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Part 1: Materials of Music. Units 1 & 2: Elements of Music & Musical Instruments and Ensembles Download the Musical Examples Here. Chapter 1: Melody. A coherent succession of single pitches. Words / Sentence Highness / Lowness Frequency / Vibration Distance between two different pitches

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Part 1 materials of music

Part 1: Materials of Music

Units 1 & 2: Elements of Music & Musical Instruments and Ensembles

Download the Musical Examples Here

Chapter 1 melody
Chapter 1: Melody

  • A coherent succession of single pitches.

  • Words / Sentence

  • Highness / Lowness

  • Frequency / Vibration

  • Distance between two different pitches


Melody continued
Melody Continued

  • Range: span of melody from highest to lowest note. It can be narrow or wide.

  • Shape: determined by direction of melodic line; like a graph.

More melody
More Melody

  • Movement of melody incorporates either small or large interval jumps.

  • Examples: Conjunct: Disjunct:

  • Phrase: like a phrase in a sentence; a unit of melody within a larger context (period).

  • Period: Like a sentence; usually made up of two phrases.

  • Example of Phrase/Period:

Yet more about melody
Yet More about Melody

  • Cadence: resting place or repose; last two notes of melody/ harmony.

  • Rhyme Scheme: like a poem; symmetrical; stanza of poetry.

  • Countermelody: two melodic ideas set against each other simultaneously.

Chapter 2 rhythm
Chapter 2: Rhythm

  • Syncopation: upsetting the normal pattern of accentuation.

  • Polyrhythm: duple against triple; triple against quadruple.

  • Additive Meter: combining duple and triple to form asymmetrical meters.

  • Non-metric: without strong pulse or meter.

Chapter 3 harmony
Chapter 3: Harmony

  • Simultaneously v. One-at-a-Time; Vertical v. Horizontal

  • Scales: Patterns of Intervals

  • Triad: Stacked thirds

  • Tonality: major v. minor

  • Tonic = “Do”

  • Diatonic v. Chromatic

  • Dissonance v. Consonance

Chapter 4 musical texture
Chapter 4: Musical Texture

  • Monophonic: Single voiced

  • Heterophonic: Two simultaneous voices, both melodic with one being an ornamented version of the other.

  • Homophonic: Several voices, one voice melody, and the other voices subordinate harmony in unison rhythm.

Texture continued
Texture Continued

  • Polyphonic: many-voiced texture, usually with two or more melodic lines.

  • Counterpoint: (literally note against note) the art of combining two or more melodic lines.

  • Imitation: melody given in one voice and restated in another voice.

  • Canon and round (simplest form of canon): Row, Row, Row your Boat.

More about counterpoint
More about Counterpoint

  • Inversion: Intervals stated upside-down

  • Retrograde: Intervals in melody stated backwards

  • Retrograde Inversion: Intervals stated upside down and backwards

  • Augmentation: melody presented in longer note values

  • Diminution: melody stated in shorter note values

Chapter 6 musical form
Chapter 6: Musical Form

  • Repetition versus Contrast: the familiar versus the interesting

  • Variation: falls between repetition and contrast

  • Improvisation: created in performance; the structure is present.

  • Binary Form: A B or Two-Part Song Form

  • Ternary Form: A B A or Three-Part Form

Formal elements continued
Formal Elements Continued

  • Theme: building block in the construction of a musical work

  • Thematic Development: elaborating, varying or growing thematic material.

  • Motive: short fragment of a theme

  • Sequence: themes stated higher/lower

  • Call and Response: question and answer

  • Ostinato: short, repetitive pattern that serves as a unifying technique; can be melodic, rhythmic or harmonic.

More about thematic development
More about Thematic Development

  • Passacaglia: continuous variations, usually in triple meter, on a ground bass (melodic line found in bass voice).

  • Chaconne: continuous variations, usually in triple meter, on a chord progression.

  • Movement: complete, comparatively independent division of a large-scale work (like a symphony, concerto, oratorio, etc.)

Chapter 7 musical expression tempo and dynamics
Chapter 7: Musical ExpressionTempo and Dynamics

  • Tempo: rate of speed (fast/slow), carrying emotional implications

  • Tempo Markings: in Italian, representing Italian domination during the “Common Practice Period” (Baroque Period from 1600-1750 CE)

Tempi continued

Grave: solemn

Largo: broad/very slow

Adagio: quite slow

Andante: walking pace

Moderato: moderately

Allegro: fast/cheerful

Vivace: lively

Presto: very fast

Poco a poco: little by little

Tempi Continued

Tempi continued1

Molto: very

Meno: less

Non troppo: not too much

Accelerando (accel.): speed up gradually

Ritardando (rit.): gradually getting slower

A tempo: return to the original tempo

Tempi Continued


  • Pianissimo (pp)

  • Piano (p)

  • Mezzo Piano (mp)

  • Mezzo Forte (mf)

  • Forte (f)

  • Fortissimo (ff)

  • Crescendo

  • Decrescendo/ Diminuendo

  • Sforzando (sfz)

  • Metronome: measures the exact number of beats per minute

  • (Quarter Note = 100)

Chapter 8 musical instruments ensembles
Chapter 8: Musical Instruments & Ensembles

Properties of Musical Sound:

  • Pitch: position; how high/low is the vibration?

