The Rite Of Spring.
The Rite Of Spring is broken into two parts, the Adoration of The Earth and The Sacrafice. Each part is then broken up into movements which are chapters in the story of a sacrificial rite where a young girl dances herself to death. These movements do not have a strict form, but definite changes in mood can be observed, for example; the piece opens with a peaceful bassoon solo based on a folk melody, but it lasts for no longer than thirteen bars before darker themes are presented. The piece has been composed for a very large orchestra. The orchestra size is almost double the average, including extra instruments such as four bassoons. Most parts are doubled, but sometimes all the instruments have been given different parts, which leads to a very thick texture. This texture is thickened by polyphony and polytonality, creating intense and chaotic moments of climax. The tone for the folk-like melodies is sweet and soft, as a folk tune would be, but the tone used in the faster and more chaotic sections is often very harsh. The harshness is aided by cluster chords and dissonance [see trumpet parts, figure 16 + 4 bars]. Stravinsky does not conform to one key, he uses polytonality, Atonality, dissonance and chromaticism in The Rite of Spring, all of which have extreme qualities that are not always pleasing to listen to. In the folk-influenced sections the melody is the key feature [bars 1 12] and rhythm becomes less vital due to the irregularity of folk rhythms. However, rhythm in the intense sections [bars 13 onwards, with an exception at figure 12, where the music returns to the idea presented in the opening bars of the piece] is arguably the most important musical element. While the tonality is often hard to define, the rhythm is rigid and powerful, but not always regular [the opening to "The Augurs of spring, the dances of the young girls."] Ostinati patters will shift rhythmic centre and some patterns may be irregular, but the rhythm is still...
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