Brahms ballad

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  • Brahms Ballad
    • Dynamics and articulation
      • Starts forte and staccato in sub a
      • Sub b shows more piano and slurred articulation and even the use of a sustain pedal
      • Overall B is much quieter and slurred with a cresc through sub a
      • Sub b in overall B is also very quiet but perhaps shows a little more in the way of textural dynamics
      • Overall A' is just like A really
    • Rhythm tempo meter
      • In 4/4 throughout
      • Generally fast rhythms of quavers
      • Use of syncopation is common in the A and A' sections
      • There are many more dotted rhythms in overall B and the tempo feels slower due to longer rhythms
      • Rhythmic patterns are extended in A'
    • Structure
      • Ternary A B A' coda
      • Each section also has its own mini ternary form within it which leads to a very satisfying overall form
      • This piece was written towards the end of his life and really showcases the musical genius he can now put into his works
    • Melody
      • Scalic patterns and the three quaver nanacrusis characterise the piece
      • The melody is mostly characterised by what is heard in the first 4 bars or so and then extended (eg in overall A')
      • Overall B introduces new melodic material
    • Texture
      • The texture is mostly melody dominated homophony
      • In the codetta of A, it becomes chordal before going back to mel dom hom
    • Harmony
      • The piece's tonic key is G minor
      • It starts to modulate through the cycle of 5ths to D major (secondary dominant modulations) and then back to G minor in overall A, sub A
      • There is a tierce di picardie into a  codetta at the end of overall A, sub A' that is used as a modulation to B for overall B
        • It uses a mixture of diminished 7ths and augmented 6ths in B to create temporary dominants as perfect cadences into the new key
      • Overall A, sub B is in Eb major
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