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A piece of music, no matter what style or from what era or culture, will consist of many different musical elements. These elements work together and interact in various ways to create the composition as we know it. Among the most important elements that nearly all works share are melody, rhythm, harmony, sonority, texture and form. Different musical compositions stress different elements: dance music, for example, focuses primarily on the element of rhythm, while countless modern classical concert pieces and especially electronic works are mostly about sound quality and tone color. A large number of compositions, however, strive for a balance of all the elements. This text will describe the major elements of music and define a number of concepts that relate to each of them. It will explore many different techniques and methods used by composers from all eras and styles to create meaningful and unified musical compositions. By reading the text while listening to the musical examples, then discussing the concepts while analyzing additional examples in class, the student will gain a greater understanding of the roles each musical element can serve in a work. This will also allow students to express their ideas and observations about a piece of music using terminology that is universally accepted. This effort will not be successful, however, without careful attention and repeated listening to the musical examples that accompany each chapter. All examples in the book can be heard via the embedded links. Above all, this text intends to expose students to the various elements of music with the goal of understanding how they interact in a composition. By engaging these elements in an active listening experience, it is hoped that a greater appreciation of the composition as a whole will be gained.

Though this course is not intended to replace a class in music theory, it will cover some of the concepts that would be found in such a class. Moreover, students are not expected to know how to read music to succeed in the class, nor will they learn how to read music. However, some elements of music notation will be covered to further the students understanding of the basic elements of music and musical examples will appear in the book occasionally for those who are able to follow them.
How to use this text: Highlighted text implies a link to a music example. Students should become familiar with these examples in order to best integrate and interpret the written material and also for possible identification on a quiz. Most of the musical examples played in class will also be found at Blackboard. The text is most effective when the student listens to the examples online while reading. The importance of listening to the examples online cannot be overstated. The symbol indicates that an assignment is required for the section of text just completed. There are 21 assignments in total. The required assignments and listening examples can be found on Blackboard in a folder called Assignments.
Finally, be aware that the text will only be a framework for the course, and topics of interest to the

class may be covered spontaneously. On the other hand, topics that are already familiar to students will likely be skipped. Most importantly, the book is intended to supplement in-class discussions and will be most useful as means to reinforce concepts covered during the class sessions. It is not intended to standalone as a self-directed reader.
(Thanks to Paul Beaudoin for his contributions to Unit VI and to Brian Robison for his critiques and advice.)-DHM

Of all the elements of music, melody is the one most often at the core of a composition it is the tune people typically remember after hearing a piece of music, whether that piece is a popular song, a Beethoven symphony, or a radio commercial. Like the other elements, melody includes a number of characteristics that can be quantified and categorized. That effort will be the subject of this first chapter. In order to provide a definition broad enough to cover the many different ways melodies can exist in a musical work, we will define melody simply as a succession of musical tones that can be perceived as a whole. In some 20th- and 21st-century concert music, the melody might, on first hearing, sound like no more than a random series of notes. And in works outside of the Western tradition, melodies follow certain practices that, in many cases, do not resemble those we are familiar with in music of our own Western culture. After repeated hearings, however, the various characteristics of nearly any melody can be identified and understood. In order to grasp fully the melodic aspects of a composition, a number of characteristics need to be examined. These include tonal content, meaning how the notes are organized into a recognizable collection of pitches; physical characteristics, such as the melody's shape or contour; structure, which identifies how the notes are strung together into smaller and larger groupings; and compositional techniques used by the composer, improviser or song-writer to develop the melodic elements in the work. These topics, along with other important issues related to melody, will be covered below. Naming Notes Before beginning an analysis of melody, a brief discussion of note identification will be useful. When musicians speak about specific notes, for example, when someone says Play an A, a reasonable reply might be Which one? , as any musical instrument can play several or possibly many different As. The piano, for example, has 88 different keys, of which eight are As. The total number 88 is made up of groups of 12 different notes that repeat from the lowest note to the highest note the piano can play. These groups, called octaves, are shown below, arranged across a piano keyboard. Note that there are seven complete octaves and a few notes remaining as part of an eighth:

Fig. 1 Note names as shown on a piano keyboard. The note A is found in eight different octaves. In order to indicate a specific instance of the note A, a number is assigned to each recurrence depending upon which octave it is in, that is, where the note appears on the keyboard, from lowest to highest. Notice in the example above the location of the eight different As and the numbers associated with each. A standard reference note for musicians is middle C, which is found at just about the midpoint of the keyboard (it is actually the 40th note up from the lowest). Middle C is known as C4 because it is the fourth C up from the bottom note, and all the notes above it until the next instance of C also carry the 4 designation. The next octave is referred to using the suffix 5, and so it goes. These same numeric classifications are consistent across all instruments; C4 sounding on one instrument will be the exact same note as C4 sounding on another. However, not all instruments have the ability to play the wide expanse of notes the piano can play (this topic will be discussed further in the section on instrumental characteristics.) Among the other common numbering systems for notes is a system employed by musicians using electronic and digital instruments, often in conjunction with music software. Such devices use a descriptive protocol called MIDI, or the Musical Instrument Digital Interface. As its name implies, MIDI is a language used for communication between digital devices such as an electronic keyboard or synthesizer and a computer. In this system, middle C is Note Number 60, the note above C4, labeled C#4 and called C-sharp 4, is 61, etc. The lowest note MIDI can represent is Note Number 0, which is the C five octaves below middle C, a note below the lowest note on the piano, and the highest note, 127, is a G in the fifth octave above middle C (G9). MIDI is used by a vast number of contemporary musicians and is commonplace in nearly every home and professional studio. The example below shows the placement of MIDI notes on a standard keyboard, starting with C1 on the left.

Fig. 2 MIDI note numbers aligned on a piano keyboard Notice that the A above middle C, A4, has yet another indication: A=440. The number 440 refers to the frequency of the musical note A4. Frequency is a term used to describe the number of vibrations per second of molecules moving back and forth in the air that occur when the note A4 is produced. The frequency of a sound, which is an objective, scientifically measurable characteristic, accounts for the notes pitch. The term pitch has two different but related meanings. In a general sense, pitch is the phenomenon of high and low that we experience when we hear a sound. People will differ in their perception of pitch; to one person, a sound might seem to have a very high pitch, while to another, it might be only moderately so. (Imagine the different experiences that a tuba player and a flute player would have to the tuba player, accustomed to playing very low notes, a sound might seem extremely high-pitched, while to the flute player, more likely to play high notes on a regular basis, the same sound might seem to be only moderately high.) Pitch can also be used as a synonym for note: the note A4 could also be called the pitch A4. Musicians often refer to the entire set of As or Cs or Bs as pitch-classes. In other words, if you wanted to make a reference to all the As found on the piano you could say there are 8 instances of the pitch-class A found on the piano. Be sure you consider the context and usage when describing a musical sound as a note or pitch, or if the term pitch-class would be more appropriate in a particular instance. TONAL CONTENT The notes used in a melody are typically drawn from various types of pitch collections. Among the most common types of collections are major and minor scales, though other types, for example, modes and tone rows, are often found in Western music, while additional types of collections also appear in many non-western musical traditions. By examining the notes of a melody, the listener can determine what type of collection the notes are drawn from and thereby characterize the tonal content of the music. Like the other collections, major and minor scales are standardized arrangements of notes that form the basis for the melodies found in a composition. Each of these scales is organized in a different way, but they are all similar in that they contain only seven of the twelve total notes that are available in the Western music system. The name for this larger set of 12 is the chromatic scale, but unlike major and minor scales, the chromatic scale is not typically used directly as the source for melodies. Rather, it represents the superset of all possible pitch classes, in effect, the theoretical universe of all the notes available to a composer or songwriter. In the example below, the chromatic scale is written out starting on the note C, but in fact, it could be written starting on any note in

any octave, as any written version would contain the same pitches. Listen to Example 1, a chromatic scale, and note the distance between each pair of notes.

Ex. 1 The chromatic scale contains all pitch classes available in Western music Notice that there are two versions of all of the notes except E and B: the chromatic scale contains C and C# (called C sharp), G and G#, etc. A major or minor scale will only use one each of every pitch class there will never be a repeated note name in any traditional scale. The seven individual notes of a major and minor scale are identified by their scale degree, which is a number that identifies their position within the scale. Each note of the scale also has a corresponding name that identifies the role or function it will serve. The first note of any scale, for example, is the tonic, which serves as the home base or resting point, and the fifth, which acts as a guiding force back towards the tonic home base, is always called the dominant, regardless of what the actual note name might be or what specific scale it appears in. Melodies that employ the concept of home base of having a central focus on a specific note are called tonal melodies, and with few exceptions, using a major or minor scale will produce this result. The scale degrees for a C major scale along with their names are shown below notated on a traditional five-line musical staff. Listen to Example 2 and note the distance between each pair of notes.

Ex. 2 A C major scale Scales do not exist in isolation; rather, they are part of a larger hierarchy of musical materials called a key. Choosing a key is like setting a context for a musical work; it determines the scale, hence the primary notes that will be used and the relationship of the notes to one another and to the tonic. The key also determines what key signature will be placed at the beginning of the notated music as well as how different combinations of notes from the scale should be combined into chords (chords will be discussed further in the unit on harmony). The key signature is notational shorthand used to indicate which

version of any given note is to be played. This saves the composer from having to place a special mark called an accidental on every instance of that note each time it occurs. For example, in certain keys, the note F is used, while in others, the note F# (F sharp) is required. Both F and F-sharp are written on the same space within the staff, even though F-sharp sounds a little higher than the normal F. By putting a sharp sign (#) in the key signature at the beginning of each stave of the music, the performer understands that every time an F occurs, it is to be interpreted as F-sharp.

Keys are often chosen because the notes they contain can be easily performed by certain instruments or singers. The keys of C, A, G, for example, are good keys for guitarists because the chords they contain are particularly easy to play. They might also be chosen because of a certain affect or mood they are perceived to have: the key of D minor is often considered to be a sad key, for example, while D and A major are considered to be bright or happy keys. (These characterizations are mostly subjective.) Any of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale can function as the starting point for a key, though not all have traditional moods associated with them. Scale Construction Major and minor scales differ in the distances between their successive notes. Distances between musical notes are called intervals, and the smallest interval between any two notes in the Western music system is called a semitone or half-step. A semitone is the space between one note on the piano and the very next note. Larger intervals are calculated using the number of note names between one pitch and some other note in a scale, for example, counting up a scale from C to the third note away, E, represents the distance called a third, and C up to G is a fifth.

Look again at Ex. 1 and you will see semitones between the note C and the next nearest black note, C#, and also between the note E and its next nearest note, F. You might also observe that the distance between every note to the next in the chromatic scale is a semitone. Its very easy to remember the intervals between the notes of the different types of scales if you think of the number of semitones between each successive pair of notes. For example, a major scale has the following semitones between its members:

If a composer or songwriter were to choose a different key, for example, the key of G major, he/she would use the same pattern of intervals to determine the notes of the G major scale:

Starting a scale or any melody, for that matter, on a different note and retaining the exact intervals between each successive note is a process called transposing. If a singer wants to perform a song in a certain key, perhaps because it better fits the range of notes he or she can sing, the entire song can be transposed from one key to another. Or perhaps a flute player wishes to perform a melody originally written for a clarinet or trumpet. In that case, the music would again be transposed to the needed key, and the performance could occur. Leading Tones The semitone between the seventh note of the scale and the repeated first note (F# - G in the example just above) helps produce a sense of momentum or movement towards the tonic note when used in a melody. In fact, the seventh note has such a strong tendency to move onward to the tonic note that it is called the leading tone. Listen to the scales played in Example 3 and note the strong tendency of the scale to conclude, that is, to resolve, to the tonic note. This same tendency occurs when the leading tone is used in a chord. A minor scale differs from a major scale only in the intervals between pairs of notes. The C minor scale, for example, uses the following pattern of semitones:

The b accidental sign, called a flat sign, next to the E, A and B means to lower the note one semitone below the normal version of those pitches, and as mentioned above, this information would appear in the key signature to avoid having to write those accidentals in front of every note:

Fig. 4 A C minor key signature indicating all Bs, Es and As are to be flatted

The minor scale, which you can hear in Example 4, does not have a leading tone the seventh note is two semitones away, a distance called a whole tone or whole step, from the repeated tonic. However, when a piece of music uses a minor key and scale, the naturally occurring seventh step is often raised by the composer so that it too has the impact of providing strong movement and progression towards the tonic note. This practice is so common that a second, hybrid version of the minor scale, called the harmonic minor scale, came into existence. The harmonic minor scale is identical to the natural minor scale except for the existence of the leading tone:

Fig. 5 The harmonic minor scale showing b-natural, the leading tone in C minor. (Refer to a book on music theory for more on different scale types.) Many of the notes in a composition will come from the scale determined by the key, which helps provide a sense of unity to a piece. It also helps to create a sense of stability on and around the tonic note. However, nearly all melodies employ chromatic notes (from the Greek word chroma, which means color), which are notes that fall outside the scale determined by the key being used. Chromatic notes add variety to a melody and can create momentary points of tension and instability. Because they are not indicated by the key signature, the music would need to contain accidentals before any chromatic note, as shown in the Beethoven example below. **

Ex. 5 Accidentals are used to indicate chromatic notes (Beethoven: Fur Elise) The symbol found just below the two asterices is a natural sign, which resets the note it proceeds to the version of that note that would normally be determined by the key signature. It can also be used as an accidental when the note it follows would normally have a flat or sharp sign in front of it. In this example, the note is a D, and because it was sharped earlier in the melody, the natural sign tells the performer that until further notice, it is to be played in its normal version, as indicated by the key signature. Coincidentally, this key signature indicates that all pitches are to be played in their natural version. This is why no flats or sharps appear at the beginning of the line. Though most melodies contain notes both in and outside of the key, in some cases, a melody will contain only notes from the key. In this approach, the melody would be said to be diatonic, as in the Vivaldi (Example 6) that follows. If you look closely at the music, youll notice that there are no accidentals, so all the notes are to be played exactly as proscribed by the key signature. It is also possible that a composition would change key at some point, either temporarily or permanently (meaning, for the remainder of the

composition). This process is called modulation and would require a new key signature and a new set of seven primary notes. Modulation will be discussed further in the unit on harmony.

Example 6 An entirely diatonic melody in Vivaldi: "Spring Concerto" (from The Four Seasons) Now look Example 7 below from J. S. Bach's Musical Offering. This composition was written in 1747 as a challenge to Bach by Frederick the Great of Prussia, who sent Bach a musical theme to develop. The key signature contains 3 flats, which means it is the key of C minor. But count how many different accidentals appear in these measures. What percentage of the total number of notes is chromatic? A melody that contains an excessive amount of accidentals, meaning it uses numerous notes outside of the key, is called a chromatic melody. Listen to this melody and see if you can detect where the chromatic notes occur.