  • Duration: how long does the vibration continue?

  • Volume: how intense (loud/soft) is the vibration?

  • Timbre: the color of the sound; determined by the type of vibration (lip, reed, string, etc.), material of construction (wood, brass, membrane, etc.), size, or shape.

Instruments ensembles continued
Instruments/Ensembles Continued

  • Instrument: a mechanism that generates vibrations (mechanical waves) and sends them out into the air: the human voice and other musical instruments.

  • Register: related to range (highest and lowest notes an instrument can produce); high, middle or low registers on different instruments produce different colors and musical effects.

The human voice
The Human Voice

Men’s Vocal Ranges

  • Tenor

  • Baritone

  • Bass

  • Tenors were popular in operas until the 18th Century, when baritone/bass soloists gained popularity.

    *males castrated in youth

Women’s Vocal Ranges

  • Soprano

  • Mezzo-Soprano

  • Alto

  • Women’s ranges were sung by boys and castrati* until the 15th Century.

  • Vibrato: undulations produce forward motion

The human voice1
The Human Voice

  • Luciano Pavarotti – NessunDorma from Turandot

Basic musical instruments
Basic Musical Instruments

  • Idiophones: vibrating mechanism is the instrument itself or some part of the instrument.

  • Membranophones: vibrating mechanism is a membrane stretched across the instrument.

  • Aerophones: air column is the vibrating mechanism.

  • Chordophones: a stretched string is the vibrating mechanism.

Basic musical instruments1
Basic Musical Instruments

  • Which of these instruments are

    • Aerophones

    • Chordophones

    • Idiophones

    • Membranophones

    • 1234

Chapter 9 western musical instruments
Chapter 9: Western Musical Instruments

String Instruments:

  • Violin:

  • Italy

  • Amati

  • Guarneri

  • Antonio Stradivari

  • Soprano/Mezzo-Soprano Voices

  • G, D, A, E

String instruments continued
String Instruments Continued

  • Viola:

  • Larger than Violin

  • Alto Voice

  • C, G, D, A

  • Violin & Viola together

Low strings
Low Strings

  • Violoncello, or cello

  • Tenor Voice

  • C, G, D, A

    Violin & Cello together

Low strings1
Low Strings

  • Double Bass, Bass Viol or Contrabass

  • Bass voice

  • Always doubled unless played pizzicato

  • E, A, D, G

More about strings special effects
More about Strings Special Effects





Double-, Triple- or Quadruple-Stops




Harp / Arpeggio


Woodwind instruments
Woodwind Instruments

  • Flute

  • Piccolo

  • Oboe

  • English horn

  • Clarinet

  • Bass Clarinet

  • Bassoon

  • Contrabassoon

  • Saxophone

Brass instruments
Brass Instruments

  • Trumpet

  • Horn

More brass
More Brass

  • Trombone

  • Euphonium

  • Tuba

Percussion instruments
Percussion Instruments

  • Indefinite Pitch

  • Snare/Tenor Drum

  • Bass Drum

  • Cymbals

  • Triangle

  • Tambourine

  • Castanets

  • Gong

  • Definite Pitch

  • Timpani

  • Xylophone

  • Vibraphone

  • Bells

Keyboard instruments
Keyboard Instruments

  • Piano

  • Harpsichord

  • Organ

Chapter 9 musical ensembles
Chapter 9: Musical Ensembles

Choral Groups

  • Chorus: large body of singers both for religious and non-religious occasions.

  • Choir: smaller body of singers, usually for religious occasions.

  • A cappella: “in church style”; without instrumental accompaniment.

Instrumental chamber ensembles
Instrumental Chamber Ensembles

  • Strings

    • String Quartet

    • String Quintet

    • Sextet and Octet

  • Duo Sonatas

  • Trio Sonatas

  • Piano & Strings

    • Piano Trios

    • Piano Quartets

    • Piano Quintets

  • Woodwind Quintets

  • Brass Quintets


  • Baroque

  • Classical

  • Romantic

  • Modern

Wind percussion ensembles
Wind/Percussion Ensembles

  • Wind Ensemble/ Concert Band

  • Marching Band/ Drum Corps

  • Jazz Band

  • Rock Band

  • Percussion Ensemble

  • Conductor (Can you name them?)

Chapter 10 style and function of music in society
Chapter 10: Style and Function of Music in Society

  • Classical v. Popular

  • Function of Music

    • Religious

    • Civic

    • Entertainment

  • Genres: categories of repertoire

    • Sacred Vocal Music

    • Instrumental Chamber Music

    • Opera

  • Medium: the specific group that performs music

    • Choir

    • Orchestra

    • Piano Trio

    • Opera vocal soloists, choir and orchestra

  • Oral Transmission

Transition i hearing musical styles
Transition I: Hearing Musical Styles

  • Melodically-oriented

  • Highly developed system of harmony

  • Style characteristics change from period to period.

  • Conceptualization

  • Forms & Techniques

  • Ideal of Beauty

  • Manners of Expression

  • Cultural Climate

  • Historical Periods:

    • Medieval (400-1450)

    • Renaissance (1450-1600)

    • Baroque (1600-1750)

    • Classical (1750-1825)

    • Romantic (1825-1900)

    • Modern (1900-present)