GCSE set works at a glance


Set Works at a Glance

Area of Study 1

‘And the Glory of the Lord’ 1 st mvt. From Symphony No.40 in Gm ‘Raindrop’ prelude


Choir (SATB); range is wide, melody is made out of


Didn’t follow structure of Classical orchestra; melody made up of

steps+leaps; wide range in instruments

Rhythm LH melody –straight and even, RH melody‐uneven


No dynamics for voice part (assuming forte all the way);

ranging from forte to piano for trumpets (basso


Wide range of dynamics. Lots of crescendos and decrescendos.

Fluctuating dynamics portray strong emotions.

Very exaggerated; ranging from pianissimo to




No clashes or distorted chords, chords are always major

and forte; imitation, doubling of parts and 2 ideas

together give it a triumphant feeling.

Allegro, which brings forth a forward motion which

indicates the era.

Quite smooth due to use of diatonic notes. Lots of uses of perfect

cadences. Uses countermelodies in development section.

Molto Allegro (very fast). Lack of introduction gives a sense of urgency.

Clashes can be heard in the B section, when the

storm is at its strongest.

Timbre Bright and jovial (brought by the major keys) Helps the harmony, though not as important as melody. Mellow and constant, no switching of instrument

constant G#/A‐flats throughout the whole piece

which represent raindrops.

Texture Extensive use of imitation; contains all the textures. Mostly homophonic; melody is always clearly heard. Homophonic, but the melody switches from the

right to left hand.

Structure 4 main ideas Sonata form (exposition, development, recapitualation); no

introduction, which gives a sense of urgency.

Ternary form (ABA), which depicts a storm

gradually forming and then dissipating.

Keys (+modulation) A, E, A, B, A (no minor keys to show prevailing mood) Gm, B‐flat, Gm, Em, Am, Dm, Gm, C, F, B‐flat, Dm, Gm, E‐flat, Fm, E‐

flat, Gm, E‐flat, Gm (development has a lot of modulation); Gm

provides melancholy mood

Melodic features

At the end, when the last phrase is sung (“hath spoken

it”), the four voices sing together and it dramatically slows

down, so that makes it effective. Has 4 main ideas.


D‐flat major, C# minor, D‐flat major (although in

the same key signature; but the minor key gives a

sinister mood)

Falling motif creates an image of someone sighing.

Keyboard techniques: ‘cantabile legato’ playing,

Uses descending sequences to change between instruments. Clarinets alt tempo rubato, use of pedals

the sound because

they were newly invented. Melody alternates

between string instruments.

Instruments 4 voices (SATB), trumpets (basso continuo) 1 flute,2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns (B‐flat and G, to obtain

notes G‐Bflat‐D and Bflat‐D‐F); no trumpets or percussion AT ALL, very

different to classical orchestra.

Why this piece of music

is in the exam:

Melodic devices (sequence, imitation)

Harmonic devices (pedal)

Rhythmic devices (hemiola)


Word Painting

Sonata form

Melodic development

Melodic devices (sequence, imitation)




Expressive use of dynamics

Piano playing techniques









Keys (+modulation)

Melodic features


Area of Study 2

‘Peripetie’ ‘Something’s Coming’ 3 rd mvt. (fast) From Electric Counterpoint

Full pitch range of all the instruments (prominent

e of atonal music); klangfarbenmelodie~tone‐colour


Uneven; sounds distorted to the listener; dotted

Extreme dynamics (changes very quickly which gives a

feeling of chaos and restlessness.

Has hexachords (A, Bflat, C, C#, E, F) and compliments (B,

D, Eflat, F#, G, G#) which is a key feature in this era. Has

recognizable chords and harmonies but combined in

original ways.

Sehr rasch (very quickly) which creates a rushed and

chaotic feeling

Extensive use of the instruments’ timbre to give the piece

it’s chaotic character (messy; distorted)

Completely polyphonic; difficult to distinguish main

melody from accompaniment.

