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The Elements of Music for Grade 7's & 8's
Transcript of The Elements of Music for Grade 7's & 8's
By Nilakshi S.
Pitch is the quality of sound. It's how high or low a sound is. The speed of the vibrations of a sound can be measured in hertz: cycles per second.
Melody and Harmony fall under pitch
Melody is a series or a bunch of tones that add up to a recognizable whole. It's the "horizontal" aspect of music. The melody can be step-like, leap-like or scale-like.
Justin Bieber's Boyfriend acoustic is an example of a melody. This song has a good range with both high and low notes. Throughout the song, it's mainly step-like and scale-like. There is a leap when the song goes from low to high in the bridge.
Harmony is the combination of two or more tones that are sounded at the same time. It's the "vertical" aspect of music. It can be consonant (stable tone combo) or dissonant (unstable tone combo). Harmonies help to make music more colourful.
Alyssa Bernal & The New Velvet's cover of I Knew You were Trouble by Taylor Swift is a great example of harmony. After the first verse, leading into the chorus, the harmony between the female and male voice is clearly heard. This song is consonant because it has a stable tone combination. Nothing is out of place.
Rhythm is the pace at which music moves, based on the speed of the underlying beat. It's also the sound through time. There are four aspects of rhythm.
It's the underlying pulse of music. It divides music into equal units of time.
This is how the beat is divided and counted. It's a repeated pattern of strong and weak beats
Tempo is the pace or speed of music. It creates variation between different songs or music.
They're the different techniques used on a note to help create beats.
Diamonds by Rihanna is a good example of rhythm. There is a good underlying beat in the song that keeps it upbeat and there are different tempos throughout the song. It varies from being vivace (lively) to andante (moderately slow, walking pace).
Timbre is the distinctive sound or tone quality an instrument makes. Variety and contrast are created by changes in timbre.
Little Things by One Direction has a very light tone quality. The guitar is relaxed and open. The song itself has lyrics and a free quality to it. The clarity in the song creates a calm vibe that is relaxing to hear.
Dynamics is the volume of sound. It's the loudness or softness of a musical passage.
Give me Love by Ed Sheeran is an amazing example of dynamics because Ed Sheeran uses various techniques to produce this. Throughout the song there are many crescendos and decrescendos and there's a variation of the volume of sound. There's never a specific loudness or softness that the song falls under.
Texture is the layering of melody and harmony. There are 3 types of texture.
A melody without accompaniment.
A melody accompanied by chords
A simultaneous performance of 2 or more melodic lines with rhythmic independence.
Call me Maybe a capella by Carly Rae Jepson is a good example of a monophonic melody. There is no accompaniment. Only her voice and the back-up singers.
Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys is a an example of a polyphonic song. Unlike monophonic, this song has accompaniment. Also unlike either, it has rhythmic indepencence and simultaneous melodic lines.
Ryan Shubert's cover of Daylight by Maroon 5 shows a melody with chords. This song has melodic lines and chordal accompaniment.
Form is the organization of musical elements through time.
Type of Form Symbol Musical Example
Two part/binary AB Home on the Range
Three part/ternary ABA Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Strophic AAAA Amazing Grace, Silent Night
Medley ABCD Overture from a musical
Chorus/verse ABA'BA*(C)B Pop Songs
Best Thing I Never Had is an example of a chorus/verse form which is related to most pop songs. This song has repetition and verses and of course the chorus.
Bernal, Alyssa, and The New Velvet. "I Knew You Were Trouble." By Taylor Swift. I Knew You Were Trouble by Taylor Swift. 2012. CD.
Bieber, Justin. Boyfriend Acoustic. Justin Bieber. Island, 2013.
Jepsen, Carly Rae. "Call Me Maybe." Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson. School Boy, 2012. CD.
Keys, Alicia. "Girl on Fire." Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys. 2013. CD.
Knowles, Beyonce. "Best Thing I Never Had." Best Thing I Never Had by Beyonce. 2012. CD.
One Direction. Little Things. 2012. CD.
Rihanna. "Diamonds." Diamonds by Rihanna. 2012. CD.
Sheeran, Ed. "Give Me Love." Give Me Love by Ed Sheeran. N.d. CD.
Shubert, Ryan. "Daylight." Daylight by Maroon 5. 2012. CD.