Example 7 Bach: A Musical Offering

Being able to judge if a melodys tonal content is drawn from a major or minor scale takes practice; many listeners cant easily distinguish between these two, especially on first hearing. Melodies based on both these types of scales often have a feeling of moving in a clear direction, of heading to a goal. They typically exhibit a quality of resolving or having reached a conclusion when they end. Major and minor scales account for the vast majority of the music that modern listeners are exposed to, though other options will be considered below. Listen carefully to the examples on Blackboard, then complete the assignment to test how well you can identify major and minor scales. Complete Assignment 1 now: short answers and listening Modes Major and minor scales represent just two ways of ordering the notes used in a piece of music, and many other approaches can be found throughout music history. As a rule, composers choose different types of pitch collections because of the sound they provide. Though the sound of major and minor scales is most familiar to Western listeners, the use of other collections gives musicians added resources for creating the expressive sonic quality they strive for. Among the most common alternatives to major and minor scales are pitch collections called modes (from the Latin modus, meaning measure, standard, manner, or way). Like scales, modes are groups of notes that are organized around a central tone. Instead of the name tonic, the central note in a mode is called the final, and the note five notes above (or four notes below) is called the dominant (or sometimes tenor). Though the term mode has a variety of meanings in music, some of which can be vague and even contradictory, for the present discussion, mode simply refers to several specific groupings of notes different (in most, but not all, cases) from that found in a major or minor scale. The concept of modes comes from the Ancient Greeks, for whom the term meant more than simply a collection of pitches. Modes for the Greeks involved the selection of specific notes and tunings for a piece of music and even included extra-musical connotations, such as the assigning of different emotive qualities or characteristics (aggression, tranquility, etc.) depending on the mode in use (a complete discussion of modes is beyond the scope of this text). The internal structure of the Greek modes was based on specific intervals between successive notes, as it is with scales, and it is well known that the Greeks were aware of the ratios between common musical intervals and how those intervals could be calculated mathematically (see the work of Pythagoras and others). Though there are no extant musical examples to illustrate the Greek concept of a modeonly fragments of Ancient Greek music remainthe writings of many Greek theorists are available for reference. Listen to Example 8 for an excerpt of a chorus from the play Oresteia by Euripides. The excerpt uses the Lydian mode (see below) and is performed from a piece of papyrus dated c. 400 B.C. that is housed in a museum in Vienna. The Greek concept and usage of modes was perverted by the medieval period (Middle Ages), during which time eight so-called Church modes developed. The Church modes did not have the full significance and meaning as the modes of the Greeks, though writers of the time, such as Guido D'Arezzo (995-1050), whose work is also the basis for our modern system of notation, did assign moods or characters to the Church Modes. For

example, the Dorian mode was deemed to be sad and Lydian happy. These same characteristics are, perhaps, the origin of the moods assigned to certain keys. (The idea of keys came much later, however.) The Church modes were used throughout the repertoire of Gregorian Chant, the prevailing style of Western music from about the 10th to the 13th centuries (though it continues to be used in some traditions even today) and remain the source of modern modal usage, which will be discussed below. This is true despite the fact that in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, elite European musicians gradually discarded the Church modes and developed the major and minor scales that we use today. The modern system of modes includes four of the original medieval Church modes: Dorian (Ex. 9a), Phrygian (Ex. 9b), Lydian (Ex. 9c) and Mixolydian (Ex. 9d), plus two more that were added during the Renaissance: Ionian (Ex. 9e) and Aeolian (Ex. 9f). Click on the name of each and think of adjectives to describe its character. The seventh mode, Locrian (Ex. 9g), was added in the nineteenth century. Note in Figure 6 that the final (start and end notes) and the dominant (fifth note) are shown with stems to emphasize their importance. All other notes are shown without stems to indicate their transient character: segments of a melody may occasionally end on one of these notes, but more often end on the dominant and especially on the final. As indicated by the labels in Figure 6, the Ionian mode is equivalent to a modern major scale, and the Aeolian mode is equivalent to a minor scale. In each of the other five modes, the relationships between notes and the position where a semitone occurs (indicated by an arrow) differ from those in major and minor scales, giving each mode a distinct melodic character.

Figure 6 The modern system of modes For ease of learning, each of the seven modes can be constructed by starting on a different white note of the piano and continuing to the next instance of that note using no accidentals (C up to C is Ionian, E to E is Phrygian, etc.). However, in modern practice,


any mode can begin on any note of the chromatic scale. When music that uses modes is notated, a key signature is placed at the beginning of each line for notational convenience. But unlike scales, modes are not derived from specific keys, and many of the relationships that a key provides, as well as many of the expectations that come with using keys, are missing in modal music. This is, in fact, one of the reasons musicians will choose to use modes rather than traditional scales in their music.

A medieval music manuscript that uses a system of notation called neumes for pitch Listen to Example 10, notated below. The notes of this melody are drawn entirely from an E Dorian mode (E F# G A B C# D E). In place of a D#, which would be the leading tone if the piece were tonal and used the harmonic minor scale, this mode uses a D natural. Listen to the example several times so you can get a sense of how modes differ from scales.

Example 10 An E Dorian Melody


Modes are extremely common in traditional folk music of the British Isles: the Aeolian and Dorian modes in particular are used in many Scottish and Irish dances, English folk songs and elsewhere. In the mid to late 1950s modes also found a renewed life in the works of jazz musicians who developed a style that became known as modal jazz. Miles Davis and others used modes as the basis for their efforts to expand the limits of melodic improvisation. Coupled with new and unusual types of chords formations, this gave the music a fresh sound, which in many ways was simpler than the complex harmonies used by Be-bop musicians, the jazz style that immediately preceded the period of modal jazz. Modes are appealing to an improviser because they do not have the same harmonic framework or implications as major and minor scales, and as a result, a performer using the modes as the basis for his/her improvisation will not be tied to the harmonic landmarks or outline normally found in tonal music. In other words, the connection between the notes the performer plays and the chords the rhythm section uses is not as strict in modal music as it is in music that uses major and minor scales. This "frees" the performer from the constraints often imposed by tonal harmony, which is precisely the goal Davis had in mind. One of the most famous modal jazz compositions is Miles Davis tune So What, released in 1959 on the album Kind of Blue, recognized as the best-selling jazz album of all time. The piece starts with a Dorian mode based on the note D, then shortly modulates (shifts) up to E-flat Dorian, then moves back down to D. This pattern repeats throughout the composition. One the songs hallmarks is the opening bassline, shown below, which presents the main melody of the composition. Having the bass part perform a songs main melody is highly unusual and one of the many innovations of the album. Listen to the bass part in Example 11 and the piano that accompanies it.

Example 11 Bass line from Miles Davis So What A modal melody can have a very different quality from one derived from a major or minor scale, assuming that the composer or song writer chooses to emphasize and focus on the notes that distinguish scales and modes. For example, a melody drawn from a major scale is nearly certain to contain one or more instances of the leading tone moving to the expected note, the tonic. This sound characterizes the major scale and is therefore used frequently. The modes are distinguished from the major scale in that they dont have a leading tone, so that quality will be emphasized by a composer who wishes to give his/her music a modal sound. The characteristic sound of the Lydian mode is its use of a wholetone (2 half steps) between its third and fourth notes. (Other characteristics of modal music will be discussed in the unit on harmony.) Here again, this wholetone would be emphasized in


the composition by the composer; there would simply be no reason to employ a Lydian mode if its particular sound quality were not sought after. Synthetic scales In classical music starting in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, composers often employed preexisting (or even created their own) synthetic scales as they sought new materials and compositional processes to express their artistic goals. These scales function like major and minor scales in that they can be used starting on any note of the chromatic scale, and they can also be used for both melodies and to build chords. But they do not typically use the same pattern of intervals as major and minor scales. The diminished scale, for example, is a synthetic scale with roots in early Middle Eastern folk music. It has been used by Hungarian composer Bela Bartok (1881-1945), the Russian Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) and others in their concert works, reflecting these composers interest in their countrys native folk music styles and practices. The diminished scale consists of alternating whole (2 semitones) and half (1 semitone) steps and contains eight distinct pitches: Listen to Example 12, a C diminished scale as shown below:

Example 12 A C diminished scale with alternating whole and half steps Because of its unusual structure, the diminished scale will include two versions of the same note name. And because it contains eight pitches, it falls into a more general category called octatonic scales. Another common synthetic scale is the blues scale, a variant of which is shown below. The blues scale is characterized by the use of a flatted third scale step, which is the step that most differentiates major from minor. By using a flatted third step in a melody that is accompanied by chords that use the natural third step, a mixture of major and minorsounding notes is created. This is one of the hallmarks of blues music. The scale below also contains a flatted seventh step, characteristic of a minor scale, and a raised fourth step, which is not found in either major or minor. Both of these also contribute to the blusiness of any music that employs them, and would, of course be emphasized by the composer or performer wishing to give his or her music that sound. Listen to Example 13 and note the unusual arrangement of semitones as shown below.


Example 13 A blues scale.

Another common synthetic scale is the 5-note pentatonic scale. This scale is based entirely on notes drawn from the major scale but omits the fourth and seventh note (i.e., the leading tone). Listen to Example 14 and note the intervals between each pair of notes.

Example 14 Pentatonic (5-note) scale The pentatonic scale is very common in many styles of folk music, for example music of the British Isles, as well as various Asian cultures. It is also often used by Western composers to evoke the flavor of a different culture. Because it has no leading tone, this scale and the music that uses it often have a wandering or tranquil feel, though that is only one of many feelings it can induce in the listener. This is because the push towards the tonic note that a leading tone creates is missing. The whole-tone (6-note) scale is another pitch collection often used by musicians, and it too is missing a leading tone. The whole tone scale is unique in that the distance between every note is the same, so it is very hard to create the sense of home base that the tonic note in a major or minor scale typically provides. This fact accounts for the quality of aimlessness or lack of forward motion that whole tone music can have. Some listeners even associate the whole tone sound with a disturbing or foreboding quality, and readers may recognize the whole tone scale from early horror movies and cartoons. A number of classical composers, including the impressionist Claude Debussy, Alban Berg and Bela Bartok used the whole-time scale in their music, and even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 1791) used it in his piece A Musical Joke (1787), a composition generally believed to have been written as a parody or satire on the music of lesser composers.


Example 15 Whole-tone (6-note) scale Finally, an as yet unnamed six-note scale created by this author is shown below. This scale contains an arbitrary arrangement of steps and combines elements of a blues and whole-tone scale. Listen to the sound of each of the scales shown here and to the melodies that use them.

Example 16 Six-note scale (created by author) Atonal Melodies In much classical concert music of the past century and in various forms of modern jazz, composers often composed melodies that had no tonic note or home base and that were not based on traditional pitch collections. But unlike the synthetic scales mentioned above, many of which became standardized and universally accepted through their reuse over many years, the pitch collections used were often unique and distinct for every new composition. Moreover, rather than using only five or six of the notes of the chromatic scale, composers used all twelve notes in individualized arrangements that fit their expressive needs. The melodies thereby created moved freely among the notes of the chromatic scale and avoided the familiar landmarks and references found in tonal and modal music, i.e., music using scales and modes. Melodies of this type are called atonal and have no clear key or home base, though they might focus on a single note or groups of notes at different points in the composition. Because they tend to use all twelve notes throughout a composition, atonal compositions do not use a key signature. Rather, every note that requires an accidental will be written with one preceding it, as shown below.


Example 17 Stefan Wolpe: Piece in Two Parts for Solo Violin, an atonal melody Listen to Example 17 above. You may find it to be unfamiliar and perhaps even unpleasant. It will, perhaps, sound aimless or lacking direction, and you may be completely unable to predict when or where it will end. Atonal music demands new listening strategies from the listener and is often less accessible than tonal music, especially on first hearing. Yet with repeated exposure and some idea of the composers intentions and methods, it can be as aesthetically pleasing as any other style. A more systematic approach to atonal melody uses a system developed by Viennese composer Arnold Schoenberg. Schoenbergs system, which is called serial atonality (or serialism), will be discussed in detail in the unit on harmony. In brief, composers using this system employ predetermined pitch collections called pitch-class sets or tone rows. Tone rows typically use all twelve tones of the chromatic scale, however rows containing fewer than 12 notes are also common. As with scales and modes, tone rows are used to create both melodies and chords. Non-Western Pitch Collections Many non-Western cultures have developed melodic elements in their music that are far more complex and developed than those in Western music. These traditions often employ numerous intricate pitch collections, unequal divisions of the octave into greater or fewer numbers of parts than found in Western music, and extremely subtle variations in pitch both above and below the main sounding note. Music in many non-Western cultures is often passed along through oral tradition rather than being notated, and musicians must often remember dozens of pre-established collections of pitches, which serve as building blocks for longer compositions or improvisations. Two examples are the Arabian maqam and Indian raga (from the Sanskrit word meaning to dye or to color). The intervallic pattern of a maqam consists of half and whole steps as well as 3/4 steps, which is a distance that does not equate with any used in Western music. Listen to Example 18 to hear a maqam called the bayati maqam, which is shown below. This collection could not be performed on a piano because of the pianos fixed note placements, and would be difficult even on the guitar, as most guitarists are not


accustomed to performing sounds that fall between the familiar pitches and finger locations used in Western performance traditions. Unfortunately, Western music notation is not very useful for representing non-Western music, as the many subtle nuances and shadings of pitch do not translate well to our rather limited notational system.

Example 18 Bayati Maqam played on an oud, then Doulab Bayati musical example using this maqam As you listen to the musical example for this maqam, see if you can distinguish between the traditional Western and non-Western intervals. Other forms of non-Western music also use note collections that are not based on half and whole steps and/or use a different number of tones per octave. For example the Pelog scale used in Indonesian Gamelan music splits the octave into seven notes, and some of the distances between those notes are almost double the distances found between notes in Western scales. Another Indonesian scale, called Slendro, uses a five-tone (pentatonic) scale but, unlike the pentatonic scale shown above, the intervals in the Slendro scale are only somewhat (not exactly) evenly spaced (the octave is divided into five unequal parts). Indian music uses melodies based on the raga. Ragas are, in essence, a set of rules that determine how a melody should be built. A raga defines not only the pitches to be used but the way in which melodies should be constructed, which notes should be emphasized, at what times during the day they should be performed, and more. Though ragas consist most often of five, six or seven unique notes, performers of Indian music, as in other non-Western cultures, often improvise various aspects of their musical performances and in many cases, use small pitch variations above and below the notes they are playing. These variations are called microtones, and they can be from one-half to one-eighth the distance between the notes used in Western scales. In practice, microtones might resemble the sound of a guitar player just slightly bending a note above or below its standard position on the guitar neck. They are produced in precisely the same manner on Indian instruments such as the sitar or veena and can be used on wind instruments by altering the amount of air pressure blown into the instrument or even by using unusual fingerings on the instrument. Example 19 is a raga as played by renowned sitarist Ravi Shankar. Complete Assignment 1.5 now: short answers and listening


PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS The physical characteristics of a melody involve the way in which it moves through its surroundings, that is, how the notes travel through the "musical space" that has been defined for a particular piece of music. Perhaps it moves ever higher, ascending towards some climatic point, or maybe it descends rapidly to the lowest note of the instrument, then sweeps slowly upward until it hits a peak. A melody might also simply remain in one place, repeating the same note multiple times, or jump randomly from high to low and back. Imagine a melody that would sound like the images below. The first melody would be smooth and move gently between its successive notes while the second is more sharpedged or angular, reaching its highest point then dropping to its lowest notes fairly quickly:

Now look at the contours in the figure below and try to imagine what a melody using each would sound like. These graphs were created by a scholar named Inge Skog in his effort to standardize the way melodies from all over the world are classified:

Figure 7 Skog classification of melodic pitch contour In general, good melodies have a clear sense of direction and lead the listener to a climax point or goalthey seem to be heading someplace. Ascending melodies in particular can create a sense of moving forward, of building momentum towards a goal, and descending melodies can imply a sense of release or resolution. However, a good melody will typically have variety and balance in the way it moves. Too much activity in the same direction, for example a melody that moves consistently upward, or only downward, or that focuses primarily on just a single, repeated note, could lead to monotony and predictability and might cause the listener to lose interest in the composition. Some alternation of ascending and descending motion with a climactic point perhaps midway through on the other hand, could make the melodic line more interesting.


Look at the lines drawn over the notes in the Mozart example below and listen to Example 20. These contour lines illustrate the movement of the melody and show how it moves downward at times, occasionally upward, and also sometimes stays in place with a repeated note. Trace the movement of the notes across the page by drawing over the contour lines with a pencil while listening to the music. How often does the melody change direction?

