Here’s the fourth response to the ‘Babe’ question, together with my feedback, as posted on the VCE Music Support Facebook page 2016. Again, thank you for your time completing this analysis and courage to have it published. This one is from Eliza O’Connor who’s getting much better don’t you think?!
How is tension created in this piece?
Analyse up until “Get yourself a dog, Hoggett”
- Initial slow tempo is brooding and suspenseful, adding to this suspense is the cohesive blend of instruments playing downward minor scalic movement, building suspension and tension.
Jenn Gillan: Good connection, good description. In terms of blend it’d be worth mentioning tone colour here, especially if blend is being discussed.
- Growing dynamics is gradual and builds tension – this is complemented by the rise in tempo gradually building toward the climax.
Jenn Gillan: Again, great example and description. I’d add the use of other elements that help support the crescendo. Look at my book under the dynamics chapter – ways to create dynamic change for more ideas.
- Percussive crashes are unexpected and frightening – they increase tension by signifying tense growth in the other instrumental lines.
Jenn Gillan: Again, great. And a good chance to mention tone colour and possibly rhythm.
- High strings are piercing and shrill, as well as this they have an unexpected, frightening attack increasing the tense, sinister character of the work.
- Initially thin, sparse texture creates an empty, desolate atmosphere, which builds the tension of the work.
Jenn Gillan: The thin texture itself doesn’t build the tension, but gives space for the tension to build? Reword slightly?
- Trumpet has a low, dry, smoky TC juxtaposed with the resonant, metallic gong strikes. These are not complimentary and therefor create dissonance within the blend – building tension.
Jenn Gillan: Great. Just maybe mention reasons why the trumpet has this tone colour?
- Semitone/minor 2nd intervallic movement building toward climax creates dissonant harmonies and compliments the rise in tempo – followed by a gliss. and tremolo; these techniques are strong and harsh – unexpected hence building tension.
Jenn Gillan: Great. Remember to link to instruments. Who does the gliss? Describe the gliss in a little more detail. Is it a slow or fast glissando? Does it go down/up to another note or go down a small or large interval?
- The violin also plays on the bridge of the instrument to produce a sharp, shrill and rough TC as the tempo excels on the glissandi towards the climax.
Jenn Gillan: Again, great connection between musical technique/influence and tone colour. Excels means to be good at something. I think you mean accelerando – to speed up? This last paragraph doesn’t connect to character, which is important as it’s the last paragraph. Overall MUCH better! Clearer connections, more relevant examples linked to both technique/musical factors and character. Some things to add/consider as suggested. Well done.