MUSIC OUTLINE

· An important part of the activities of humankind since the beginning of recorded history.

· Today music plays a vital and important role in the lives of human beings.

· It is found everywhere in our world.

· One more stimulus in the vast ocean of stimuli gathered by our senses daily.

 

 

Humans use music for many purposes:

· Personal entertainment

· Contemplative activities.

· Relaxation.

· Stimulation.

Music has the power to influence psychological aspects of behavior both consciously and unconsciously

 

 

 - Transmission and Reception of Sound

 

Three requirements for sound to "occur" in an environment:

 

· A vibrating source to initiate sound

· A medium to transmit sound vibrations throughout the environment - such as air or water.

· A receiver to hear or record sound vibrations.

 

Many varieties of vibrating sources in the World:

· Vocal cords

· A membrane of animal hide or synthetic material

· A stretched string that is plucked or bowed

· Objects such as wood, stone, clay, metal and glass that are struck

· Rattling of beads in a small enclosure,

· Clapping of hands, singing of birds, grunts and groans of animals

· Buzzing of lips in a small resonating tube

· Splitting of an air stream

· Small pieces of reed attached to a tube and set in motion by the action of human breath

· Many, many other natural vibrating sources.

· Sound may also be produced artificially by electronic synthesis

 

 

Music Elements

 

 

 

NOTATION

· Written on paper, so that the music may be performed again and again.

· Music notation system

· Enjoyment and understanding of most music is not dependent upon the ability to read and interpret written music notation.

 

 

 

 

 

MELODY - (Line, Space)

Melody—A succession of single tones or pitches that are perceived to be unified.

Sound Icon

Example: Brahms, Symphony No. 1,
fourth movement

 

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Characteristics of Melody:

 

· Pitch—The highness or lowness of a tone, depending on the frequency (rate of vibration)

 

Sound Icon

Example: Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C minor,
first movement

 

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· Interval—The distance and relationship between two pitches.

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Example: Chopin, Prelude in E minor, Op. 28, No. 4

 

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· Range—The distance between the lowest and highest tones of a melody, an instrument, or a voice.  (narrow,     medium or wide)

 

· Shape—The direction a melody takes as it turns upward or downward, or remains static.

 

· Phrase—As in language, a unit of meaning within a larger structure; thus, a melody may be divided into component phrases.

 

Sound Icon

Example: Beethoven, Symphony No. 9,
fourth movement, "Ode to Joy"

 

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· Cadence—A resting place in a musical phrase-musical punctuation.

 

· Countermelody—An accompanying melody playing against the principal melody.

 

Sound Icon

Example: Sousa, The Stars and Stripes Forever, Trio

 

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RHYTHM - (Rhythm, Pattern, Repetition, Time)

 

Rhythm—The element of time in music.

 

Sound Icon

Example: Ravel, Boléro

 

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Characteristics of Rhythm:

· Beat—Regular pulsation; a basic unit of length in musical time.

Sound Icon

Example: Haydn, Symphony No. 94 (Surprise), third movement

 

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· Accent—Emphasis on a note, so that it is louder or longer than another.

 

· Tempo—The rate of speed or pace of the musical pulse. (grave, largo, adagio, andante, allegro, vivace)

 

· Measure—A rhythmic group or unit that contains a fixed number of beats, divided on the musical staff by bar lines.

 

· Meter—The grouping of beats into larger, regular patterns, notated as measures.

 

· Upbeat—The last beat of a measure, a weak beat, which anticipates the downbeat, the first beat of the next measure.

 

· Downbeat—The first beat of a measure, the strongest in any meter.

 

· Syncopation—Deliberate upsetting of the meter or pulse through a temporary shifting of the accent to a weak beat, or an offbeat.

Sound Icon

Example: Joplin, The Entertainer

 

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  • Polyrhythmic - The simultaneous use of several rhythmic patterns or meters.

 

· Nonmetric—Music lacking a strong sense of beat or meter.

 

HARMONY - (Balance)

 

Harmony —The simultaneous combination of notes and the ensuing relationships of intervals and chords.

