AO4 - 'WHY?'

A Level Music Context

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AO4 - 'WHY?' by Mind Map: AO4 - 'WHY?'

1. MUSICAL reasons

1.1. HARMONY

1.1.1. Circle of 5ths helps establish tonality

1.1.2. Chromatic chords add contrast and variety to functional harmony.

1.1.3. Passing chromaticism, in Classical music, adds colour to the harmony, often making the harmony 'lighter'.

1.2. TEXTURE

1.2.1. A pedal note helps establish tonality

1.2.2. Polyphony is an elaborate and ornate texture

1.2.3. Changes in texture can create contrast and variety in the structure

1.3. TONALITY

1.3.1. Modulations in Sonata Form help characterise the structure

1.3.2. Modulations can help create contrast, especially in Baroque and Classical

1.3.3. Classical and Baroque music, in diatonic keys, helped focus interest on the melody

1.3.4. Passing chromaticism, in Classical music, adds colour to tonality, often making the music 'lighter'.

1.4. MELODY

1.5. STRUCTURE

1.6. RTM

1.7. SONORITY

2. EXPRESSIVE reasons

2.1. TEXTURE

2.1.1. Homophony can sound grand and powerful

2.1.2. A pedal can create stability, a sense of grandeur...in a minor key, a sense of menace, tension or foreboding...

2.2. HARMONY

2.2.1. Dissonance can create a mood of unease, tension or even fear

2.2.2. Chromatic chords in the Classical period (Neo 6th / Ger 6th) can be dramatic / examples of word painting to expressive

2.3. MELODY

2.3.1. Melodies limited to low registers sound sombre

2.4. TONALITY

2.4.1. Major keys can be bright, joyful, exciting...

2.4.2. Minor keys can be sombre, dark, mournful...

2.4.3. Ambiguity in tonality can create tension, mystery, menace...

2.4.4. Modal music evokes folk music / ethnicity

2.5. STRUCTURE

2.5.1. A quickly changing texture can sound fragmented, create unease, or be exciting...

2.6. RTM

2.6.1. Dotted rhythms can sound playful

2.6.2. Constant (quavers) can sound relentless, create a feeling of chase...

2.7. SONORITY

2.7.1. Prominent trumpets in film music can sound heroic

2.7.2. Low brass can sound menacing

2.7.3. Pizzicato strings can sound delicate, magical, playful...

3. CONTEXTURAL reason

3.1. Reasons relating to the time and place the music was writen in and the intending performance circumstances

3.2. Schumman wrote for small forces (a chamber group - violin, cello piano) due to the convention of performing in smaller venues in the Romantic period, i.e. Chamber Music

3.3. Samples are fundamental to the texture of the Pine songs 1&2 because me saw his role more as a DJ than a composer in this project.

3.4. Portman's music uses forces that remind us of the Classical era, although the melodic, tonal and harmonic language are modal / 20th century

3.5. Mozart wrote this opera in German - a change from the norm - and in a comic style almost unheard of

3.6. Tonal (key) relationships in Baroque (and some extent Classical) music were an important source of contrasts in eras that had less textural and rhythmic contrast than the current day.