A large ensemble of acoustic instruments such as violins, trumpets, and flutes
an even pulse that divides the passing of time into equal units
the speed at which the beats progress (bpm)
getting slower
getting faster
the gathering of beats into regular groups
every other beat is stressed ONE two, ONE two, ONE two, two beats per measure
emphasize every third beat ONE two three, ONE two three
Time signature
two numbers, one on top of the other, placed at the beginning of the music to tell the performer how the beats of the music are to be grouped. top number indicates how many beats there are per measure; the bottom number tells what note value receives the beat
Suppressed Meter
sometimes the meter is obscured by an unclear beat or complexity
also called bar, a group of beats
the first beat, indicated by a downward movement of the hand, strongest beat in any given measure
the organization of time in music, divides time into long and short spans
Whole note
4 beats
half note
two beats
quarter note
one beat
eighth note
1/2 beat
sixteenth note
1/4 beat
indicate silence
places the accent either on a weak beat or between the beats
the tune of a piece, the part we sing to
Conjuct melody
stepwise motion, up and down the scale
Disjunct melody
movement by leaps
the relative position, high or low, of a musical sound
the number of times a sound wave completes a cycle in a given period of time. measured in Hertz. as the frequency increases, we perceive the pitch to be higher and vise versa. audible range is from 20-20,000 Hz
when one frequency is exactly twice another frequency they form an octave
Whole step
comprised of two half steps
half step
also called semitones, divide up an octave in the west into 12 equal half steps
Treble Clef
designates the upper range and is appropriate for high instruments
Bass Clef
covers the lower range and is used for lower instruments
a fixed pattern of tones within the octave that ascends and descends
Major scale
follows a seven-note pattern moving upward
usually associated with joy and happiness
Minor scale
usually associated with fear and sorrow
Chromatic scale
makes use of all twelve pitches, equally divided, within the octave. all twelve pitches are just a half step apart
something like a “gravitational field” that embodies both the scale of the melody and the strong pull of its tonic pitch

tonic= first note of the scale

changing the key within a composition
a distinct section of a melody
may be marked by commas in lyrics, breaths, rests, or the shape of the melody
analogous to phrases in speech
ends with a cadence
results when multiple pitches sound simultaneously, provides support and foundation for the melody, adds depth and richness
an organized set of major or minor notes sounded simultaneously
basic western chord, consists of three pitches built off any note of the scale, using every other note (1,3,5)
chord progression
a movement of chords in a purposeful fashion, easiest to hear in bass first, chords can only harmonize a small number of melody notes, so in order to keep the harmony consonant with the melody, chords must continually change
broken or staggered chord, notes played sequentially to give a sense of activity, can be played in the melody or harmony
when the frequencies of the two notes do not have a simple ratio

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pitches sounding momentarily disagreeable and unstable, chords that contain pitches that are very close to one another, just a half or whole step apart sound dissonant, feeling of tension and anxiety in music

when the frequencies of the two notes have a simple ratio 2:1, 3:2, 5:4, sound is pleasing

ex: the octave, the perfect 5th, the perfect 4th

chords that involve a third, produce sense of calmness and stability

the portion of a musical phrase that leads to its last chord, usually encompasses the final two, three, four, or five notes of the melody and its accompanying chords.

follows specific harmonic formulas

Plagal “amen” cadence
sounding restful and peaceful, often heard in religious services it moves (IV-I)
Deceptive cadence
surprises and deceives the listener (I-VI)
half cadence
IV-V doesn’t finish the phrase- doesn’t end on the tonic but instead leaves the listener hanging, quizzical, waiting for more
whole cadence
brings with it a feeling of real conclusion, saying “THE END!!!” (V-I)
a short, distinctive melodic figure that stands by itself, serves as the basis for creating melodies
Tonic (I)
the first of the seven notes of the scale, and the eighth, and last one as well

built on the first degree of the scale, provides rest and sense of arrival

the central pitch around which the melody and harmony gravitate

Dominant (V)
built on the fifth degree of the scale, tends to move to the tonic
the various levels of volume, loud and soft, at which sounds are produced
Dynamic terms
Fortissimo=very loud ff
forte=loud f
mezzo forte= moderately loud mf
mezzo piano= moderately soft mp
piano= soft p
pianissimo= very soft pp
growing louder <
growing softer >
range that determines dynamics in music
the tone quality of musical sound. Terms of sensation in which a listener can judge that two sounds having the same loudness and pitch are dissimilar. determined largely by the spectrum and temporal pattern
Tone color
the tone quality of any sound produced by a voice or instrument

ex: difference between flute and trombone playing the same note

more than one sound is produced when an instrument is sounded.

