Grieg Notturno

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  • Grieg Notturno
    • Dynamics and articulation
      • Generally quiet dynamics with the biggest contrast in section B which is representative of the recap of the day before falling asleep
      • Similar to dynamics, articulation is mostly legato and the sustain pedal is common
      • The nightingale call is the exception to the smooth articulation as it has to sound like what it's representing
      • Section B also has the greatest change in articulation as well as dynamics
    • Rhythm tempo meter
      • The piece starts in 9/8 and has that compound time signature 'lilt'
      • Section B is therefore made distinct from section A as it is in 6/8; keeping the lilt but giving it a new feel
      • There are also metrical timed rests through random bars of 3/8 that are silent
      • The slow tempo also gives it a dreamlike feel
    • Structure
      • The piece is in ternary A B A' coda
      • The time signatures tend to denote a new section the clearest of anything
      • The way the piece is really 'nocturne' in style is through the three sections each representing a different stage of falling asleep: relaxing, reflecting, drifting off
      • This was also the only piece that Grieg wrote in this style to show connections to Europe from his Norwegian background
    • Melody
      • Chromatically descending LH
      • Dreamlike high tessitura and pitch
      • Programatic nightingale call at the end of section A
      • Key interval of a perfect 4th
      • Use of sequencing in A' to bring the music back to the home key and a satisfying finish
    • Texture
      • Almost all melody dominated homophony
    • Harmony
      • Tonally kind of ambiguous but it's assumed to be in C major (the other option would be A minor due to a possible raised 7th)
      • Use of a harmonic sequence at the very end of the piece which is incredibly resonant and sonoric
      • There's a use of a chromatic cycle of 5ths and a German aug 6th and Neapolitan 6th to modulate to G major (the dominant)
      • Implied plagal cadence into A' through the lack of a 3rd in the chords


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