Change is a second way of creating emphasis. We change into our pajamas to indicate we’re ready to go to sleep. We all notice when the weather changes. If the lights go out, it will catch your attention. If the crowd noise suddenly rises at a sporting match, you will want to know what happened. Likewise, in music, a change—of register, texture, density, speed, dynamic, etc.—will create an emphasis.

Example 7
In the Berlioz: Requiem, the text “Hosanna in excelsis ” is first sung by high voices and instruments. When low voices and instruments enter, the change in register creates an emphasis.

Musical Example: Hector Berlioz, “Agnus Dei” from Requiem

Example 8
Similarly, in Kristof Penderecki’s Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, each string entrance is emphasized by a change in register.

Musical Example: Kryzsztof Penderecki, Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima

Example 9
The greater the change, the greater the emphasis. In the Finale of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, the change in density is sudden and dramatic.

Musical Example: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 2, IV

Example 10
In “Danse de la fureur” from Olivier Messaien’s Quartet for the End of Time, a sudden change in dynamics creates a strong emphasis.

Musical Example: Olivier Messiaen, “Danse de la fureur” from Quartet for the End of Time

The longer a particular state has been maintained, the greater the emphasis of the change.

Example 11
The opening of Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No. 1 begins with spare sounds played on the prepared piano (a piano with objects inserted inside the instrument to make its pitch more undefined). The solo violins enter quietly. But after such a long introduction, a well-marked emphasis is created by the change of instrumentation.

Musical Example: Alfred Schnittke, Concerto Grosso No. 1

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