Example 20 Mozart: Symphony in G minor, opening theme, mvt. I The terms contour and range are used to describe this movement. Contour, or shape, refers to the way in which a melody moves up and down. The examples above are useful terms for describing the shape of a melody but you might also find other words to be useful. The "curve," "angle" or profile of a melody could be depicted by terms such as "ascending" or "descending," "flat" or "static," "angular" or "sharp-edged" and "wavelike." (Imagine a melody with a contour like a mountain range...) Listen to the Mozart example (Ex. 20) again - it is well balanced in the type of motion it employs, and its upward jumps contrast nicely with the smooth descending motion that follows. How would you describe the shape of this example? What is the ratio of ascending to descending motion? Does either type of motion predominate? There are also several places where the melody repeats notes in immediate succession. Repeated notes often indicate some type of important landmark such as a resting point, for example. This concept will be explored further in the unit on harmony. Another aspect of contour involves the way in which each successive note follows the previous one. When a melody moves primarily along the notes (or steps) of a scale in either direction, it is said to be conjunct. Look again at the Mozart example while listening to it and you might notice that with the exception of the beginning of measure 2 and 6, all the notes move by step. Most of these steps are between notes that are in the scale of G minor, so they are called diatonic steps. There is one step that includes a note outside of the scale, identified by the use of an accidental, so it is called a chromatic step. With the large amount of step-wise movement in this melody we can confidently describe it as overwhelmingly conjunct.


Disjunct refers to a melody that contains numerous skips or leaps, also in either direction. Listen to Example 21 below and follow its contour; is there any conjunct motion in this melody?

Example 21 Disjunct melody in Stefan Wolpe: Piece in Two Parts for Flute and Piano Range refers to the overall distance between the highest and lowest notes of a melody and like contour, is a characteristic of a melodys basic design. Different instruments have wider or narrower potential ranges than others. The piano, for example, has eightyeight notes that span just over seven octaves, which allows a composer to write melodies with a much greater range than the human voice, which has a range of just about two octaves. The Persian (Iranian) tar, a plucked-string instrument with six strings, has a range of two octaves and a fifth, while the South Indian veena can play over four octaves. Therefore, a melody played on one instrument might cover a larger part of that instruments available range than the same melody played on another instrument, and when assessing or describing the range of a melody, it is important to keep in mind the specific instrument that is playing.

From Melodies that use a large portion of an instruments possible notes are called wide, and those that have only a few notes separating their highest from their lowest pitches would be called narrow. (There are many additional possibilities in between those extremes.) Range can be more accurately characterized by counting the exact number of half steps between the lowest and highest notes and assigning the proper interval, though this information is generally only useful to someone studying a melody for analysis purposes. The ranges of common musical instruments vary greatly. Moreover, ranges are, in most cases, not absolute and a highly skilled performer could be expected to play a wider range of notes than a less-skilled one. This is especially true of singers and wind instrument players, where the uppermost range can be extended with practice. Note that some instruments do not actually make the sound of the note that is written on their performers part. Such instruments, for example, the piccolo, English Horn (which resembles an oboe) and clarinet, are called transposing instruments. Transposing instruments have both a written range and a sounding range. The difference between the written range and the sounding range is the transposing interval (or interval of


transposition). For example, the English Horn has a transposing interval of a perfect fifth down. That means if an English Horn player reads the note middle C (C4) and plays it, the instrument will sound a perfect fifth below where it is written (i.e., an F3 will be heard). On the other hand, in order to get the English Horn to make the sound of the actual note middle C (C4), the performer must read and play the note G4. Shown below are the approximate ranges of the most common human voice parts, bass (male), tenor (male), alto (female) and soprano (female) along with the number of semitones and the more common name for each interval.

Use of Range Rather than use all of the available musical space all of the time, melodies tend to emphasize and exist in different segments of the total range that is available. These segments are called registers, and an instruments overall range can be broken down in numerous ways, for example, it is common to split the available range into three registers, described simply as upper, middle and lower. (The term register will be discussed again when the element of Sonority is covered.) In practice, its possible that a melody in one part of a song or composition uses only the highest notes of the instrument and never descends into the lower register. Other melodies in the same composition might move continuously throughout the entire musical canvas, dipping into the extreme lower register before ascending to a climax that employs the highest notes of the instrument. Obviously, the possibilities are endless. The Italian term tessitura refers to the predominant register that is used by an individual instrumental or vocal part for some major portion of a composition. Listen to Example 22, a popular song from the 1960s, originally sung by a male tenor voice. The highest note is F4 and the lowest is C4, so the entire range is just a fourth, or 5 semitones, but the tenor can cover a range of 20 or more semitones. How would you describe the range of this tune? Listen to the example to confirm your assessment.


Example 22 The Beatles: Come Together main melody. Like most musical elements, the characteristics of a melody can change dramatically from one part of a composition to another, so its best not to try and characterize too much of a compositions melodic material at once. (It is, of course, possible that no changes will occur over a long span of time). Moreover, no analysis can take into account every subtle change in the music, so descriptions of melodies tend to be general in nature (primarily ascending or mostly wavelike, etc.). Most importantly, be sure that any analysis you make of a melody is based on the characteristics and capabilities of the specific performing instruments and that you make your judgments only after listening to the melody repeatedly. Complete Assignment 2 now: short answers and listening

STRUCTURE Like sentences in prose, melodies are constructed from smaller segments called phrases. Phrases act like clauses in English grammar and when combined, form larger units of structure. Phrases are most often delineated by the harmonic underpinnings of the music, and phrase endings often coincide with resting points or harmonic goals called cadences. (Harmony will be discussed in detail in the next unit.) Cadences are typically brought about through clearly directed harmonic motion that can be either temporary, like a comma in prose, or terminal (final), like a period. They can also be created through directed melodic motion, for example, a melody that ends on some note that the composer has established as a point of arrival or goal, or through a rhythmic device such as a slowing down (called a ritardando). In many cases, all of these methods work together to form the sense of repose or ending that a cadence implies. Occasionally, phrases are made up of smaller building blocks called motives, or motifs. Motives are the smallest recognizable elements in a melody and might be no more than three or four notes. One of the most famous of all motives is the opening of Beethovens Fifth Symphony, familiar from both many thousands of concert performances and more recently, aspirin commercials. Listen to Example 23 now.


Example 23 Opening motive form Beethovens Fifth Symphony Motives can become very important elements in a work if the composer repeats them or uses them as the basis for variation and development. In some cases, a motive will sound almost insignificant on first hearing but will take on enhanced meaning as it recurs. Motives will typically have a distinctive melodic and rhythmic character, and in some cases, composers will isolate one or more of those characteristics for manipulation over the course of an entire section or movement of a piece. Beethoven, for example, uses only the three repeating-note figure (both with and without the ending note) at many points in his symphony. (Motives will be discussed again below) By listening to and examining a melody's component parts and noting the way it is put together, the melodys phrase structure can be characterized. For example, a melody that is comprised of two or three phrases of fairly equal length is said to have a symmetric (meaning, even or balanced) phrase structure. Melodies made from phrases of considerably different lengths are said to be asymmetric (or uneven). Phrases can often be distinguished by a change in some characteristic of the melody. A change in the melodys direction, such as a large leap followed by a sequence of steps, could signal a new phrase. Phrases might be delineated when a melody restarts after reaching a goal or coming to a temporary pause. A change in the dynamics (loudness level) or articulation marking (playing style) is another way phrases could be differentiated. For example, one phrase might be soft and legato (smoothly connected), then the next phrase might be loud and staccato (short, detached). A change in instrumentation, meaning the instrument (or instruments) that is playing the melody, would also be a fairly clear indication that a new phrase has begun, as would a change in register. Like other elements in music, phrase structure is best looked at for only short, distinct portions of a composition, rather than for the work as a whole. Listen to Example 24, an ancient Greek melody, and characterize the phrasing. Are these phrases equal or unequal in length? How do you know when one phrase has ended and the next has begun? Where do you hear a cadence, and is it temporary or final? Do you note any pauses in the music? Now listen to Example 25 from Mozarts Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, notated below. Try to identify the location of the different phrases and the cadences at the end of each phrase.


Example 25 Phrase structure Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik The first phrase lacks a conclusion at its end, it feels temporary, as if it needs to continue to its natural resolution. The second phrase feels final, resolved, finished. The clarity in the phrase structure of this example is typical of the period in which Mozart lived, the socalled Classical period or Age of Reason. Composers, like artists and sculptors, strove for balance and perfection of proportions in their work, which was often modeled after aesthetic beliefs of the classical Greek era. Often, especially in classical music of the 18th century but also in non-Western and popular music traditions, phrases appear in pairs. For example, the first phrase of a pair might introduce a thought or musical question, and the second resolves or concludes the thought by answering the question. In effect, the first phrase builds expectations that are fully realized by the second. The first phrase might produce a feeling of moving away from home base, from the tonic, onward to a different region, while the second the second phrase produces and ends with a return to the tonic. A two-part arrangement of phrases of this type is called an antecedent-consequent relationship, and the phrases in the Mozart example above are related in this way. (A relationship of this kind is usually recognizable when the first phrase seems to pause before a point of resolution is reached, while the second phrase seems to be more final.) Two or more phrases, such as those in an antecedent-consequent relationship, often combine to form a larger structural unit called a period. There are many types of musical periods, some that stand alone and some that imply further movement or continuation, but a complete discussion is beyond the scope of this book. A later unit on form will explore musical structure in more detail. Listen to the Beatles, Example 26 below, with its two pairs of antecedent/consequent phrases, each of which is equal in length. Combined, these four phrases form a period. Look at the markings above music as you listen.


Example 26 The Beatles: Obla-Di, Obla Da Notice also that repeated notes are very characteristic of this melody and that the contour is based primarily on successive notes of the scale, making it predominantly conjunct. The range is also somewhat limited, going only from B-flat 4 to G5, which is just 9 semitones. One final example is the theme music from the HBO series, Game of Thrones. Listen to Example 27, the opening period of this melody, which has a very symmetric structure with two phrases in an antecedent-consequent relationship. The opening period is repeated twice to form the shows main theme. The example below illustrates the phrase endings, with the first ending indicated by the word comma and the second with period. This entire section is repeated several times:

Following the repeats of the opening section, a new section appears with a similar structure. Now listen to Example 28, which is a second, contrasting section of music


using longer note values.

This new section has a subtle change in the melodys direction to add a feeling of resolution at its end. Notice that the first phrase ends with an ascending three-note pattern, which leaves the listener waiting, while the second phrase ends with a descending three-note pattern, providing the needed resolution. If you take all the notes of this melody, you have: C D E-flat, F, G A-flat, B-flat, C, or the following pattern of whole and half steps: 2 1 2 2 1 2 2. There is no leading tone, B-natural, so this is clearly a modal melody, which perfectly suits the timeframe of the program. What mode is being used? Tuning Systems Most Western music incorporates a system of tuning in which there are 12 equal divisions of the octave, i.e., each of the 12 notes is equal distance from the next. This system of tuning is called 12-division equal temperament. Other types of equaltempered tunings divide the octave into different numbers of notes, for example, 6 or even 24 equal divisions. Equal temperament is, however, a man-made construct that was created, in part, so that instruments could play in more than one key. It is not based strictly on the laws of physics, which calculate musical intervals according to strict mathematical ratios between the fundamental frequencies of notes. (Recall that frequency refers to the number of times per second that a sound wave repeats its pattern of motion as it travels through the air and is the scientific basis behind our perception of pitch. The distance of an octave in music is equivalent to a frequency ratio of 2:1, for example A4 is 440 and A5 is 880, and other common intervals are also simple whole-number ratios. This topic will be covered in greater detail in the section on Sonority). Equal temperament adjusts the frequency of various notes so that they will be in tune, regardless of what note a melody starts on or what key the music is in. There are dozens of other tuning systems besides equal temperament and each uses different ratios between notes. In addition, many tuning systems, including those that use equal division, split the octave into more or fewer than 12 parts. One system, called Just Intonation, uses the strict ratios that occur naturally between intervals with no adjustments or modifications. (Pythagoras supposedly uncovered these relationships through experiments with vibrating strings.) Some people claim that just intonation is


more pleasing to the ear, but one problem it presents is that an instrument tuned using just intonation can only play in one key; it must be retuned to play in another. Listen to Example 29 to hear just intonation played on a guitar. It may sound out of tune until your ears adjust to the sound. A number of modern composers, such as American composer Harry Partch (1901 1974), created their own unique tuning systems and even built custom instruments to use them. Partch, for example, constructed an instrument that divides the octave into 43 unequal parts, which you can hear in Example 30. Here again, the music may sound out of tune as the tuning systems are not what we are accustomed to hearing. As mentioned above, the term microtone is used to describe any musical distance that is smaller than a semi-tone, for example, a quartertone, which is one half of a semitone. Microtonal music refers to music that uses such intervals. The term microtonal can be used to characterize music that incorporates alternative tuning systems or it can simply refer to a melody where the octave is split into more than 12 parts with no systematic organization. Microtonal music is especially easy to produce on a computer, where composers can create sounds that are extremely small distances apart. To calculate such small distances, composers use a unit of measurement called a cent. A cent is the name for an interval that is 1/100th of a semitone, and most modern synthesizers and synthesis software allows for sounds to be generated using such increments. The example below shows one means of notating microtonal intervals, though this system is by no means universal. The symbols shown here were used by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki (1933 - ) in his work, Anaklasis (1959/60). From left, they indicate 1/3-tone sharp, 2/3-tone sharp, etc. In addition to requiring the performers to play unusual tunings, the piece also requires them to drop pencils on the strings of the piano and sweep the strings of the piano with jazz brushes. Listen to Example 30a and notice the unusual sounds made by the orchestra.

Symbols denoting microtones used by Penderecki. Easley Blackwood is another composer who has worked extensively with microtones. In Example 31 you can hear his piece Twelve Microtonal Etudes. Each of the 12 short etudes (studies) uses a different equal division of the octave. The movements are called simply 16 Notes, 23 Notes, 20 Notes, etc., and the work is performed by a synthesizer that can be easily retuned for any number of notes-per-octave needed.

Complete Assignment 3 now: short answers and listening

Compositional Techniques


Composing a work for full symphonic orchestra or even a big band jazz combo may seem like magic to some listeners, but in fact, composers for centuries have relied on a number of common and familiar techniques to assist them in generating the musical material needed to suit their expressive purposes. Developing their skills through many years of study and careful examination of works by influential composers and songwriters, musicians acquire a vast repertory of techniques and processes that they use in their music. Because of the central role melody plays in all styles of music, many techniques have evolved that are intended to help the composer come up with the extensive amount of melodic material that is often needed for a lengthy composition or extended improvisation. These techniques involve reusing the same melody or, perhaps, only a portion of it, in different shapes and guises throughout a composition. The term melodic development is used to describe a large number of different techniques for developing or transforming a melody through varied reuse or alteration. Some of those techniques are discussed below. Sequencing is a process where a melody is repeated several times in succession with each repetition beginning on a different note. Each successive starting note of the repeating pattern might be a step above or below the previous one, or each new starting note could be a large interval away from the original. Regardless of which approach is used, the same distance is usually used for each successive repeat, so if the first repetition is a two semitones below the original, the next will be the same distance from that, and so on. Sequencing is a very effective technique over a short period of time but can become monotonous if carried on for too long. Normally after only three or four repetitions, the technique becomes obvious and predictable to the listener. Listen to the melody below and notice the fourfold repetition of the sequence, each starting a step below the previous.

Example 32 A melodic sequence The song Autumn Leaves below is built on a two-measure sequence, initially starting on the note G4, that is repeated four times. The indications 1. And 2. mean that the melody is to be played through once, then repeated using the section marked 2., which


means second ending, on the second occurrence.

