Music For A While (Henry Purcell) Flashcards Preview

Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Music > Music For A While (Henry Purcell) > Flashcards

Flashcards in Music For A While (Henry Purcell) Deck (17)
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1

Context

In play Oedipus
Scene where priests try to raise ghost of King Laius
Scene where try to calm Fury Alecto

3

Structure

Ternary (ABA)
Popular structure in Baroque period
Da Capo Aria Ternary (used in operas) - repeated section has improvisation

4

Instrumentation

Voice - counter tenor male/ female soprano - range of 9th (E to F)
RH harpsichord - figured bass - improvises given chords
LH harpsichord - ground bass
Bass viol - grounds bass

5

Ground bass

Repeating 3 bar theme of quavers - typical in baroque to use same length notes
Arpeggio shapes + semitone intervals for chromaticism
Ascending sequence - rising ghost of King Laius
Used to prepare for changes in key - modulation

6

Ornamentation

Typical feature of baroque
Inverted mordent (note below) - bar 1
Grace notes (quick note before) - RH harpsichord
Trill - voice - bar 13
Appoggiatura (quick note before with rhythmic purpose) - bar 27
Spread chord - harpsichord - can’t sustain notes so for duration

7

Melody

Generally conjunct - some leaps of 4ths and 5ths
Rests to break up phrases
Some descending sequences - bar 13
Generally syllabic

Uses passing notes - to connect notes of chord - typical Baroque
Bar 5 ‘for a’ - passing notes (E and C) connect B diminished chord notes (F and D)

8

Wordpainting

Certain words/phrases repeated - ‘music’/‘drop’/‘shall all’ - reinforces meaning since important
Phrases generally descending - reflects sadness - emphasises mood of play
Phrase in bar 16 - ascending reflects people rising from dead + G major reflects happiness of return to life

9

Bar 10 - ‘wond’ring’
Bar 20/21 - ‘eternal’

‘Wond’ring’ - melismatic - reflects transcendent dreams
‘Eternal’ - melisma - lasts long time so reflects eternity which lasts forever

10

Bar 12 - ‘pains’

Dissonance - E in vocal line clashes with D, F, A in RH harpsichord - not in chord
Sharp sound that reflects pain

11

Bar 13 -‘eas’d’

Tension + resolving
D in vocal line clashes with E major chord in RH
C in vocal line clashes with D diminished chord in RH
C in vocal line still clashes with D major chord in RH
finally B in vocal line resolves with G major chord in RH
tension again as B in vocal line clashes with C chord in RH
resolved by A in vocal line with A minor chord in RH.

12

Bar 23 - ‘drop’

Syllabic - like individual items dropping
Descending - represents falling
On off beat between rests - random dropping

13

Tonality

Starts in A minor - reflects dark and sad
Modulations in section B:
Bar 15 - ‘be_pleas’d’ - chord B (G B Dsharp) to E minor (E G B) - perfect cadence in E minor
Bar 16 - ‘Alecto free’ - chord D (D Fsharp A) to G (G B D) - perfect cadence in G major
Bar 21/22 - ‘eternal bands’ - chord G (G B D) to C (C E G) - perfect cadence in C major
Bar 23 - ‘snakes’ - chord E (E Gsharp B) to A (A C sharp E) - perfect cadence in A major
Bar 27 - ‘whip’ - chord B (B Dsharp Fsharp) to E minor (E G B) - perfect cadence in E minor
Bar 28/29 - ‘Music’ - chord E (E Gsharp B) to A minor (A C E) - perfect cadence in A minor

14

Harmony

Ambiguity - semitones + accidentals - chromatic patterns in ground bass
Bar 1 harpsichord - F sharp and F natural - false relation - opposite accidentals - ambiguity
Bar 3 harpsichord - suspension - chord of A is played then a chord of E but the A note gets stuck and comes after as a G sharp to resolve - typical in baroque

15

Diatonic harmony

Is always in a key - uses perfect cadences to assert keys - functional chords (numbered):
perfect cadence in E minor (B —> Em) in bar 15,
perfect cadence in G major (D —> G) in bar 16,
perfect cadence in C major (G —> C) in bar 21/22,
perfect cadence in A major (E —> A) in bar 23,
perfect cadence in E minor (B —> Em) 8n bar 27,
and perfect cadence in A minor (E —> Am) in bar 28/29.

16

Cadential 6/4

At end of every ground bass phrase - prepares for perfect cadence at start of phrase after
Chord 1 with last inversion (Ic) to chord 5 (V)
From melody notes 6 and 4 notes higher than in bass
To melody notes 5 and 3 notes higher than in bass

17

Rhythm, metre, and tempo

Quadruple t8me (4/)
No tempo - played slow - reflects somber mood - typical of ground bass
Quavers + semiquavers in figured bass - typical baroque
Ground bass steady quavers - typical ground bass to have steady rhythm
Some dotted rhythms - contrasts common shorter length notes
Syncopation (bar 20/24) - rhythmic contrast

18

Texture

MDH - main melody (singer) + accompaniment (harpsichord and bass viol)
Audience can focus on lyrics - story narrative
Points of counterpoint - polyphonic