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concerto grosso - a musical composition for a group of solo instruments accompanied

by an orchestra. The term is used mainly of baroque works.

opera - a staged drama set to music in its entirety, made up of vocal pieces with
instrumental accompaniment and usually with orchestral overtures and interludes
oratorio - a large-scale musical work for orchestra and voices, typically a narrative on
a religious theme, performed without the use of costumes, scenery, or action
continuo - an accompanying part that includes a bass line and harmonies, typically
played on a keyboard instrument and with other instruments such as cello or bass viol.
ritornello - is a recurring passage in Baroque music for orchestra or chorus.
tutti - all the voices or instruments together.
Aria- a long, accompanied song for a solo voice, typically one in an opera or oratorio.
Recitative - a style of delivery (much used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas) in which
a singer is allowed to adopt the rhythms of ordinary speech.
Chorus - a large organized group of singers, especially one that performs together
with an orchestra or opera company.
Homophonic - When a piece of music has a very clearly melody and chords supporting
Polyphonic - a texture consisting of two or more simultaneous lines of independent
Octaves - same note but at a higher pitch
Unison - Unison occurs when two or more people play or sing the same pitch or in
Monophonic - music consisting of a single melodic line.
melisma - is the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several
different notes in succession.
syllabic - each syllable of text is matched to a single note.
word painting - is the musical technique of writing music that reflects the literal
meaning of a song.
legato - in a smooth, flowing manner, without breaks between notes.
staccato - with each sound or note sharply detached or separated from the others.
20 Describe the texture of the music. [2]
The melody is doubled in thirds (1). There are strummed chords (1) on the off-beats (1) and
a(moving) bass line (1). Homophonic (1) but not again for chordal accompaniment
23 Describe the texture of the music. [3]
The melody is doubled [1] in thirds [1]. There are strummed chords [1] and a (guitar)
countermelody [1]. In the second half of the extract, the guitar takes the main melody [1].
24 From which part of the world does this music originate? [
21 Describe the changes in texture during the extract. [3]
During the introduction the melody is in the bass [1] with higher chords [1]. There is then a panpipe
melody [1] accompanied by chords [1], a bass line [1] which sometimes doubles the melody [1] and
a rhythm on a low drum [1]. A second set of pan pipes joins in and the melody is doubled [1] in
thirds [1].
24 Comment on the texture of the music when the full choir sing. [2] They sing chords [1]/
homophonically [1] in parallel motion [1] (accept same melody at different pitches).
29 Describe the texture of the music. [2] Any two from:Two part texture [1]. Prominent melody [1]
with single notes in bass [1] OR single line melody/monophonic [1] with wide leaps [1]. Thin [1]

4 Describe the texture of the music in lines 8 and 9. [3]

Line 8 is set to a contrapuntal/polyphonic texture/lines interweave [1] at first, with the voices
coming in one by one [1] singing the same motif/in imitation/in canon/fugue [1]. The voices come
together at the end of the line [1]. Line 9 is sung homophonically/in chords [1]. Instruments double
the voices. [1]
(b) Describe the texture of the music. [2]
The texture from the melodic instruments is heterophonic/explanation of heterophonic [1] in
octaves [1] and there is also a drum part [1].

key Signatures
Major: If sharps there be the last is Ti. Go up a
semitone from the last sharp
Major: If flats there are, the last is Fa. The second
last flat tells you the key
signature. (1 flat is F major)
For minor keys - work out the major key, then go down
3 semitones (e.g. from C to
(JS Bach, Handel, Purcell, Vivaldi)

Use of con)nuo. Con)nuously moving bass line. Much use of sequence.

Long phrase lengths. Simple (diatonic) harmony. Use of an (obbligato) solo
instrument with solo voice. Use of harpsichord. Composi)onal devices such as repe))on and sequence.
Repeated mo)f which is extended. Irregular phrase lengths. Imita)on between
soloist and keyboard instrument. Many ornaments.

Some composi/onal styles: Oratorio, Opera, Concerto Grosso, Ritornello, Fugue, Dance Suites.

(Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven)
Regular phrase lengths. Antecedent and consequent phrases. Alber) bass. Simple,

mainly diatonic harmony. Use of scalic passages. Modula)on to the dominant in a bridge passage. Limited
range of piano. Homophonic texture. Dominant right hand melody in piano. Strings dominate the orchestral
sound. Small woodwind sec)on. An expanded/large orchestra including trombones, but no extensive
percussion. Regular phrase lengths. Diatonic harmony. Use of wind instruments as soloists.
Melodic material shared around the orchestra.

Some composi/onal styles/forms: Symphony, Solo Concerto, Sonata, Theme & Varia)ons, Minuet & Trio,
String Quartet, Rondo, Opera.

Unprepared Listening Help

Try and add to these lists!
Describe the.
Rhythm: Syncopa<on, Steady, Do>ed, Straight, Tempo, Faster/Slower, Crotchets,
Quavers etc.
Structure: Form (Rondo, Binary, Ternary, Sonata, etc.) Phrase length, Repeats, Coda,
Introduc<on, Ques<on & Answer, Sequence, Imita<on, Contrary Mo<on
Accompaniment: Chordal, Countermelody, Homophonic, Polyphonic, Unison,
Octaves, 3rds etc., Os<nato, Imita<on, Arpeggios, Alber< Bass, Contrary Mo<on
Melody: Sequence, Repe<<on, Ascending, Descending, Scales, Arpeggios, Major/
Harmony: Major/Minor/Atonal/Chroma<c, Dissonance,
Texture: See other sheet!
Composi)onal Devices: Sequence, Repe<<on, Imita<on, Ques<on & Answer,
Augmenta<on, Diminu<on,
Music: All of the above, plus dynamics, instrumenta<on, mood, character, style
The Music of Indonesia
Key words you should remember: - Gamelan, heterophony, repetition, ostinato, gongs,
drums, metallophones, pentatonic scale, Balinese Gamelan, Javanese Gamelan, interlocking
Indonesia is a large country made up of thousands of islands, not all of which are inhabited.
Due to its size, Indonesia is a country with great cultural diversity. There are more than 200
languages spoken throughout the country. Although many Indonesians are familiar with

the sounds of both Indonesian and Western pop music, they also know their own musical
tradi)ons well.
Bali, a small Indonesian island, has aZracted a great deal of interest recently, from Western
Painters, Musicians, other such people and not surprisingly, tourists. The climate is
wonderful, the landscape beau)ful, and the people are generally peaceful and friendly.
Music in Bali is a social ac)vity. Young children will sit while a rehearsal is taking place,
gradually learning pieces by watching, listening and copying.
Gamelan "A Gamelan (the word comes from the Javanese 'gamal', which means hammer)
is not a single instrument but a collec)on of instruments that can be played by a variable
number of musicians from 4 to 40. The mainstay of the group are 8 to 10 metal percussion
instruments (gender) which are like glockenspiels in that they have 10-12 metal bars which
are hit with a mallet. These instruments play a melody cycle that is repeated as many )mes
as is wanted. Around these instruments other larger metal and wooden percussion
instruments add a bass below and an elabora)on of the melody above."
A dis)nc)ve feature of the gamelan are the very large gongs that punctuate the music and
give it structure. As well as the percussion instruments are a range of others - suling ute, a
bowed rebab, zither and drums that add further spice to the music.
Ensembles of gongs are common throughout Indonesia, but the gamelan tradi)on is
unique to Bali, Java and Lombok.
Gamelan instruments are highly decorated, ofen painted in bright blues, reds and gold. In
Bali, Gamelan music is inseparable from the arts of poetry, dance and drama. The Gamelan
is rarely played on its own; it is usually part of a dance, shadow play or similar theatrical
performance. However, some)mes it may be played purely for entertainment or as
background music (at a wedding for example) but there are no concerts of Gamelan music
in the Western sense.
There can be dierent types of Gamelan music depending on the island from which it
originated, for example the Javanese Gamelan and Balinese Gamelan. Both of these