Example 33 Autumn Leaves A melodic sequence. As you can see in both examples, successive sequences tend to move the same intervallic distance from one another. In both of the examples above, each repetition is one scale step below the previous one. Moving down a step is by no means the only option; each sequence could leap upward or downward by some amount, but as noted, it is common for the pattern of intervallic distance to be repeated with each successive occurrence. Motivic development is another rather broad term that refers to the use of a small motive, often simply 2 or 3 notes, as the "cell" or "germinal idea" of a larger section of music. A motive that is well suited to development should have a clear and distinct character including both identifiable melodic or rhythmic traits, which provides the composer with opportunities for variation and transformation while still allowing the motive to remain recognizable. As mentioned above, one of the most famous examples of motivic development is in the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, shown above. This short, 4-note motive is transformed into a large portion of the movements melodic material. By repeating, shortening, lengthening, inverting (playing upside down), sequencing and otherwise developing this motive, much of the music for the first movement is created. A number of the most common techniques of motivic development have specific names. For example, to take a melody and shorten all the note durations is called diminution (compare Example 34a with Example 34). To lengthen all the durations is called augmentation (34b).

Example 34 Original form of melody


Example 34a Diminution

Example 34b Augmentation (first two measures only) To play a melody backwards is called retrograde, and playing each note in the opposite direction is called inversion. To isolate just a part of a melodyperhaps the first three notes of a longer melodyis called fragmentation. Listen to the different processes used in Example 35, which will first present a four-measure melody, then use retrograde and two types of inversion.

Example 35 Some techniques for developing a melody. Note the difference between Tonal inversion and Real inversion. In the next example, a two-part invention for keyboard by J.S. Bach, listen for the large number of repetitions of the main motive and try to identify some of the techniques used to develop it. The short motive is heard at the very outset of the example and then reappears in nearly every measure. Listen to Example 36 several times before going on to the full example so you become familiar with the sound of the main motive.


Example 36 Opening motive from Bach Invention

Example 37 Melodic development in Bach: 2-Part Invention #14 Of course, any number of melodic techniques can be combined and used at the same time. Inventive composers will find endless ways to create new material from a limited number of basic elements. This helps give a piece of music an "organic" or integrated quality and helps the listener better comprehend the logic and narrative of the music. The reuse of melodic material for modern composers is so significant that composers


today often use music software to generate a large number of variations and permutations on a melody that they give to the computer as input. This type of software is called algorithmic composition software and it could be used, for example, to quickly create a dozen rhythmic variations on a melody or produce endless variants of a synthetic scale. Bear in mind that when melodies receive the type of treatments described above, they can become thematic, that is, they take on special meaning and significance within a piece. Like the theme or subject of a novel or play, musical themes are often melodies that reappear throughout a work at key moments and that are heard by the listener as the major focus of the composition. This happens when a composer gives emphasis to a melody by reusing it in whole or part over long sections of a composition. Complete Assignment 4 now: short answers and listening

XX is an algorithmic composition program from U&I software that provides a composer with endless variations on a melody or rhythm.


Rhythm refers to the flow or movement of music through time and the way in which that movement is organized. It is one of the most significant and distinct elements of music and has served as the basis for much experimentation in the music of this and the past century. Unlike melody, rhythm can stand alone: a single drummer playing a solo, or an Indian percussionist performing by him or herself on the tabla both represent rhythm existing independent of melody. Rhythm occurs on many different levels, from surface activity to a more fundamental, organizing element deep within the background of a composition. The most basic unit of rhythm is the beat or pulse. In most styles of music, the beat serves as the underlying, driving force, and almost all other rhythmic activity in a composition occurs in some multiple or fractional relationship to this basic beat (i.e., twice as fast, or half as fast). The speed at which the beat moves is called the tempo, which might remain constant for an entire piece, but might speed up (accelerando) or slow down (ritardando) at important points. Listen to Example 38, Autechres Fold4, Wrap5, from the album LP5 and notice that at the end of every phrase, the music gradually slows down. Though this type of recurring retard is very unusual, the technique helps establish clear breaks between one phrase and the next. Note Values The actual time that a note should be played depends on two factors. First is the value of the note and second is the specific tempo of the music. Note values are arranged in a relational system wherein given the duration for any one note, all others can be determined. For example, a quarter note, shown in the example below, is a standard reference value for the duration of one beat in music. Its specific length is indicated either by a marking that tells how many quarter notes should occur in one minute or by a less-specific term such as fast, moderate, very slow, fast, but not too fast, etc. (These terms are generally given in Italian; see below).

Once the duration of the quarter note is known, then the eighth note will be half as long, the half note twice as long, etc. Of course, a performer may be asked to rest for the same amount of time, so every note value has a corresponding symbol to indicate that the performer not play for that duration. These symbols are called, not surprisingly, rests.


The relationship among these and other note values is shown below, with the whole note shown at the top of the pyramid:

Beginning around the first decades of the nineteenth century, composers used mechanical timing devices called metronomes to specify the tempo of a piece. A metronome marking (abbreviated on the written musical score as MM) tells the performer precisely how fast a quarter note should by indicating the number of quarter notes per minute, as in , which means 120 quarter notes per minute. If there are 120 quarter notes per minute, then each quarter will last one-half second. Because the system of note values is relative, the performer can then determine the duration of all the other note values relative to the duration of the quarter note. Musicians are not expected to perform using a stopwatch or clock, however, as a conductor will typically set the tempo before and while the music is playing. In a performance of music that is not notated, one member of the ensemble (the drummer or bandleader, for example), will simply give a count-off or lead-in to establish the proper speed. In music that employs a computer, tempo can be indicated with extreme precision, often down to a tenth or smaller fraction of a specific metronome value. Before the metronome was invented, less specific terms, such as adagio (slow) or allegro (fast), were employed to designate tempo. Tempo indications such as these do not correlate with any one specific metronome marking but simply provide a general sense of speed. As a result, a performer will use his or her musical judgment and familiarity with the style of the music being performed to determine the exact tempo to be used when one of these terms appears on the musical score. By studying the performance practices of


various historical periods and musical traditions, performers can get a general idea of how the music might have been performed at the time it was written.

Shown below are a number of common tempo markings. Assuming Allegro is about quarter = 120, what would be the approximate MM marking for each of these terms?

Tempo markings are often elaborated by another set of qualifying terms such as molto, meaning "very" (molto allegro, very fast); piu, meaning more (piu mosso, or literally, more motion); and poco, meaning "a little" (poco vivace, a little faster). This provides the performer with even more specific information about the speed of a composition or musical passage. Explicit vs. Implicit When listening to a piece of music, the listener might find that the basic pulse is very prominent and clear, perhaps because one or more instruments is playing with an emphasis or accent on every beat. This type of pulse is said to explicit, that is, it is


clearly felt at the forefront of the music. In other cases, it might be harder to identify the main pulse because no instrument is emphasizing every pulse; the pulse is implied but not entirely clear. In this approach, the pulse is said to be implicit, meaning somewhere "just beneath the surface." Dance music is expected to have a clear, explicit pulse, which might be represented by alternate accents on the bass and snare drums, or by a "walking bass" pattern played by a bass player, where there's one note in the bass part on every beat. On the other hand, some types of concert music and modern jazz often have a beat that is present but more difficult to find. This is also common in non-Western music, especially styles that are not intended for dancing. Music without an explicit pulse can present a challenge to musicians performing in an ensemble that doesnt have a conductor. In these situations, the performers rely on their ears and musical acuity to follow each other and stay in synch. (Familiarity with each others playing style is also helpful.) Whether explicit or implicit, it's important to attempt to locate the beat (if there is one) before discussing other aspects of the rhythm. To characterize the rhythmic activity in a piece of music, it is useful to understand the term subdivision, which refers to events occurring at a rate faster than the beat. Beats in a measure are typically sub-divided into two, three, four or more note divisions for every one basic beat. Theoretically, there is no limit to the number of subdivisions that a composer might use, though note durations shorter than a 256th note (which is used by both Beethoven and Vivaldi, for example) are extremely rare. Notes that last longer than the beat, for example, two or three times its length, are called multiples of the beat. Rhythmic patterns built on multiples of the beat are often found in the low-register parts of a musical texture, or in the long, sustained string or wind parts that might accompany a more active rhythm of an upper-register instrument. In reality, it is uncommon for one instrument to play only on the beat. In some forms of dance music, the bass player might play one note per beat and the drummer could accent every beat with the bass drum, but numerous other patterns of multiples and subdivisions will normally occur in the other instruments. In some cases, each successive beat will be broken into different divisions, for example, two subdivisions for the first beat, three for beat two, and five for beat three, and it is common for such patterns to change throughout the composition. All the instruments in a piece rarely perform in rhythmic unison, that is, they don't perform the exact same pattern simultaneously. As a result, an extremely dense rhythmic texture could be created if each instrument had its own unique rhythmic pattern to play. The number of possible combinations is obviously infinite and clearly indicates how much more there is to consider when examining rhythm than just locating the basic pulse. Special mention should be made of the role that repetition plays in the rhythmic practices of many cultures, including our own. Rhythmic patterns are often repeated either intact or with slight variations, which helps brings structure and order to a composition. For example, in many styles of popular electronic music, a process called


looping serves as the basic ordering force in the work. Looping takes its name from the tape loop, a short piece of tape that has its beginning and end spliced (connected) together so that it repeated indefinitely when played back on a tape recorder. Today, computer software is used for looping, and some modern musicians even have dedicated hardware devices for this purpose. Looping can refer simply to a repeating rhythmic part (or groove) or to a rhythmic/melodic combination. Listen to Example 39, which is based on several overlapping looping patterns. Note especially where new patterns begin. Literal repetition of a rhythmic pattern also serves as the unifying force in the music of some recent Minimalist composers (Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and Phillip Glass, among others). In one approach, different musicians start out playing the same pattern but gradually move out of phase with one another by playing their parts at a slightly different speed or just ahead of or behind other performers. Listen to Example 40, the piece Electric Counterpoint, composed by Steve Reich for guitarist Pat Metheny for an example of this technique. In this recording, the guitarist plays live accompanied by a recorded version of himself. Rhythmic patterns in non-Western music are often far more complex than those in Western music, and some cultures use highly involved verbal mnemonic counting systems to help musicians remember common rhythmic patterns. In Indian music, for example, the following syllables are used for a pattern of 8 beats divided into accented groups of 3 - 3 and 2:

This pattern, called a keharwa, is used in many types of Indian music. Listen to Example 41, which demonstrates the syllables used to memorize rhythmic patterns on the Indian instrument called the morsing (translated as Jews Harp), which is found in the percussion section of a traditional Karnatic ensemble. Rhythm in Indian music in general is organized around a concept called tala (from the Sanskrit word meaning clap). Like the raga for melody, the tala provides a rhythmic foundation for a performer by organizing musical time into small sets of often-complex beat and accent patterns. The tala also determines how beats will be subdivided, and it is typically the job of a tabla to perform the tala within a performance while a more prominent instrument solos. Listen to Example 42, a tabla duet (one drum pitched higher than the other) that uses a tala called tala tintal. This tala is made up of 16 beats, created from four groups of four, though it is not likely that the pattern will be perfectly audible, as there is considerable improvisation between the two drums in this example.


A tabla is an Indian drum that often provides the rhythmic foundation for a musical performance Analyzing Rhythm By listening carefully to a piece of music, the various layers of rhythmic activity in a composition, i.e., the rhythmic texture, can be identified. The first step is to identify the rate at which the various recurring pulses in the music are appearing, then choose which of the pulses seems most likely to be the beat. Typically, the beat will be a recurring pulse that is neither the fastest nor the slowest of the pulses you can detect. The next step is to identify the relationship between the beat and the other active layers of the texture. Often there will be consistent subdivisions that create rhythmic activity twice or even four times as fast as the basic pulse. Its also likely that there will multiples of the beat that produce a layer of rhythmic activity at one-half (or less) the speed of the beat. Typically, the slower moving layers are in the lower registers of the music, while the more active ones are in the upper registers. Once these layers are identified, the final step is to show which instruments are most closely tied to which layer. You might find that the bass guitar is playing one note every two beats or that the hi-hat cymbal is performing a rhythm of steady eighth notes, which is double the speed of the basic pulse. Perhaps the sax is using a division of four notes per beats during a solo, or that the strings are playing long note values that change only every two or four beats. Though every instrument may not fit perfectly into one of the layers, and it is nearly certain that the rhythmic texture will change frequently throughout a composition, it can be useful to classify how each instruments rhythmic pattern fits into the overall fabric of the music. Complete Assignment 5 now: short answers and listening METER Rhythm in music does not usually occur as simply an endless string of isolated beats or pulses. Rather, the beats in a piece of music are typically grouped into small units called measures or bars. (In music notation, a barline is used to separate successive measures.) Music that has this characteristic is said to have meter or to be metered. (Meter is also found in prose, especially in poetry, where the "basic unit" would be the syllable, grouped into words and sentences. Meters are also given names in prose, for example, iambic pentameter.) A composer will indicate a fixed value or length for each 38

measure by using a time signature, such as 4/4 or 5/8. The top number of the time signature indicates how many basic pulses will occur within one measure, in the first case, four, and the bottom number indicates the specific note value that is to be used for the beat, in this case, a quarter note. The actual musical activity, however it may occur, will have to cover the span of four quarter notes (which is the equivalent of one whole note) in every measure of the piece or until some new time signature is assigned. Any combination of notes or rests may appear within the measure as long as the total elapsed time is exactly equal to the total duration given by the time signature:

An example of a 4/4 time signature, with each measure filling the duration of 4 quarter notes.

Normally, the use of a time signature implies that the first beat (downbeat) of a measure will be emphasized, or accented. There are several types of accents that are used to give this beat emphasis including agogic, which means an accent created by a lengthening of a note, and dynamic, which is an accent created by making a note louder. It is often easy to detect the time signature, or at least the meter of the music, by listening for a real or an implied accent that recurs throughout the music. Musical styles such as the march and most forms of dance music often emphasize the first beat of a measure, which helps provide a strong aural cue to the listener/dancer. Though we may not be able to distinguish exactly what note value is being used to represent the beat (it could be a quarter, half or eighth note, for example), the grouping of the music into collections of four (or three or six or any recurring number) beats allows us to recognize the presence of meter in the music. Though a time signature indicates how many beats and which note value is to be used for every measure, hence the expected placement of accents, different names are used to identify the specific meter in a musical work. The most important of these is the term that identifies the number of beats in the measure. Duple, triple and quadruple meter are the names used to describe meters that contain, respectively, two, three or four beats in a measure, regardless of what type of note is used as the pulse. A time signature of 3/4 for example, would be called triple meter, as would 3/8. 2/4, 2/2 or 2/8 would be examples of duple meter. A time signature of 4/4, the most common in nearly all forms of popular music, would imply a quadruple meter. A measure of music may incorporate any number of beats. For example, a well-known jazz composition from the 1950s, Take Five by Dave Brubeck, uses five beats per measure. Groupings of five or more can typically be broken down into smaller, uneven units, such as a recurring alternation of 2 beats plus 3 beats in a single measure. This technique is called asymmetric meter (or composite meter). Listen to Example 43, which uses a pattern of 3 + 2, the meter is asymmetric, combining triple plus duple.