Fundamental: the note being played
Harmonics: faintly-heard pitches, created by fractional vibrations when a note is played on an instrument

each instrument produces a unique pattern of loud and soft harmonics

the onset of a sound (aka the beginning of the note)
all instruments that produce sound by means of vibrating strings: guitar, banjo, ukelele, harp, violin, viola, cello, double bass
smallest orchestral string instrument, has the highest pitch, often plays the melody.

sound produced by a bow pulled across one of four strings held tightly in place by tuning pegs at one end and a tailpiece at the other

“alto” voice of the violin, slightly larger and lower pitch than the violin, darker more somber tone
held between the legs, rich expressive tone, provide a low bass sound as well as a lyrical melody
double bass
gives weight and power to the bass line in the orchestra, largest orchestral string instrument, performer stands next to it while playing, doubled the cello part (played one octave lower)
a common folk instrument throughout the world, sometimes added to the orchestra, adds color and effects to music
tube with holes that can be covered or uncovered to change the pitch of the instrument, the larger the instrument or length of pipe, the lower the sound, sound produced by a vibrating reed (clarinet, oboe, saxophone) or column of air (flute)
sound produced by vibrating lips on a mouthpiece

by adjusting valves or moving a slide, the performer can make the length of the pipe on the instrument longer or shorter and hence the pitch lower or higher

sound generated by striking an object, causing it to vibrate either by hitting the head of a drum with a stick or by banging or scraping a piece of metal or wood in one fashion or another.

sharpen the rhythmic contour of the music, add color to the sounds of other instruments, heighten the sense of climax in a piece

snare drum, bass drum, cymbals don’t produce musical pitch

xylophone, glockenspiel, celesta do generate specific pitches

woodwind, air blown across a sharp edge, originally made out of wood, piccolo is a smaller higher flute
woodwind, air blown through a mouthpiece with a single reed, mellow smooth sound when playing low notes, shrill sound when playing high notes
woodwind, air is blown through a pair of reeds, a nasal, slightly exotic sound
woodwind, air is blown through a pair of reeds, bass of the woodwind family
woodwind, made out of metal, air blown through a mouthpiece, single reed: mouthpiece similar to the clarinet, occasionally added to the orchestra, jazz bands use baritone, tenor, alto, and sometimes soprano saxophones
brass, high brilliant sound
French Horn
associated with hunting and mountains, similar in range to the trombone and euphonium
brass, generates sound by a moving slid, sound slightly clearer, more focused than the french horn
brass, the largest brass instrument, contributes to the foundation of the orchestral sound
Timpani (kettledrums)
produce a specific pitch, most often heard in classical music, detached strokes or hit rapidly to produce a thunderlike roll, the function of the timpani is to add depth, tension, and drama to the music, usually four in the orchestra
percussion, a set of wooden bars that when struck by two hard mallets, produce a dry, wooden sound
works the same way as a xylophone, but the bars are made of metal so that the tone is brighter and more ringing
produces sound when hammers strike metal bars, but the hammers are activated by keys, as in a piano, the tone is bright and tinkling
pipe organ
keyboard, player depresses a key that allows air to rush into a pipe, thereby producing sound. the pipes are arranged in separate groups according to their shape and material, each group produces a full range of musical pitches with one special timbre.

keyboard operated by feet, often more than one keyboard for hands, greek instrument

stops can be used to add musical color, the most forceful sound occurs when all the stops have been activated

keyboard, produces sound by strings. when a key is depressed, it drives a lever upward that in turn forces a pick to pluck a string. this creates a bright, jangling sound. all strings produce the same volume, Renaissance and Baroque instrument (1400)
strings are hit by a soft hammer, a lever mechanism makes it possible for the player to regulate how hard each string is struck, thus producing softs and louds. invented around 1700
when we sing we force air up through our vocal cords (two folds of mucous membrane within the throat), causing them to vibrate. Men’s vocal cords are longer and thicker than women’s, and for that reason the sound of the mature male voice is lower

