Compare and contrast the methods of treating thematic material on the part of Goldsmith in Planet of the Apes and Bernstein in On the Waterfront.

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Introduction

10.01.2004 Compare and contrast the methods of treating thematic material on the part of Goldsmith in Planet of the Apes and Bernstein in On the Waterfront. The main theme in on the Waterfront is far more memorable than the themes in Planet of the Apes, as Planet of the Apes relies more on a rhythmic energy than on melody. However, despite the different style of themes used, similar compositional techniques are employed. On the Waterfront begins with a theme based on the blues scale in the horns. At bar 7, it is treated in fugue by the flutes (in octaves)

Middle

At bar 78 ff has been reached and the entire orchestra plays exactly the same quaver based rhythm and many parts such as the entire woodwind section are exactly the same. All parts are given very similar versions of the theme to show that a climax has been reached. At bar 88, the violins play a similar theme to the alto sax at bar 42. The piece builds to another climax to end on with the stings playing a sustained chord and the rest of the orchestra all playing exactly the same semiquaver rhythm with more doubling of parts. In Planet of the Apes, for a large proportion of the piece, many instruments have exactly the same rhythmically if not melodically and doubling of parts is used such at bar 1 oboes 1 and 3.

Conclusion

The upper woodwind part at bar 23 is intervalically the same as the piano riff from bar 4 so the theme is being rescored. The piano part from bars 45 to 52 is repeating the ostinato from bar 11 but a fourth higher and extended due to not being in 3/4 any more. It is then reused again at bar 59 - 74. At bar 64, the muted trumpets and xylophone reuse the previous violin and xylophone theme from bar 11, this is another change in instrumentation. Both pieces feature similar treatment of themes such as the use of repetition, rescoring and intervalicalic alterations. Both also use repeating driving rhythms and ostinatoes as key features. Peter Marchant Page 1 of 2

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