2017 VCE Music Performance Exam Analysis Response Question 2

2017 VCE Music Performance Exam Analysis Response Question 2

Question 2


Work: ‘Out of Time Part III’

Artist: Iain Grandage

Performers: WA Youth Orchestra with Alumni

Excerpt length: 1’32”

(8 Marks)

Describe how the performers create and sustain mood and character in this work. 

An elated, uplifting, energetic, excited character is created and sustained through


  • The use of high pitch and shimmering, metallic tone colours in the glockenspiel


  • These tone colours are later reflected by the high pitch of the piccolo which rings out over the mix


  • A slight increase in tempo when all instruments enter increases the excitement


  • Sustained notes in the brass played high using a crescendo then being restated with another crescendo heightens the energy. This effect of crescendo is repeated many times in the work


  • While there is a sudden drop in texture about half way through the excerpt, the mood manages to be sustained through the use of a repeated quaver figure in the high-pitched wood block. Its bright, ringing tone colour and use of fast rhythmic values maintains the energy even though all other instruments have dropped out momentarily. It also echoes the rhythmic figure used by the strings in the introduction.


  • The use of bright, clear, nasal brass instruments playing in close harmony (3rds) at high pitch increases the dynamics, especially as this melodic line climbs scalically, sustains the excited character.


  • Just before the climax, there are repeated tutti brass accents in a descending melodic line. These accents occur closer and closer to each other as they progress and become louder in dynamic increasing the excitement.


  • While the tone colours of the introduction are initially blended, warm and mellow in the strings, and the dynamics are quite quiet, the excited character is hinted at through the repeated quaver motif, bright clear tone colours in the piccolo and the use of a crescendo as the pitch rises and more instruments are added.


  • The climax at the end is built up by ascending chromatic melodic line and increasingly full harmony while, just before the ultimate climax, there is a drop of texture to reveal a single, low bass drum hit. When the orchestra enters again, using full harmony and fortissimo dynamics, this change in dynamics and texture sustains the excitement and increases it through the addition of ringing, bright, clashing cymbal.


  • A shortening of rhythmic values just before the instruments drop out to reveal the wood block increases the sense of excitement. This quickening of rhythmic values ultimately turns into the use of tremolo in the strings at a loud dynamic, high pitch and bright, clear tone


  • Accented, forte low pitches in lower brass every beat before the instruments drop out increases the excitement