Something's Coming General Points
-Composed by Leonard Bernstein
- A song from the musical 'West Side Story', which is a musical based on Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'.
- First Performed on Broadway in 1957.
- Sung by solo tenor voice, 'Tony'.
- Solo tenor voice.
- Accompanied by a chamber orchestra consisting of woodwind, brass, percussion and strings.
- Quiet dynamics, soft timbres, the use of mutes, pizzicato and a clear homophonic texture are used to make sure that instruments don't overpower the voice.
- The music illustrates the words, for instance when he sings 'the air is humming'.
- Harmonies and tremolo are used in the strings.
- the instruments often imitate each other, usually at different octaves.
Melody and Structure
- The piece is almost entirely syllabic and based on the following 3 main themes:
1) A quiet, syncopated opening theme.
2) A loud, strident theme in the metre 2/4 that starts at bar 21.
3) A lyrical, slow-moving theme that starts at bar 73.
- The themes are repeated a number of times but are varied each time by Bernstein.
- Bernstein changes things such as the metre or words each time a theme is heard.
Rhythm, Metre and Tempo
- Metre changes between 2/4 and 3/4.
- Changes of metre, a fast tempo and the use of a lot of syncopation maintains a feeling of excitement and anticipation.
- Use of cross-rhythms throughout (for example in the intro).
- Accompaniment is made up of an off-beat bassline, which constantly pushes forward a 'push rhythm', and offbeat chords.
Harmony And Tonality
- Written in D Major although there are 2 contrasting sections in C Major (heard in bars 32-72 and 106-127)
- Use of tritone which is an interval of 3 whole tones, e.g. C-F#.
- Last note of the entire piece is a flattened 7th which remains unsolved and creates a feeling of incompletion.
- The harmony is jazz influenced.
Nathan on October 17, 2018:
What is the song about
callum on January 23, 2017:
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Joe on October 18, 2016:
Yeah, that may be Oli. But it will still help. And in some cases people may not have access to a revision guide so this could be a lifesaver.
Oli on September 25, 2016:
It's not too difficult to write articles like this if all you'really doing is rewording what it says in the revision guide
Kyla on June 05, 2016:
I take my GCSE music in a week and these pages are really helpful. Thank you for making them
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Alex on March 18, 2015:
Very useful source of information, however for the exam we need 2 points for texture so another point could have been added for texture
Anna on January 14, 2015:
Thank Christ for you
will fielding on October 06, 2014:
absolutely love this website, has helped me so much thank you!
Derry on April 16, 2014:
anon on February 09, 2014:
alex on January 27, 2014:
life saver, i would be completely lost without these pages, thx soooo much
joseph on November 01, 2012:
you are pretty
Emily (author) on May 13, 2012:
Haha, you're welcome.
Emily (author) on May 12, 2012:
Olly on May 12, 2012:
Thank you for doing this! I'm panicking and writing out section B answers for everything as we speak and these pages are really useful for including things I'd almost completely forgotten.. Thanks again :)
Emily (author) on May 12, 2012:
No problem! I'm glad that you found it useful. :) I'm taking mine on Monday too.
Good luck in the exam!
Lauren on May 12, 2012:
Thanks a lot for this analysis, I am taking my Music GCSE in two days and this is REALLY helpful.
Emily (author) on April 14, 2012:
I love West Side Story too, definitely my favourite musical! Thank you! :)
collegatariat on April 13, 2012:
How interesting! I love West Side Story, and you did a great job of musical analysis that was enjoyable to read. Thanks for sharing!