sound very dierent. The instruments used in a Balinese gamelan have a much harder
sound and tend to play faster music, which is notably dierent from the gentle shimmery
sound of the Javanese instruments. When a new Gamelan is made, it is made as a whole
set, with all the instruments matching each other both in appearance and sound each set
of Gamelan is tuned to its own pitch, not a set pitch as Western Instruments are. This
means that the instruments are not only unable to be interchanged between island
tradi)ons, but they are also unable to be mixed between sets. Normally there is only one
set in each village.
Gamelan instruments are always treated with great respect, as it is believed that they have
spiritual powers. Indonesian people never step over an instrument, as they believe this
would break the link between the instrument and heaven. A name-giving ceremony is held
when each new set of Gamelan is completed, and gifs such as incense and owers are

oered to it. It is also tradi)on that Gamelan should only be played by men, although some
women-only ensembles are appearing in modern )mes.
The Gamelan music from Indonesia can sound very dierent depending on where it is
from. Remember this for your listening exam. The instruments may vary slightly, as might
the tempi, but the paZerns & texture will be very similar.
Here are some of the instrument names. You do not have to memorise these for your
Jegogan a deep instrument that plays a relatively slow part (like the bass). It is very
important as it pins the piece together. (Looks like Jublag below but bigger with less notes)
Jublag this instrument plays the melody and is quite low in pitch. (See picture).
Kantilan a higher pitched instrument that plays the interlocking patterns e.g. against . (See picture).
Gongs they play a slow pattern similar to that of the Jegogan, on different pitched gongs.
(See picture).
Kadjar this is the timekeeper. This is a single gong, which plays on the beat, every beat to
keep the tempo steady. (See picture).
Kedang this is a two headed drum _one on each end) which controls the piece, deciding
things such as tempo changes and when to end the piece. (See picture).
Trompong/Reyong rows of suspended gongs with one or many players. (See picture)
Ceng-Ceng small cymbals, usually on an ornate stand like a turtle!
Suling a bamboo flute
Ugal a 10 key metallophone. (This is very similar to the Kantilan but with smaller notes.
Pemade a smaller 10 key metallophone. Jublag Kantilan
Jublag, Kadjar & Kedang
More pictures of gamelan available on:

Use Naxos, YouTube and the CDs at school to listen to some examples of Gamelan music.
Indian Classical Music

Key words your should remember: sitar, tambura, sarangi, harmonium, bansuri, tabla, drone,
scale, raga, improvisation, sargam, note-bending, grace notes, ornaments, plucked, bowed,
imitation, tala, accelerando, alap, jhor, jhala.
The three main elements of Indian classical music are MELODY, DRONE and RHYTHM. Here
are some examples of Indian instruments.
The Sitar (Right). This is one of the most common stringed instruments to be used in
Indian music. It has a
long thin neck and up to twenty strings, although only
two or three of these are used to play MELODIES. The remaining strings are called
sympathe)c strings, as
they are not actually played, but produce a sof metallic sound when the melody strings
are played. When the melody strings are plucked, these sympathe)c strings
are caused to vibrate by the sound waves from the melody strings, and so they also make a
sound and produce the metallic )mbre which we associate with the sitar.
The Tambura (Right) This is also a stringed instrument, but it is bowed and has far fewer
strings than the sitar. It plays the DRONE.
The Sarangi (below) is also a bowed string instrument but this plays the melody and can
sound very similar to a violin or cello.
The Tabla
(Below) Tabla are played by the players hands and ngers (no s)cks!) to make many, many
dierent sounds (BOLS), all of which must be learned by the player before a player learns
to improvise. This provides the RHYTHM called the TALA.
The melodies of Indian Classical Music are based on dierent Ragas. There are many
hundreds of dierent Ragas, used for dierent occasions, dierent )mes of the day or year,
or for
dierent people. The Raga is not a scale as we know in Western Music ascending then
descending paZern but instead can have rise and fall in pitch more than once within one

