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Unit 3 Appraising

OverviewVocal MusicInstrumental MusicMusic for FilmPopular Music and JazzFusionsNew DirectionsFurther ListeningGlossaryExam Question Words

This is broad outline of how the exam unit works at AS:

  • 1 hour and 30 minutes exam in May of Year 12
  • 80 marks available
  • Section A – Listening (45 marks)
    • three general listening questions (12 marks each)
    • one melodic dictation question and a spot the errors question (9 marks)
    • all using music from set works
  • Section B – Essay Writing (35 marks)
    • essay responding to CD track (15 marks)
    • choice of one essay from three, focusing on comparing musical elements of set works with non-set works (20 marks)
  • You have an individual CD each – time management is important
  • worth 40% of AS

Set Works at AS

Vocal Music

  • J. S. Bach, Cantata, Ein feste Burg, BWV 80: Movements 1, 2, 8
  • Mozart, The Magic Flute: Excerpts from Act I no. 4 (Queen of the Night), 5 (Quintet)

Instrumental Music

  • Vivaldi, Concerto in D minor, Op. 3 No. 11
  • Clara Wieck-Schumann, Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17: movement 1

Music for Film

  • Danny Elfman, Batman Returns: Main theme (Birth of a Penguin Part II), Birth of a Penguin Part I, Rise and fall from grace, and Batman vs the Circus
  • Rachel Portman, The Duchess: The Duchess and End titles, Mistake of your life, Six years later, and Never see your children again

Popular Music and Jazz

  • Courtney Pine – Back in the Day: Inner state (of mind), Lady Day and (John Coltrane), Love and affection
  • Kate Bush, Hounds of Love: Cloudbusting, And dream of sheep, and Under ice


  • Debussy, Estampes: Nos. 1 and 2 (‘Pagodes’ and ‘La soirée dans Grenade’)
  • Familia Valera Miranda, Caña Quema: Alla vá candela and Se quema la chumbambà

New Directions

  • Cage, Three Dances for two prepared pianos: No. 1
  • Kaija Saariaho, Petals for Violoncello and Live

As important as the Set Works is the wider listening that you must do.

Vocal Music

Bach Cantata no. 80 and Mozart’s Magic Flute

Bach’s Cantata no. 80 in live performance:

Mozart’s Magic Flute

A good background video explaining the story:

Below are playlists containing  further listening for each Area of Study:

Vocal Music Further Listening

Royal Choral Society: ‘Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs’ from Handel’s Messiah

The Royal Choral Society has performed Handel’s Messiah on Good Friday at the Royal Albert Hall every year since 1876. The RCS filmed their performance on 6 April 2012 by kind permission of the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This clip features the impassioned chorus ‘Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs’.

Instrumental Music Further Listening

Haydn – Symphony No. 6 “Le Matin” – Mov. 1/4

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony No. 6 for flute, two oboes, bassoon, 2 horns, violin concertante, cello concertante, strings, and double bass in D major “Le Matin” (The Morning) Hob 1:6 1. Adagio – Allegro Performed by the Freiburger Barockorchester *Haydn wrote this, his first symphonic work for his new employer Prince Nikolaus Eszterházy, in the spring of 1761, shortly after joining the court.

Music for Film Further Listening

KING KONG (1933 Max Steiner Soundtrack Score) Full LP Album

Uploaded by None on 2013-10-15.

Popular Music and Jazz Further Listening

Charles Mingus – Blues & Roots (1960) [Full Album]

1. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting – 0:00 2. Cryin’ Blues – 5:42 3. Moanin’ – 10:44 4. Tensions – 18:48 5. My Jelly Roll Soul – 25:18 6. E’s Flat Ah’s Flat Too – 32:08

Fusions Further Listening

Afro Celt Sound System – Éireann

An gcuirfea fios orm / Would you search me out Am mbeadh aithne gat orm / Would you recognize me M’uisci, croi gach crann / My waters, the heart of every tree An gcuirfea fios orm / Would you look for me N’na Kandje . . . barika . .

New Directions Further Listening

karlheinz stockhausen GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE

1956 Elektronische Musik für Tonband

Organisation of pitch (melodically and harmonically – pitch refers how high or low a sound is)
The chords that conclude a musical phrase (e.g. a perfect cadence with chords V‒I or an imperfect cadence with I (or other non-dominant chord) and V)
The simultaneous sounding together of two or more notes
Circle of fifths
A chord progression where the root of each chord is a 5th lower (or a 4th higher) than its predecessor (e.g. in C major with chords of C F Bdim Em Am Dm G C). In practice, segments of the circle of 5ths (rather than complete circles) are often used
Chord sequence
A series of chords, usually repeated (e.g. in a 12-bar blues) 
Diminished 7th chord
A chord consisting of three superimposed minor 3rds (e.g. C sharp, E, G, B flat)
Especially in non-classical genres, the extended sustaining or repeating of a note or a harmonic interval (notably a perfect 5th)
Successions of chords (or sometimes refers to single chords)
A melody (or ‘melodic line’) is a succession of single sounds – most frequently an individual strand or part within a fuller musical texture. A melody is usually ‘tuneful’ or otherwise prominent or memorable
Neapolitan 6th chord
The first inversion of the triad on the flattened supertonic (usually in a minor key – as, for example, D, F, B flat in A minor)
The process of elaborating or decorating musical material (particularly a melody). Includes conventional ornaments such as trills and turns
A short musical pattern repeated throughout a section or complete piece
Pedal (or Pedal point)
A note (usually in the bass, and generally either the tonic or dominant of the key) which is sustained or repeated while chords change, often resulting in dissonance
Similar to ostinato, but applied to popular styles of music
Repetition of a melody (or an harmonic progression) but at different pitch level(s) rather than at the same pitch
A melody (or occasionally some other form of musical material) on which part or all of a piece is based

