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Rhythm/Tempo Timbre/Dynamics Melody/Harmony

rm Key

Romantic Era String

Aases Death

Edvard Grieg
This is a repetition of the opening theme but the V indicates
players to start at the point of the bow (most phrases begin at
Key of B Minor the heel) which ensures they play more quietly. Note the
pianissimo dynamic marking here. Romantic composers liked
to use the whole spectrum of dynamics available to them.
Andante Doloroso means walking, Pedal note B and
sadly. This is like a trudge, someone Homophonic Texture; falling by a semitone
sad, dragging their feet. Plaintive and Simple. Suits - enhances the feeling
the Elegy or Funeral of uncertainty,
march theme. trepidation.

It could be argued that the

Double Basses are left This instruction says Viole because that is the Italian
unmuted to boost the for Violas (plural) and Con sordini is written
deepest notes in the beneath again, the pluralized con sordino.
orchestration, and
highlight the darker,
deeper tones.
Why is there a rest at the end of each 4 bar section? And why is it a
quaver rest first and a crotchet second? (go back and check if you dont
believe me). Strings do not require to stop playing to breathe, so it is
not breathing markings. However, it interrupts the phrasing in a way
that taking breaths might do for a woodwind or brass player. This could
be Griegs way of depicting Aeses breathing labouring towards the end
of her life. Or is it suggesting the breathing pattern of someone crying
through grief?

Contrary Motion within the theme. This

is recurring throughout the movement.
Does it represent something? At the time
of Aeses death, was she torn between
the will to live and the will to let go and Repetition of whole theme begins but is now a 5 th higher. Effect
die? This is a common dilemma with whole thing is brighter and stronger. What might be the point
people at the end of life; they want to in this is it to increase tension and suspense by literally
rest but they want to remain with the heightening the theme? Or is it to depict a moment of
world they know and love. happiness or peace?
Divisi an instruction for string players to play
Dynamics are developed from the different notes one plays the top notes and
first statement of this theme by the other plays the bottom notes. This allows
adding crescendo instruction double stopping to effectively take place.
why? Is it because the piece is Effect Orchestra able to play twice as many
starting to build momentum and notes as before at once. Bigger, fuller sound.,
this gives a sense of building

Notice that in the space of 1.5 Fortissim

Parts split into Octaves. This thickens the texture of
beats the composer wants not only mo,
the music and builds intensity, defining the melodic
a crescendo, but an accent Accents.
and harmonic movement. The climax of the music is
forzando its a sudden increase in the next 4 bars, where the dynamic steps up to Weve
volume. Why might this happen reached
here? the climax
of the
Accents continue throughout the climactic Melodic movement is now
statement of the theme. Punctuating the descending by step, when it
theme and the emotional intensity is at its overwhelmingly ascended by leap
height. before. This is where the piece
starts to fold back into itself again.

Highest note in
the piece; no
coincidence that Double bass section drops out from the
texture. Coupled with the other
this happens
instruments playing in their high registers,
now, during the
this thins out the texture; contrasting with
climax. the climactic previous 8 bars.
Section B theme is now an octave
lower than first statement 8 bars
ago. Adds to the sense of overall
falling and shrinking.

Double Basses return

once the music has
dropped down an octave
from 8 bars ago. Sense
of falling from a great
height, or slumping down.
Enhances overall sadness
of movement.
Longest silences yet, A Pause; an
1.5 beats of rests. Both extension of the
happening in the long, slow note.
penultimate bars of the What might this
piece why? Slowing, mean in the context
interrupting the pulse, of Aeses death?

Morendo Italian term that means

Coda; this is the only part of the Dying. The players are to play
music that does not split into this sustained note in a way that
an even, 4 bar phrase. This is allows it to decay to silence at the
5 bars, which is unbalanced, and end. Strings are good at this
aids the sense of slowing, because they have the full length
decaying and stopping. Like the of the bow to adjust their pressure
death of the music. and result in less sound gradually
fading to nothing.
Overall Summary
Overall sense of music: Death, Dying,
Decay, Sadness.
Expressed by:
Rhythm/Tempo Timbre/Dynamics Melody/Harmony

Andante Con Sordino Key of B Minor Binary form

Doloroso Dynamics Chromatic goes up,
Crotchet pianissimmo movement comes down.
Rests/Quaver to fortissimo Pedal notes Equal 4 bar
Rests at end of Use of Accents Contrary phrases until 5
each 4 bar Use of Motion bar coda
phrase crescendo Theme moving Homophonic
Rests in Coda Divisi instruction up to dominant texture
Pause Octaves Loss of Double
Climbing up and Basses
Simple time
down registers Divisi
Either just using these findings or adding more
that you have spotted, answer the following
Essay Question:

In Death of Aese for string orchestra, how

does the composer convey the emotional
content behind the music? Refer to specific
compositional techniques and musical examples.

This essay should be approximately 1500 words.