Bernstein-Somethings Coming Essay

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Essay Something’s coming- Bernstein ‘Something’s coming’ is a piece of music from and American musical called West Side story. This musical was completed in 1957. The music is by Leonard Bernstein and the words are by Stephen Sondheim. The melody of this piece has a pervasive amount of short riffs, that add anticipation the piece, and long notes that add to the hopeful effect of the piece. The motif of this piece is Tritone (G# and D). Although this song has a happy vibe, this motif adds foreshadowing. This piece has a structure that consists of: Intro; A section; B section; B1 section; A1 section; outro. There are many uses of short riffs along with long notes. Bernstein uses 3-beat ostinato to set a breathy and excited mood. Jazz Harmonies, Syncopated Rhythm & Tritone are all used in this piece. ‘Something’s coming’ has a jazz harmony. The chords in this piece have blue notes, this creates a swingy, jazzy feel to the piece and makes the piece a happy, up beat song. The piece is bitonal in places. The A section is in D major and the B section modulates to C major. This song is for a male solo singer and an extended theatrical orchestra. The theatrical orchestra consists of 5 woodwind, 2 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 7 violins, 4 cellos, In addition, he used a drum-kit, two other percussionists, piano, electric and acoustic guitars, saxophones, a mandolin and celeste. Also uses of Latin-American instruments – castanets and maracas to reflect the Puerto Rican gang. The rhythm of this piece uses a lot of syncopation from American-Latin and African roots and triplets are used to give a lazy feel to the song. The time signature is 3/4 however cross rhythms are used so the piece can sound like it is

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