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7 Elements of Music

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Melissa Runhart

on 8 February 2018

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Transcript of 7 Elements of Music

7 Elements
of Music

- The duration of sound (how long or short the notes are)
- Rhythm has three parts:
- Beat
- Tempo
- Metre
The Pulse. A rhythmic unit of time.
Rhythm VS Beat
Listen to the following example:
- When you nod your head or tap your foot in time with the music you are feeling the beat.

- When you sing along with the lyrics, you are singing the rhythm as each word is held for a different length of time.

I read the rules before I broke 'em
I broke the chains before they choked me out
Now I pay close attention
Really learn the code
I learned to read the map before I hit the road
The speed of the beat.
How fast or slow the music is.
Click on the link below to visit the San Francisco Symphony’s “Music Lab” website to explore music played at various tempos.

The organization of strong and weak beats. Indicated by measures and time signature.
Simple Time
Listen to the song clips below and try to count or conduct along.
Compound Time
Simple Time
- Equivalent of 2 quarter notes per bar
- Often used for polkas or marches
Simple Time
- Equivalent of 3 quarter notes per bar
- Used for waltzes
Simple Time
- Equivalent of 4 quarter notes per bar
- Also known as "common time" it is the most frequently used time signature and often used for popular music
Simple Time
- Equivalent of 5 quarter notes per bar
- Highly unusual/uncommon
- Uneven division of beats in
Simple Time
- Equivalent of 2 half notes per bar
- Often used for marches
Compound Time
- Equivalent of 6 eighth notes per bar
- Often used in country music
Compound Time
- Equivalent of 9 eighth notes per bar
- Similar to 3/4 (waltz) time
Compound Time
- Equivalent of 12 eighth notes per bar
- Common in flamenco music
*Start at 35 seconds
Changing Metres
4 2
4 4
- Listen closely to this example, the time signature switches from 4/4 to 2/4 and back again
- The tune; an organized sequence of pitches
- There are two kinds of melody:
- Conjunct
- Disjunct
Singable, stepwise
Listen to the following example
The melody is easy to sing, if you play this on the piano, all the notes are right next to one another (no leaps or skips).
Large leaps and jumps, difficult to sing
Listen to the following example
The melody is not easy to sing, if you play this on the piano, the notes are not right next to one another, there are large leaps or skips in between.
- The combination of two or more pitches
- There are two types of harmony:
- Consonance
- Dissonance
Chords / Triads
Combination of three or more pitches.
Combination of two or more pitches which are harmoniously pleasing and require no resolution. (They sound nice/ pleasant).
Listen to the following example
Combination of two or more pitches which are not harmoniously pleasing and require a resolution. (They don’t sound nice/ pleasant).
Listen to the following example
- Tone colour/ tone quality
Listen to the examples of Happy Birthday played on different instruments to hear how the same melody can have a different timbre.
Timbre describes all of the aspects of a musical sound that do not have anything to do with the sound's pitch, loudness, or length. In other words, if a flute plays a note, and then an oboe plays the same note, for the same length of time, at the same loudness, you can still easily distinguish between the two sounds, because a flute sounds different from an oboe. This difference is in the timbre of the sounds.
Different Timbres
Different Timbres
Different Timbres
Jazz Trumpet
Different Timbres
Different Timbres
Different Timbres
- The structure of music
- Music comes in many different forms. Some include:
- Binary
- Ternary
- Theme & Variation
- Popular Song
Binary Form
A-B scheme (each section may be repeated)
Listen to God Save the Queen and follow along with either the music or the lyrics, note the A and B sections.
Ternary Form
A-B-A Scheme
Listen to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and follow along with either the music or the lyrics, note the A section is at both the beginning and the end.
Theme & Variation
Principal theme is clearly stated at the beginning and goes through a series of variations over the rest of the piece.
Click on the link below to open up a short presentation on Theme & Variation. It is especially important that you listen to the theme and all five of the examples on slide #4.

Popular Song
- Several different forms often:
- A-A-B-A (Where B is often the bridge)
- Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus
Listen to Fallin' and follow along with the lyrics. Note that the chorus repeats additional times at the end.
- Overall quality of sound of a piece, most often indicated by the number of voices in the music and by the relationship between these voices.
- There are three types of texture
- Monophonic
- Homophonic
- Polyphonic
Listen to the following monophonic example.
Single melody with chordal accompaniment (two voices). Common of church hymns.
Listen to the following homophonic example.
- Two or more melodies at the same time.
Listen to the following polyphonic example
Single melody, no accompaniment (unison).
- The volume of the sound (how loud or soft the music is)
Dynamic Changes
Listen to the 2nd movement of Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony (No. 94) to hear the differences in dynamics. The pieces starts quietly (piano), then gets suddenly loud (sforzando), then stays at a moderately loud dynamic (mezzo forte)
The beat of a piece of music can be broken down into two-part rhythms. Simple time signatures are the easiest to count, because a one-two pulse in a piece of music feels the most natural to a listener and a performer.
The beat is broken down into three-part rhythms. The top number is evenly divisible by 3, with the exception of time signatures where the top number is 3. Also, each beat is divided into three components, creating a one-two-three pulse
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