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THE ELEMENTS OF MUSIC

The Elements of Music
by

Steven Bourque

on 3 February 2016

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Transcript of THE ELEMENTS OF MUSIC

THE ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
RHYTHM
The relationship between music and time, sound and silence
.
Tempo
describes how fast or slow the music is. The composer must determine how long the piece will be, control the rhythmic flow of the piece, and determine the exact length of each note and how it relates to the other notes surrounding it.
MELODY
When we hear
two or more pitches in succession
, each with their own rhythmic duration, we begin to think of a melody or a tune. While we may physically feel the rhythm of the music, usually what we remember about a song is the melody (or tune). Regarding the melody, we talk about
the range
(the distance between the highest and lowest pitches) and
the contour
(conjunct or disjunct).
HARMONY
If melody is the combination of notes in succession, harmony is
the combination of notes simultaneously
. When three or more notes are sounded simultaneously, we have a
chord
. Chords are extremely important in music. If all we had were melody and rhythm, music would sound rather empty.
Harmonies
are used to accompany melodies and to fill out the sound of the music.
When it comes to harmony, we find something that sounds good and reuse it...
TEXTURE
The way various musical lines function in relationship to one another. Also consider how many parts are involved...(a thin texture v. a dense texture)
DYNAMICS
Dynamics is the term musicians use to describe
the various fluctuations in loudness
. Volume or loudness changes enhance all musical compositions.
FORM
The organization structure of a piece of music. Typical sections include INTRO, VERSE (same music, different words), PRE-CHORUS (4-8 measures of music right before the chorus of some songs), CHORUS (same music same words), REFRAIN, and BRIDGE (different music, different words, 2/3 of the way through the song).
TIMBRE
Timbre refers to the
tone quality of sound
. Each voice or instrument has a distinctive sound quality or timbre. Rhythm, melody, and harmony could all be the same, but timbre can change.
"Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake
Intro, V1, PC, C, V2, PC, C, B, C, Outro
BEAT v. RHYTHM
If your goal is to write pop songs geared for success in the mainstream, keeping your song "simple," clever, infectious, and exceptionally well crafted is of the utmost importance. Remember, people shouldn't have to "work" to get into your song (and trust me, they won't). Your song should instantly engage your audience and keep them engaged. This is especially important for success in the radio and digital environment.
Homophony
: melody and accompaniment (most popular music)
Monophony
: one musical line
Polyphony
: two or more independent lines of approximately equal importance
Possible Descriptive Words: Bright, Dark, Twangy, Lofty, Clear, Breathy, Light, Heavy, Raspy, Clean, etc.
Clear, Dark, Lofty
Clean, Bright
Raspy
Heavy, Twangy
INSTRUMENTATION
LEAD VOCALS
GUITAR (Electric or Acoustic)
DRUMSET
BASS GUITAR
BACKGROUND VOCALS
KEYBOARD / PIANO
PERCUSSION
STRINGS / BRASS / WOODWINDS
SYNTHESIZER
COMPUTERS / TECHNOLOGY
OTHER...

CONSIDER...Timbre, Range, Dynamic Ability
With advanced music software and easily accessible technology, producing music could be done with little more than a computer. Electronic music was becoming more popular. One example is “Super group” The Postal Service and their 2003 song “Such Great Heights.”

LYRICS
What is the song about? Does the song tell a story? Do the lyrics connect to people? Did the ar
This song is known for its underlying riff which plays throughout most of the song. Although it sounds like a bass guitar, the sound is actually created by running Jack White's semi-acoustic guitar through a Whammy pedal down the octave.
Arcade Fire is an indie rock band that uses multiple instruments in recordings and live shows including: guitar, drums, bass guitar, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, French horn, accordion, harp, and mandolin. The multi-instrumentalist band members switch duties throughout live shows.
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