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The Elements of Music

Grade 9 Music Appreciation Class
by

Larissa Klassen

on 13 April 2011

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Transcript of The Elements of Music

The Elements of Music Sound Rhythm/Beat Organization Creativity - melody - harmony - timbre - dynamics MELODY Melody is that element of music which makes the widest and most direct appeal. It has been called the SOUL of music. It is generally what we WHISTLE and HUM. We know a good melody when we hear it and we recognize its unique power to MOVE us. The melody is the musical line that guides our EAR through a composition. The melody is the plot, or the theme of the musical work. A melody is A SUCCESSION OF SINGLE TONES OR PITCHES PERCEIVED BY THE MIND AS A UNITY. Just as we the hear the words of a SENTENCE not singly but in relation to the thought as a whole, so too do we perceive the TONES of a melody in relation to one another. HARMONY We are accustomed to hearing melodies against a BACKGROUND of harmony. To the movement of the melody, harmony adds another dimension - —depth. An example of harmony is when a singer is ACCOMPANIED by a guitar or piano. The singer presents the melody while the instrument provides the harmonic background. Harmony can be defined as “NOTES PLAYED SIMULTANEOUSLY”. TIMBRE The next property of sound is TONE COLOUR, or timbre. This is what makes a note on the trumpet sound different from the same note played on a violin or a flute.
Timbre is influenced by a number of factors, such the SIZE, shape, and proportions of the instrument, the MATERIAL of which it is made, and the manner in which VIBRATION is set up. DYNAMICS Dynamics denotes the degree of LOUDNESS or SOFTNESS at which the music is played. In this area, as in that of tempo, certain responses seem to be rooted in the nature of our emotions. Mystery and fear call for a WHISPER; jubilation and vigorous activity go with full resonance. - rhythm - tempo RHYTHM Rhythm— - the Greek word for “FLOW” —is the term we use to refer to the CONTROLLED MOVEMENT OF MUSIC IN TIME. Since music is an art that exists solely in TIME, rhythm shapes all the relationships within a composition. It is rhythm that causes people to fall in step when the band plays, to nod or TAP with the BEAT. Upon the tick-tock of a clock or any series of noises we hear, we automatically impose a PATTERN. We hear the sounds as a regular pulsation of STRONG and WEAK beats. In other words, we organize our perception of TIME by means of rhythm. TEMPO The tempo refers to the SPEED of the music. Tempo carries emotional implications. We respond to musical tempo PHYSICALLY and psychologically. Our PULSE, our breathing, our entire being adjusts to the RATE OF MOVEMENT. - form - texture Form refers to the ORGANIZATION of the music. Popular songs, for example, are created including certain components: VERSE, CHORUS, BRIDGE, etc. FORM TEXTURE In writings on music we encounter frequent references to its FABRIC (or texture). Such comparisons between music and cloth are not as unreasonable as may at first appear, since the melodic lines may be thought of as so many threads that make up the musical fabric. Texture refers to the NUMBER of layers as well as the TYPE of layers used in a composition and how these layers are RELATED.
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