Gcse Music Analysis Bernstein-Somethings Coming
Something’s Coming- Bernstein General Points -Composed by Leonard Bernstein? – A song from the musical ‘West Side Story’, which is a musical based on Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’.? – First Performed on Broadway in 1957.? – Sung by solo tenor voice, ‘Tony’.
Instrumentation – Solo tenor voice.? – Accompanied by a chamber orchestra consisting of woodwind, brass, percussion and strings.? – Quiet dynamics, soft timbres, the use of mutes, pizzicato and a clear homophonic texture are used to make sure that instruments don’t overpower the voice.? The music illustrates the words, for instance when he sings ‘the air is humming’.? – Harmonies and tremolo are used in the strings.
? – The instruments often imitate each other, usually at different octaves. Melody and Structure – The piece is almost entirely syllabic and based on the following 3 main themes:? 1) A quiet, syncopated opening theme.? 2) A loud, strident theme in the metre 2/4 that starts at bar 21.? ) A lyrical, slow-moving theme that starts at bar 73.? – The themes are repeated a number of times but are varied each time by Bernstein.? – Bernstein changes things such as the metre or words each time a theme is heard.
Rhythm, Metre and Tempo – Metre changes between 2/4 and 3/4.? – Changes of metre, a fast tempo and the use of a lot of syncopation maintains a feeling of excitement and anticipation. ? – Use of cross-rhythms throughout (for example in the intro).? Accompaniment is made up of an off-beat bass line, which constantly pushes forward a ‘push rhythm’, and off beat chords. Harmony And Tonality – Written in D Major although there are 2 contrasting sections in C Major (heard in bars 32-72 and 106-127)? – Use of tritone which is an interval of 3 whole tones, e.
g. C-F#.? – Last note of the entire piece is a flattened 7th which remains unsolved and creates a feeling of incompletion.? – The harmony is jazz influenced.