MHST Webern score

Master of Music
Music Theory Competency Exam
Part Writing and Analysis
Part II: Analysis—Piece B
Webern: Concerto for Nine Instruments, Op. 24

Please print out a copy of this page in order to record your answers as you take this practice test. You can also use this PDF file to record answers.

You have been provided with a score excerpt of an orchestral piece from the twentieth century (top of page). Answer the following questions with reference to this score. In the actual exam, a recording of the excerpt will be played for you two times. For this practice exam, please look online for a recording of Webern's Concerto for Nine Instruments, Op. 24.

MHST Webern scoreTexture

1. The musical texture of Piece B may be described as a mosaic-like combination of various short three-note figures. While these three-note figures are all quite similar, they are presented in such a way that the listener can easily distinguish them from each other.

 

Consider measures 1–3 of the score.

 

 

a) Name two musical factors that help a listener to recognize the similarities between the three-note figures.

 

 

b) How are the three-note figures in this passage set apart from each other? Name three musical factors that help a listener to hear each three-note figure as an individual unit within the overall texture.

 

 

MHST Webern scoreMelodic Motives

2. This musical example shows eight three-note figures occurring in measures 4–7. They will be referred to as motives A–H in this question.

 

 

 

 

Compare motives A–H, paying careful attention to their melodic structures and shapes.

 

 

 

 

a) Which motives are exact transpositions of each other? (List each pair of motives that are related in this way. One possible answer is provided below.)

B and F

b) Which motives are melodic inversions of each other?

 

c) Which motives are melodic retrogrades of each other?

 

d) Which motives are melodic retrograde-inversions of each other?

 

Rhythm

3. Compare the overall rhythm of measures 1–3 with the overall rhythm of measures 4–5. Explain the rhythmic development in measure 4–5.

 

Twelve-Tone Series

4. The pitch structure of Piece B is governed by a twelve-tone series. This twelve-tone series is used in four different forms (prime form, inversion, retrograde, retrograde inversion) as well as in different transpositions. The prime form of the series is stated in measures 1–3. It consists of the following succession of pitches:

Prime form (mm. 1–3): B - Bb - D - Eb - G - F# - G# - E - F - C - C# - A

This initial statement of the series is followed, in measures 4–8, by three more statements. For each series statement in measures 4–8, provide the following information:

  • Spell out the succession of pitches that constitutes the series. (The first and last pitches are given below.)
  • Identify the form of the series, choosing from the following options: prime form, inversion, retrograde, or retrograde-inversion. (You do not need to specify the transposition level.)

MHST Webern scorea) Measures 4–5, piano

  • Succession of pitches:
    D
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    C
  • Form of series:
    ………………

MHST Webern scoreb) Measures 6–7 (beat 1); clarinet, viola, violin, oboe

  • Succession of pitches:
    C#
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    B
  • Form of series:
    ………………

 

 

MHST Webern scorec) Measures 7 (beat 2) – 8; piano, flute, trumpet

  • Succession of pitches:
    C
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    ………………
    Bb
  • Form of series:
    ………………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012-08-07


I REMAIN TRUE TO MY STARTING PRINCIPLE. TO WRITE SOLELY AS I MYSELF THINK BEST. FELIX MENDELSSOHN