1 2 3 1 2 1 2 Example 43 The piano part to Dave Brubecks Take Five (3+2)

The example below also uses an asymmetric meter in a pattern of 2+2+3:

Example 44 An asymmetric meter (2 + 2 + 3) Though asymmetric meter has long been popular in folk music, especially the music of Eastern Europe, it did not appear in Classical music until the end of the 19th century. One of the first examples is found in the 2nd movement of Peter Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 6 (1893), which uses a recurring pattern of five beats, grouped as 3 + 2. Another famous example is Gustav Holst's "Mars, the Bringer of War," from the orchestral suite The Planets (1914-16). The first beat of measure 1 is divided into three equal parts. This subdivision is called a triplet and is indicated by the number 3 placed above the first three notes. In effect, it means to play the three notes in the amount of time that two of that note value would normally occur. Listen to the example and see if you can determine the individual groupings that form the recurring five-beat pattern.

Example 45 Asymmetric meter in Mars, from Gustav Holst The Planets Today, asymmetric meter is frequently employed by composers of both classical music and many styles of jazz. A number of rock groups, for example, the bands Yes and the Grateful Dead, have also used the technique, but it is not widespread in its use. Perhaps this is because it is not conducive to dancing. The Swedish band, Messhugah (Yiddish for insane) employed numerous complex rhythmic techniques including asymmetric meter in Example 46, the song Humiliative from the album None (1994). After a brief introduction, in which no clear pulse is felt, the bass guitar begins a repeating pattern of five sixteenth notes, then switches to an alternating arrangement of four plus five sixteenths. Following the meter in this example is very difficult and would be a good exercise to undertake.


Always listen for the underlying pattern of accents when trying to determine the meter by ear alone. Also keep in mind that its impossible to know what specific note value is being used for a time signature, even if there is a strong, recurring pattern of accents. A pattern of 2 beats could occur with a time signature of 2/4, 2/8 or even 2/2, and a pattern of four beats, though most likely signifying a time signature of 4/4, could also occur with a 4/8 meter. Without looking at the musical score, its impossible to know what specific exact time signature is. Mixed Meter A composer might choose to switch meter in a composition, for example starting with a pattern of four beats (quadruple meter) and switching to a pattern of three (triple meter). This is called mixed meter. Changes in meter might appear repeatedly throughout a piece or could occur only once at some point where the music moves into an entirely new section. Example 47, the Beatles song, Good Morning, (Sgt. Pepper, 1967) opens with four measures of quadruple meter (4/4), switches to quintuple (5/4) for three measures, triple (3/4) for one measure, quadruple (4/4) for one measure, then back to quintuple (5/4) for one measure, and so on. A more regular alternation between duple meter, as represented by the time signature 2/4, and triple (3/8) appears in Example 47a . Try to follow the beat pattern in each meter: 1 2, 1 2, followed by a quicker 1 2 3. A similar alternation between duple (6/8, which in effect, uses two long beats) and triple (3/4) appears in Example 48, the Bernstein song America from the musical West Side Story:

Example 48 Mixed meter in Bernstein's "America" from West Side Story Finally, a fairly complex example is found in Example 48a, a techno composition by German artist Gadzatronic. The meter in this song is fairly constant in the opening 30 seconds, then begins to change throughout the rest of the piece. Polymeter Another technique, called polymeter, involves the use of two different meters simultaneously. In music that is not notated, for example much popular music, its quite


easy for several musicians to perform rhythmic patterns that accent different beats, thereby creating the effect of two simultaneous meters. Listen carefully to Example 49, the Phish song First Tube, and focus on the meter established by the bass and drum in the introduction, then the guitar as it enters. Tap each note of the guitar part as it is playing to determine the grouping of accents. Where do the two parts line up? Can you tell how many beats are implied by the two parts? Does the grouping of beats of the guitar part change at any point or does it stay constant? A rather extreme example can be found in the middle of Example 50, the Frank Zappa song Toads of the Short Forest (Weasels Ripped My Flesh, 1995). According to Zappa, (At this moment) we have drummer A playing in 7/8, drummer B playing in 3/4, the bass playing in 3/4, the organ playing in 5/8, the tambourine playing in 3/4, and the alto sax blowing his nose." One final example is found in Example 51, the song Eh Zalahy (Hi There) by the Madagascar group Tarika. Follow the duple meter that is established by the valiha, a conical stringed instrument, during the introduction and try to maintain that pattern of accents when the rest of the instruments enter. The bass and drums may feel out of synch with the valiha.

The valiha, a stringed instrument from Madagascar In notated music, a composer will typically assign one time signature to the parts of all the performers, then create a feeling of polymeter by instructing one or more performers to use a different pattern of accents than is implied by the time signature. In Example 52 below, the time signature is , but the top part is asked to perform four accented notes of equal length in every measure, so indicated by the > mark. This creates a quadruple meter that is imposed above the triple meter implied by the time signature.


Example 52 Polymeter (quadruple meter[top] and triple meter)

Syncopation is an extremely common technique in many pop styles and involves a shift of the accent from the expected downbeat to some other part of the measure. This shift may be regular, for example, accents may fall consistently between beats one and two or on the upbeat of beat four, or the placement of the accent itself may shift. In general, syncopation avoids placing the accent where it is expected. Funk music of the 60s and 70s, for example the music of James Brown and The Meters, rely heavily on syncopation for their style. Listen to Example 53, the song Hey Pocky Way by the Meters, and note the placement of the accents in the opening drum solo, which are mostly on the upbeat, i.e., between the main beats, rather than on the expected first and third beat. Then follow one or more instruments, the rhythm guitar, for example, and see if you can identify the points where accents occur. Many other common rhythmic techniques appear in all styles of music. Among these is the ostinato, which is a repeating melodic phrase or rhythmic pattern. An ostinato is a short, recurring melodic idea that has an associated rhythmic component. (In some styles it may be used in conjunction with a repeating chord progression.) It is found in many non-Western cultures as well. Not the repeating notes in the lower part in the ostinato below, the theme from the original Batman TV show.

Ostinato in opening of Batman TV show theme


Ostinati can be the basis for an entire composition as it is, for example, in a musical form known as a passacaglia. A passacaglia is an extended formal design in Baroque music that uses a repeating rhythmic and melodic bass line to define a recurring harmonic pattern. Listen to Example 54, J.S. Bachs Passacaglia in C minor and note the recurrence of the ostinato shown below:

Example 54 Bach: Passacaglia in C Minor In popular music, a repeating pattern such as described above is called a riff or a hook. One of the most famous riffs is the recurring melody that opens Example 55, the song Smoke on the Water (Machine Head, 1972) by Deep Purple. How many times is the riff repeated before the vocal enters? You can also hear a riff in Example 56, the song Yoon Wii (This Road) by the Senegalese singer, El Hadj NDiaye (a hadj is a pilgrimage to Mecca). The percussion instrument playing the repeatedly melody is a traditional West African instrument called the balafon. Riffs are also commonly found in rhythm and blues songs of the late 1940s and '50s and in later music that is based on that style. In many swing (big) bands of the 1930s and 40s, the entire sax section performs a riff while another musician plays a solo. Listen to Example 57, Count Basies One Oclock Jump, and note the trumpets riffing behind the sax solo and the saxes riffing behind the trombone solo that follows. Listen to Example 58 to hear a montuno, which is among the most characteristic elements of Latin dance music. Similar to a riff, a montuno is a short, repeated, heavily syncopated (see the discussion on meter) rhythmic and melodic phrase that is typically played in octaves by the piano player:

Example 58 A typical montuno


Now listen to the piano montuno in Example 59, the song Me Queda a Guaguanco (I Have a Guaguanco). A guaguanco is a Cuban form of the rumba (see dance rhythms below). You can hear the montuno in both the introduction and the verse. Ametric Though meter plays an important role in most popular music styles of this century, it has been abandoned in much classical music from the 20th century onward and in some styles of jazz, especially since the late 1950s. Works without meter are called ametric, meaning that the music has no regular pattern of accents or has no detectable pulses whatsoever. This characteristic is also found in the music of progressive rock groups such as Yes and King Crimson. When music appears to have no pulse of any type and cannot be tied to a beat, it is most likely ametric. Listen to Example 60, the Elliot Carter composition Eight Etudes and a Fantasy and try to detect a pulse. Even though the music is notated using a time signature of 4/4, the composer subverts the expected pattern of accents that a quadruple meter would imply. In this instance, the time signature and the barlines that the time signature defines are merely notational conveniences for the musicians. Because ametric music does not rely on a recurring pulse to organize the temporal aspects of a composition, the composer will often use other methods to organize the element of time. These methods might not be immediately obvious to the listener, however. A composer might choose to use some pre-determined collection of rhythmic values repeatedly throughout all or part of a piece, or he or she might pick note values according to a scheme based on actual time durations. For example, a composer could organize a series of timings based on some numeric pattern a credit card number or a list of birth dates or even phone numbers and translate that sequence into the length of notes in seconds (6 seconds, 1 second, 7 seconds, 3 seconds 7 seconds, 3 seconds, etc.) Or a composer might ascribe some number of eighth notes to every pitch in the chromatic scale (C = 1 eighth, C# = 2 eighths [i.e., a quarter, D = 3 eighths, etc.) and assign each note actually used in the piece to that duration. So every time a C was heard, it would be one-eighth long, all Ds would last 3 times as long, etc.). In other cases, ametric music will rely solely on the composers judgment regarding how long each musical event should last, with no special prearranged pattern or mathematical tricks. There are a limitless number of possibilities once music moves outside the realm of meter, and in most cases, it takes repeated listening and careful analysis to determine what approach to organizing time a composition uses. Here are some additional guidelines for dealing with ametric music and with rhythm in general: Try and determine the composers intention with respect to time and characterize this aspect of the music in any way you can. Does it feel rushed? Is the overall pace fast or slow? Is there a dreamy, timeless, effect? Does the music feel static, with no clear sense of forward motion? Perhaps there are occasional bursts of energy that move the music along, while at other moments, the momentum seems to stall. Finding descriptive terms to characterize the music will require some imagination on the part of the listener, but it is a good way to begin to get a grasp on the rhythmic elements in use.


Use these guidelines to evaluate Example 61, the opening of the composition Air by innovative jazz pianist, Cecil Taylor. Note how the music reaches moments of intensity then settles into more relaxed passages. Can you predict when the explosive outbursts are going to occur? Also keep in mind that the mere presence of a time signature does not mean that the music is metered nor does it always indicate where accents will fall. The Elliot Carter example uses a 4/4 time signature that is, as mentioned, basically irrelevant in respect to meter. Always use your ears to detect the presence or absence of a meter and do not rely on the notation of the music. Dance Rhythms Many different styles of dance music, both Western and non-Western, are characterized by distinct rhythmic patterns. Among the modern styles that have had the biggest influence on American popular (and even some classical) music, Latin and Cuban (or Afro-Cuban) are perhaps the most significant. The rumba (or rhumba), for example, a slow dance in quadruple meter (typically 4/4) with Afro-Cuban roots, uses a pattern that spans a single measure:

. Listen to Example 62, a rumba played by Luciano Russo and his big band and note the strong accents in the full ensemble. The mambo, another dance with Afro-Cuban origins, is quicker than the rumba and uses the same syncopated pattern. Mambo is at the heart of much Salsa music and was popularized by the great Cuban bandleader Perez Prado in the 1940s. The mambo pattern is also the most characteristic rhythmic element in New-Orleans style pop music of the 50s and 60s. Professor Longhair and others used it in a number of songs. Listen to Example 63, the New Orleans classic, Big Chief and follow the accents in the horn section when they enter. The tango, an Argentine dance style, has its roots in an even earlier style called the milonga. The tango is usually moderately slow and in 2/4 and often consists of two or more rhythmic layers. A bass usually plays straight, accented quarter notes, marking the two-beat time signature, while the upper melodic part, often a violin or accordion-like instrument called the bandoneon, plays a syncopated pattern above that.


Example 64 Tango rhythm Modern tango music, especially the expanded concert-music form developed by composer Astor Piazzola, uses more elaborate variations on this pattern. Listen to Example 65, a symphonic arrangement of the song Jalousie, one of the most famous tango melodies ever written (though composed by a Danish composer, Jacob Gade!), and to Example 66, the composition Tango for solo piano by concert-music composer Igor Stravinsky. Both use the syncopated rhythm characteristic of the tango. The waltz, which evolved from Western Europe, uses a three-beat pattern that emphasizes the downbeat. The first beat corresponds to a movement across the floor taken by the dancers at the beginning of each measure. Listen to Example 67, an excerpt from the most famous waltz of all time, Johann Strauss Blue Danube, and follow the three-beat pattern while the music plays. Another European dance, the polka, has a twobeat pattern that also emphasizes the first beat of the measure. A common variation of the polka uses a two-measure pattern with strong accents on the first beat and a grouping of note subdivisions shown below. Listen to Example 68, Beer Barrel Polka, as performed by Frank Yankovic and his Yanks. Note the strong two-beat pattern in the bass.

Example of a polka rhythm (From Harvard Dictionary of Music) Other recent popular dance forms such as reggae and the pop electronic style known as techno (with its innumerable variations) also display characteristic rhythms. Reggae incorporates a 4/4 time signature at a moderate tempo with accents on the second and fourth beat, each of which might be divided in two:

Example of a reggae rhythm The first eighth on beats two and four will receive an agogic accent (slightly longer duration). Listen to Example 69, the Bob Marley song Jammin for a good example of this rhythm. 47

Techno, like other electronic music, often uses a driving, four on the floor pattern in which all four beats of the measure are accented, usually by the bass drum part (which could be performed by an electronic drum synthesizer). In addition, each of the beats might be divided into four sixteenths by another rhythmic layer:

Example of four on the floor techno style Listen to the song Electrotek (Example 70) by the band Urban Kulture for a good example of this approach. Note the different divisions of the beat used in the layers above the bass drum. A popular rhythmic pattern with roots in Reggae is called the dwali rhythm (or riddim, reflecting its Jamaican roots). This pattern, which is shown below, is used in styles ranging from up-tempo dance songs (listen to it in Sean Pauls Get Busy, Example 71) and ballads (including Wayne Wonders No Letting Go). The identical track of music is often used in recordings by different artists. Though the name dwali refers to a Hindu festival, the pattern is not drawn from Indian music. The 4-beat pattern, which is usually accompanied by a handclap rhythm track, is shown below:

Example of Dwali rhythm One final example is the beledi (often written baladi) rhythm, used in Middle Eastern belly dance music. This one-measure pattern begins with two notes called a pickup, which enter before the first downbeat, and emphasizes beats one and three while leaving room for a drummer to fill in subdivisions between the beats. Listen to Example 72 and follow the syllables used by a performer to remember the patterns of accents in the example below.

Example 72 Syllables used in beledi rhythm. Complete Assignment 6 now: short answers and listening


Rolands TR-808 was one of the most popular electronic rhythm machines in the late 70s and early 80s.


Harmony refers to the relationships among the notes employed in a composition and can be thought of as the environment in which the notes of a work interact. In many styles of music, harmony creates a backdrop or tonal landscape that helps establish momentum and direction for a piece. Harmonic elements can produce a sense of movement towards a goal, or, if desired, they can create a sense of wandering and aimlessness, or even complete stasis and lack of motion. The means by which harmony can achieve these goals is the subject of this chapter. Whereas melody is a horizontal phenomenon, harmony is often a vertical one. It typically operates as a series of chords that support the melodic layer of a composition. However, several strands of melody occurring simultaneously or even a single melodic line performed on a solo instrument could also create a harmonic framework for a composition by implying specific harmonic activity. In other words, the single instrument could be playing the same notes that might be used by an accompanying instrument, if there were one. Rather than playing multiple notes simultaneously, however, the instrument would play the notes individually in succession. Much of the classical music between the period of roughly 1600 to 1900 and nearly all forms of popular music typically exhibit a two-layer "hierarchy that includes a principle melodic layer supported by a chordal accompaniment serving a background or supportive role. In Example 73 below, from Claude Debussys Arabesque, the melody is to be played by the right hand of the piano and the chords are to be played by the left hand; an obvious division of labor.