 

Sound Icon

Example: Mozart, Piano Concerto in C major, K. 467,
second movement

 

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Characteristics of Harmony:

· Chord — Simultaneous combination of tones (typically three or more) that constitute a single block of harmony.

 

Sound Icon

Example: Chopin, Prelude in E minor, Op. 28, No. 4

 

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· Scale — A series of tones or pitches in ascending or descending order.

 

· Tonality — The principal of organizing a work around a central tonic, or home pitch, based on a major or minor scale.

 

 

TEXTURE - (Texture)

 

Texture—The interweaving of melodic (horizontal) and harmonic elements in the musical fabric.

 

Generally described as:

 

· Monophonic one voice/part presents a single melody.

 

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Example: Gregorian chant, "Kyrie eleison"

 

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· Heterophonic: Two or more voices/parts elaborate on the same melody simultaneously.

 

· Homophonic: principle melody and accompanying harmony.

 

Sound Icon

Example: Mozart, Piano Concerto in C major, K. 467, second movement

 

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· Polyphonic: two or more melodies combine into a multi-voiced texture.

 

Sound Icon

Example: Mozart, Requiem, "Kyrie eleison"

 

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FORM - (Shape, Form)

Form—The structure or shape of a musical work, based on repetition, contrast, and variation; the organizing principle of music.

 

Characteristics of Form:

 

· Repetition—Within a form, repetition fixes the material in our mind and satisfies our need for the familiar; it provides unity to a form. (Pattern)

 

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Example: Saint-Saëns, Carnival of the Animals, "Fossils"

 

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· Contrast—Within a form, contrast sustains our interest and feeds our love of change. (Variety)

 

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Example: Corelli, Suite for Strings, "Badinerie"

 

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· Variation—A principle in which some aspects of the music are altered but still recognizable.

 

Sound Icon

Example: Haydn, Symphony No. 94 (Surprise), second movement

 

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Repetition, variation, and contrast are the foundational procedures on which music composition rests.

 

· Theme—A melodic idea used as a basic building block in the construction of a composition.  There are a variety of ways to create thematic development (motive, sequence, ostinato).

 

 

 

  • Ostinato—A short musical pattern – melodic, rhythmic, or harmonic- that is repeated persistently throughout a work or major section of a composition.
     
  • In this example, a short (four-note) descending pattern in the bass is heard throughout under the voices.
     

    Sound Icon Example: Monteverdi: Lament of the Nymphs
     
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DYNAMICS - (Emphasis, Subordination, Value)

 

Dynamics—Designations for the relative loudness or quietness of music.

 

· Pianissimo, Piano, Mezzo-piano, Forte, Fortissimo

 

· Crescendo—The dynamic effect of gradually growing louder

 

· Decrescendo—The dynamic effect of gradually growing softer.

 

· Sforzando —A sudden stress or accent on a single note or chord.

 

Sound Icon

Example: Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker, "Trepak"

 

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TIMBRE - (Color)

 

Timbre—The quality of a sound that distinguishes one voice or instrument from another. Also called "tone color."

Characteristics of Timbre:

 

· Voices—The standard voice types are: (female) soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto; (male) tenor, baritone, and bass.

 

Sound Icon Example: Handel, Messiah, "Hallelujah" Chorus
 
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· String family—Two types of instruments: bowed and plucked. (Violin, viola, cello, bass, harp and guitar)

 

Sound Icon Example: Grieg, Peer Gynt Suite, "Ase's Death"
 
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· Woodwind family—Instruments where breath is used to produce sound across a reed or hole. (Flute, piccolo, clarinet, bassoon, oboe, bass clarinet and saxophone).

 

Sound Icon Example: Beethoven, Symphony No. 9, fourth movement, "Turkish March"
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· Brass family—Trumpet, French horn, trombone and tuba.

 

Sound Icon Example: Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition, "Great Gate of Kiev"
 
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· Percussion family—Instruments that are played by striking their surface. (Drums, xylophone, chimes, triangle, etc…)

 

· Keyboards—Instruments that are played by pressing keys that cause a hammer to strike a taught string. (Piano, harpsichord, and synthesizers).

 

· Ensembles—Musical performing groups (instrumental, vocal and mixed)