Rondo form (ABACA), but the A sections are so developed

that they hardly become recognizable (not like classical

era’s rondo)

Atonal (use of serialism helps the atonality because all the

12 notes have to be used)

Piece is quite short because if it was longer, some sort of

key would’ve to be used.

1 piccolo, 3 flutes, 3 oboes, 1 cor anglais in F, 1 clarinet in

D, 3 clarinets in Bflat, 1 bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, 1

contrabassoon, 6 horns, 3 trumpets, 4 trombones, 1 tuba,

1 xylophone, 1 cymbals, 1 tam tam, 1 bass drum, violin1,

violin2, viola, cello, double bass.

Demands the singer to hit a very high G, which creates the

feeling of excitement.

Varying dynamics (ppp‐f) create sense of expectancy and

tension, as well as excitement for the future.

F#s used in the harmony during C major section. Jazz based

harmony in which conventional chords have added ‘blue’

notes and other dissonances.

Fast (crotchet=176)

The timbre of the singer’s voice is used to create feelings of

tension and excitement; warm, jumpy.

Homophonic; voice carries the melody

Intro, A, B, B1, A1, Outro

D, C, G, D, C, G (fact that there is no minor key brings forth

anticipation and excitement; happy mood)

Syncopated rhythms permeating the music, including the

‘push’ rhythm anticipating the beat (creates expectancy and

tension). Motif of the interval of the tritone that’s used

throughout every movement. Extensive use of short riffs.

Cross‐rhythms. Layered textures of independent parts.

Combination of short phrases (brings feel of excitement

because he can’t control his excitement) and long sustained


5 woodwind players, 2 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 7

violins, 4 cellos, 2 double basses. Piano, guitar, drum kit, 2


Fluctuates on a small scale because motif keeps getting repeated.


Has a resultant melody (a new melody produced when a variety

of parts each play their melodies at the same time, so

different/certain notes stand out) which the live guitar plays, to

reinforce it.

Crotchet=192, but time signature alternates between 3/2 and


Polyphonic (each guitar part has equal importance because they

all contribute to the resultant melody). Build‐up of texture helps

to define the structure of the piece, and thins out towards the

end. The texture seems to always be shifting to the listener

because of panning and interweaving rhythms.

Em, Cm, Em, Cm, Em (both keys have no relation, so they

‘counter’ each other). Tonal ambiguity in the beginning, until the

bass guitars come in, playing the tonic note of E

There isn’t actually any phasing (2 identical parts that go out of

sync with each other, but eventually come back into sync after a

no. of repetitions) because there are little gaps (quaver rests) so

that there’s rhythmic counterpoint and the guitars stay like that

throughout the piece.

1 live guitar, 7 electric guitars, 2 bass guitars (during

performance, the only instrument present will be the live guitar;

all the other guitar parts were pre‐recorded by the musician

him/herself in a studio)

Studio Effects ‐‐ ‐‐ Stereo panning (when there’s a left and a right channel, like bass

guitars on either side of the stage). Tape loops (pre‐recorded

loops which can be repeated seamlessly by electronics)

Why this piece of music

is in the exam:

Tonality – hexachords

Melody – klangfarbenmelodie

Haupstimme (H) – principal voice

Hebenstimme (N) – secondary voice

Melodic development – fragments

Expressionism & 2 nd Viennese School

Influences of two styles – Cuban and jazz

Word painting

Jazz Harmonies

Studio effects

Compositional process (resultant melody & overdub)

Minimalist features

Area of Study 3

‘All Blues’ ‘Grace’ ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad’



Piano for the head; soloists are free to input their own

their solos. When the drums drop out towards the end,

e decreases.

Harmony Uses the chord progressions (G7, G7, G7, G7, C7, C7, G7,

G7, D7, Eflat7/D7, G7, G7) for the improvised solos

Tempo Jazz waltz (swing quavers)


Davis uses a Harmon mute to give the trumpet a vulnerable

sound. During his solo, he removes it and this gives the

trumpet a confident sound.



