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PITCH

Pitch refers to the relative highness and lowness of sounds. Important aspects include high, low,
higher and lower pitches, direction of pitch movement, melody, harmony, indefinite and definite pitch.
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Is the pitch definite or indefinite?


Is there a melody?
Is there 1 main melody of many different melodies? In succession or happening together?
What is the shape/contour of the melody:
o Movement by Step
o Regular recurring intervals
o Movement by leap
o Chord based
o Upward/Downward
- What is the melodic range?
- Describe the interpretation:
o Flowing
o Abrupt
o Angular
o Awkward
o Lyrical
o Jumpy
o Tormented
o Smooth
- Is the melody accompanied or unaccompanied? How and by what?
- Are there any patterns of melody that recur:
o Riff/ostinato
o Sequence
o Motif
o Imitation
- Describe the phrasing:
o Balanced/symmetrical
o Repetitive
o Unbalanced
o Sequential
o How many phrases
o Contrasting
o Question and answer style
- Is the melody ornamented?:
o Trills
o Mordents
o Slides
o Glissando
- Describe how the melody is articulated
HARMONY
- Describe the tonality:
o Major
o Jazz harmonies
o Minor
o Chromatic
o Diatonic
o Whole tone
o Modal
o Atonal
o Pentatonic
- Is there modulation? Does it change key or tonal centre?
- Is the harmony simple? (Traditional chords I, IV, and V)
- Is the harmony complex? (Added onto chords 7ths, 9ths, 11th etc)
- Is chromaticism used?
- Is there dissonance?
o Resolved
o Use of suspension
o Unresolved
- Are there repeated chord patterns (eg 12 bar blues, ice-cream chord progression)
- Describe the harmonic accompaniment:
o Pedal point
o Chords
o Drone
o Alberti bass
o Arpeggios
o Oom-pah
- What is the rate of harmonic change?
- How many horizontal lines make up the melody?

HOW DOES PITCH RELATE TO THE OTHER CONCEPTS??

DURATION
Duration refers to the lengths of sounds and silences in music and includes the aspects of beat,
rhythm, metre, tempo, pulse and absence of pulse.
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Describe the beat:


o Steady
o Indefinite
o Strong/weak
describe the metre:
o time signatures
o no metre/no time signature
o constant changing (eg multi-rhythmic)
What is the tempo?
o Slow
o Moderate
o Fast
o Varying
Are there accented beats? Regularly/irregularly?
Is the rhythm syncopated?
What are the note values?
o Mainly short/long
o Dotted
o Cross rhythms
o Polyrhythmic
o Rubato
Are there any rhythmic patterns?
o Riffs/ostinatos
o Repetition
describe the mood:
o animated
o lively
o dramatic
o ponderous
How does the rhythm relate to other concepts?
o What is the rhythm of the melody?
o Name the instrument playing the rhythm?
o How does tempo affect the rhythm?
o What are the dynamics of the rhythm?

o
o
o
o

free
rigid
constant motion
halting

HOW DOES DURATION RELATE TO THE OTHER CONCEPTS??

DYNAMICS AND EXPRESSIVE TECHNIQUES


Dynamics refer to the volume of sound. Important aspects include the relative softness and loudness of
sound, change of loudness (contras), and the emphasis on individual sounds (accent)
Expressive techniques refer to the musical detail that articulates a style of interpretation of a style.
DYNAMICS
- Describe the loudness/softness
- How are the dynamic levels achieved?
o Varying the number of instruments playing
o Varying the type of instrument playing
- How loud/soft are the individual parts playing?
- Are the changes gradual or sudden?
o Crescendo/decrescendo(diminuendo)
o Sforzando
o Terraced dynamics
- Are there accents? How are they achieved?
- How is silence used?
TEMPO
- What is the speed of the beat?
- Are there any changes in the tempo?
o Sudden
o Gradual
o Constant
o What effect do the changes have?
- Are there pauses?
- Is rubato used?
STYLE
- Describe the category:
o Rock
o Jazz
o Opera
o Symphonic
o Instrumental
o Popular
o Other
- What is the period of the piece:
o Medieval
o Romantic
o Renaissance
o Impressionist
o Baroque
o Non western
o Classical
o Twentieth century
- What performance directions, to describe how to play the music, are there?
o Simply
o Gracefully
o Stately
o Lively
o With emphasis
o Animated
o Short
o Smooth
HOW DOES DYNAMICS AND EXPRESSIVE TECHNIQUES RELATE TO
THE OTHER CONCEPTS??

TONE COLOUR
Tone colour refers to that aspect of sound that allows the listener to identify the sound source of
combinations of sound sources.
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Describe the sound source:


o Voice (male: bass, baritone, tenor; female: soprano, alto)
o Name the instrument and/or its family
o What category does it sound like the instrument is from (aerophone,
membranophone, chordophone, idiophone)
o Electric or acoustic
Consider the combinations:
o Solo
o Small ensemble
o Rock band
o Brass ensemble
o Folk group
o Duet
o Large ensemble
o Jazz band
o Woodwind ensemble
o Trio
o Orchestra
o String quartet
o Other
comment on any unusual combinations
comment on any unusual use of instrument:
o extreme register
o prepared piano
o unusual for particular combination
Comment on the techniques used
o Col legno
o Sul ponticello
o Con sordino
o Flutter tonguing
o Distortion
o Other
Comment on the different moods and effects created:
o Dark
o Nasal
o Rumbling
o Eerie
o Warm
o Sombre
o Brassy
o Majestic
Describe changes of tone colour
Comment on register of sound
HOW DOES TONE COLOUR RELATE TO THE OTHER CONCEPTS??

STRUCTURE
Structure refers to the idea of design or form in music. In organising sound, the elements of duration,
dynamics, pitch and tone colour are combined in some way for particular purpose. Unity and variety
are produced by the use of repetition and contrast. Structure, therefore relates to the ways in which
music sounds the same (or similar) and/or different.
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How many themes can you hear?


Discuss the use of:
o Repetition
o Imitation
o Variation
o Contrast
o Sequences
o Phrases
o Motifs
o Repetitive patterns (riff/ostinato, ground bass etc)
o Themes
o Techniques of call and response
Are there clear divisions making formal structures?
o Binary
o Ternary
o Rondo
o Theme and Variations
o Verse/chorus
o Sonata form
Is this piece part of a larger structure?
o Symphony
o Concerto
o Sonata
o Suite
Is it a fugue/canon?
Is it strophic?
Is it through-composed?
Is there a 12 bar blues pattern?
Is there an introduction and coda?
How does the structure relate to creating:
o Unity
o Contrast
o Repetition
o Balance
o Variety

HOW DOES STRUCTURE RELATE TO THE OTHER CONCEPTS??

TEXTURE
Texture is the result of the way voices and/or instruments are combined in music. Referring to
discriminating between different layers of sound and types of texture and the way it is created and used
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What are the roles/function of the instruments/voices?


How many different lines of sound are there?
o Top line
o Middle line
o Bass line
Are the lines vertical or horizontal?
How are the different sounds placed against each other?
Comment on the movement of individual lines:
o Similar
o Contrary
o Oblique
o Call and response
o Antiphonal
o Imitation
What is the degree of density:
o Thin
o Thick
o Airy
o Rich
o Bare
o Heavy
Describe the changes that occur in the density
Name the texture:
o Polyphonic
o Homophonic
o Monophonic
o Multi layered
Does the texture change?
Describe the texture in words relating to touch:
o Heavy
o Light
o Clear
o Smooth
o Coarse
o Transparent
o Silky
o Rough
HOW DOES TEXTURE RELATE TO THE OTHER CONCEPTS??