An organized succession of pitches forming a musical idea. (The tune: the part you whistle)
A tone’s specific frequency level (ie – high or low) (described either in Hertz (Hz) or by pitch name (A, Bb, C#, etc.))
An embellishment or decoration of a melody
A grouping of beats into a regular pattern (usually only 2, 3, or 4 beats, but can be up to 16 or 32)
A steady pulse
The length or duration of sounds (how sounds occur in time)
The larger underlying structure of a musical performance
The tone quality or “color” of a sound
Instruments that require air to produce sound
(flutes, reeds, trumpets, organs, bagpipes)
Instruments that use strings to produce sound (violin, guitar, harps, piano)
Instruments that vibrate to produce sound
(cymbals, wood block, triangle, bells, gongs, xylophone)
Instruments that a vibrating, stretched membrane to produce sound
(all drums)
Instruments that require electricity to produce sound
(synthesizer, Hammond organ, computers)
Tuning System
The “notes” that a musical tradition uses, defined by that tradition. (The West uses the 12-note octave, as seen on the piano)
Sequence of notes arranged in ascending order
The distance between two pitches
The speed of the beat
The accenting of a normally weak beat (What makes music “funky” or dance-like.)
Homophonic texture
Multiple lines of music expressing the same musical idea
(typical singer with accompaniment)
Heterophonic texture
Multiple performers playing simultaneous variations of the same line of music
Is music a universal activity or language?
The unconscious assumption that one’s own cultural background is “normal,” while that of others is “strange” or “exotic”
Classical Music
Music created in the context of wealth, requiring considerable training on the part of the musicians, and is performed for an educated and/or select audience.
Folk Music
Music originating among the common people of a nation or region, spread about or passed down orally, and uses simple instruments.
Popular Music
Any genre of music having wide appeal and thus large amounts of financial resources.
Polyphonic texture
Music with two or more distinct music ideas sounding simultaneously
Concept: Musical Identity
(pages 40-42 in text, ideas related to how music can be an expression of cultural identity…)
Concept: Musical Transmission
(page 48 in text: the idea that different cultures may teach music to their younger generations in different ways: rote teaching vs. sheet music vs. “guru” approach)
Concept: Music’s Use vs. Function
(Page 42 in text: the way the music is perceived by outsiders and insiders in a culture is different: what is the “ritual” behind the music?)
Organized Sound (though we know this term is culturally defined by the culture that creates the music)
Concept: How can some cultures NOT consider “singing” to be “Music”??
Since “music” is a culturally defined term, religions that don’t believe in the concept of sacred music (most Islam and some Buddhist sects) will not define sacred chanting as music.
The relationship between different sounds in a given piece, such as homophonic, polyphonoic, monophonic, or heterophonic.
Concept: Music’s connections to other arts
In most cultures, music is inextricably linked to other art forms, such as dance, visual arts, masks, etc.
Monophonic texture
a single, unaccompanied, melody.