AS Edexcel Instrumental Set Works 2014: Debussy Pour le Piano, Sarabande (NAM 24), Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor, Op.34: movement III (NAM 18)
Edexcel have prescribed four set works under the Instrumental Music list for the 2014 exam. This article will examine two of these, by Brahms and Debussy - providing background and musical analysis of Debussy's Pour le piano and Brahms's Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34.
As this paper has followed the same format since 2009, it is tempting to concentrate solely on a list of facts students need to learn about each work, perhaps at the expense of a deeper understanding of the pieces themselves. This article’s main aim is to enable the set works to be appreciated first and foremost as pieces of music, through listening, analysis and detective work. All the necessary musical terminology will of course still be covered during the course of the article, but the primary focus is on developing an understanding of the works themselves.