When the piano trill (from beginning) drops out as the

piano switches to riff #2, this thins the texture out and the

change is very prominent. Drum player hits the ride cymbal

differently, therefore varying the texture.

Intro, head, trumpet solo, alto sax solo, tenor sax solo,

piano solo, head, coda.

Vocals‐as high as top G of soprano (vocal virtuosity)

Uses the trick of keeping one or more open strings on the guitar as a

drone, gibing harmonic richness to sound. Bottom string tuned

down to D to give a deeper+darker sound. Power chord used with

Em. Uses vocal counterpoint to contribute to intensity.

Voice‐[middle8] vocal line improvises melody with telephone EQ

added (creates distant sound), [v3] Uses higher range of voice to

produce forceful quality. [voice used to create intensity]

Guitar‐[intro] uses guitar whispers. [outro] plays with flanger effect

which adds to intensity.

Overall homophonic. Intro‐tonal ambiguity; only guitar whispers can

be heard (thin texture). Then full band plays a rhythm which gives

forward momentum. Chorus‐ drums stop using toms so extensively.

Outro‐ ends monophonic. Ending has full texture.

Inter, v1, pre‐chorus, chorus, link, v2, pre‐chorus, chorus, middle 8,

link, v3, outro.

[v1 in piano]sus2 chord: a triad with maj/min 3 rd placed by

2 nd degree of the scale. Sus4 chord: a triad with maj/min 3 rd

replaced by 4 th degree of the scale. Only 6 chords used

throughout the piece.

Added effects change the timbre of the instruments to

infuse different emotions in the listener.


Unedited vocal samples contribute to the texture because

background noise acts as another instrument. Texture

developed around the 3 chord sequences.

Based around 3 chord sequences arranged in 8‐bar blocks:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Am Am Em Em Gm Gm D D

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

C C Am Am C C Am Am

Keys (+modulation)

Melodic features


G and C mixolydian modes, diminished scale over altered


During Davis’ solo, Cobb (drums) syncopates the rhythm on

the snare drum, which creates anticipation and rhythmic


Trumpet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Piano, Drums,

Bass guitar.

Em, D, Em

Strings added for sound effects, rather than harmony. In middle 8,

hummed harmonies follow chord pattern; contrasts harsh sounds.

Ends with unaccompanied phrase, highlighting influence of qawwali


Drums, Bass guitar, 2 electric guitars (drone [a repeated or sustained

note which is played across chord changes creating a dissonance],

power chords [a chord consisting of the root note and the perfect

5 th ], slide [playing technique performed by sliding the finger from 1

note to another]), vocals

Studio Effects ‐‐ Added strings to raise the tension by adding to the texture (middle

8). Overdubs, Flanger used in outro, Delay, EQ , Reverb

Why this piece of


is in the exam:

Playing techniques

Jazz Harmonies

Chord sequence

Electronic effects


Guitar techniques

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


Am, C, Am, C, Am

Extensive use of vocal samples. Hint of A‐dorian mode due

to D chord in verse, but to the listener it’s simply Am. Has 2

main ideas. 1 st idea=major, 2 nd idea=minor

All electronic equipment

Telephone EQ in v2: makes samples sound much thinner.

Delay in break: can hear dying repeats of vocal echo and

snare. Reverb in break: effect applied to all other

instruments except voice+drums. Delay+reverb in 2 nd

chorus: makes sample 2 [these open doors] sound distant

and blending with strings.

Chord sequence

Electronic effects



Area of Study 4

“Skye Waulking Song ‘Rag Desh’ ‘Yiri’

Dynamics Piano, then forte, then fade out. Used to focus listener’s

attention on certain words (eg. v3: unaccompanied vocals)

and used to change the mood (eg. v7: all instruments drop

out, adding contrast to the drums’ build up to the last verse)

Harmony Harmony is less important than melody and rhythm. Only 4

chords in the whole song, but chord changes are very

noticeable because they introduce new sections and moods.


