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Brandenburg Concerto No.

2 Lesson 3

Tips when analysing the prescribed works

When approaching any piece of music there will always be many different ways of analysing it. Sometimes a
standard form might be appropriate, such as sonata or rondo form, but as long as good references are made to the
actual music there might be different ways of describing how the composer has gone about constructing their music.
The analysis below is just one way of approaching Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, for example.

Write as much detail as you can onto your copy of the score. This will be a constant reminder of important points as
you listen, and will reinforce your understanding of how the work is put together.

Check that your score has bars or rehearsal numbers. If it hasn’t got either, write in bar numbers every 5 or 10 bars.
If it has rehearsal numbers but no bar numbers, it is advisable to add them. Accurate location of musical features in
the score is vital to getting a good exam mark. You can even locate things within a bar. This, for example – bar 4² –
means the second beat of bar four.

Have a go at playing some parts of the score on your instrument. Even if your skills are basic you will get a good idea
of how melodies and harmonies are put together. You could even rewrite sections of the score to play with other
members of your class.

The IB music exam paper very often focuses on the musical elements, such as melody, rhythm, texture, timbre,
harmony, etc., and so always try to think about these as you are listening and analysing the piece with the score.

Task 1:

Read the information on The Concerto Grosso, then see if you can use your score to expand the structure table below
to create an overview of the structure within the first movement.

1. Description of ritornello form

2. Name given to the group of instruments that usually play the ritornello:

3. Which group of instruments plays the solos?

4. Name of the sections played between the ritornello by the soloists:

5. Which movements of a concerto are mostly in ritornello form?

6. On a blank sheet of paper, create your own diagram of the structure of movement 1 (use the score to help)

7. Using your Prescribed Works guide, check your diagram and make any alterations needed.

8. Thematic Material: Using your highlighter (one colour) highlight the main theme (Ex.1) every time it occurs
within the first movement.

9. Ext: Next to each occurrence, write the key in which the theme appears.