Tonality (The relationship of notes within a scale or mode to a principal note (the tonic or final). A wider term than key, but often used synonymously with it)

Absence of tonality or key
Chromatic notes are those progressing by semitones, especially to a tone having the same letter name, e.g. C to C sharp
Chromatic notes are those outside a particular major or minor key (e.g. G sharp in G major). Notes belonging to the scale of the key are ‘diatonic’
A form of tonality based on major and minor scales
Based on major scales, with a major 3rd between scale degrees 1 and 3
Based on minor scales, with a minor 3rd between scale degrees 1 and 3
Tonality based on modes (precursors of modern scales – of several types, each with a different series of tones and semitones)
Change of key
Based on a five-note scale (often equivalent to scale degrees 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 of a major scale, or 1, 3, 4, 5, (flat)7 of a minor scale)
Form, structure (the overall shape of a composition (e.g. binary, ternary, rondo). ‘Form’ and ‘structure’ are largely synonymous)

Arch form
A form which is broadly symmetrical. In a sense ternary (ABA) is an arch form, but the term is normally applied to longer patterns such as ABCBA
Da capo
A da capo song or aria is ternary (ABA), the second A being signalled by the words ‘da capo’ (= ‘from the beginning’), with ‘Fine’ marking its end
Sonata form
A large-scale form which evolved in the Classical period. It combines elements of binary form, and (in having exposition, development and recapitulation) ternary form
A strophic song has the same (or very similar) music for each stanza of the poem being set. (A song in which some or all stanzas are set differently is ‘through-composed’)
A common pattern in popular songs particularly. There are ‘verses’ (with different text but the same or similar music) and a ‘chorus’ repeated after some or all verses with recurring text, and usually a different melody and/or different scoring
The nature and quality of musical sounds
The degree to which a note is separated from the note that follows it (ranging from minimal (legato) to much greater (staccato or staccatissimo))
The particular tone colour of an instrument or voice
Texture (the number of parts in a piece of music and how they relate to one another. Several types of texture are listed below)

Musical background to a principal part or parts (e.g. piano accompanying a solo singer)
Where two or more parts play the same melodic line simultaneously, but there are small individual variations
A widely-used type of texture consisting of a melody part and other subsidiary (accompanying) parts moving together
Music in which only one note is heard at a time – a single melodic line
In one sense any texture with two or more parts, but commonly used as a synonym for ‘counterpoint’ where there are two or more simultaneous and largely independent melody lines
Two or more parts share the same melodic idea (not necessarily in full, exactly or at the same pitch). Each new part enters separately, the preceding one continuing with shared or new material
Tempo, metre and rhythm (‘tempo’ is the speed of the music. ‘Metre’, often indicated by a time signature, concerns the pattern and number of strong and weak beats (e.g. 2/4 metre has two crotchets per bar, the first ‘strong’, the second ‘weak’))

Cross rhythm
Cross rhythm is the effect produced when two conflicting rhythms are heard together
Dotted rhythm
The term ‘dotted rhythm’ is usually applied to a pair of notes consisting of a dotted note and a shorter note (the two making up a complete beat or number of beats), or to several successive such pairs of notes
Two notes of the same value (usually quavers) are played with the first lengthened and the second correspondingly shortened (as often in jazz)
Swung rhythm
Two notes of the same value (usually quavers) are played with the first lengthened and the second correspondingly shortened (as often in jazz)
A ‘strong’ or stressed note occurs on a part of a bar or beat that would normally be ‘weak’ or unstressed
Three notes of equal value taking the time normally occupied by two notes of the same written value (or by one undotted note of the next highest value)
Dynamics (the changes in volume of musical sound(s), and also the symbols used in a score to indicate volume (e.g. f))
Suddenly (subito forte – suddenly loud)

Get gradually louder

Get gradually quieter


Accent (written directly over or under a notehead)
Staccato/detached note (written directly over or under a notehead)

Other terms (performance, composition, presentation of scores)

