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AS and A Level: Music

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 10
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Beatles

    4 star(s)

    Together with Paul, John began to evolve the band. As the years began to pass, the band was obviously beginning to grow musically. They had moved from simple lyrics like "Love me Do" to harshly aware reflections of life in their home country in "Eleanor Rigby"2. There were attempts, some more successful than others, to incorporate the other Beatles into the idea stage. George Harrison made this leap successfully with such tracks as "I want to tell you", "TAXMAN", and the psychedelic "Love you to".

    • Word count: 1314
  2. Marked by a teacher

    This essay describes how I have worked towards and performed four pieces of practical work using all three art forms. (Drama, dance, music, and a final piece that is a mixture of all three arts

    4 star(s)

    Now we split ourselves in to groups and began to experiment using improvisation for the final performance.2 In dance we sat as a group and planned out linking moves that used all of our five rules, and then put them together by improvising links. In drama we used improvisation to create scenes and improvised the scenes endings, and the drama in them. We also improvised characters for these parts, and once we found something that we liked we would enhance it through rehearsal and write a script.

    • Word count: 1306
  3. Free essay

    Critical commentary on the fourth movement of Mahlers 4th symphony

    From this, we find very basic qualities amongst more profound texts. The movement begins in G major. The introduction brings forward a musical idea which the Clarinet holds using crisp acciaccaturas. This is only accompanied by muted inner strings, first horn and the harp creating a sparse texture and thus accentuating the clarinets acciaccaturas. This idea is then repeated as an interlude and also forms the accompaniment to the solo part as a countermelody. Mahler's use of instrumentation is very interesting in that he is constantly changing the combinations. A triangle is introduced followed by violins and woodwind, creating a more dense texture in bar 5.

    • Word count: 1172
  4. The ultimate question is where will music be in the future? As todays society is vastly growing with new advances in technology its hard to depict where music is headed in the future.

    Therefore technology is creating new expressions for music that will continue to expand in the future by the exploration and strive for creating new genres of music, therefore as long as people are interested in the expansion of music it will continue to grow in the future. A positive feature of technology is that it has built a new foundation for a way to express music universally and making music available for everyone to use and share ideas globally. Compared to the 1980's where making a record consisted of going into a 24 track studio and spending around $20 000, and even then you weren't really guaranteed acknowledgement.

    • Word count: 1256
  5. Trumpeter and Composer Miles Davis (1926-91) was a hugely influential figure in the development of jazz. He established several new trends that became distinct styles in their own right, including modal jazz, jazz-rock fusion and cool jazz.

    However, Davis was not naturally suited to the rigorous trumpet playing of the Bebop era as he preferred solos in the middle range of the trumpet with soft, legato articulation. This experience nevertheless gave Davis insight into the key harmonic and chordal innovations that would be the cornerstones of his new music and he advanced these various techniques with a more freewheeling, intricate and often arcane approach. Having come closer to the realisation of his new style he met an arranger called Gil Evans towards the end of the 1940's.

    • Word count: 1313
  6. Bop/Bebop Jazz Music Essay. In comparison to previous styles of jazz, bebop music can be distinguished by the fast tempo, virtuosic nature of the solo parts and the greater use of improvisation.

    Minimal arrangement, allowing for improvisation and solo sections was a key element to bebop music. Disjunct melodies, uneven phrasing and writing thematic material which is much more angular than tuneful were just some of the ways that the melody has changed and made bebop music such a distinctive type of jazz. Chord progressions for bebop tunes were often taken directly from popular swing-era songs and reused with a new and more complex melody, to write new pieces of music. This practice was already well-established in earlier jazz, but came to be central to the bebop style.

    • Word count: 1029
  7. Free essay

    Vaughan Williams scoring and innovative use of orchestral texture are the hallmarks of his musical language. Discuss this view referring to the 3rd movement of the 5th Symphony.

    Halfway through A, all the strings, excluding violins, play a chordal pattern. On top of this are dotted minims played by both the clarinets and horns. This mixture, which is not often used in orchestral pieces, creates a very relaxing sound which sit comfortably on top of the strings. Following this the rising 4ths returns in the 1st flute, which is imitated by the oboe with rhythmic diminution. At A1 the key changes to the dominant. This is shown through the use of a dominant repeat of the opening chords followed by the same cor anglais solo in the dominant, though this time played on the upper strings.

    • Word count: 1045
  8. Comment on the differences between the exposition and the recapitulation in Mozart's 41st Symphony

    At the very start of the recapitulation, there is no change to the way it is scored thus ensuring the overall texture is identical to what we have heard at the beginning. This imitation continues up to b.212 where the first difference is noticed. From the G that we finished on in 211, we now move into the tonic minor. From b.212 - 215, it is also worthwhile noting that there is an absence of brass, timpani and lower strings.

    • Word count: 1161
  9. Write a critical commentary on Mendelssohn's Quartet in Eb Major, Op. 12

    This further supports the idea that even though Mendelssohn was living in a time where romantic composition was prominent, he stuck to his own style of composing. Mendelssohn composed his Eb major String Quartet in 1829. Begun in Berlin, it was finished later that year (September 14th) during a visit to London. It is said the quartet was dedicated to a friend of his younger sister Rebecka, named Betty Pistor. Betty was the daughter of a Berlin astronomer, whose singing may have also been the inspiration behind the earlier A minor string quartet Op.

