-the organization of time in music
-all music has rhythm
Beat (pulse)
-basic unit of rhythm in most music
-divides musical time into equal segments
-can be present without being explicitly played
-speed of the beat
-sometimes flexible, sometimes changes
medium slow
very fast
-emphasis placed on a particular note
ex. strong beats and weak beats
-similar to language hip-po-po-ta-mus
musical durations that are longer than the beat
musical durations that are shorter than the beat
accented notes that fall in between the beat
the grouping of beats into regular units
Duple Meter
2 or 4 beats per unit
Triple Meter
3 or more beats per unit
Free Meter
music with no meter or beat
an emphasized or weighted note is…
-the frequency of sound
-or “note”
-determined by speed of sound waves
-in west: they can be high or low
definite pitch
dominance of a particular frequency level
-a pitch you can sing
Indefinite pitch
a cluster of more or less equal frequency levels
-sounds that cant be sung
(handclaps, whispers, foot stomps)
-a pitch with a frequency exactly twice as fast or twice as slow as that of another pitch
-often perceived as the same note
Tuning system
a collection of pitch frequencies (based on the octave) that are commonly used in a given music tradition
set of pitches (usually in ascending order) used in a particular song, piece, performance, etc.
-a series of notes forming a distinctive, recognizable unit
-usually the primary part you typically sing to
notes are close together
(deck the halls)
“stepwise” motion
notes are further apart
(star-spangled banner)
movement by leaps
embellishments or decorations added to a melody
the process of combining words and music
-how the words and melody are created
one pitch per syllable of text
multiple pitches per syllable of text
falls in between syllabic and melismatic
three or more definite pitches sounded together
pitches that compliment, or support, the main melody
pitch combinations that are pleasing to the ear
pitch combinations that are “jarring” or “clashing” to the ear
ways in which multiple voices or instruments interact
4 types
a single line of music with no accompaniment.
-may be performed by one person or many
-ex. singing happy birthday as a group
two or more melodic line of relatively equal importance are performed simultaneously
ex. singing in a round (row, row row your boat)
only one dominant melody, the other parts are less important
-1. melody with accompaniment (chords)
-2. multiple lines moving together (melody with harmony)
multiple performers simultaneously playing sight variations on the same line of music
-least common in western music
the quality of musical sounds (“tone color”)
-some descriptive terms: nasal, dark, mellow, strained etc.
-determined by overtones
relative volume of musical sounds
Indian Culture
-divided into north and south culture regions
North India (Hindustani)
-lots of outside influence (migration, conquer)
-very diverse (many religious traditions)
-culture more secular than the South
South India (Carnatic)
-Much less outside influence
-Hinduism is the dominant religion
-culture more religiously bound
Hindustani “Classical” music
-why “classical”
-similarity to western classical system
-formal concert tradition
-years of formal training required
-predominantly professional musicians
The Basics of Hindustani classical music
-predominantly instrumental
-highly virtuosic, centers on soloist
-predominantly improvised
-long performances- single piece often over one hour
-Aural tradition- not written down
Drone Instrument
-Drone: sustained pitch or pitches, usually underlying a melody.
-four strings, fretless
-strings tuned to fundamental pitch, octave, and fifths
-performer is not supposed to follow beat/rhythm of other instrumentalists
-melody instrument
-most famous indian instrument
-6-7 main strings, 12-ish sympathetic strings, all metal
-moveable frets
-brighter, “twangier” sound
-melody instrument
– calfskin-covered resonator, fretless w/ metal fingerboard
-6 main strings, 12-ish sympathetic strings, all metal
-darker, “woodier” sound
-Hindustani percussion
-two drums: one larger (bays) and small (tabla)
-patches on heads reduce overtones and ofcus the pitch
-tuneable- tuned to key of raga
-multiple strokes used to produce different sounds. sounds learned with spoken syllables (bols)
system governing composition and performance in Hindustani music
-has no western equivalent
-“raga” encompasses:
-set of pitches to be used (a”scale”)
-set of melodic idea
-system of rules and procedures about how and what to play (ornaments, resting pitches, movements between notes)
-Rasa (nonmusical associations): moods/emotions, colors, animals, deities, times of day, season, magical properties
-also used as equivalent of “song” or “piece” in Hindustani
– rhythmic cycle with a fixed number of beats divided into sections
-hindustani “meter”
-tabla player improvises within tala framework
-# of beats anywhere from 3 to over 100
Most common Tala
-tintal- 16 beats in 4 groups of four
Form of a Raga
1. Alap
-introductory section
-drummer sits out, no tabla
-tambura and melody instrument only
-entirely improvised
-increases in tension
2. Gat
-tala begina, sita/sarod plays main raga melody (gat)
-tabla enter, not always on beat 1
-open improvisation based on notes of raga, gat melody and tala
where in India is culture more religiously bound?
