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1.7: Listening Gallery- Musical Form

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    For each exercise, click when you hear a change of section. Then, use the pull-down menus to label each section. An A-form requires no input. After you have listened to the example, "click for solution" to check your analysis.

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)


    This is an A-B-A form. The A-section is in the minor mode. It opens with a brief introduction, establishing the piano accompaniment's undulating rhythm; the voice then enters. The A-section concludes with a long stopping point--the first interruption of the steady rhythm.

    The B-section is in the contrasting Major mode. It introduces a new melody and accompanying rhythm. Just as the A-section, the B-section ends with a long stopping point.

    The A-section then returns, beginning immediately at the entrance of the voice. The original vocal line is reprised with minor changes.

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{2}\)


    This is an A-form: The rhythm and texture remain constant throughout the composition.

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{3}\)


    This is an A-form: As in the Chopin Prelude, the rhythm and texture remain constant throughout the composition. (In this case, the texture is the oscillation between two timpani notes.) The dynamic (loud/soft) is varied, but these fluctuations are too brief to create a strong contrast.

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{4}\)


    There are two plausible ways of reading the form of this jazz composition. The first is an A-B-A: The A-section is the song's main material, presented by all three instruments as an ensemble. The B-section consists of improvisatory solos. Then the A-section returns in its entirety.

    A-B-C-D-A is another possible reading of the form. This reading takes into account that there are three improvisations: first, the piano solo; second, the trumpet solo, accompanied by the piano; third, the drum solo, periodically punctuated by the other two instruments.

    Throughout the solos, the rhythmic drive is steady. The link between solos are carefully blurred: The piano keeps playing when the trumpet enters; both trumpet and piano play repeatedly during the drum solo. As a result, a large A-B-A, in which the B-section is divided into three sub-sections, would be my preferred reading.

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{5}\)


    The sections in this movement are strongly contrasting and well-differentiated from each other. The A-section is energetic and bold, with repeated upward scalar figures traded among the instruments. The B-section is lyrical and softer. The C-section is aggressive and turbulent, ratcheting up the tension to its highest peak.

    The A-section is played three times. The final time, it is extended to create a closing section or coda.

    This page titled 1.7: Listening Gallery- Musical Form 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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