piece?
Jazz
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What chords are frequently used?
Frequent 7th chords
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What is the texture?
Homophonic
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What are the three main ideas in the accompaniment?
1) Repeated riff that opens the song 2) Short, syncopated chords 3) Fast um-cha accompaniment
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is 'West Side Story' based on?

Back

Romeo and Juliet

Card 3

Front

Who sings Somethings's Coming and what is their voice type?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What was the band made up of?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How does the band ensure they don't overpower the soloist?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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