Raga, and may use more than seven dierent notes. A Raga is wriZen in 3 dierent sec)ons
each with a dierent name.
Alap The rst sec)on of a piece. It is a slow sec)on where the soloist (Sitar player)
improvises over a drone (from the Tambura) exploring their Rag (scale).
Jhor This is a more rhythmic sec)on with a denite pulse, but s)ll no tabla.
Jhala This is the last sec)on and the tabla player gets to improvise too. This sec)on gets
faster and there should be some imita)on between the melody and the rhythm, which
helps make it more exci)ng.
You must remember the names of these sec)ons, and how to iden)fy them, for your
listening exam.
The above only relates to North Indian Classical Music (which is included in the IGCSE
syllabus. There are many other styles of music in India, including Bhangra. This is a fusion
of tradi)onal Indian sounds and Western inuences, and is a very popular style around the
There are many, many dierent styles of music origina)ng in La)n America. Most of them
have resulted from the mix of cultures between European seZlers, Slaves from Africa, and
the Na)ve American Indians. Below are some styles which may come up in your exam.
Key words you should remember - samba, rhythm, percussion, agogo bells, syncopation,
riff/ostinato, repetition, Cross Rhythms, pan-pipes (or pan flute), charango, bandoneon.
Samba music originates from Brazil in South America, from the mixing together of many
dierent musical cultures. SAMBA is carnival music!
Every year in Brazil, there are large carnivals where groups perform their own sambas in
huge street parades. Every group has hundreds of dancers and drummers to perform their
samba, which will accompany many dancers in bright fes)ve costumes.

Samba music can use many dierent combina)ons, depending on what is available, and
the preferences of the performers. There is Samba which uses pitched instruments
(including brass instruments such as trumpets, trombones etc. and woodwind instruments
like saxophones) along with a huge percussion sec)on. There is also Samba BATUCADA,
which uses lots of dierent PERCUSSION instruments only. There is no ruling against any
instrument being part of a Samba ensemble, however the dynamic range of certain
instruments (e.g. the violin) restricts par)cipa)on, as they simply will not be heard above
the other (louder) instruments.
The group of percussionists in a Samba ensemble is called the BATERIA, whether there are
other instruments playing or not. Samba is an easily recognisable style as the music is

always built in layers, from the slow heartbeat of the surdo, to the faster rhythms of the
agogos and pandiero. It is controlled by a leader who gives signals with an apito
(whistle). Here is an explana)on of some Samba instruments.
Tamborim (Lef) A small hand drum like a tambourine but without the bells. It is played
with a s)ck and dierent )mbres are achieved by pressing on the drum skin.
Agogo bells (Right) Reco reco (Lef) A A double cow bell. guiro (or scraper!)
Surdo (Right) This is like the oor tom of a drum kit and can be carried using a neck
Caixa (Right) A snare drum.
` Chocalho (Lef) A cylindrical shaker used horizontally. Pandiero (Lef) A Tambourine!
Claves (Right) 2 sticks you hit together!
The SURDO plays slower, more constant paZerns (hence why it is called the heartbeat of
samba), which is true for most of the lower, larger sounding instruments. The higher
instruments such as the agogo bells have a very dis)nc)ve sound, and play fast and exci)ng
rhythms. There is always lots of syncopation in Samba, and ofen cross rhythms- this is the
eect gained when two notes are played at the same )me (against) three.

The tango is a style of dance and song, which originated in Argen)na.
The main feature of the tango is a 2/4 rhythm, which can be notated as follows:
Tango songs tend to have a two-part structure, both parts of
equal length, with the second part in a
related key to the rst.
Instrumental ensembles which perform tangos vary, but generally include a violin, ute and
guitar or accordion (or bandonon a type of accordion pictured on the right).
Music of the Andes

The indigenous people of the Andean mountain range have a

strong musical tradi)on stretching back over thousands of years.

The mountains stretch from Ecuador, through Peru, Bolivia, Chile

and Argen)na.
Instruments such as the charango (a guitar), quena and tarka
(utes), zampona (panpipe) and various drums play highly
complex syncopated music with a strong beat, ofen in a minor
mode. Panpipes are a kind of woodwind instrument made of
various lengths of pipe see image on lef.
Use Naxos, YouTube and the CDs at school to listen to some examples of La)n American
Africa is a huge con)nent and it is impossible to generalise about all the styles of music
origina)ng in its many varied countries. Below are some interes)ng examples.
Key words to remember: Mbira, talking drums, un-tuned percussion, xylophone, kora
Ghanaian Drum Ensemble
The Ghanaian Drum Ensemble is perhaps one of the most tradi)onal ensembles from West
Africa. It is made up of a selec)on of dierent types and sizes of drums, and the music is
fast, highly rhythmic and strongly accented. The rhythms are usually in compound )me
(usually 12/8) and the accented beats tend to be 3 & 4 rather then what we would
normally expect in Western music (the accented beats are on 1 & 3).
Talking Drums
This type of drumming is used as a means of communica)on as well as a way of
accompanying songs or dances. Many African languages are tonal in that the pitch of the
spoken word is as important as the word itself. The same word or syllable pronounced at a
dierent pitch can have a completely dierent meaning. This is the eect created in music
featuring talking drums. The player can )ghten the skin for a higher pitch and loosen it for a
lower pitch using the strings aZached to the skin itself.