Created by tambura playing the drone notes (usually tonic and

dominant) and the sitar augments the harmony with the

improvised melody. But generally, no sense of harmony because

emphasis is placed on the melody (therefore a linear concept).

Tempo Changes according to the different sections (slow/meditative;

regular pulse established; fast pace with exciting rhythms;

moderate to fast pace)








Fiddle plays tremolos which create trembling effect


Melody‐dominated homophony, with a bit of heterophony

as well (instrumental part). Monophonic last line of verse 3

when vocals are unaccompanied.

Intro (cluster chord), v1, break, v2 (fiddle becomes more

prominent), v3, v4, v5 (accordion plays countermelody to

voice), v6, instrumental (uillean pipes’ solo and

heterophonic texture), v7, v8, outro (instruments counter

each other as vocals improvise on vocables)

Key of G. Melody based on Em pentatonic scale.

Chord sequences:

Em~G, C~G~Em~G, Am7~Em~Em~G, C~G (alternating)

Melody is simple and repetitive; sung in Gaelic. Has vocables

(nonsense syllables) and traditions of waulking songs are

portrayed by them. Background vocals emphasize vocables.

Sitar has sympathetic strings that are below the main 7 strings

and therefore vibrate when the 7 strings are plucked; creates a

‘twangy’ sound. Tabla has 2 drums which are made out of wood

(smaller one) and metal (larger one). Sarangi has a gentler tone

than sitar so is used to accompany singers/instrumentalists.

Sarod has a lower range and heavier tone than sitar.

Alap, Jhor, Jhalla, Gat/Bandish

(it’s called a Bandish if there’s a singer)

Non‐tonal; raga based on a rag (a ‘scale’ which varies in number

of notes)

No melody; lead instrument (sitar) improvises on notes of the


Emphasis placed on the melody rather than harmony.

Pretty much forte all the time

Strong sense of major tonality because opening notes of melody are

dominant (Dflat) to tonic (Gflat). Choir parts sung in unison; no

harmony. At b.45, variation in 2 nd balaphone part.


Monophonic (0.00~0.18min): only high balaphone improvising a solo

(Gflat major) with fast high+low rolls on every note (to give the

illusion that the notes are sustained).

Heterophonic (0.18~0.34min): 2 nd balaphone joins the 1 st , and it plays

the same melody with a few different pitches (b.11‐12)

Pattern of voices followed by instrumental breaks; call and response


2.10~2.45: solo voice enters with a call and choir responds in b.63.

Bar’s rest at b.95 makes it obvious that a new section’s coming and

anticipates it.

Drums’ rests at b.156 builds anticipation for the ending up.

4.45~5.20: balaphone break, quite virtuosic with rapid octave leaps

and semiquaver/demisemiquaver patterns.

G‐flat major

When choir enters for the 1 st time, melody sounds pentatonic

because it misses the F note.

Drum ostinato persists throughout the piece. Melodies are all based

on original idea.

Instruments Traditional: fiddle, bouzouki, accordion, uillean pipes,

bodhrán (boh‐ran), egg‐shakers, voice

Modern: electric bass, drum kit, synthesizer, Wurlitzer piano

acoustic guitar,

Rhythm Voice punctuates the lilting rhythm, created by the 12/8

Why this piece

of music

is in the exam:

signature (sounds like triplets in 4/4 time).

V5: accordion punctuates 2 nd +5 th beat

Celtic and Western instruments


Sitar, Tabura, Tabla, Sarod, Sarangi, Bansuri Shehnai, Harmonium

A cycle based on a set number of beats (tal) that the tabla plays.

The cycle can also be used to create a musical duel between the

instrumentalist and drummer when they try to outdo each

other’s ideas in the jhalla section of the raga.

Indian instruments


Vocals, 2 balaphones, flute, djembe, tam‐tam, dundun, maracas,

donno, bell

The beat is regular and unvarying.

‐ semiquaver‐quaver‐semiquaver rhythm is a feature of vocal writing.

‐ triplets create a variation on melody.

‐ Has polyrhythm and syncopation; different beats are accented.

African instruments


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