Example 73 Melody (top) and chords (bottom) in Debussys Arabesque The relationship between harmony and melody in such music is usually very clear: both are derived primarily from the same source, most often the scale defined by the key of the piece. In some cases, the chords are performed by a keyboard instrument such as a piano or rhythm guitar, though in other cases, the notes of the chords are spread out or distributed among several instruments. (The term chord voicing is used to describe the way the notes of a chord are arranged throughout the musical texture, especially in the choice of which registers are chosen for each note. This will be covered in the unit on texture.)


A sample lead sheet showing melody and chords. In the example above, which is an excerpt from a lead sheet, a common printed representation of the basic elements of a song, the melody is written in standard notation and the chords that are to be used simultaneously are written using the appropriate symbols. Given only this much information, most musicians could interpret the written music to achieve a satisfactory performance. The decision regarding which instruments are to play which parts is entirely based on the performing ensemble available. In a standard jazz combo, for example, a trumpet or saxophone might perform the melody while a piano (supported by a bass) might play the chords. Even without an actual chordal accompaniment, a single instrument such as a solo flute or clarinet can perform music that has clear harmonic implications. Such music will often adhere to certain harmonic guidelines and will demonstrate harmonic tendencies through the choice of notes being played. For example, repeatedly playing the tonic note will give the melody a sense of stability, while playing each of the three notes of a chord one at a time will produce the same effect that having an accompanying instrument playing the notes simultaneously would produce. The listener must use his or her ears to distinguish what harmonic information is coming from the music and which chords and harmonic functions (see below) are being implied by the various notes of the melody. CHORD TYPES One useful way to begin the study of harmony is to summarize the structure of chords. Chords are typically formed by combining three or more notes from a scale, and any of the seven scale steps has the ability to serve as the root or starting point for a chord. Western music most often uses a system called tertian harmony to govern the building of its chords. In tertian harmony, each successive interval in a chord is a third away from the previous one. The most frequently used chord type in music is called a triad, which is a three-note structure built by stacking thirds above the root note. In C major, C is the first note of the scale. C to E and E to G are thirds, and the chord built on C would, therefore, consist of C, E and G. The starting note, C, is called the root of the chord, the middle note E is the third of the chord and the top note G is the fifth of the chord. These assignations hold true no matter how the notes of the chord are distributed among the performers in a piece or which particular note a guitar player or other instrumentalist might happen to be using as the bottom note he or she is playing at any given moment.


Triads can appear in four different versions: major (Ex. 74a), minor (Ex. 74b), diminished (Ex. 74c), and augmented (Ex. 74d), each of which uses a different combination of thirds. C, E and G is an example of a major triad, while C, Eb, G, the notes found in comparable positions in a C minor scale, is a minor triad. When chords are performed by a single musician such as a piano or guitar player, or if a large ensemble is playing the various notes, they can be arranged in root position (Ex. 75a), which means the lowest sounding is the root, or in an inversion, which means one of the other notes is the lowest sounding. If the third of the chord is placed as the bottom sound, the chord is said to be in first inversion (Ex. 75b), and if the fifth of the chord is the lowest, it is called second inversion (Ex. 75c). To provide a composer with the "raw materials" of harmony in tonal music, a triad is built on each step of the major or minor scale that is being used for the composition. (Certain alterations to the notes provided by the scale are used when needed, for example raising the seventh step of a minor scale to make the chord built on the fifth step a major chord.) The resulting seven chords are arranged by the composer into various sequences to provide the music with the type of motion and direction the he or she desires. Notice the types of triads that are formed on each step of the major and minor scales shown below:

Example 76 Chords derived from a major scale

Example 77 Chords derived from a minor scale with seventh scale step (B) raised in the G (V) and B (vii) chords Notice the Roman numerals placed underneath the chords in the examples above, all of which are in root position. Roman numerals are a form of musical shorthand that is used to indicate the type or quality of each chord and its placement within the scale. Because the C chord is a major chord, it is assigned a capitol Roman numeral, and because it is the chord built on the first step of the C scale, it is assigned the number I. The chord built on E, E G B, is a minor chord and E is the fourth note of the scale, while the chord built on B, the seventh step, is a diminished chord, which is similar to minor, so it is a small Roman numeral, but slightly different, so the small o is added.


This form of shorthand has several uses. First, it is used by music students who are analyzing a musical composition to understand what the sequence of chords is in the piece. Typically, someone studying the music would write the proper symbols directly on the music paper as the first step of the analytical process. Roman numerals also used by performing musicians who can be given instructions, either verbal or written on a piece of music paper, to play a certain progression, such as I, IV V in the key of G. Such information is sufficient for the performer to understand the exact chords that are needed to realize the performance. If a particular arrangement of the notes of the chord is requested, a composer would add a small subscript to the Roman numeral, for example, adding the number 6 means the chord should be played in first inversion (the third is lowest) and adding a 6 and a 4 means to play it in second inversion, with the fifth of the chord as the lowest note.

Other types of tertian chords, such as seventh and ninth chords, are also derived from major and minor scales by adding additional notes above the top note at the required interval, and like triads, these can also be played in any inversion. A seventh chord adds another note a third above the fifth of the chord, while a ninth chord adds another note a third above the seventh. The process can be thought of as simply stacking alternate notes from a scale, starting on any note:

Chord type:

triad (Ex. 78a)

seventh (Ex. 78b)

ninth (Ex. 78c)

Seventh and ninth chords are called extended chords and serve the same role or function as the triads they are built on. (Functions will be defined below.) Because they too are built entirely from thirds, they are also considered to be tertian chords. Chromatic Chords In addition to the chords that are built entirely from the major and minor scales, there are other types of chords that frequently appear in a piece of music. For example, chromatically altered chords are chords that contain notes not found in the chosen key. There are many uses for such chords and a complete discussion of this subject is best left for a course in music theory. However, it is important to note two main types of chromatically altered chords. First are chords whose role is to provide references to or associations with other keys or to facilitate a change (modulation) to another key. These chords are introduced at a point in the music where the composer wants to begin to move to a new key, or at least to hint at such a move, whether it actually occurs or not. Because the role they serve is secondary to the main key, the term secondary chords is used to explain this specific function.


(From In Example 79 above, a chorale by J. S. Bach begins in the key of F, as noted by the key signature and the opening F chord (F A C). The third chord is A C# E, an A Major chord, which does not belong to the key of F. Rather, the A major is the dominant (V) of D minor, which is the goal of this short progression. Therefore, the A chord is considered to be secondary to F as it points the way to the goal, D minor. The second type of chromatic chord is one that is used strictly for color. This chord will employ chromatic notes but will not serve as a secondary reference to another key. Numerous popular songs use chromatic chords in this way, for example, the refrain in the Beatles Here Comes the Sun, arranged here for flute and piano to emphasize the B chord in measure 4:

Example 80 A chromatic chord in the Beatles Here Comes the Sun If the music were to be analyzed, the capitol Roman numeral II would be used to identify the B chord above. This indicates that there is a major chord built on the second step of the scale where a minor chord (ii) would normally occur. By simply using the large Roman numeral II, it can be shown that the chord has been chromatically altered. Jazz Chords Jazz musicians rarely use simple triads and instead often prefer chords with added upper extensions, either diatonic (using only notes from the scale) or chromatic. Using such additional chord tones helps give color and variety to the jazz musicians vocabulary. The example below shows several extended chords built on the root C. All of the chords below are formed from notes of the C scale only, hence the chords are all diatonic. The chords are also formed entirely by stacking thirds, so they are all tertian as well. Listen to the musical examples and note the richness and fullness these chords provide.


Example 81 Diatonic upper extensions Whether a musician encountering these symbols chooses to play all of the notes in each chord or just select a few depends entirely on the performing situation. The pianist in a trio (piano, bass, drums) seeing the symbol Cma13 might play just the third, seventh, eleventh and thirteenth (E, B, F and A) for example, assuming that the bass will play the root C. In the example below, the extensions are all chromatic, which can be seen through the use of accidentals in front of various notes. These types of chords are very characteristic of modern jazz and are even used to enhance a performance where the actually written chords might be much simpler. Here again, it is the performers instinct and good taste that determines the specific collection of notes that will be played at any given moment in a song.

Example 82 Chromatic upper extensions Jazz since 1950 in particular has adopted a system of building chords where each successive note of the chord is a four scale steps, or a fourth above the previous one. This structure is called, loosely, quartal harmony. Chords of this type are often associated with the style known as Modal Jazz, made popular by Miles Davis in the late 1950s and 60s. Listen to the sound of these chords in the musical examples (or play them if you can). A musician might choose to use such chords to avoid the type of natural momentum and direction produced by a sequence of tertian-based chords. This can produce a more freely moving (though not necessarily aimless) quality in the music, which is one of the goals Miles Davis was after.

Example 83 Chords built in fourths (quartal harmony)


Quartal chords might have only three notes or they could contain four or more different notes. Moreover, they can include chromatic notes outside of the key or mode they are derived from. Though there is no single notation style for quartal chords, a chord built in fourths can be indicated using the symbol sus4. The word sus stands for suspension, which is a technique whereby a note from one chord is held over into the next. Complete Assignment 7 now: short answers and listening CHORD FUNCTIONS The use of chords in many types of music is governed by a system called functional harmony, which involves assigning a set role or function to each chord in the key. In this system, chords typically fall into one of three categories: 1) Tonic-functioning chords: chords that help establish the tonic, which is the "home base" or harmonic reference point in the music; typically the I (or i in minor) and at times, the vi and iii (III in minor); Subdominant-functioning chords: chords whose role is to move the music away from the tonic; typically the IV (or iv) and at times, the ii and vi (VI in minor); Dominant-functioning chords: chords that prepare the return of or establish momentum back towards the home base; typically the V (in both major and minor) and at times, the vii and iii. The V must be a major chord to act as dominant, so in a minor key, the seventh scale step, which is the third of the V chord, is raised. Raising the naturally occurring seventh scale step allows that note to serve as a leading tone, which is what gives dominant-functioning chords their tendency to resolve to the tonic.



With seven distinct triads available in any given key and only three primary functions/roles to perform, each function can be performed by more than one chord. The process of replacing one chord with another of the same function is called chord substitution. Substitution helps add variety to the harmonic element in a work and is frequently used by composers and songwriters of nearly all styles. Triads can substitute for one another when they have two notes in common, for example, the chord E G B, which is iii in C major, has two notes in common with the tonic chord (C E G) as well as with the dominant (G B D). This allows the iii chord to function either like a tonic or a dominant, depending on the context. Using the chord symbols typically found in notated popular music for the next example, the progression indicated by the chords above the staff could be replaced by the one below the staff:


Listen to Example 84, the original progression, then Example 85, which substitutes chords in measure 1 and 2. Which progression do you prefer? Does the basic character or direction of the progression change in the two examples? In measure 1, G minor, the iii of E-flat, is an appropriate substitute for the E-flat chord because both are tonic functioning. D dim, the viio of E flat, works as a replacement for Bb, dominant of the key. Chords acquire their roles by the notes they contain: certain scale steps and intervals have tendencies to resolve in certain ways, and these tendencies are carried over into the chords that use these steps and intervals. Such tendencies help define the chords function. For example, the seventh step of the scale, the leading tone, has a very strong tendency to move upward to the tonic. When it is used in the V (as the third of the chord) and viio (as the chords root), it supplies both these chords with the tendency to move to the tonic. Hence they can both serve the dominant function. Some chords contain dissonant intervals (intervals that have a need to resolve), which account for their function. For example, when the third and seventh step of a seventh chord built on the V of a major or minor chord are played together, the sound is very unstable and tense. This quality is past along to the chord that contains these notes, thereby producing a tendency to resolve to a more stable interval, such as the major third (C and E) in a major triad:

Example 86 A tritone in a V7 chord resolving to a I (tonic) chord resolution Stable intervals, such as the octave (C to C), perfect fifth (C to G), and major third, are typically considered consonant and do not have the quality of needing to resolve. All intervals can be classified as consonant or dissonant, but these classifications are not absolute, that is, they will depend on context. An interval that sounds extremely dissonant in one context might sound fairly consonant in another. The rate at which the chords of a piece change is called the harmonic rhythm. Many popular songs use a harmonic rhythm of one chord per four-beat measure, others change chords every two beats, but there is no single approach that applies to any type or genre of music.


USE OF HARMONY Through the correct use of the seven triads in a key, a composer creates a sense of focus on and around one principle chord or note, which is the tonic mentioned above. If the rules of functional harmony are followed so that the tonic is made clear throughout the work, then the music is said to be tonal and the effect created is called tonality. In other words, by properly applying functional harmony, we create tonality in music. This gives the listener a sense of knowing where home base is and where the music is at any point (whether close to home or far away) relative to that home base. By using tonality, which is extremely common in nearly all styles of popular music, a composer could also create a sense of instability and wandering. For example, the tonic could be avoided or undermined by the use of unusual chords or sequences of chords. This can add tension and excitement to music because it forces the listener to delay the gratification he/she would get upon returning to the expected goal. Such an effect could be suitable, for example, when the lyrics of a song reflect a similar uncertainty or tension. (The line Ive been waiting so long from the Cream song Sunshine of Your Love is supported by a repeating dominant chord, thereby delaying the return to the tonic.) Because most popular songs are fairly short, it is easy to keep track of the various landmarks that the harmony provides. Moreover, short chord sequences are often repeated numerous times in popular songs, making the direction and goals of the music very clear. In Example 86a by Radiohead, the three- (and later, four-) chord progression begins on the tonic chord, but the progression itself, though it repeats numerous times, doesnt have a strong sense of direction; it simply ends, then starts again from the beginning, creating a near-drone effect. Count the number of repetitions of the basic progression that you hear in this example. In classical music, where works tend to extend well beyond the length of popular music, composers often emphasize one tonal area or tonal region for an extended period of time. It is also common for compositions to modulate to keys that are not closely related to the tonic, again for long portions of the music. These and other harmonic techniques can make it difficult to get one's bearings in the music, making it hard to know what relationship the current harmonic material at any given point has to the tonic. This is especially likely when many chromatic chords are used. Therefore, it is often necessary to listen to a composition multiple times before gaining a clear understanding of its harmonic roadmap. Chord Progression vs Chord Succession In theory, any chord can be followed by any other, but a distinction should be made between sequences of chords that create a chord progression and those that are simply chord successions. The term progression implies that the chords have some clear direction or sense of momentum. Harmony in tonal music has syntax; there is a grammar that is typically followed that produces logical and directed movement for and through the composition. This is accomplished most often by the proper use of chord functions. The progression I-V-I (Ex. 87; tonic-dominant-tonic), for example, is considered to be the strongest progression in tonal music because it establishes a tonic, moves away, and then reaffirms the tonic with a strong motion back. I-IV-V-I (Ex. 88) also has special


significance, as it contains each of the three basic chord functions (tonic, sub-dominant and dominant), and it both establishes and fulfills the expectations of the listener. A chord succession is different from a progression in that it can be any random sequence of chords. I-vi-V-IV-vi-ii-I (Ex. 89), for example, is an aimless series of chords that has no strong movement or sense of direction and produces no inevitable and clear-cut return to the tonic (I) chord. Though a wandering effect might be desirable at some point in a musical work, there will be little for the listener to follow in a succession of chords that wanders too long. As a result, the composer will have lost the ability to direct the listener towards the specific goals that he or she might wish to reach. This weakens one of the more powerful capabilities that tonality offers. Progressions containing chromatic chords are common in tonal music and can add variety and color to a more traditional chord progression. The Beatles song Sexy Sadie, (Ex. 90) for example, includes a sequence of major chords built on three successive steps of the chromatic scale: G maj, F-sharp maj and F maj. This unusual pattern creates a momentary sense of disorientation in the listener. But at the end of this sequence, a D maj chord, the dominant chord in the key of G, appears, which clearly points the harmony back towards the tonic note. Regardless of the musical style, tonal harmony can establish a feeling of continuity and cohesion in a musical composition. Using functional harmony, the composer or songwriter can create consistency and continuity that give the listener familiar landmarks to follow as they move through the music. A good understanding of how harmony operates can help a composer or songwriter establish goals and reach them at the moments he or she chooses. It can also aid the listener in following the logic or momentum of a piece. Complete Assignment 8 now: short answers and listening Modality The seven Church modes described in the section on melody above were used prominently during the Gregorian era but continued to remain in use by composers of both Western sacred music and secular concert music well into the 17th century. Composers such as Giovanni Palestrina (1514 - 1594) and Giovanni Gabrielli (1555 1612), for example, composed music that retained a clear modal flavor. Only a few years later, however, music by composers such as Claudio Monteverdi (1567 1643) increasing displayed a sense of key, though often with clear dissonances for expressive purposes. (For Monteverdi, music was above all intended to express the text.) Like other aspects of music history, the shift to tonality was a long and gradual process, with both modality and tonality overlapping for many years. The modal music at this time was largely based on contrapuntal principles, which featured multiple melodies sounding simultaneously. Unlike tonality, however, modal music does not have a strong sense of harmonic functionalityits chords do not tend to move in clear progressions. The primary reason for this is the lack of a leading tone in several of the modes.