two women parts: soprano and alto
two male parts: tenor and bass

From high to low: soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass

density and arrangement of artistic elements
disposition of musical lines
ex: dense, heavy, light, thin
percussion, wooden bars struck by mallets
percussion, hanging metal tubes struck by mallets
Drum set
ride cymbal, floor tom, toms, bass drum, snare drum, hi-hat cymbals. played with sticks or brushes
one sounding, single line of music, no accompaniment, multiple people sing or play the same line
many sounding, Counterpoint: harmonious opposition of independent musical lines, tow or more independent lines sounding simultaneously
Free counterpoint (Polyphony)
each line a different, independent melody, common in jazz improvisation, particularly New Orleans early jazz
Imitative counterpoint (Polyphony)
voices duplicate some portion of the previous voice, but all voices move independently

canon: voices exactly duplicate the preceding voice
fugue: less strict than a canon, but still imitative

melody and accompaniment, melody is most important, other voices create supporting harmony

most common texture used in chorales, hymns, christmas, carols, folk songs

the purposeful organization of a piece of music using repetition, contrast, and variation of musical elements.

creates large-scale organization and coherence: organized and groups phrases into sections, sections are then put in a certain order, repeated, and/or vaired

Strophic Form
AAA. most familiar musical form, hymns, carols, folk songs, and patriotic songs, music repeats for each stanza of text
Theme and Variations
each repetition of the melody altered, melodic embellishment, new harmony, rhythmic alterations, changes in timbre and texture , theme in A, each variation gets a superscript number

ex: twinkle, twinkle, little star

Binary Form
two contrasting units: balance and complement each other, dissimilar mood, key, or melody creates variety, sections often repeated AABB, used commonly in stylized dance forms
Ternary Form
B section in a contrasting style, change in melody and key, usually a change in timbre (instrumentation, range) A section returns
a large instrumental ensemble that includes brass and percussion and sometimes woodwinds, never a string section
Wind band
symphonic or concert band, clarinets usually carry the dominant melodic material that the violins usually play in the orchestra
Brass band
only brass and percussion
Functional band
School band
between the two world wars, retired military band veterans began teaching band in the public schools

bands were not associated with athletics until the 1900s, harvard and yale had bands in 1827

most schools have concert and marching bands

marching band
popular at athletic events due to the larger stadiums

military like clothing used to represent the military uniforms worn when marching bands originated

Haut instruments
ensembles that aimed for popular appeal and performed lighter compositions, bands descended from this loud music suited for the outdoors
Bas instruments
associated with “serious music” of the upper class, orchestra emerged from this, quiter instruments suited for indoor use
John Philip Sousa
1854-1932 conducted the marine band before starting his own professional band, known as the “march king” because he wrote many famous marches

wrote stars and strips forever (national anthem)

Eugene Bozza
French composer and conductor 1905-1991 known for his works with wind instruments, includes styles such as expressionism, serialism, minimalism, was the director of the premier opera house in Paris
Richard Strauss
1964-1949 German Composer
son of a horn player and conductor
went on to have a tremedously long career
Don Juan was written when he was 24 and the success of the work launched his career
Kant and Schopenhauer
Highly influential philosophers who developed the idea that instrumental music can reach a higher truth

instrumental music became separate form other music that appealed to the masses

lead to Art music/popular music divide

eventually established orchestras in all major U.S. Cities

musical composition specified to the performance
Performance style
Compositional style
A cappella
a term applied to unaccompanied vocal music; no instruments
high-head voice
passaggio (tansition area)
low-chest voice

relative to pitch

head voice
singer experiences the tone resonating in their head rather than their chest or throat
chest voice
belting, achieved by tilting the larynx (voice box) and pushing the air through the vocal chords at high pressure
highest range, available to both male and female voices but it is most distinctive when used by male voices

ex: beach boys, gnarls barkley, michael jackson

the singer deliberately breaks her voice so that she can quickly travel from the lowest register to the highest and back again
a textual refrain that repeats
the lowest to the highest pitch
in instruments: by shaking the hand it stops the string, the performer can produce a sort of controlled “wobble” in the pitch, this adds richness to the tone of the string because, in fact, it creates a blend of two or more pitches
orchestra in the U.S.A
imported to the USA from europe, not used for military or civic purposes, lacks the nobility and extravagant religious culture that supported orchestras in europe
Stars and Stripes Forever
Composer: John Phillips Sousa
Genre: March
Ensemble: Wind Band
Texture: alternates between homophonic and polyphonic
Children’s Overture
composer: Eugene Bozza genre: overture ensemble: wind band form: ABA (fast slow fast) followed by a fast ending called a coda Duple, Major contains small fragments of children’s songs depicts children playing soldiers
Don Juan
composer: Richard Strauss Genre: Tone Poem Ensemble: Orchestra based on the fictional story of a womanizer named Don Juan, exceptionally difficult piece for most players in the orchestra