The Instruments

Idiophones: (Translates as self-

sounding) these are any instruments which can
produce a sound without the need for a stretched
membrane aZachment ac)ng as a skin, or without a
reed or s)ng. They are the most commonly found type of instrument found in Africa,
although they are not solely used for musical purposes; they may be used for aZrac)ng
aZen)on, for crea)ng an atmosphere, for assembling people or for emphasising the
movements of a dancer when used in a tradi)onal drama. Idiophones are split into two
main types, ones which are tuned and used as melodic instruments, and others which are
untuned and used as rhythm instruments. (See RaZle, untuned & Mbira, tuned Above)
Membranophones: These are the dierent types of drums used in
African music and are used as percussion instruments. These are made from one sort of
skin (either handmade material or animal skin) stretched over a base, which is usually
carved from a log or made from strips of wood held together by iron hoops. In some
cultures these items may not be available in which case oil drums or )ns may be used as a
subs)tute. The drums come in all shapes and sizes and this alters the )mbre (tone) of the
instrument. They may have one or
two heads and may or may not be covered at both ends by the skin.
Aerophones: These are wind instruments, which are used for playing a
melody. They include instruments such as the ute, reed pipes, horns and trumpets.
However, they look very dierent to the instruments we are used to seeing and are ofen
made from dierent materials, such as bamboo, cane or perhaps carved from wood.
Occasionally animal horns or tusks are used to make instruments such as trumpets.
Chordophones: These are string instruments, which may be played by
plucking or striking the strings. The most common West African string instrument is the
Kora (see images)
Japanese Music
Japanese Music can be divided into Court Music (gagaku) and non-court music. Court
refers to a royal palace.
Key words to remember: Gagaku, ryuteki, hichiriki, sho, biwa, taiko, kakko, shakuhachi
and koto. You should be aware of and be able to describe the texture of the music e.g.
the use of heterophony.
Japanese Tradi)onal Music can be characterized by having:

No chordal harmony


Melodic parts which seem to start at different times, only coming together at


A structure which is through composed, while Western Music depends upon more
of a structured form in which there are answering phrases, variations and repeats, and
a harmonic basis. Japanese Music is a succession of new ideas, and although there is
musical form, it does not depend on recognizable phrases being repeated.

Gagaku (court music)

Gagaku music comes in two types:
! Komagaku from Korea and Manchuria, reaching Japan in the 5th century.
! Tgaku from China and India, reaching Japan in the 7th century.
Each instrument has a melody Japanese Instruments
! Koky - string instrument played with a bow
! Shakuhachi- bamboo flute, woodwind instrument
! Ryuteki - bamboo flute, used in gagaku with hichiriki similar to komabue
! Komabue-high pitched, bamboo flute, similar to ryuteki 12
Hichiriki - reed flute, used in gagaku with ryuteki, similar sound to a clarinet
Sh- bamboo mouth organ, plays a simple version of the melody or adds chords
Shamisen- plucked instrument with 3 strings, important in theatre
Koto- plucked zither with 13 strings, plays the melody sometimes adding short melodic
Biwa- short necked lute played with a plectrum used in gagaku, usually plays the melody
occasionally adding 4 note chords
Taiko- huge drum
Kakko- small drum

Two modes are used: ry and ritsu.
You do not need to tell the dierence between the two but you need to know they exist.
You should be able to iden)fy the texture and structure of the music
! Heterophony- the same idea played at dierent tempi ofen with varia)ons
! Jo- introduction (has a small amount of rhythmic freedom (rubato))
! Ha- breaking away (a pulse begins to develop becoming more steady with less
! Ky- hurried (faster with notes added to each musical idea)
Be able to iden)fy the dierence between
! Gagaku (court music)
! Folk music

Chinese Music
Key words to remember: pipa, erh-hu, dizi, hsiao, ti-tzu, tou-kuan, sheng, heterophonic
textures, pentatonic scale.