In addition to early classical music and Christian chant, many compositions in the AngloCeltic folk tradition demonstrate modal qualities, often using long and elaborate melodies that twist and turn across the musical landscape. Listen to Example 91 from the Irish dance spectacle Riverdance, which makes use of modes in many of its numbers. Because there is no leading tone, modes typically do not create the type of inevitable and directed harmonic motion of functional harmony. They do not tend to produce the type of clear-cut, focused momentum that tonal music usually has. As a result, modal music often feels as if it can flow potentially in a number of different directions. As mentioned above (refer to page 15), the note designated as the final of the mode acts much like the tonic in tonal music and is often the starting and ending note of a modal melody. When emphasized, the final can provide resolution and finality to a work. Unlike the tonic pitch in a major or minor scale, however, the final isnt usually preceded by a leading tone or dominant-functioning harmony. When composers choose to work with a particular mode, they do so for the characteristic sound provided by the notes it contains. For example, the fourth note in a Lydian mode, which is otherwise identical to a major scale, is raised by one-half step compared to the major scale, and the seventh note in a Mixolydian mode is one-half step below what would be found in a major scale. Emphasizing these notes in particular transfers the flavor of the mode to the piece as a whole. Both Lydian and Mixolydian are frequently used in jazz and popular music. Listen to the theme of The Simpsons and youll hear the C Lydian mode, which has an F# as its fourth step. This note is prominently featured at prominent points in the melody and is repeated several times.

Example 92 Lydian mode (on C) in The Simpsons theme The theme of Ravels Bolero (Ex. 93) features the lowered seventh step of the Mixolydian mode and is used repeatedly. The Beatles song Norwegian Wood uses an E Mixolydian mode, which contains the note D-natural. Even though the music below has a key signature of 4 sharps, indicating E major for notational convenience (as opposed to writing out every accidental in the melody), the constant use of D-natural clearly indicates that this is a modal melody, as does the chord that accompanies the song at the moment the D is heard. In place of the expected B maj chord, which is the appropriate chord if the music were in a major key and tonal, the music uses a B min, which is the chord naturally formed on the note B of the E Mixolydian mode.


Example 94 The Beatles Norwegian Wood Unlike the distance of a semitone between the fifth and sixth note of a minor scale, the Dorian mode uses a whole step, which gives the mode its flavor:

Listen to the modal melody in the example below and compare it with the sound of the same melody written in a minor key. Can you tell which spots are different? If you can, mark the music where you hear a difference in the two examples.


Example 95 Modal harmony (Dorian mode)

When chords are built using notes of the Dorian mode, the chord built on step four (normally a minor chord in a minor key) will be major, so if the example above were in D minor, there would be a G minor chord (iv) in measure 3. But since the music uses the Dorian mode (where B is natural), there is a major chord on the fourth step (IV). The Eminor triad that occurs in measure 13 (first measure, second to bottom stave) above also reinforces the quality of the Dorian mode. If the music were composed in D minor, the chord in this measure would also be different. Now listen to Example 96 to compare the same melody with a version in a minor key. This one uses the 6th (B-flat) and seventh (Csharp) scale steps that are associated with a minor key. The Aeolian mode is similar to a minor scale but differs from it when in use because the chords built on the fifth and seventh steps, shown below, do not have a leading tone added and hence have different qualities. Without the leading tone, the fifth chord is minor, not major, and the seventh is major, not diminished.

Example 97 Chords derived from the A Aeolian Mode If a songwriter wants to give a song a modal feel, these chords will need to be emphasized. George Gershwins song Summertime, (Ex. 98) from the opera Porgy and Bess, uses this quality with excellent effect. Composers and songwriters often freely mix modes within a single work. The Fetes movement of Debussys orchestral work Nocturnes, for example, opens with a melody derived from an F Dorian mode, then freely mixes Dorian, Lydian and Mixolydian later in the piece (not shown here). The clarinet and English horn play the opening melody, shown below:

Example 99 F Dorian melody in Debussys Nocturnes Modal mixture, i.e., freely interchanging chords from major and minor keys and keys and modes, is also a common technique, especially in popular music since the 1960s. Dozens of pop songs use this approach, for example, Jumpin Jack Flash (Ex. 100) by the Rolling Stones. The verse of this song opens with the tonic chord in a major key, then


immediately shifts to a chord built on the lowered seventh scale step, notated as bVII, which is the chord found on the seventh note of a mixolydian mode. The entire verse alternates between these two chords. The refrain then begins with a chord built on the lowered third scale step, bIII, which is also a chord not found in a major key. The bIII is followed by bVII, IV then I. The dominant chord, V, is missing entirely. Atonality One of the hallmarks of Romantic music was the demand for heightened musical expressivity. The late compositions of Beethoven, for example, opened the door to an increased use of notes outside of the diatonic framework. As more and more chromatic notes entered the tonal landscape, the music sounded more intensely emotional an attribute favored by late 19th-century audiences. The drawback to this, however, was that chromatic saturation weakened (and eventually eliminated) the harmonic functionality of diatonic scales, keys and tonality in general. As a result, near the end of the 19th century, the guiding force that tonality provided for music began to disappear. One landmark composition in the demise of tonality is the opera Tristan and Isolde by Richard Wagner, completed in 1859. This work contained many chromatic notes and it was difficult to determine what the tonic was at many points in the piece. This unsettling quality perfectly suited the theme of the opera, which was, like Romeo and Juliet, unrequited love. The opening measures of Tristan (Ex. 101) are among the most famous in music history:

Example 101 Opening measures of Wagners Tristan and Isolde The very first chord (measure 2) is ambiguous harmonically and functionally and no Roman numeral can neatly describe it. The chord produces a high degree of tension when it is heard, and the tension is only somewhat resolved in the third measure, which, though less tense, also implies a need for resolution. The vagueness of the chords function reflects the overall harmonic instability that permeates the entire work. Its uniqueness in the history of harmony has earned this chord a special name: the Tristan chord. By the beginning of the 20th century, a number of composers began to find tonal music ever more incapable of expressing the world they experienced around them, and a search for a replacement was undertaken. For a period lasting several decades, individual composers developed highly personal approaches to organizing the pitched (and increasingly non-pitched) materials of their work. Much of this music falls into the very general heading of free atonality.


Free Atonality The chromatically saturated music of the late 19th century came about as composers relied less and less on the relationships among the notes in the major and minor systems. A systematic substitute for these scales and the functional harmony that governed their use was proposed in 1921 by the Viennese composer, Arnold Schoenberg. The first two decades of the 20th century however, reflect the use of free atonality, a loosely structured approach to organizing the pitched elements in music. (Atonality means, literally, without tonality). Free Atonality was (and is) used in classical works of various types, including solo, chamber and orchestral compositions and is also regularly used today by jazz musicians, especially those who fall under the free jazz" heading. It can also be found in the music of some progressive rock artists. Free Atonality stems from the free use of chromatic materials such that the listener hears no strong tonal center in the music. It occurs when a composer uses traditional chords without concern for their traditional function, or, more likely, when he or she creates chordal structures that do not fit into any one key. Free atonality can also occur in music that is not chordal at all - a melody that uses a large number of notes that are not confined to a single key could also be considered freely atonal. The constant use of chromatic materials in this way can completely cloud any sense of orientation around a tonal center, even though there may be nothing systematic or organized about the way in which the notes and chords are being used. Listen to the improvised passage for electric piano and drums from the King Crimson song Moonchild (Ex. 102) and note the lack of any tonal center or focus. For Schoenberg and many others during the early free-atonal period, large scale compositions like symphonies and sonatas gave way to small-scale miniature pieces. One such work is Schoenbergs Six Little Piano Pieces (Opus 19, composed in 1913). Throughout most of the second movement of this composition, Schoenberg incessantly repeats two notes from a G major scale, G - B, but the key of G major is not at all implied. Above and below this repeating interval are a large number of chromatic notes and chords that dont fit into any tonality. Because there is no clear-cut key that binds these elements together, Schoenberg abandons the use of a traditional key signature. Notice when listening to this work that the repeating major third (G-B) motive you hear at the opening lends coherence to the music by giving the listener a repeating reference point; the motive becomes thematic through its constant reoccurrence. Also, the frequent use of chromatic notes that fall a semitone above or below the G and B give expression and unity to the music but also insure that the G-B interval is not perceived as a reference to the key of G.


Example 103 Schoenberg: Six Little Piano Pieces (Etwas rasch) In other freely atonal works, a composer might choose some unique or unusual chord formation to unify the piece and serve as its central focus. This is the case with the mystic color chord that Alexander Scriabin used in his orchestral composition Prometheus, The Poem of Fire (1910). (This work also included a part for the live projection of colored light, reflecting Scriabins interest in combining image and sound.)

Example 104 Scriabin: Prometheus chord (mystic color chord) Scriabin moves among various transpositions of this chord while subtly changing the instruments that play each note, and also uses the intervals that make up the chord in his melodies. This six-note chromatic chord is built using a quartal structure and includes notes that would not appear in any single key. Though the composition is 100 years old, the sound would be perfectly acceptable in many forms of modern jazz. The next example, entitled electronic soundscape 72113a (composer unknown), is a mostly atonal composition that opens with a focus on a single, sustained note, creating a drone effect. Drones are common in much ambient (slow moving music usually emphasizing long, sustained notes with little rhythmic activity) electronic music and are also often found in non-western musical traditions. The drone in this example is accompanied by a


variety of chromatic notes that enter and exit over the first 55 seconds or so, then the harmony begins to move freely to other overlapping notes and soon loses any sense of tonality, becoming atonal. Listen to Example 104a and see if you can detect when the focus on the opening note begins to weaken, then gradually disappears entirely. Along with other composers of this era, Schoenberg and Scriabins reliance on their own artistic instinct proved a difficult course to maintain as compositions grew longer and longer. Free atonality offered little in the way of organizational standards, forcing each work to be a unique world unto itself. With no pre-conceived framework to rely on, freely atonal music became a challenge for composers and listeners alike. Each new work had to be approached afresh, and repeated listenings were needed before a piece revealed itself fully. One solution to this dilemma, called serial atonality, was proposed by Schoenberg himself. Serial Atonality In 1921, Schoenberg revealed his method of composing with 12 notes which are related only to one another. That discovery paved a new path for musical organization, one that has a profound impact on music of the last 100 years. Schoenberg's system consists of several key elements. First, the twelve notes of the chromatic scale are arranged into a different tone row as the basis for every work. Next, because Schoenbergs goal is to avoid giving any one pitch more importance than any other, all of the notes of the row are sounded before any one note is repeated. Once all twelve pitches have been played, whether as part of a melody or in chords, the process begins again. (Other composers have used Schoenbergs basic method since its inception, and there are many variations on the specific way it is interpreted for a piece. Schoenberg himself, for example, did not adhere strictly to the practice of sounding all notes before any was repeated.) The music that results when Schoenbergs 12-tone system is employed is called serial atonal or 12-tone music. Because the row and its variations (described below) are reused throughout the work, the recurring pattern of intervals found between notes of the row provides a strong sense of cohesion for the pitched materials of the piece and, with time, can become recognizable to a listener. If the music adheres to Schoenbergs suggested guidelines, serial atonality can be as powerful as functional harmony (though not as obvious on first hearing) in creating a sense of unity and integration for a musical work. This is one of its biggest appeals to composers who employ it. The careful listener will get oriented to the reuse of the specific intervals in the row as they appear in different musical motives and gestures. Coincidentally, visual artists at about this same time were also looking for ways to move beyond realism and the representation of actual physical objects in their work. Artists such as Wassily Kandinsky (1866 - 1944), considered by many to be the father of abstract modern art, were directly influenced by Schoenberg in the composers attempt to move beyond tonality. Kandinsky heard a concert of Schoenbergs music in 1911, which he claimed had a profound influence on his artistic thinking, and the two immediately began a long correspondence about their mutual goals. Tone Rows


At an early stage of the compositional process, a composer will construct a unique tone row that best meets his or her musical and expressive needs. A near-infinite number of tone rows can be created using different arrangements of the twelve notes; the number is well into the millions. Any combination of notes (except, perhaps, a literal ascending or descending chromatic scale) is possible: The composer might choose to embed the interval of a perfect fifth at several points in the row so that interval becomes characteristic of the music or even use the notes of a major triad somewhere among the succession of 12 pitches. For example, the tone row used by composer Alban Berg in his famous Violin Concerto (1935) has multiple triads embedded among the successive notes:

Example 105 Tone row used in Alban Bergs Violin Concerto showing embedded triads Listen to Example 105 to hear the row isolated from the music, then listen to Example 106 to hear the full orchestra play the embedded triads one by one followed by the solo violin playing the notes of the row in turn. The composer subtitles the piece To the Memory of an Angel as a memorial to the daughter of a close friend. A composer might use a secondary layer of organization within the larger 12-note framework, for example, arranging the twelve notes into four groups of three, each with a similar set of intervals among the notes in the group. This could give the music a highly motivic quality, as the same small number of intervals will repeat often, helping to unify the piece:

Tone row from Weberns Concerto using four groups of three notes each Note in the example above from Anton Weberns Concerto, opus 24 (1931 - 34) that each of the groups consists of the same interval content, a minor second (1 semitone) and a major third (4 semitones). In practice, the composer does not simply lay out the notes of the 12-tone row from the first to the last then start over at the beginning using the same notes. That would lead to a


very repetitive and boring composition. Rather, the original row is used to generate four additional row forms, each of which is then used on any of 12 different starting notes. Combined, this larger collection of related row forms provides unity and cohesion to the pitched materials. The four basic row forms are called the prime, (labeled P), which is the original form; retrograde (R), in which the original notes are played in reverse; inversion (I), in which the notes of the original reverse direction by the same amount as the original (going down two half steps from G to F rather than going up two steps from G to A); and retrograde of the inversion (RI), in which the inversion is reversed. Each of these four forms can be transposed to any of 12 starting notes, meaning the exact distances between successive notes are maintained, but the starting point of the row is moved up or down. This gives the composer 48 different versions of the row (12 starting points multiplied by 4 different basic forms). The intervals between each pair of notes will remain the same in each of the 48 versions, though as noted, in the I and RI forms, those intervals will reverse direction. Each of the 48 row versions is assigned a number that reflects its transposition. For example, if the P form starts with an F, then P2 is the original transposed up a major 2nd to start on G (the original is labeled P0). If the R version starts on F#, then the retrograde version starting on A would be R3. This large collection of notes would be very difficult to manage if there were not some way for the composer to visualize the entire universe of available pitches. In order to do so, a grid called a matrix, shown below, is created for each piece. The matrix shows all four row forms in each of its twelve possible transpositions and is an essential tool for use by the composer. The untransposed prime row form (P0) starts at the top left of the matrix on the note F and moves from left to right along the top line, ending on F#. The untransposed inversion (I0) also starts on the note F but moves downward along the y axis ending on E. (Note that if you draw a diagonal from the upper left to the bottom right, the note F will appear at every point.) Because the untransposed prime form goes from F down to E (a half step down) between the first two notes, the inversion goes from F up to F# (a half step up). After filling in the untransposed prime and inversion forms, the composer completes the matrix by filling out each of the subsequent prime forms, transposed as needed. For example, the second row contains the prime form transposed to start on F#, because that is the second note in the inverted version.


