Analysis Question with Sample Response I Flash

Analysis Question with Sample Response I Flash


Listen to the first 1 min 35 seconds.


Question: How is character expressed in this work?

Thank you to Eliza O’Connor for this response.

  • Character = lively, energetic, frantic, chaotic, urgent

Jenn Gillan:  A lot of character words.  Maybe one or two fewer?  

    • Cluster like chords happen frantically lending the piece to feel urgent
Jenn Gillan:   Needs a little more information. Do you mean they happen in quick succession? That they’re overlapping? That they’re in different instruments and syncopated? Needs more detail.
    • Fast, driving tempo is strong and keeps the piece alive and energetic
    • Short detached articulation is strong and energetic

Jenn Gillan:  A further comment on how/why notes are detached? What about decay?  Are they all the same?

    • Repetition throughout has the effect also

Jenn Gillan:  Repetition of what?

    • Dense fluffy mallets emphasize airy tone colour of marimba – airy tone colour creates flighty movement = frantic

Jenn Gillan:  ‘soft-headed mallets’ better terminology? ‘creates’ better word than emphasize?   In terms of ‘flightly movement’, is this more to do with rhythm than tone colour?

    • Sf effects created by opening repetition creates a driving tempo and a growing sense of urgency  
      • Repetition throughout has the effect also
Jenn Gillan: Does sf create or enhance or…?  Repetition of what? 
    • Dissonant clusters and clashing seconds are unpleasant and make the piece prove the need for a resolution – hence growing the urgency

Jenn Gillan:  ‘unpleasant’ – watch value judgments. 

    • Interjectory chords are unexpected and flighty creating a frantic character

Jenn Gillan: ‘Flighty’ best word? What are you trying to say here? Syncopated? Accented? 

    • Rolling mallets are persistent and create urgency
    • Jagged contour is unpredictable, chaotic and urgent in its delivery

Jenn Gillan:  What happens rhythmically here? 

    • Growing and often changing dynamics are intriguing for the listener as they are unpredictable – this creates a energetically frantic character
Jenn Gillan:  PLEASE don’t mention the listener!! The listener is dead and/or doesn’t exist!! (all at the same time) Intrigue isn’t involved in the question either. Overall some good points but you need to give more specifics about what is happening rhythmically in particular.  Some things that would help – mentioning accents, syncopation, repeated semiquavers, how rhythmic and melodic lines are created on the same instrument.