Posted in Project 6: Analyzing Solo Compositions

Analysis 2: Mosaic Gradation in Honegger’s Danse de la Chevre for Solo Flute

The second woodwind piece I chose to analyze is Honneger’s Danse de la Chevre (translated as goat dance) for solo flute. Like the previous analysis, I will outline the structure of the composition, and the observations regarding melodic design and the tonality will be included in each section.

Somehow, comparing to Ozborne’s Rhapsody, the structure of Danse de la Chevre is more mosaic then it would initially seem to be. Some may recognize a mixture of ternary ABA, sonata allegro, perhaps even the rondo-like form. The structure could be A B C Ba B Ca A1, but A can also simply be the introduction and A1 the coda. A is a lento melody, B a dance section, and C is a pastoral melody. The small letter next to B and C denote that the melodies have been varied with the change in tonality.

Section A (bars 1-13) or perhaps introduction, opens the piece, beginning with the lento melody of subsection a (bars 1-6). It is a musical sentence, constructed as 2+4. Although opening with the tritone C – F#, the first two bars pivot around the B minor chord as the tonal centre, as can be seen in the second bar. Despite the interval jumps of 4ths, the phrase moves in a steady wave-like motion with slow crochet notes. In the next four bars, the initial motif C – F# – B – E is repeated, but the new tones – F natural and Ab appear with faster rhythmic figures (quavers and triplets), transferring the pitch centre to E. The melody is then constructed by repeating the D – Ab – D – F – E motif two more times. This place represents a somewhat dead point for the melody – as it cannot progress further, it completely breaks apart into the chromaticism and 16th notes, descending down to D in a scattered fashion. The whole musical sentence is thereby designed with interesting effects of gradation, first with longer notes and several pitches, then shorter and shorter notes with more and more added pitches, creating a nice dramatic effect. Continue reading “Analysis 2: Mosaic Gradation in Honegger’s Danse de la Chevre for Solo Flute”

Posted in Project 6: Analyzing Solo Compositions

Analysis 1: Beneath the Abstract Surface of Osborne’s Rhapsody for Solo Bassoon

Project 6 is about analyzing two solo woodwind pieces from the suggested listening given in the course material. After listening, the task is to make our own analysis, including the structural design, melodic contour and the scales and tonality. For the first composition to analyze, I chose Willson Osborne’s Rhapsody, which is widely performed by bassoonists, but also clarinetists, since Osborne adapted it for the instrument.

Osborne himself commented about his piece, calling it “abstract music” stating that he used the “Oriental technique of variation, in which short song-like fragments are each in turn developed… to be rhapsodic and improvisational in character.” 

Continue reading “Analysis 1: Beneath the Abstract Surface of Osborne’s Rhapsody for Solo Bassoon”