Poulenc trio

  • Created by: lilac123
  • Created on: 15-02-21 10:18


Ternary form:

A (b1), B (b23), climax(b35), A-like a coda (b52)

*there is no explicit contrast

Tonal Structure:

Mvt I in A major, MIII D flat major

*mvt 2 bridges gap between these 2 keys

*outlines 3 equal sections (22 bars each)

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-begins in Bb major

-hints of F major at bar 5

-Bb major bar 9

-Eb major bar 11

-Db major (12)-Ab major (14)-Db major (15)

-E minor bar 17 (tritone away from Bb major)

-B tonal centre bar 19

-B minor bar 23

-C minor bar 37

-F major bar 52

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-b1: tonic pedal 

-b3-4: plagal cadence 

-bar 11: sequential harmony IVb-Vb-I

-bar 12: elements of modality and 4-3 suspension

*chords from parallel minor used in a major key

-bar 13: Neopolitan 6th chord  (pivot chord IIb-Ab major)

-Chord progression: Ib (b13)-IV-V7-I (b14)

-Perfect cadence bar 14-15

-Imperfect cadence bar 20-21

-C major broken chord b21

-descending octatonic scale b22

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Harmony P2

-bar 23: no root position chords

-static harmony: Ib (b23) -IV9 (b24)- Ic (b25)

-bar 26: diminsihed 7th chord

-faster harmonic rhythm: bar 27 (Ib and IV9)

-b28: G7 chord

-b30: octatonic harmony (dominant 7ths and augmented 6ths)

-bar 35: tierce de picardie and tonic pedal (root position)

-bar 37: diminished 7th

-bar 37-38: perfect cadence (V7-I) 

-bar 41: wrong note harmony

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Harmony P3

-bar 45= entirely diatonic with slow harmonic rhythm (b chord)

-bar 49: becomes more chromatic, with faster har,onic rhythm

-bar 51: diminished 7th

-bar 51-52:unexpected perfect cadence in F major (expected to go to C)

-bar53: static harmony to end with F pedal

-bar 61: 1/2 diminished chord, becomes more chromatic and minor

-octatonic harmony bar 61-63 

-bar 62-end: F minor chord

-bar 64: dissonant, non octatonic note (c)

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-bar 1: descending tonic triad

-4 bar phrase in opening

-bar 5: descending triad, heard again at bar 9 (answering four bar phrase)

-bar 12: melodic sequence

-bar 15: opening melody returns (modulated)

-bar 19: new melody (elements of triadic nature)

-bar 23: new material but feels similar to the first 8 bars

-bar 23: oscillating 2nds

-bar 24: melody becomes disjunct

-bar 43: melody of bar 41 repeated in sequence (1+ semitone)

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Rhythm, Metre and Tempo + Texture

-bar 8: insertion-unbalances metre

-bar 19: oboe copies rhythm from previous bassoon part

-bar 27: diminution of rhythm (vs bar 23)

-bar 50: insertion (adds faster harmonic rhythm)



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Poulenc's Musical Style P1


-Formal structures are quite conservative and fall in line with the neoclassical tendency to follow 18th century models.

-Modified ternary and rondo forms are common in the instrumental music. Examples of extended sonata form are rare.


The texture most associated with Poulenc consists of a melody with chordal accompaniment, particularly in the smaller instrumental works. Counterpoint is found infrequently, though examples do exist in his later vocal music.


-tend to be diatonic with occasional chromaticism, often scalic or arpeggio-based. 

-usually lyric and expansive and constructed in regular phrases

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Poulenc Style P2

Harmony and Tonality

 -The vast majority of Poulenc’s music is unambiguously tonal and his harmony is fundamentally diatonic and functional

-Intense chromaticism is extremely rare. His chromatic harmonies are usually a means of embellishing diatonic textures.

-Seventh/ ninth chords are used freely, with some phrases containing no plain triads at all. Dominant 13ths are common, particularly at cadences. 

-Dominant-tonic (circle of 5ths) progressions are common.

-Examples of “wrong note” harmonies appear often in Poulenc’s music,

-Use of unprepared modulations.

-Passages of tonal stability are often interrupted by short phrases of non-functional harmony that may also be of a vastly different character.

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Poulenc Style P3


- strong influence from popular music, particularly dance music, though he was more original as far as metre and phrasing are concerned.

-He used the standard time signatures with an occasional irregular metre

-phrase lengths are shortened or lengthened; metre changes are also used for subdividing or combining phrases

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