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1.5: Listening Gallery- Musical Emphasis

  • Page ID
    55742
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    How is the phrase “Remember me” rhetorically reinforced in Dido’s aria from Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas?

    Duration: The words are repeated. Change: New instruments enter. Extremes: The singer reaches her highest note. Extremes: There are the longest pauses in the vocal line.

    The first answer and the last two answers are accurate; the second is not. One other feature intensifies the second line. In the first line of text, some words occur only once and others—“am laid” and “no trouble” are repeated as the text gradually unfolds. Then the entire line of text repeats. In the second line (“Remember me, but forget my fate”), the repetition is compressed: Two full statement of the entire line occur in the same time it took to sing the first line once, making the singer’s plea even more poignant.


    How is the following line of text rhetorically reinforced in Charles Ives’ Charlie Rutledge? Check all that apply.

    “While Charlie Rutledge makes the third to be sent to his grave caused…”

    Duration: The singer’s words are drawn out more gradually. Duration: The singer’s words are repeated. Change: The singer changes from speech-like to full-voiced singing. Change: The singer is briefly left alone for the first time. Extremes: The voice reaches a high register, while the piano sinks to its lowest register. The first, second, and last are accurate; the third and fourth are not.


    How is the following line of text rhetorically reinforced in Charles Ives’ Charlie Rutledge? Check all that apply.

    “Beneath poor Charlie died”

    Duration: The singer’s words are drawn out more gradually. Change: There is an extreme change of density. Change: There are changes of speed both before and after the text. Change: There is a change of texture. Instead of every syllable of the singer being synchronized with the piano, she singer is left alone to sing a portion of the text. Extremes: “died” is the longest sustained word in the song. All of the above are true.


    In John Harbison’s Simple Daylight, which phrase is treated as the climax of the song?

    ”All but inarticulate cry” ”Spoken over and over” ”Wakes me” “Wakes me.”


    In Exercise, how is the climax created?

    Duration:.The words are sung as longer values. Change: The rhythmic flow is interrupted. Change: Leading into this passage, the piano’s accompaniment becomes gradually more thicker, eventually reaching an extreme.. Extremes: The voice reaches her highest note. Extremes: The piano plays in its highest register. Extremes: It is the loudest passage in the song. All of the above are true.


    In the following excerpt from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, the intricate, boisterous opening section gives away, after a brief pause, to a contrasting section initiated by a lyrical cello melody.

    Later in the movement, both sections return. Which return is more strongly rhetorically reinforced—that of the opening section or the contrasting one?

    The opening section The contrasting section

    Stronger rhetorical reinforcement places a greater emphasis on the return of the contrasting section.


    In Exercise, how is this return is more strongly rhetorically reinforced?

    The weaker return overlaps with the preceding section; the stronger return has a clear beginning, preceded by silence. The stronger return is emphasized by being played higher and louder. The weaker return is played in a much lower register. The weaker return presents only fragments of the original theme; the stronger return is more literal and complete. The weaker return is played at a much slower speed.

    Stronger rhetorical reinforcement places a greater emphasis on the return of the contrasting section, due to the first, the second and the fourth answer. This is an example of how different degrees of rhetorical reinforcement can make a return more obvious or more indirect.


    After a slow introduction, Bela Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra introduces an agitated string melody. This leads to a contrasting theme, played by the oboe with a delicate string and harp accompaniment.

    In the second excerpt, the contrasting theme will return. How is its return rhetorically reinforced?

    Duration: In preparation for the return of the contrasting theme, the music becomes very repetitive. Duration: The rhythm holds dramatically just before the contrasting theme enters. Change: There is a huge build-up in volume, followed by a dramatic drop-off. Change: There is a huge build-up in density, then a huge drop-off. Change: There is a change of primary instruments, from brass to solo wind and strings. Change: There is a change from multiple ideas simultaneously to a single idea. Change: The pulse is relaxed when the contrasting theme returns. All of the above are true, making the contrasting theme’s return very emphatic.


    Listen to “Orpheus Weeps” from Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Orpheus.

    Which of the following sound clips do you consider to be most strongly emphasized throughout the movement?

    Sound Clip A Sound Clip B Sound Clip C Sound clip A.


    In the most emphasized sound clip from Exercise, what is the principle means of emphasis?

    Duration Change Extremes Strong Rhetorical Reinforcement

    Sound clip A's primary means of emphasis is duration: The harp and string texture endures the longest.


    This page titled 1.5: Listening Gallery- Musical Emphasis is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Anthony Brandt & Robert McClure (OpenStax CNX) .

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