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The Five Levels of Deeper Music Listening

Todd Stalter

on 17 August 2018

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Transcript of SHMRG

Our common language for
describing music!!


Aren't you excited?
*What is making the sound?
Tone Color (Timbre): what a sound "sounds like," what combinations of sounds sound like
Texture: thick or thin sound(s), often layered over time
Tessitura: the range of the sound's pitch from high to low
Dynamics: relative loudness or softness of the sound(s)
Note: Dynamics and Tessitura affect Tone Color and Texture!
Consonant: pleasing, familiar
Dissonant: harsh, difficult to listen to
Major or Minor (for those of you who have
prior musical training)
*Dissonance or Consonance will, many times,
depend on the listener!
Pulse: Steady or unsteady "beats"
Tempo: speed of pulse
*Are there repeating patterns?
You can also search for rhythmic elements in the melody and harmony
The primary "voice" or "line" of music.
Dominant over all textures and other voices.
Who plays/sings it? When? Where is it?
Is it...Angular? Smooth? Fast? Slow?

*Melody contains ALL elements of SHMRG
The format, or aural plan of the composition (musical structure).
Listen for CHANGES as clues (i.e. adding new instruments or voices, changes in tempo, dynamics, etc.).
Learn to recognize music you have HEARD BEFORE!
Tone Color: "So What" by Miles Davis (1959)
Tone Color: "Doctor Who Theme" by Greiner/
Derbyshire (1963)
Texture: "Man on the Corner" by Genesis (1981)
Varied textures within specific musical elements: "Just a Girl" by No Doubt (1995)
Consonant: "Fields of Gold" by Sting (1993)
Dissonant: Symphony No. 10, Mvt. 2, by
Dmitri Shostakovich (1953)
"The Shaping of the World" by Jason Hayes
(from World of Warcraft, 2004)

"It's More Fun to Compute" by Kraftwerk (1981)
"The House is a-Rockin' " by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble (1986)

"Clapping Music" by Steve Reich (1972)
Full transcript