Music Analysis

MusicAnalysis

Ananalysis of Sonata Pian e Forte

SonataPian e Forte was composed during the Renaissance period. Renaissancemusic was influenced by the sculptures and painting of the time.Sonata Pian e Forte was a part of the collection SacraeSymphoniae byGabrieli Giovanni.

Duration

Thetempo of Sonata Pian e Forte is slow and bold. The bars are of thesame length except for bar 30 and bar 40 which are longer. In minute3.24 -3.40 there are homophonic rhythms with more pronounced rhythmicdrive. Weak beats are emphasized with longer notes, for example, atminute 0.14. At the beginning and the end, there are dotted notes.

Pitch

Thepitch moves in steps. This can be seen at minute 1.18. However, thereare instances where steps are followed by small leaps such as atminute 2.04 – 2.50. In other cases, steps are also extended to formascending and descending movements as seen at minute 3.09 – 3.25.There are also repeated notes in the melody lines as seen at thebeginning.

Dynamics

Themusic uses alternating soft and loud dynamics. For example, from thebeginning to minute 1.20, soft dynamic is used while minute 1.21 to1.34 uses loud dynamics.

Themusic is through-composed such that there is no repetition ofsections. The music falls into different sections as dictated by thetwo choirs. The two choirs start with long initial statements. Forexample, the first choir plays from the beginning to minute 0.46while the second choir takes over up to minute 1.18. After the twochoir’s long statement, ascending and descending rhythms followfrom minute 1.18. Imitation and dotted notes start at minute 3.18 tothe end. Thesesections represent the five bars into which the music is dividedinto bar 1-14, bar14-26, bar26-31, bar 31-71 and bar 71-end.

ToneColour

Cornettand violin provide differentiation in tone colour. Alto trombonesmake a distinctive sound from the first choir compared with thesecond. Tenor trombones provide a more homogenous sound.

Thetonality used in SonataPian e Forteis modal with dissonances mainly provided by suspensions. There arehints of G-minor keys found at the beginning. The music majorly usesthe Dorian mode throughout. Other modes used are the Mixolydian modefound at, for example, minute 2.30. Both Mixolydian and Dorian modeshave a common feature a flat 7th.The seventh note is often raised at cadences. From the beginning tominute 1.19, the Dorian mode is transposed to G. the music ends in Gminor with frequent E flats.

Texture

Themusic is organized into polychoral style. Two choirs play the musicseparately and in alternation. The two choirs answer each other inantiphonal texture. For example, one choir plays from minute 1.37 -1.45 while the other plays from minute 1.45 – 1.52.

Bothhomophony and polyphony textures are used. Free polyphony is majorlyused in the music where two simultaneous lines of independentmelodies are played. This can be seen from the start to minute 2.00.

Thereis the occasional use of short and free imitations. For example,minute 1.00 begins with ‘Trombone 3’ which imitates ‘Trombone2’ in minute 2.00. In minute 1.55 the imitative strands are moreseparated with two lowest parts starting together followed by theupper parts. Imitation is extended at minute 2.53 where a shortrhythmic lyric is taken up by almost all the different parts.

Occasionalhomorhythm can be traced for example at minute 3.25 – 3.50. The bassparts are simpler and have a larger number of long notes than otherparts.

Analysisof La Gua

LaGua was developed from Chinese traditional music and retains theoriginal Suona music. The Chinese traditional music notation ismarked on the fingering, playing method and pitch.

Duration

Thetempo of in La Gua changes from elastic velocity to slower to wide.For example, tempo at minute10.13 -10.18 is wide and changes to thatof elastic velocity at 10.21- 10.27 then slows down at 10.55 –11.00. The rhythm is free reflecting the characteristics of Chinesetraditional music rhythm. There is repeated use of homonym repetitiontechnique so that the music reaches climax in peace efforts. This isevident in minute 10.21 – 10.35.

Themusic is divided into the melody and the sound part. The melodiessimulate all kinds of bird’s sound which makes the music is warmand cheerful.

Pitch

Thepitch moves in steps. This can be seen between minute 10.13 –10.18. However, there are instances where steps are followed by smallleaps such as at minute 10.55. In other cases, steps are alsoextended to form ascending and descending movements as seen at minute10.28 – 11.00. There are also repeated notes in the melody lines asseen at minute 10.19 – 10.26.