In general, Chinese musical ensembles are small, with pieces for soloists also very

. The five notes of the pentatonic scale are hugely significant in

Chinese thinking, representing as they do, Earth, Metal, Wood, Fire and Water.

The seven-note heptatonic scale is also common in a lot of Chinese music.
Melodies tend to be highly decorated, often with many performers embellishing
one melodic line (creating a heterophonic texture). Other music can have
a homophonic texture, sometimes created by vocal melodies being doubled at
an interval of a fourth or fifth by accompanying instruments. A characteristic of
Chinese singing is a very high, thin sound. Here are some common instruments:

Pipa: a four-stringed Chinese

lute (plucked string instrument).
Erh-hu: a bowed string instrument, with only two strings. Can sound like a violin, and is
similar to a Thai Sor.
Dizi, Hsiao and Ti-tzu are all kinds of Chinese flutes, generally made from bamboo.

Tou-kuan (usually just Guan) is a

double reed instrument. It sounds rather

like a saxophone. 
Sheng: A blown wind instrument, like a cross between a

harmonica, an organ and an accordion. Similar to a Thai

Khaen where holes on the pipes are covered to create

different notes and drones.
Yangqin: a string instrument played with hammers. Similar instruments can be
fouind throughout the world (Dulcimer, Santur, Khim).
Arabic Music

Arabic music covers many diverse cultures ranging from Morocco, right across
North Africa to the Middle Eastern countries of Iraq and Iran. Although there are
many differences between these many cultures, here we will look at some common
features of their music. Islam has played a large role in shaping the sounds, songs
and functions of Arab music.
Key words to remember: Ajnas, Maqam, Microtones, Ornaments, Iqaat, Ud, Qanun,
Rabab, Ney.
Common characteristics in Arab music
! Vocal music remains the most revered and most common of Arab music,
due to the importance placed on the connection between music and the
Arabic language. Singers/poets have a crucial role to play, and have names
such as qawwal or shair (depending on the region). Chanting, particularly of
the Quran, is also very significant (for example, the adhan, or call to prayer,
chanted by muezzin from the minarets throughout the Muslim world).
! Much Arab music is based on melodic modes, the organisation of which
is called maqam (plural maqamat). Each of these is based on a scale with
certain notes more important than others, some with intervals smaller than a
semitone (quarter-tones or microtones are common in Arab music). These
modes have names like Bayati, Hijaz and Sikah but collectively they are
called ajnas.
! Arab melody is kept clear of complex textures and focuses on ornaments
and other subtleties.

! Rhythm is also based on rhythmic cycles, known as iqaat. Each of these

has a different pattern of beats and accents, and percussion instruments such
as drums and tambourines beat these out during a musical performance.
Some are very simple, others incredibly complex and in irregular metres.
! Arab music can be composed or improvised (or both), and musical forms
tend to be complex with many sections, some in regular metre, some more

(Adapted from Naxos) 

The best-known Arab instruments include:
Ud (sometimes spelled Oud) is a type of lute which is fretless and has five notes
(each note has two strings). Ud sounds like lute, and sounds like a lute.
common in Turkey but appears in a lot of Arab music.
Qanun (sometimes spelled Kanun) a type of zither with twenty-six notes (each
note has three strings) and is plucked with horn-shaped plectra. This instrument is
Ney an oldest
ancient open-ended flute, one of the instruments in the world.
Rabab (or Rababah) is a bowed string instrument very much like a violin, and can
have one or two strings depending on the region
Loud wind instruments such as the mizmar, which has a double reed a little bit like
the oboe, and the mijwiz, which is more like a clarinet. Many percussion
instruments can also be heard in much Arabic music, including as the tablah (a
hand-drum, also called darbukkah), tabl baladi (a double-headed drum) and the
riqq (a tambourine, also called a daff).