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Elaine Pranadjaya Grade 11 16th March 2017

Semester 2 Music Week 7

How does ach use these themes to balance melodic continuity


while still achieving melodic variation in this movement?
In Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 Movement II, Bach uses 3 main themes to
balance melodic continuity while still achieving melodic variation in this
movement.
By alternating the parts between the 3 solo instruments, Bach provides
melodic continuity. This movement starts off with the violin playing theme A.
When the violin starts to play theme B, the Oboe enters and plays theme A.
When the violin is playing theme C, the flute enters with theme A. In the first six
bars, the 3 solo instruments are all playing the same parts, but just entering at
different times. This creates a polyphonic and canonic texture and balances
melodic continuity.
The second example of melodic continuity is when Bach changes the key.
The piece is in D minor, but there are some parts of this movement which are not
in D minor. For example, in bars 8 to 15, it is in A minor, but still using the same
melodic themes. In beat 3 of bar 9, Bach takes theme A, and transposes it to fit
the key of A minor. In bars 33 to 37, there is a circle of fifths going from Bb F
Cm Gm D. The melodic idea comes from a motif from theme C. Bach takes
the motifs and alters the pitch to fit the circle of fifths.
Bach also achieves melodic variation in this movement. The first example
would be the use of motifs. In bar 33 beat 3, the recorder and oboe is playing a
motif that is taken from theme C. Bach does not use the entire theme C, but
instead varies it by only using the first two beats. The motif is alternated by the
3 soloists until beat 1 of bar 37. There is also a rhythmic displacement when
Bach adds an extra crotchet in the violin part in beat 2 of bar 34. This extra
crotchet varies the motif, because instead of the motif starting on beat 3, it now
starts on beat 2.
The second example of melodic variation is the change in rhythm of the
melodic themes. The melodic idea starting on beat 3 of bar 13 comes from
Theme A. It starts off with a crochet which is the same as theme A, but instead of
the next note being a dotted crochet, it is replaced by 3 quavers. In beat 1 of bar
16, instead of the note being a trill on a crochet note, it is replaced by 2 quavers,
and the trill is moved to the quaver in beat 2 of bar 16. The melodic idea that
starts on beat 3 of bar 25 and ends on beat 2 of 27 also comes from theme A.
The rhythm of the first 4 beats are identical to theme A, however, the second
half comes from a motif in theme B. Bach has merged the two themes together
to create this varied melodic idea.
In conclusion, by interchanging the instrument parts and changing keys,
Bach provides melodic continuity; and by using motifs, rhythmic displacement,
rhythmic variation, and merging themes, Bach achieves melodic variation in this
movement.