Analysis Question with sample Response III Babe The Gauntlet

Analysis Question with sample Response III Babe The Gauntlet

Here’s the third 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. 


How is tension created in this piece?

Analyse up until “Get yourself a dog, Hoggett”


A tense , suspenseful chaotic character is created through the dynamic changes and changes in texture.


Jenn Gillan: A great opening sentence. I wouldn’t limit it to two things but good to state the character initially and give a foretaste of what you’ll discuss.


The dark cellos open the piece using arch bowing producing a growling, reverberant tone colour.


Jenn Gillan: ‘dark’ cellos – you might want to state the dark + ___ tone colour of the cellos. Good giving reasons for tone colour and link to character in your next sentence.


This produces an underlying suspense and a fearful tense character………… The flutes enter in with the cello playing a melodic line with descending intervals. This produces a more brighter, smooth tone colour. With the strings entering an playing in unison anticipation is created and a fearful character that is unsure of the future is developed…


Jenn Gillan: I’d leave out the ‘fear of the future’ bit. Words like ‘ominous’ might suit better. The other question is whether your musical example is strong enough to support an ominous character. Maybe a few more elements of music need to be mentioned which in combination support your choice of character.


The timpani plays a crescendoing roll which signals the entering into a new section. Its dark reverberant sound adds to the overall tense, suspenseful character……. The repeated violin line creates a new steady character with its brighter timbre. However tension grows through the horns with an underlying rich, brooding timbre. Creating a more chaotic character the texture become thicker with the brass playing on the 2 and 4 creating a pounding but harsh timbre….. Signalling another section the timpani plays at an mp dynamic using mallets creating a dark reverberating sound.


Jenn Gillan: It might be worth discussing what factors help the dynamics increase or decrease. This is often a mixture of instrumentation, pitch, rhythm, tone colour etc. Other elements combine to create this character and you’re able to discuss all of them. 


The drop in dynamic creates even more suspense being obvious that their will be a major musical crescendo adding to the tense nature of the song. A spooky haunting character is created by the xylophone laying out the pulse.


Jenn Gillan: Better word than ‘spooky’? Why is it obvious there will be a crescendo? A little more detail needed here.


Through allowing each note to ring freely creates a resonant, metallic and piercing tone. The instruments all crescendo in unison to the climax of the song and dramatically cut out of the mix creating a tense feel.


Jenn Gillan: Link tone colour with specific instruments and techniques or influencing factors. Overall, some strong links from character to musical elements. Some of these need to be strengthened as suggested. Try talking about more of the expressive elements in a question that allows for all elements to be covered.