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Well done today – three hours of hard work. The quality of the analysis of the Down Ampney harmony was generally very good. We discussed how suspensions, sevenths and modulations embellish the basic harmony, but also make it trickier to analyse. We then discussed how cadences are formed, and there was a cadence sheet to have a go at for homework.

This week’s listening pieces were the Agnus Dei from Byrd’s Four-part mass, Dies Irae from Verdi’s Requiem, and Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, which led to an interesting discussion about how certain pieces sound like they’re from a specific country (in this case, the US).

We then made a start on listening to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no 4 in G, our first instrumental set work. Good prep work on what the Brandenburg concertos were, and a range of opinions about whether we liked it or were predictably varied. It was interesting to see how a Baroque orchestra varied in size from a more modern one. Thinking about the use of ritornello form is an important part of your homework.

Finally, it was great to hear everyone perform, or to listen to one of your compositions. Good to make some music, rather than have to just study the theory behind it! See you next week.

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