Music Analysis Bach Suite No. 3 in D Major Gavotte

Topics: Key signature, Musical notation, Chord Pages: 8 (3080 words) Published: May 17, 2013
Analysis: Bach Suite No. 3 in D major
The instruments used in the piece are:
* Trumpet 1
* Trumpet 2
* Trumpet 3
* Timpani
* Oboe 1
* Oboe 2
* Violin 1
* Violin 2
* Viola
* Continuo – Harpsichord or Double Bass
Why this piece is typically baroque
This is piece is baroque as it includes many of the baroque characteristics: * Perfect Cadence!! – In the concept Pitch, the perfect cadence is very obvious at the end of the sections and phrases – change from the dominant to the tonic. * Duration – the rhythmic pattern heard at the start of each gavotte, is reiterated many times throughout the piece. This also links to Pitch – the opening melody of the piece is heard many times throughout each gavotte. * The soprano (Violin 1) and bass lines are very important in the Baroque period. This is the same in this piece. The bass continuo is what all the chordal changes are based around * The Basso Continuum- very common in the baroque period

* The balance of homophonic and polyphonic textures throughout the piece is very common throughout the Baroque period. * Having each section repeated (structure) – when in Binary form (two sections to a movement), was very common Structure

The broad structure of the piece is – A (bars 1-11) A (bars 1-11 repeated) A1 (bars 12-27) A1( bars 12-27 repeated) B(bars 28-44) B (bar 28-44 repeated) B1(bars 45-61) B1(bars 45-61 repeated) A (coda back to bars 1-11) A (bars 1-11 repeated) A1 (bars 12-27 from coda) A1(bars 12-27 repeated). However, within each section there are variations of phrases repeated through The A sections and different variations of other phrases through the B sections. Section A – bars 1-11

Pitch – the key of the piece is D major, as shown in the key signature, with the non-transposing instruments having 2 sharps. This is also shown by the first and last chord of the piece being a D major chord. Bars 1-7 are in D major, however through the use of G # accidental, the key changes to A major which is the dominant. In Bar 11 there is a perfect cadence in the A major key, which finishes off the section – note E to A. For all the instruments apart from the trumpet 3 and the timpani, the range of each of these instruments is over an octave wide. The trumpet and timpani have a limited range as they only have 4 or 5 tone ranges in this section. The register of the section overall is medium to high for all instruments, however it is very hard to tell as there are leaps and jumps all over the place. This leads to the contour of the melody. The melody is played by the violins and trumpets. The melody is smooth mostly apart from an occasional leap above an octave. Mostly, they are just throughout the first, third and last phrase. In the first phrase (bars 1-2), there is a leap up over an octave, then a skip down a 3rd and a step up. This rhythm and melody line is a repeated sequence throughout the piece. It is repeated at different pitches, depending on the key at the time of the sequence. For example, the same phrase is repeated in bars 2 and 3, 5 and 6 and also 6 and 7 – shown in the musical excerpt.

A different sequence from bars 3-5 is also apparent. This is repeated in A major in bars 7-10. Ornamentation in bar 3 and 5 – grace notes and trills – provides decoration throughout the section. Duration – The piece is in common time – 4/4.

The lengths of notes in Section A are reasonably short. There is a repeated motif (bars 1-3) that is repeated not only in Section A, but through Gavotte 1 – a crotchet, 2 quavers and a minim (in the excerpt above). On the score there is no tempo printed, however, from listening to the piece, I would say the tempo is allegro. The metre is simple quadruple and the pulse is strict. The beat is very steady, with regular accents, falling on beats 1 and 3. The anacrusis is two beats before bar 2, providing the obvious downbeat and starting phrase of the piece. There are four phrases in Section...
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