You are on page 1of 3

Introduction to music[edit] What is music?

Even before recorded history, people created music, whether through drumming, singing or chanting. Some of our strongest emotions may be brought on by listening to a piece of music. In this modern age, we hear music around us almost all of our waking hours, in one form or another: radio, television or film music and our personal music (iPods, MP3 players, etc.) is with us throughout the day. Most of us listen to recorded music or go to performances regularly, and some of us play a musical instrument. Prior to modern audio recording technology, music was available only in the presence of a musician, or to those who played an instrument or sang. Musical concepts[edit] A basic definition of music (in the Western World) is the chronological organisation of sounds; that is, making certain sounds at certain times, which make melodic, rhythmic and harmonic sense. The first, most basic concept, is keeping the sounds "in time". This leads us to some of the first few musical concepts: beat, rhythm and duration. Beat is the regular pulse which provides a `timeline` for the rhythm to anchor itself to. Rhythm is essentially repeated patterns of long or short, stressed or unstressed sounds or silences which fit into the main beat. Duration is the length of notes or sounds or silences which facilitate the rhythm.

Music is also the relationship between sound and silence. Duration and rhythm apply to silence in the same manner as they apply to sound. One way to look at how we perceive music is as horizontal and vertical patterns. We hear melodies as a horizontal pattern. The notes (and silences) are heard one after the other over a period of time. We hear chords (groups of notes played simultaneously) in a vertical pattern. A mixture of one or all of these: melody, rhythm, chords, and silence form musical patterns. Rhythm[edit] Rhythm is the most basic concept of music. In all cultures worldwide, the most simple and basic forms of music are purely rhythms. A rhythm is a pulse; a repetition of sounds in a pattern. Simple rhythms can be recognized straight away. Tapping rhythmically at a drum constitutes tapping it at timed intervals in a pattern. The most common rhythmic pattern in modern-day Western music is time (say four-four time). This is where four pulses come one after the other, with the first of each four being given emphasis (known as an accent). Try this exercise: Say the words "one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four..." etc. continuously, and at even time intervals.

most of which will never be noticed unless you plan on going through the notation with a magnifying glass. Dynamics[edit] In music." etc. When Maria tells the children in The Sound of Music that "the first few notes just happen to be. the glassy. To keep this particular paragraph concise. All these instruments could play exactly the same note. notes would just be re mi". and the low. key signature.Now each time you say "one". rhythm. which are instructions for the performer to play loudly or softly. three. Using pitch. rumbling growl of thunder. Anyone would know the difference between a high-pitched scratching of fingernails across a blackboard. the "colour" of a sound being produced is referred to as timbre. four. Structure[edit] Musical structure is usually defined by several things including scales and/or arpeggios . pitch is used to describe how high or low a note sounds. Many composers that listen to Bach are fascinated by the palindromes. the beating of a single drum). we use the word dynamics to describe how loudly or softly a note is played. Melody[edit] In music. and many other effects.. two. four.. rounded sound of a piano. smoothly or detached. three. say it slightly louder: "one. each sound would be the same (for example. all or some of the elements of music theory can be used in the structure of a musical piece. scratchy sound of an electric guitar with distortion. Without pitch. Reading[edit] Rhythm module at Wikibooks. "three" and "four" in time. rhythm article at Wikipedia Tutorials[edit] Mad Max . and the bird-like whispering sound of a flute. You have just been saying the words "one". yet anyone would be able to recognise instantly an electric guitar from a piano from a flute. Timbre (tone colour)[edit] In music. Timbre is the difference between the harsh. she was referring to pitch. or tone colour. variations and inversions of patterns contained in its compositional structure. "two". together with rhythm.. we can start to construct melodies.Creating more sounds with rhythm using GarageBand and symphony orchestra sounds . . melodic patterns. Without rhythm..part of Filmmaking. sustained sounds. variations Etc. one. two. Dynamics falls under the wider category of expressive techniques.

An expansion on this is ternary form which is the same as binary. heard at the same time. and relationship of those layers of sound. Colhsh: Musical Structure also refers to the overall layout of a musical work as a whole. . Symphony. Development . singing in the shower. or by less important melodies. giving the piece an "A-B" structure. The subordinate theme is often reworked to stay in the tonic. Mixed texture: More than one musical texture. Polyphonic texture: Two or more melodies. Texture[edit] Texture refers to the layering of sounds on top of each other. or a Bach Fugue. Most popular music is homophonic. Homophonic texture: A melody accompanied by harmony. row.Develops and elaborates the themes and explores new and exciting key centers. or a church hymn.--Subnote.the relative major. making the overall structure "A-B-A" Another musical form that was popular during the classical era is that of the Rondo form. and Concerto. It can describe the vertical and horizontal relationship between the voices. For example. Coda . singing "Row.often the dominant.Concludes the piece. The Sonata form is comprised of four sections. or a fife and drum corps. dense. in which there is one section of music "A" which is then juxtaposed against a contrasting "B" section which finishes it. monks chanting. For example. except that the "A" section is repeated.Introduces a main theme in the tonic key." Larger structures include "Sonata form. The "Sonata form" often is the structure of the first movement of a Sonata. in which there is an "A" section that is repeated throughout the work.Returns to the tonic key and states the main theme and subordinate theme. these come in several forms the simplest form is Binary form. row your boat" as a round. or if in a minor key . or open. such as Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata." which was developed in the Classical Period. Recapitulation . Some common textures are: Monophonic texture: A melody by itself. and a subordinate theme in a related key . Texture can also be described with such terms as thick. and without another melody. and much classical music as well. making any work in a random form typically have the structure of "A-B-A-C-A-D-Etc. without harmony. singing a round (polyphony) accompanied by guitar chords (homophony). nature. but is interrupted by contrasting episodes. It describes the depth. Exposition . For example. or voices.