Music for a while: Henry Purcell (Performing forces and their handling.…
Music for a while: Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell is a English Baroque composer and is widely regarded as being on of the most influential English composers through history.
Music for a while is the second of four movements written as incidental music for John Dryden's play (Oedipus)
In 1962 Purcell set parts of this play to music ans music for a while is one of his most renowned pieces.
Performing forces and their handling.
Music for a while was written voice (most usually a tenor) and continuo.
This particular edition is scored for soprano, harpsichord and bass viol an has been transposed from the original key of C minor to A minor.
The right hand part is an elaborate realization and i highly decorative and embellished with frequent dotted rhythms and ornamentation such as upper and lower mordants , grace notes and appoggiaturas.
At the time, this would have been improvised by the player.
The soprano line has a range of a ninth.
Much of the music is conjuncted or step wise.
Passing notes are frequents.
rests are used to break up a phases.
The texture is melody and accompaniment/melody dominant homophony.
The right hand of the harpsichord is an elaborate realization and provides some counterpoint with the vocal line.
The accompaniment is provided by the ground in the left hand of the harpsichord and the bass viol.
The tonality however is sometimes ambiguous due to the chromatic and non-diatonic nature of the ground bass.
The music returns to the tonic key of A minor (bar 23) E minor (bar 27).
The music in A minor at bar 23.
Modulations are confirmed by perfect cadences.
Perfect cadences are archived from the chord V at the end of the ground to the chord I at the start
Suspensions are used very occasionally. For example, their is 4 - 3 suspension in bar 3.
The chords are diatonic and functional.
Tempo, Metre and Rhythm.
There is no tempo indication but a slow tempo would be appropriate for this piece.
The metre is 4/4 quadruple time.
The piece uses a wide variation of different rhythms.
This piece follows a ground bass structure.
At the end of the ground there is a characteristic fall of an octave.
Its melodic shape is arpeggio based.