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Rod Ferreira

September 16 3 years ago

Elements Of Music (Kind of COOL to know : )

Here is something every musician should know, or at least have an idea about it! It helps to understand music and to communicate with other musicians:

Elements of Music

Rhythm: The organization of musical events in time.

Beat – a rhythmic pulse of approximately uniform length

Accent – a stronger than usual Beat

Metered music – music with a repeated, regular pattern of beats or meter

Unmetered Music – music without a regular pattern of beats

Tempo – the speed of a piece

Melody: A meaningful succession of musical pitches (TONES).

Pitch – the sound of vibrations at a given speed, classified as high or low

Interval – the musical distance between two pitches

Octave – the interval between two pieces of the same name

Step – the interval between two close notes

Skip – any interval larger than a step

Scale – the organization of one octave of pitches in rising or descending stepwise order

Contour – the shape of a melody

Harmony: The organization of simultaneously sounding pitches.

Chord – any group of simultaneously sounding notes

Progression – the order of successive chords

Consonance – harmony with a pleasing sound

Dissonance – harmony with a clashing sound

Texture: The combination of chords, melodies or notes.

Monophonic – music with one melody alone

Heterophonic – music with one melody played simultaneously in several different versions

Homophonic – music with one main melody accompanied by other notes

Polyphonic – music which the harmonies arise from several equal interlocking melodies, or voices, also called COUNTERPOINT

Timbre: The quality or tone color of a musical sound – It’s flavor.

Voicing – the distribution (high vs low) of the notes of a chord

Instrumentation or orchestration – the choice of instruments

Dynamics – The loudness (forte) or softness (piano) of music

Text setting: The relationship of words to music, in vocal music.

Syllabic – roughly one note per syllable

Melismatic – many notes per syllable

Word painting – music that reflects the meaning of the lyrics

Form:  The total shape of piece of music as organized through time – common ones.

Binary – 2 part, for example AB

Ternary – 3 part, for example ABA

Through- composed – newly- composed throughout, non-sectional, and/or non-repetitive.

Rod Ferreira


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