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Chapter Fourteen. Sectional Forms. Basic Elements of Music. Rhythm Melody (pitch) Harmony Timbre (sound) Form (shape). Form. Form—Organizational plan of a piece of music--how many motives, phrases, verses, etc. For Example. Blues Tune I | I | I | I |

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chapter fourteen

Chapter Fourteen

Sectional Forms

basic elements of music
Basic Elements of Music


Melody (pitch)


Timbre (sound)

Form (shape)

  • Form—Organizational plan of a piece of music--how many motives, phrases, verses, etc.
for example
For Example
  • Blues Tune

I |I |I |I |

IV |IV |I |I |

V |IV |I |V |

A 12 bar blues is made up of 3 phrases, each 4 measures long. This is what is called strophic form.

for example1
For Example

Here we have a song that has two phrases, but the first one is six measures long and the second one is eight measures long. This not real common but not unusual either.

When we discuss the number of phrases and how they go together, we are discussing the formal elements of the piece.

basic principles of musical organization
Basic Principles of Musical Organization
  • Form is created through three techniques—
          • RepetitionContrastVariation

Individual lines of a song can repeat -

aa(repeated note for note)

Silent Night, Holy Night

b b’(slight variation)

All is calm, all is bright.

c (new melodic material)

Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.

c (repeated note for note)

Holy Infant so tender and mild.

d (new melodic material)e(new melodic material)

Sleep in heavenly peace Sleep in heavenly peace

  • Or entire sections of a song may repeat--
    • Each verse of “Silent Night” has the exact same melody, just as “This Land is Your Land” does.
  • Repetition provides a sense of familiarity, unity, and a feeling of continuity.
    • But, too much repetition makes music easy to ignore; e.g., “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
  • Contrast is created by changing the character of the music through creating a separate section.
    • Contrast between the a, b, c, d, and e phrases in “Silent Night”
    • Tempo contrast between instrumental sections and vocal sections in “Oy, Abram.”
  • Contrast provides a sense of variety.
  • Variation combines repetition with contrast.
  • One type of variation takes a melodic idea and alters it in some way but we still recognize (mostly) the original idea. For example, the two “b” phrases of “Silent Night”—the notes move in the same direction and have the same rhythm, but the second “b” starts one note lower than the first one.
  • Here is an example of a C major scale and then a variation on the scale--
sectional form
Sectional Form
  • Pieces divided into logical units that
  • have definite beginnings and endings.
  • The flow of music is mildly interrupted by the end and beginning of sections.
  • Cadences are the primary device for indicating these units or sections.
  • Contrast can also be used to create divisions.
types of sectional forms
Types of Sectional Forms
  • Strophic
    • The same or similar music for each stanza or section. Much of folk and children’s music is strophic. There is no contrasting melody.
  • E. g., “Silent Night” or “This Land is Your Land”
types of sectional forms1
Types of Sectional Forms
  • Verse/Chorus
    • Variation of strophic form where achorus is inserted between verses. The chorus is marked by repeatedlyrics and may or may not have same melody as verse.
  • E.g., “This Land is Your Land” (same melody)
      • “Crazy Train” (different melody)
expanded sectional forms
Expanded Sectional Forms
  • Sectional forms also include music that has one or more sections without repetition of melodic material.
  • “Help Me Make It Through the Night”
      • Verse Chorus Bridge
  • “Crazy Train” Verse Chorus Bridge
  • “Huachos” A B C
south america
South America
  • Andes Mountains—5500 miles long along western edge of SA—longest mountain range in the world.
  • Indigenous peoples inhabited SA for 20,000 years.
  • Incas were the predominant culture in the Andes from around 1450, until the European invasion of settlers around 1550.
  • South America is a mix of mestizo, mulatto, and indigenous traditions and people.
music of the andes
Music of the Andes
  • Andean music is oldest music in Latin America and is made up of an intermingling of indigenous and European elements and instruments.
  • It is played in a variety of settings—clubs, villages, homes, festivals, etc. Almost every municipality has its own band.
  • It is also played around the world by groups ranging from itinerant street musicians to highly trained professionals.
andean music instruments
Andean Music Instruments
  • Strings
    • Guitar, Charango
  • Drums
    • Bombo, Wankara, Shakers
  • Wind Instruments
    • Panpipes- Phukuna, Siku, Zampoñas
    • Flutes- Quenas, (Kenas), Quenachos