Listening Test - Descriptive Questions.
June 2011. Question 2
A/ How does the music help to describe the feelings of loneliness in a small boy? (8 marks)
The high pitched flute played with piano dynamics could represent the fragile emotions of the small boy.
The extract has no clear rhythm or pulse adding to the feeling of uncertainty.
The texture is very sparse between the flute and the low pitch of the drones which could represent the boy's feeling of endless loneliness and isolation.
At the end of the extract there is a sense of a more positive, uplifting melody which could suggest that the boy has found some company at last.
B/ Give two ways in which technology might have been used to enhance the extract. (2 marks)
Digital effects could have been applied to the music to create the echo. The low pitched drone could have been created using a synthesiser.
Write a paragraph describing how the music expresses this title. (8 marks)
The rhythmic ostinato in the bass instruments sounds like the constant motion of factory machines. The quaver melody in the oboe or cor anglais could represent people scurrying around the factory machinery, trying to keep up with their neverending output. Muted brass instruments give a thin, piercing timbre adding to the intensity of the relentless machinery. The clashing (dissonant), accented chords give the impression that there is something wrong or dangerous about working in the factory. The crescendo suggests that the danger is increasing and the machines are out of control.
Bydlo - "A Polish cart on enormous wheels, drawn by oxen"
Write a paragraph describing how the music represents the title. (8 marks).
The slow tempo (lento) suggest the slow movement of the oxen. The rhythmic ostinato on lower strings representing the regular footprints.
The dynamics begin quietly (piano) and crescendo as if the cart is coming towards you before a diminuendo as it travels into the distance.
The crescendo to fortissimo with the dramatic snare drum roll and timpani help describe the huge scale of the cart.
The minor key gives the impression that it is hard, difficult work for the oxen.