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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.
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