    • Word count: 1719
  10. Choose two arias you have studied and write a comparison between the two (AQA AS Level MUSIC)

    The dance-like aria from "Ich Elender Mensch" is scored for similar instruments (oboes, bassoon, trumpets, timpani, strings, and basso continuo) however with the solo voice this time being a tenor. Perhaps the most noticeable difference is the change of tonality. This aria is set within a minor key, which thoroughly emphasises what it is trying impel upon the listener - a sense of sorrow and mourning. This is reflected in the lyrics, where the tenor is asking for forgiveness. The piece is marked as lento.

    • Word count: 1094
  11. Critical commentary on the exposition of Mozart's 41st Symphony.

    As it is only strings playing sound produced has much less variation and is quite simple. B.5 sees the addition of the woodwind instruments again, which is the repetition of the first motif but in the dominant. This again is forte and the addition of the woodwind family incites cohesion and an enrichment of timbre. In b.7 the same thing happens again with the lack of woodwind providing a thinner texture. The next section is the second part of the first subject, which is forte and again calls for the woodwind family to play.

    • Word count: 1169
  12. Fucntionalists theory on education

    An example of social solidarity within a school would be, students working together in groups, going on trips as a whole year group. Examples outside of school can be, out may feel a sense of solidarity with their own race, gender, culture, etc. Without social solidarity, everyone would become selfish and society would break down. Social solidarity is seen everywhere in our society. People work together to build up confidence and increase work pace. This is why social solidarity is use frequently in schools so the young are prepared for work force in the future.

    • Word count: 1217
  13. Marxist thoery on culture

    Social class refers to the amount of economic power, i.e. wealth. He saw capitalist societies as characterized by class inequality and conflict. He stated that there are two groups, one group called the Bourgeoisie (known as the ruling class - owned and control means of production) and the other group are the Proletariats (known as the working class - labour used in order to make an even greater wealth). The ruling class transmit their ideas via the superstructure, i.e. media, to ensure the status quo is maintained.

    • Word count: 1345
  14. Babies and Music

    In this experiment, fetuses were exposed to 70 hours of classical music during the last week of pregnancy. When studied at six months, theses babies were more advanced in terms of motor, linguistics and intellectual development than babies who received no musical stimulus during pregnancy (Robledo). The fetus Can hear at approximately six months of development and receives sound information from the outer regions of the mother through its own auditory system. With support from touch, taste and smell, hearing plays a prominent role in connecting the outside world while we are in the womb (Federico)

    • Word count: 1535
  15. Music therapy and my personal response

    Music Therapy happened to be such a central part of medical treatment during the Second World War, in modern times, when doctors and nurses in United States (Ibid.). They have noticed that the use of music was very effective in a way of helping to heal the soldiers (Ibid.). Although the use of music was known as a helpful method in curing patients, it needed more official approach and guidance and it came into being as Music Therapy (Ibid.). Diverse approaches of Music Therapy Five international models of Music Therapy were spotlighted at the 9th World Congress of Music Therapy in Washington in November 1999: Behavioral Music Therapy, Analytical Music Therapy, Benenzon Music Therapy, Guided Imagery and Music (G.I.M.)

    • Word count: 1786
  16. Mozart Symphony No. 41 in C, K551 "Jupiter" Analysis of Exposition

    This is then followed by a repetition of the antecedent and consequent but in the dominant key of G. Motif B starts at bar 9, and takes the form of a fanfare, and the brass helps to punctuate it by playing the same rhythm and in octaves. From bar 15 the harmonic rhythm doubles, with the bar starting in the tonic, then moving to the dominant on the third beat, helping to drive the piece forwards towards a climax. This forms part of the cadential passage leading to the climax at bar 23. In bars 19 and 20, the piece has syncopation with the woodwind instruments playing on the offbeat.

    • Word count: 1286
  17. How the Flute has developed throughout time up to the point of Boehm and his 1847 flute, due to technical advancements and different playing requirements

    During the Renaissance period itself, the flutes had a limited number of uses; it was widely used in military bands and small consorts. However rarely used in larger groups. This was perhaps due to the limited dynamic which one could achieve out of such an instrument, however to counter that, most of the Renaissance flutes had a range which was good by standards of the day. Renaissance Flutes were made in a number of different sizes as shown in the diagram below.

    • Word count: 1766
  18. Music Technology Sequencing Coursework Log

    3. (a) I controlled the dynamics of the piece using a variety of techniques: primarily by using velocity to define the impact of individual notes, and changing the volume of each track according to the dynamics of the instrument and section of the piece. The velocity was used to distinguish between notes on stressed beats of the bar and unstressed notes, and to emphasise accented notes. Changing the main volume was particularly useful for the crescendos and the longer notes on which I put on the series of dynamics: accent -> piano -> crescendo, as is often found in this genre of music.

