Compare and Contrast Melody and Structure in the Brahms, Debussy and Poulenc. (36 Marks)

1067 Words Jun 11th, 2013 5 Pages
Compare and Contrast melody and structure in the Brahms, Debussy and Poulenc. (36 marks)
From 1820 onwards the Romantic era began. This is where composers began to experiment more with their structure, making it as complex as possible, but still making sure that the listener can here lots of different motifs. This idea is basically having a few themes and using these to create different sections through augmentation and fragmentation etc. Also melodies became more flamboyant with composers adding in more chromatic lines to their melodies.
Brahms is a composer in which melody is not the key focus, but still does in fact use it to his advantage. As a romantic composer Brahms definitely uses the features of the romantic era in his music,
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In addition, a melodic feature which is unique to this composition is the arpeggio figures, which is shown in the trumpet in the first three notes. This appergio figures helps us to establish what key we are in. Furthermore, just like the Brahms Poulenc makes use of our ability to make extreme dynamics for the melody,without having to add instruments. It starts off quietly until the fourth bar where it jumps to forte for three homorhythm notes. Lastly, Poulenc uses some chromaticism, just like Debussy. The chromatic melodic figure that appears in this piece is in the trombone in the Coda.
Brahms is very particular about the structure of his composition also. The overall structure of the piece is Ternary Form, which is A-B-A or this case Scherzo-Trio-Scherzo. The Scherzo is a movement which is mean to be like ‘a joke’. This structure and Scherzo was influecend by the Classical period as we were still developing the romantic era at this time.Brahms, decides to experiment with the Ternary structure though, so within the Scherzo there are three themes called A,B and C, and these are formed together witha fugato section to form ABCAB Fugato BCAB. Furthermore, the Trio also uses its own Ternary form within itself with different themes. Lastly, the structure of the Fugato section is also experimented with to make it complicated and decorative to the listener, so Brahms uses a fugal subject and countersbujects

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