Elizabeth I leitmotifs

As the first of the leitmotif to be created, it is very clear, that Elizabeth I should have her own music identity, as from the following leitmotifs shown, both have similar melodic lines, this due to:

1. The use of tonic note (in this example is C) in this way, tries to convey the strength in Elizabeth’s character, mostly her intellectual might, but also her will power.

2. The simplicity of the melody, allows this leitmotif room to develop, and also sounds effective given the genres in mind.

However, the two variations are different mostly due to what is played in the accompaniment

elizabeth-leimotif-iLeitmotif 1 employs ‘ploddering’ movement, which could be very effective for Elizabeth’s Coronation and new prayer book event (track 1), to establish the grandness of such a ceremony. This variation could be good to use in the Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots event (track 3), but using a minor key or chromatic chords to highlight, Elizabeth’s dread of the consequences of the events to unfold. elizabeth-leitmotif-2

Leitmotif 2, is perhaps best suited in the Issue of Marriage event (track 2) and The Spanish Armada (track 4), as the combination of the semiquaver movement, and the octave raise. can for song 2, mimic Elizabeth’s uncertainty of marriage, both as a heart pounding feeling as she has a lot of expectation on her shoulders to marry, but realises seconds after the initial thought, the problems it will cause.




One thought on “Elizabeth I leitmotifs

  1. I’ve enjoyed working on the music for a couple of tracks: It seems well thought out and James provided plenty of background to the project. Illustrating historical material with ‘modern’ music is always an interesting challenge and I hope that the final result will be thought-provoking and entertaining.

    Best wishes,


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