How To Appreciate Music Composition

Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 by Edward Elgar is regarded as one of the most classic pieces written and prepared in the history of classical American music. Also known as graduation march the creation, on an apparent level, can be considered to be flat, ceremonial, unintrusive and just a normal background music. However, in its original form, the music of the composition is dynamic, joyous, extroverted and even flamboyant in some places.
During the course of this discussion we will be having a proper musical analysis of this particular composition and by taking this particular work in music as reference will try to develop a comprehensive approach towards the multiple dimensions of music and the ways in which it has been applied in this particular composition. The first section of the composition is around one minute and thirty eight seconds.
The opening of the composition can have a rather unstable feeling on the listener which sets a tone of high energy. By the eight second the harmonies settle down which is then followed by primary theme. This is once again repeated in the 47th second. It gets repeated one more time at 1:23 leading to something new. The final few seconds experience the listening of the primary theme again, but it concludes rather quickly. The B section of the composition begins at 1:53 which is quite solemn and develops a calm feeling on the listener.
At 3:11 a stretch in the tempo is experienced using instruments such as snare drum and timpani for creating it which is then converted in a tidal wave by 3:30. At 3:48 the same, but a rather abbreviated version of the composition as done in A is repeated. Repetition of B section is once again repeated by 4:47 where chromatic scales are on high nodes and scales to build up the tension (Kennedy, 1987). The use of pipe organ is pure patriotic era and patriotic excess. This is then followed by excess use of drum roll at high nodes. By 5:56 the composition enters its conclusive phase where the primary theme A is repeated.
By looking at the key of the entire composition it can be said that the composition is pre-dominantly set in minor version with presence of modulation in it since it goes on high as well as low levels when using instruments at different phases of the composition. Pomp and Circumstance is composed in polyphonic mode since there are many simultaneous compositions operating at the same time to impose a collective effect and mood of the composition.
The composition can be termed as dynamic only with slight variations that have taken place in each section. For instance in section A there have been slight variations and dynamic display of instruments used and likewise in section B as well (Diana, 2007). Use of dynamic instruments on a massive level has not been experienced in the entire composition. There are many instruments that have been used in the composition and each of it has been used in a distinguished manner which has made it prominent enough in the whole composition.
In section A major instruments that have been used include brass and percussion, whereas, in section B the instruments used include pipe organ and bass drum roll which are then repeated in each pattern. The melody set by the composition is pre-dominantly chromatic making use of all the possible twelve nodes to bring the composition. Similar has been the case with harmony which has been developed on a chromatic scale especially in section B of the composition.
Also, the rhythmic pace of the composition is quite uniform since the nodes and scales at which it is played are quite limited and hence the potential for any massive scale rhythmic changes is not possible. The composition has been set in duple meter setting since each measure can easily be divided into two components and each measure contains two quarter note and four beats. Last but not the least, it is also important to understand the feeling that the composition develops on the listener.
The composition which has mainly been set in the backdrop of war helps us understand the devastation and the destruction that war brings along with itself. Hence, for all the people who may have lost their relatives or loved ones in a war or whose lives may have been affected by it in some way or the other may feel the actual pain and brutality that the composition and its music carries with itself.

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