Download PDF by Alan Belkin: A Practical Guide to Musical Composition

By Alan Belkin

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Specific forms Phrase A single phrase demonstrates in a microcosm all the basic elements of a satisfactory design. 50 A phrase must have a beginning that provokes interest; it must develop coherently, inviting increasing involvement on the part of the listener, and it must supply a sense of resolution at its end. The degree of finality implicit in its punctuation will depend on the phrase's position in the whole piece. Period A period contains two phrases, in a question and answer relationship.

The trills gradually evolve from the previous motive in vln. 1. First the motive settles down on one note, E. Then the rhythm smoothes out, eliminating the quarter notes, and the minor second becomes a major second (E-F#). Finally the rhythm becomes even and the repeated notes are eliminated; the trill arrives as a simple acceleration. A few more trills descend into the main body of the variation. Repeat with a new turn: this offshoot of period structure (question/answer) consists of a repeated phrase, which however goes off in a new direction at its second presentation.

81, after a sequential rise, the music stops abruptly on a climactic high note. This common tone becomes the first note of a contrasting section. The rising line and the crescendo create tension; the new section resolves it, but in an unexpected way. (repertoire example) Beethoven, 5th Symphony #5, transition between the 3rd and 4th movements: The buildup into the finale via a long rising sequence, over a dominant pedal, creates great tension, which is released by the arrival of the finale's main theme.

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A Practical Guide to Musical Composition by Alan Belkin


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