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Monthly Archives: May 2016

AS Students …

Phew – you are done. Your homework is to do other stuff until I see you after exam leave!

Preparing for a A2 exam …

Listening
Make sure that you are really familiar (which I am sure you are) with GSMIRTH categories and that you have read the tips in the handbook for answering questions. You need to be strategic, writing down everything as you hear it. Keep answers simple, detailed and technical, making sure that you describe sequences of events (e.g. first the cellos have a tonic pedal then the horns enter playing a rising arpeggo).

There are plenty of spare listening tests on Moodle – make sure you do them and come to revision sessions to keep your skills fresh

Applied
You need to make 10 points to get full marks, bearing in mind the following:

  • Stick to core points (discussed in the revision notes) not made up peripheral ones
  • All your points should be about bar-numbered features of the score
  • Briefly relate each point back to the question
  • Use technical language correctly (e.g. chromatic/dissonant) and succinctly
  • Write a short introduction explaining the question and setting out the terms of your answer (e.g. Expressionist composers wanted to break free of the conventions of musical language in order to convey emotions more directly and intensely)

Preparing for the exam …

Listening to the music with heavily annotated scores is the best form of revision both for Question 1 and also for Question 3 – scores should be annotated from your revision notes AND those on Moodle (particularly in the case of vocal works, which are not in the main revision booklet).

You need to make sure you have learnt thoroughly the following:

For Question 3 …

  • Standard comparison questions (and regularly reviewed answers to them)
  • The content needed for Context questions (including making sure you are ready for variants of the Tippett and Webern questions)
  • Basic facts about all the pieces (keys, metre, structure etc.)

For Question 5 …

  • Cadence fingerprints
  • Method for completing harmony
  • Double SLAP

For Question 4 …

  • Standard embellishments
  • Different types of chords and cadences