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

Topics: Romantic music, Ludwig van Beethoven, Sonata form Pages: 3 (1059 words) Published: May 30, 2013
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, for example, the augmentation of motifs. This happens regularly throughout the piece but specifically he does an augmentation of the x motif in bar 105-108. Another melodic feature that is present in this Piano Quintet is the use of ornamentation. This helps to create decoration to the melody line and is seen in the y motif at bar 109. The last melodic feature that Brahms predominantly uses is rests and staccatos. This creates a jerky melody throughout for the strings and piano to play. Debussy in contrast, uses smooth melodies, by using slurs, which is shown from the first bar to create his description of the poem. Another contrast to Brahms, is that Debussy uses solos and unaccompanied melodies in his composition and Brahms never lets a part play on its own. Debussy’s main and famous solo that he uses for the melody is in the flute at bar 1. Furthermore, he also uses whole tone scales to be able to create a different melody that has not been used before, and this is shown at bar 31 and 32 in the clarinet. Similarly to Brahms, Debussy decorates his melody, however not with ornamentation but with different rhythms so that he can add in extra note flurrys. For example, the rhythm in bar 3 in the flute, at bar 21-22 has been...
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