South India- carnatic region
which instrument is responsible for providing the drone in Hindustani music
non-musical associations for Hindustani raga are called
1st hindustani musician to perform on American television
Ali Akbar Khan (sarod)
Ravi Shankar
recorded several albums in late 50’s (sitar)
John Coltrane
drone like sounds- tambura
long improvised solos
single chord for the entire song
The Yardbirds
First rock song to use sitar
-indian influence in guitar solo
George Harrison & The Beatles
harrison introduced to indian music by members of the Byrds
-spent 6 weeks in India studying sitar with shankar
“raga rock”
rock music that incorporates significant indian musical influences
The most influential sitar player of all time
Ravi Shankar
The first rock song ever recorded using sitar
“Heart Full of Soul” by Yardbirds
Irish Instrumental Music
developed early 1800’s
solo tradition: 1-2 melody players
Rhythm of irish music
melodic contour and accents provide rhythm
Melody of irish music
mostly subdivisions- lots of notes
highly ornamented
Texture of irish music
heterophony: multiple performers simultaneously playing slight variations of the same line of music
Traditional irish music loses its association with dancing when
-accompaniment instruments are added
Melody Instruments
most are diatonic (cant play all12 notes of western tuning system)
-uilleann pipes
-irish flute
-Button accordion
Accompaniment Instruments
Guitar and Bodhran are 20th century additions to irish instrumental music
the term used to describe the texture of most Irish Instrumental music is
irish instrumental music originally developed as music to accompany dancing
Basics of Irish Balladry
a “living tradition”
-old and new performed alongside one another
-oral tradition
-men and women perform in equal measure
-english and irish language traditions
oral tradition
notation and written lyrics not used
Characteristics of Irish Balladry
-originally unaccompanied solo singing until 60’s
-vocals often highly ornamented
-mostly strophic
-meter: duple or triple or free
-common theme: hardship
verses sung to repeating melody, no chorus
an irish session is a formal performance intended for an audience
traditionally, lyric sheets were used to learn Irish ballads but notated music was not
British Punk Movement
-mid 70’s
-reaction against: middle-class values, mainstream culture, etc
-themes: rebelliousness, irreverence
-characteristics: appearance, sarcastic, violence etc.
-earned fans among working-class youth including Irish
Sex Pistols
initiated punk movement in U.K
-THE quintessential punk band
John Lydon (Johny Rotten)
bandleader for sex pistols
-son of working class irish immigrants
-“god save the queen”
“God Save the Queen”
– most banned song in U.K’s history
-released on 25th anniversary of Elizabeth II’s coronation
The Pogues
-combined punk rock with elements of Irish traditional music
-“Pogue Mahone'” means “kiss my ass”
-leader Shane MacGowan
-“boys from country hell”
-formed in London in 80’s
Punk aspects of The Pogues
-Rock instruments (electric guitar, bass, drums)
-musical type (loud, disorted)
-subversion of social norms
-lower-class affinity
Irish aspects of The Pogues
-instruments (banjo, whistle, accordian)
-some traditional songs and instrumental tunes
-lower/working class affinity
What band was the first to combine punk rock with elements of Irish traditional music
The Pogues
music with more than one simultaneous pulse
layered interlocking parts
WHY- group participation valued
-originated as war dance/music
for before (pump up) and after (celebration) battle
-now performed at funerals, cultural celebrations, american universities
-NOT A “PIECE” but a COLLECTION of songs and dance moves performed to standard drumming patterns
Form of Agbekor
-very flexible
typical form:
-unaccompanied song, no drumming
-slow drumming, singing and dancing
-fast drumming, dancing
-solo dancing
-back to fast drumming, dancing
length of sections of Agbekor
-uses drum patterns to signal other performers
-sometimes also signals specific dance steps
How many instrumental parts are there in a typical Agbekor
What is not a characteristic found in much West African music
What are typical contexts for Agbekor performances
-before and after battle
-colleges and universities