Dynamics

Themusic uses alternating soft and loud dynamics. For example, fromminute 10.13 – 1038 loud dynamic is used while minute 10.55 –11.00 uses soft dynamics.

Themusic falls into different sections as dictated by the two choirs.The choirs are introduced by drum beats which also utilizes loud andsoft dynamics. The two choirs start together with the initialstatements (from minute 10.13 – 10.19). They then answer eachother in quick succession of about 1 second in an alternating manner.For example, between minute 10.19 – 10.28 the each choir answersthe other in a second. Ascending and descending rhythms are used. For example the music ascend from 10.28 – 10.38 and descends from10.39 – 11.00.

LaGua is body falls into AB structure. The structure is as follows A,B, A1, A2, B2, B3, A4, A5, B5. The La Gua music is also divided intofive sections section 1-281, section 29-872, section 88-133, section134-1733 and section 174-186.

Tone

Thetone in La Gua music is bright and bold expressing the passionatescenes and happy mood. The music imitates human and other animalsounds.

Texture

Themusic is organized into polychoral style. Two choirs play the musicseparately and in alternation. The two choirs answer each other inantiphonal texture. For example, one choir plays from minute 10.19while the other plays at minute 10.20. There is the use of soloplayer as seen between minute 10.40 – 10.59.

Comparisonand differences between SonataPian e Forteand La Gua

Differences

SonataPian e Forte refers to the alternating soft and loud dynamics used inthe piece. It was composed using the Late Renaissance style byGiovanni Gabrielii. The sonata music was performed during importantpoints of the church service. La Gua on the other hand is Chineseand a piano transcription. The music reflects the characteristics ofChinese traditional music from the content to the structure, rhythmand harmony. It is popular at weddings and other festive ceremonies.

SonataPian e Forte uses instruments such as cornets and sackbuts whereas LaGua uses piano transcriptions. The music imitates the instrumentfunction suona which combines human and animal sounds to bring outcharm and liveliness.

Thetempo of Sonata Pian e Forte is slow and bold. The bars are of thesame length except for bar 30 and bar 40 which are longer. In minute3.24 -3.40 there are homophonic rhythms with more pronounced rhythmicdrive. Weak beats are emphasized with longer notes, for example, atminute 0.14. The tempo of in La Gua changes from elastic velocity toslower to wide. For example, tempo at minute10.13 -10.18 is wide andchanges to that of elastic velocity at 10.21- 10.27 then slow down at10.55 – 11.00. The rhythm is free reflecting the characteristics ofChinese traditional music rhythm. There is repeated use of homonymrepetition technique so that the music reaches climax in peaceefforts. This is evident in minute 10.21 – 10.35.

InSonataPian e Forte cornettand violin provide differentiation in tone colour. Alto trombonesmake a distinctive sound from the first choir compared with thesecond. Tenor trombones provide a more homogenous sound. In La Gua,the piano transcription brings out bright and bold expressing thepassionate scenes and happy mood through the imitation of human andanimal sounds.

Similarities

BothSonata Pian e Forte and La Gua use polychoral style where the twochoirs play separately and in alternation. Thetwo choirs answer each other in antiphonal texture. Thetwo pieces also employ soft and loud dynamics.

BothSonata Pian e Forte and La Gua have their structure fall naturally asthe choirs play. Sonata Pian e Forte starts with long initialstatement by each choir, fortetutti sectionfollows, this is followed by a series of shorter antiphonal sections,then short fortetuttis andfinally a longer final tutti.Thesesections represent the five bars into which the music is dividedinto bar 1-14, bar14-26, bar26-31, bar 31-71 and bar 71-end. La Guais body falls into AB structure. The structure is as follows A, B,A1, A2, B2, B3, A4, A5, B5. The La Gua music is also divided intofive sections section 1-281, section 29-872, section 88-133, section134-1733 and section 174-186.

References

2013竹塹國樂節《百鳥朝鳳》 嗩吶/劉英指揮/王甫建.RetrievedFrom,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq_IIvzuF5Y&amplist=PL7rj3Sz7RIguTH3vCpGNAooMry3T5MaKW&ampindex=1[Accessed on August 6, 2016].

ZubinMetha. TheBrass Section of the Bayerische Staatsoper. RetrievedFrom, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQeikHMQGOM[Accessed on August 6, 2016].