Backing track
A recorded musical accompaniment, especially one for a soloist to play or sing along with
Con sordini
With the use of a mute
DJ performances
D[isc] J[ockeys] use special musical performance techniques (e.g. use of multiple turntables, turntable scratching) that are acceptable under the scheme of assessment
Double (verb)
Doubling occurs where one performer consistently plays or sings the same notes as another – strictly speaking at the same octave, but duplication at the octave may be involved
Almost self-explanatory: wind players (especially flautists) produce a special ‘whirring’ effect by fluttering the tongue
The instrument(s) and/or voice(s) that perform the music
Graphic score
Graphic scores, particularly used in experimental music, employ visual symbols of the composer’s choice instead of (or sometimes together with) the traditional musical symbols of staff notation
A piece composed as it is performed, although frequently based on a pre-conceived ‘stimulus’ such as a melodic theme or chord scheme
Lead sheet
An outline form of notation for popular styles of music, with the melody (in staff notation), lyrics, and chord symbols
Live electro-acoustic sound diffusions
Electro-acoustic music involves sounds not available from acoustic instruments, accessed via electronic technology. It may, however, be performed live via a sound diffusion system
Acronym (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). A means whereby devices such as electronic musical instruments and computers can connect and communicate with one another
The correct observance of divisions between whole phrases and sometimes shorter groups of notes (often to accord with a composer’s phrase markings)
Professional reference recording
A recording of a piece submitted for Component 1 in lieu of a score – with the performance and the recording of professional standard
A recorded image from a computer screen – normally requiring some form of labelling or annotation if displaying the operations of sequencing software
Sequenced compositions
Compositions produced mainly or entirely via electronic sequencing software
A complete piece (or a section) for one player or singer with no accompaniment, or for one player or singer with accompaniment
Sul ponticello
A direction for stringed instruments to play with the bow kept near to or on the bridge
Notation other than staff notation with letters, numbers or other conventional signs – today used particularly by guitarists
Tone quality
The quality of a performer’s sound (which may be ‘rich’, ‘rounded’, ‘thin’, etc.)
In films, the provision of music to accompany dialogue or visual scenes and emphasise moods and enhance atmosphere
Vocal score
For a work for voices and orchestra, a vocal score has the voice parts and a keyboard reduction of the orchestral part (the latter often annotated to give some indication of the scoring)
In aleatoric (or aleatory) music aspect(s) of composition normally under the composer’s control (e.g. aspects of pitch, rhythm or even form) are left to chance and/or to the choice of the performer(s)
A type of virtuosic one-movement composition for piano pioneered by Chopin
Refers to music in the Western Classical Tradition from c1600 to c1750
Strictly relates to music and dance from the Punjab, but is also applied to some related styles of popular music that may show the influence of reggae and electronic dance music
A work (sacred or secular, and particularly associated with the baroque period) in several movements for singer(s) and instruments
A type of hymn traditionally sung in Lutheran churches in Germany. Harmonising chorale melodies has long been an academic discipline in music
Classical (with upper-case C)
Refers to music in the Western Classical Tradition from c1750 to c1820
classical (with lower-case c)
Describes music from the Western Classical Tradition generally (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, etc.)
Electronic music
Music produced by and for electronic musical instruments and other forms of electronic technology, including computers
Adjective describing an early 20th-century movement in the arts (chiefly in Austria and Germany). Expressionist music portrayed extravagant (often dark) emotional states, and is often associated with free atonality
The blending of more than one musical style or culture to create a new ‘fused’ sound (e.g. Afro-Cuban)
Term applied to Indonesian orchestras (largely consisting of gongs and metallophones) and to the music composed for them
Originally a fusion of African and North American styles. A number of varieties of jazz have developed over time, including New Orleans, swing, bebop
Art song with German text, chiefly from the Romantic period. Plural: ‘Lieder’
Art song with French text, composed chiefly from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century
Musical theatre
Musical theatre integrates songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance, within a popular idiom. ‘Musicals’ are extended pieces of musical theatre from which favourite songs are often performed separately
Oral tradition
Music learnt by listening and repeating, and passed on orally
A multi-movement work for soloists, choir and orchestra, on a religious text
Programmatic music
A type of art music (sometimes known as ‘programme music’) characteristic principally of the Romantic period, and generally for orchestra, in which the composer depicts a pre-conceived series of extra-musical events or ideas. (The opposite of ‘absolute’ music, which is non-representational)
(Or ‘raga’/’raag’.) In Indian classical music a melodic framework on which improvisations and compositions are based (not to be confused with ‘rag’ or ‘ragtime’ in Western music)
Emerged in the 1950s as ‘rock and roll’, and subsequently developed into a range of different popular styles
Refers to music in the Western Classical Tradition from c1820 to c1900
In a serial composition the composer manipulates a set of notes (often all twelve notes of the chromatic scale) to establish thematic unity, within a piece, most commonly one without a clear sense of traditional tonality. The term originated in the early 20th century
A composition for one or more solo instruments, usually in three or four movements

Question words and what sort of information you are expected to write

Dictation questions, for example, to fill in blanks on a score
Give points which may or may not be linked When linked there will be a correct order
Give points that are linked to a justification or extension May be describing the effect something creates
Make points about the similarities and differences Make relative judgements
Identify the issue/situation/problem/argument that is being assessed within the question Explore all aspects of an issue/situation/problem/argument Investigate the issue/situation/problem/argument by reasoning or argument
Examine, dissect musical elements in detail Focus on individual musical elements and how they combine to create an effect/achieve a purpose
Make judgements against parameters Draw conclusions

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