    • Word count: 1896
  19. Frank Kimbraugh's Album "Air"

    Frank became the church organist by the age of twelve and organized his own bands before reaching high school. After discovering his love for jazz, he left high school and found work in Chapel Hill, NC just before moving to New York City in 1985. This move signified his transition away from classical piano music into a world of freestyle and jazz. In New York, Kimbrough found his enthusiasm for music by Herbie Nichols, also a solo jazz pianist. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) gave him funding for his performances, which lead to the release of the highly acclaimed recordings of "The Herbie Nichols Project" (Palmetto).

    • Word count: 1051
  20. An analysis of Sweelinck's 'Pavana Lachrimae'

    The title, when translated, references the structure of the Dowland piece (written as a Pavane) and also the content of the original as Lachrimae translates to 'tears' which combines to make the 'dance of tears'. Conversely, it may also have referenced J.Dowland personally, as he was known to sign his name 'Jo. Dolandi de Lachrimae'. In a performance context, 'Pavana Lachrimae' was probably intended for small private performances, although there is some speculation as to whether Sweelinck wrote it as a study for his students.

    • Word count: 1568
  21. Word Painting in the Song Cycle Winterreise by Schubert

    This indicates that perhaps he has resigned himself to the journey that he must make, and that he does so without pain. The minor key, however, that returns in the singer's final bars, however, signals to the listener the true anguish that he feels in leaving his love. The actual music of the accompaniment provides yet more information to the listener about the emotions of the singer. The repetitive, unceasing quavers in the left hand reflect the ongoing, unceasing journey that he must make.

    • Word count: 1114
  22. can music contribute to anything of worth?

    A slower tempo beat promotes a calm and meditative state in the body. Music changes the brainwave activity levels and enables the brain to shift speeds on its own as needed, even after the person stopped listening to it. Research has also shown that music with strong beat can stimulate brainwaves to vibrate in sync with the beat. With faster beats bringing sharper concentration and more alert thinking. It has also been one of the most effective treatment as well as prevention for depression and anxiety causing no side-effects to the body.

    • Word count: 1269
  23. Compare and contrast approaches to Tonality in New York Counterpoint, String Quartet number 8 by Shostakovich and Quartet by Webern.

    then, the three semi quavers contain all the notes of chord IV (EGB) and the A and F just after beat four are from chord V. In the second bar, this trend continues; just after beat 1 notes from chord five are used (F and C in clarinet 7 and C and A in clarinet 8 and so on. Here, it is important to note that the notes from each chord only sound with notes from the same chord, no overlapping of notes is heard. This is a contrast to what happens later in the piece.

    • Word count: 1327
  24. Free essay

    Changes and Developments In Te Use Of Tonality In Musicals From Showboat to Sondheim

    It was used as a means of subtle implication and to give strength to the plot and the characterisation. In this play, Kern decided to represent the boat itself, 'Cotton Blossom', and also the Mississippi River upon which the boat travels, musically and in the form of the perfect fourth interval, which is used in many songs in the musical. In "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", the following theme is immediately introduced to the lyrics 'Fish got to swim and birds got to fly': This perfect fourth uses notes from the tonic chord of the major key.

    • Word count: 1612
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If you love music and play it to a good standard then A level Music could well be the best decision you make. In some courses the majority of the final marks are assessed by performance and composition. As well as practical assessments there are written examinations to contend with so whilst you'll develop your instrumental and compositional skills you'll also significantly broaden your musical knowledge.

A level Music requires definite skills and Marked by Teachers has a huge selection of high-quality essay answers to help you gain an understanding of what examiners are looking for.

It is expected that you'll able to read music by the time you begin the course and a Grade 5 in your chosen instrument is generally required too. Those who study Music at this level can continue to degree level, but if you choose not to it is still highly beneficial; university admissions tutors know that this is a challenging course which develops significant creative and evaluative strengths.

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Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Discuss the extent to which Gabrieli's "In ecclesiis" can be understood as an example of the new Baroque style.

    "In conclusion the piece does have many late Renaissance features such as an antiphonal texture in parts, however there are many more prominent features indicating that it is strongly rooted in the new Baroque style. Therefore Gabrieli can be seen as one of the founders of the new Baroque style, leading to the Baroque era, which blossomed less then a century after this work was published."

  • Discuss the six headings for Ghost Dancers.

    "I have come to the conclusion that every little detail is essential to make Ghost Dances effective, but although the lighting effects and sound visualisation do count, the quality of the dance is the most important aspect. I feel that all of the lighting and musical accompaniment contribute excellently to this piece."

  • Compare and contrast ‘Ghost Dances’ and ‘Rooster’ by Christopher Bruce.

    "Despite the fact that 'Ghost Dances' depicts a moving narrative, I personally prefer 'Rooster.' This is because, like Bruce, I happen to love the pulsating rhythm of 60's music and more particularly, that of the 'Rolling Stones'. I think that 'Rooster' has a greater variety of expression and I find it a far more entertaining theatrical piece of dance. I believe it evokes a feeling of well being in the viewer which I personally think to be an essential aspect and ingredient for a successful dance."

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