A matrix showing all 48 forms of a 12-note tone row (from Webern, op. 25) The matrix helps the composer organize the pitch material of the piece and provides an overview of all the different arrangements of notes that can be derived from the basic tone row. The composer selects various row forms to create the melodies and harmonies of the piece using his or her musical sensibility as a guide. Composing serial music in this fashion is not simply a mathematical exercise in cycling through the various row forms in a random or in some predetermined order, however. Every compositional decision must be made by the composer, including what the original series of notes will be, how the various forms of the row will appear in sequence in the work, whether the melodies will be supported by chords from the same or from a different row, etc. In addition, all matters of timing, pacing, rhythm, articulation, instrumentation, and form must be determined by the composer. The vast amount and range of music that has been written using this method over the past 90+ years is a testament to the great flexibility Schoenbergs technique provides. The example below illustrates a step in the analysis of a serial composition in which the analyst has identified the source of the different notes. This particular work, Webern's Piano Variations, op. 27 (1935 - 36), is rather straightforward in that it opens with the Prime form, completes it, then introduces the Inverted form and goes through each of its notes in turn. After the 12th note of the Inverted form is heard, the music continues with


the Retrograde version (not numbered).

Example 107 Row statements in Webern's Piano Variations, op. 27 In a variation on Schoenbergs approach, jazz pianist Bill Evans uses a twelve-tone row in his composition T T T T (Twelve-Tone Tune, Two). Listen to Example 108, the opening of this piece, and see if you can determine how many times the twelve-note theme is repeated. First youll hear it in the piano, then in the bass, then in both instruments (played in octaves). Note that Evans does not use his row in all its variations, but does build his improvisations primarily by developing various fragments and transpositions of the basic theme. Integral Serialism A variation on Schoenbergs basic approach to organizing the pitched material of a composition soon developed that was known as total (or integral) serialism. This concept involves applying the principle of serial organization to other elements of the music besides pitch, such as note duration and rhythm, choice of instruments and registers, etc. For example, a composer might assign a different numeric value to each of 12 different note durations, then use a specific note duration in conjunction with the corresponding note number in the row. Here is a group of 12 different note values, each with a number assigned:


(from Next youll see a tone row with numbers assigned to each note. The numbers represent the number of half-steps the note is from E, the starting pitch:

Assigning the durational values from above to the equivalent pitches in the row, for example, a 16th-note (duration #0) to the E (pitch #0), an 8th-note (duration #1) to the F (pitch #1), and a quarter note (duration #3) to the G (note #3), etc., produces the following music:

Example 109 A rendering of the integral serial process A composer could also compose a piece of music for twelve performers, then associate each performer with a different form of the row. Among the composers interested in this approach were Schoenbergs student Anton Webern as well as French composer Olivier Messiaen, American Milton Babbitt and the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who used it to create and organize sounds he generated electronically. Listen to Example 110, an excerpt from Messiaens Mode de Valeur et dIntensites for solo piano. In this piece, Messiaen serialized nearly every musical parameter including pitches, durations, dynamics and articulations, though it is doubtful that the listener would detect, especially upon first hearing. As a result, every note retains its unique character throughout the composition. For example, middle C is always played with the same note value, dynamic and articulation. Harmony in non-Western Music Music in most non-Western cultures shows significant differences in its use of harmony from that described above. For example, it is not common practice for a principal melodic instrument to be accompanied by one or more instruments playing a series of chords. (Instruments providing rhythmic accompaniment to a melodic one are common, however.) Non-Western musical performances often consist of a single instrument (or voice) performing solo, and in some cases, this instrument can serve as its own accompaniment. The Indian sitar and the hurdy-gurdy are examples of this technique; both have strings that vibrate in resonance to the strings the performer actually plays. The


sitar has six or seven strings that are struck and 19 sympathetic strings that vibrate when the main strings are struck. Listen to Example 111 in which a sitar is accompanied by a pitched drone instrument called the tambura, which plays the same notes repeatedly throughout the performance, maintaining a static and unmoving harmonic framework. Drones of different kinds are very common in non-Western traditions and are found in many cultures. In addition to India, a drone is a common element of Irish bagpipe music, where one or more low sustained pitches provides a foundation above which the notes of the melody are heard. The intervals of a fifth and an octave are often used as the notes of the drone, as in Example 112. This open and stable sound establishes an unvarying tonal reference point for the music. Example 113 is an example of a vocal drone accompanying the singing of a lead male singer in a song performed during an Indonesian festival. In Indonesian gamelan music, the various performers often play different melodies simultaneously, all of which are drawn from the same pitch collection (mentioned above). There are no instruments playing chords, and the music that results from the overlapping melodies is not governed by functional harmony. Rather, a thick and ever-changing musical texture is built up from the multiple parts. In Example 114, you should be able to hear at least two or three different melodies. The music is built on a heptatonic (sevennote-scale from which three predominant note patterns are chosen. As noted earlier, non-Western music often uses note collections different from the Western major and minor scales, and triadic chords are not generally drawn from these collections. Pentatonic scales are very common, as are scales that divide the octave in more or fewer than 12 equal parts. When two or more different notes do sound simultaneously creating recognizable chords, the movement of the chords is not typically governed by functional harmony. In many non-Western musical traditions, harmony does not typically serve as a force that leads a composition to some logical or inevitable conclusion. Non-western music is more likely to be organized along the lines of variation and repetition, employing single-voice melodies (as in Western music before 1600) that are ornamented and embellished as they recur. The goal-oriented approach that harmony provides is not often found in many non-Western styles and music in general tends to have a more spontaneous, improvised quality. Summary Any discussion of harmony in music must include three fundamental concerns. First, a thorough examination of the source of the harmonic materials in the work should be undertaken, whether it is a scale, mode, tone row, raga or other collection. Next, the system that governs the use of these materials, most often functional harmony but perhaps serialism or modal harmony, or one of the non-Western practices, must be examined and understood. (And of course in some cases, there is no system at all.) Finally, the impact or effect that the harmonic activity has on the listener, whether it gives him or her a clear sense of direction and inevitability or a feeling of uncertainty and confusion, whether the harmonic techniques are clearly perceivable or difficult to


identify, should be determined. These three issues, illustrated in the table below, are central to the understanding of the role of harmony in a musical composition.

Complete Assignment 9 now: short answers and listening.

Edvard Munchs The Scream (1893) Atonality in music coincided with similar movements in the visual arts. Among these was Expressionism, illustrated here in Edvard Munchs The Scream (1893).


Texture refers to the interweaving of the various layers of a musical composition and the way in which these layers relate to one another. In characterizing the texture of a work, the listener must identify the number of layers that exist, determine the degree of independence that these layers have from one another, and interpret the role and relative importance of each. Texture has become an increasingly important element in concert music since the twentieth century, as more traditional elements such as melody have often been de-emphasized. It is also a significant element in improvised and non-Western musical styles. The term voice or part refers to an individual strand or line of music that can be identified or isolated within the fabric of a piece. In recent music produced electronically and in audio-production circles in general, an equally common term is track, as in the "bass" or "percussion track." The number of voices or parts does not refer simply to the number of performers in a work; because a piece of music is performed by a group of eight or nine singers or instrumentalists does not mean that there are eight or nine distinct voices or parts in the texture. They might, for example, all be singing the exact same music. It is the number of distinct and unique musical ideas or lines created by the performers and the way these interact that is significant in helping to characterize texture. The term track, however, will often refer to a single instrument or distinct layer in the music. Texture in electronic music cannot always be broken down into clearly distinguishable layers - it is often difficult to isolate the various elements in a piece - so broader terms such as "foreground" and "background" are sometimes used to describe how the larger parts of the music interact simultaneously. In the foreground, there might be a prominent sound, which might be louder and more emphasized than other, indistinct sounds in the background, which could, perhaps, be shrouded in dense reverb. For example, listen to Example 114a, the short song, "Sarmays," by the band Pan Sonic. How would you describe the texture? How many events are occurring at one time at the beginning? Does that change? Are some sounds clearly in the foreground and others in the background? Make a clear distinction between the number of events that occur at the same time and the nature of those events themselves. Now listen to Example 114b, an excerpt from the song "Turning of the Wheel" by Tangerine Dream. How many layers are there at the opening? When and how does this change? How many layers are there when the excerpt ends? Is it easy to distinguish one part from the next or not? Why? A number of different terms, both musical and general, can be used to describe the texture of a work. Music that contains many different strands of melody or rhythm sounding at the same time might be described as "thick" or "dense," while a work with only a single instrument performing a single line of melody could be characterized as "thin," "sparse" or "transparent." These terms are obviously not specific but simply give


a general description of the fabric of the music. More specific musical terms, to be discussed below, have been adopted to describe the qualities of texture in a composition. As with all musical elements, the texture in a work can and typically will change as the music progresses. The music may sound thin and open at the outset, then become dense or opaque thereafter. The roles of the individual parts may also freely change: the soprano part in a chorus may have the principal melody at the beginning of a work but may become secondary or accompanimental to another part later on. Or a saxophone might play only a riffing horn part until called upon to solo in the bridge of a song. Changes of texture of this type often signify important formal landmarks or divisions in the music. Monophony A texture consisting of only a single line, for example, a solo saxophone or flute performing a simple melody without any accompaniment, is called monophonic (meaning "one sound"). This texture is common in many non-Western traditions and in some Western classical music, where many great works have been written for single instruments, but is not particularly common in popular music except, perhaps, during an instrumental solo or drum break. (A monophonic instrument is one that is capable, in theory, of playing only one note. Though often performed without accompaniment, the piano, harp and guitar do not fall into this category because they are able to create the effect of multiple independent voices sounding at once.) A melody that is doubled (duplicated) one or more octaves above or below the original, whether played by two separate instruments or only a single instrument, is also considered to be monophonic. For example, all members of a chorus singing the national anthem in melodic unison would be considered monophonic, even if the different parts started on notes in different octaves (basses on A2, tenors on A3, altos on A4, etc.). In any style of music, monophony can appear at a point where the composer or performer wishes to introduce variety in the texture. As an example, a saxophone or trumpet player might take an extended solo in the middle of a jazz performance while the other members of the ensemble remain silent. Though not a significant part of our current musical climate, monophony has had a major role in music of the past in both classical and folk traditions. Music of many ancient cultures (Greece in particular), the Orient and even early Western church music were primarily, if not entirely monophonic. Gregorian Chant, for example, is an enormous body of music that is monophonic, even though the music was typically sung by a group of people. This style can still be heard in many abbeys and monasteries throughout the world today. Example 115 below illustrates a simple monophonic texture a single melody without accompaniment that would be sung by all of the members of the choir.


Example 115 Monophonic texture as found in a Gregorian Chant Example 116 is a more representative example of monophonic chant. Here, four singers are performing in strict rhythmic and melodic unison. The performance is so tightly synchronized that it is hard to tell how many singers there actually are. The melody is in the dorian mode. Now listen to a very different monophonic example in Example 116a. Monophonic electronic instruments were often used in live performance, for example, with a keyboard player using an entire rack of multiple instruments, or in the studio during a production that might include the sound of other instruments added into the mix one at a time. Example 116a illustrates a technique in which the notes were not played by a live performer but were generated purely electronically by a device called a sequencer. Now listen to the solo section of the Lynyrd Skynyrd song Free Bird (Ex. 117) and note the shifting texture of the three guitars that are soloing. At what points do the guitars play monophonically and where and how does the texture they create change (focus only on the lead guitars)? Can you tell there are three guitars playing; if not, what does it sound like? Though there are actually multiple guitars playing in this example, a single guitarist can create the effect of unison playing by overdubbing a second duplicate part in the recording studio. The performer will listen to (or monitor) the first part while recording one or more additional tracks over the original. Listen to the guitar solo from In non-Western traditions, monophonic texture is very common and can be found in unaccompanied songs and solo instrumental pieces. Example 118 illustrates a monophonic song performed by a solo male bass voice from the country of New Guinea. The song is a tribute to one of the ancestors of the mans ethnic group and is comprised only of vowels, having no words. Polyphony In musical terms, a texture that consists of numerous musical lines or voices, each of which is equal in importance to the other (i.e., one part is not merely a support or background for another) is called polyphonic, meaning "many sounds." Each layer in this type of texture is independent and has a clear identity of its own. Polyphony is common in both Western and non-Western cultures and is found, for example, in New Orleansstyle (Dixieland) jazz, which features a group of melodic instruments (typically trumpet, clarinet and trombone) improvising simultaneously while being supported by a rhythm section. The specific approach used in Dixieland is called collective improvisation, as each instrument is free to create its own melody, with or without


reference to the original melody of the song. The resultant dense and highly active texture is clearly polyphonic in nature, which you can hear in Example 119. Another variety of polyphonic music results from the use of counterpoint. Meaning literally, "point against point," counterpoint is a technique of composing where two or more melodies are written according to certain rules or guidelines. One rule might require that for every one note in the first voice, there must be two in the second. Or perhaps every time the first part goes up (ascends), the second part must go down (descends). The resulting texture is said to be contrapuntal, and the voices in a contrapuntal texture might be identical or nearly so, or in other cases, not closely related. They will, however, be of equal importance. Counterpoint was a prominent compositional technique in several eras of music history, including the Middle Ages, as well as the Renaissance (c. 1420 -1600), most notably in the music of Palestrina; and the Baroque (c. 1600 - 1750), most notably works of J.S. Bach. These styles of composition are the subject of study for many aspiring composition students even today, often in courses entitled 16th Century Counterpoint and 18th Century Counterpoint (good ideas never die!). Two very simple examples of 16th-century counterpoint are shown below. In the first, two voices move in opposite directions simultaneously. This is called mirror counterpoint. The second example shows the technique of contrapuntal inversion, where the bottom part inverts (reverses) the order of the motives in the top part, and vice versa.

Example 120 mirror counterpoint

contrapuntal inversion

Entire musical forms often use counterpoint as their basis. Among these are the fugue, in which a single melodic theme called the fugue subject is developed contrapuntally throughout large sections of the piece; and the canon (or round), an even more rigorous technique that uses strict imitation among the various layers throughout the entire work. A fugue alternates between sections where the subject is being stated by the voices in turn and where other music is heard (the outline of a fugue will be discussed again in the unit on form), while a canon consists entirely of statements of the subject heard in alternation.


In the fugue section of Bachs Prelude and Fugue in C major, from his keyboard collection The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, Bach composes a four-voice fugue that opens with the following subject starting on the note C4:

Example 121 This subject is answered by the second voice, which states the subject, slightly varied, starting on G4, five scale steps above the opening:

Example 122 While the second voice is sounding, the first voice continues with additional music:

Example 123 When the second voice finishes, the third statement enters one octave below (G3) the second voice:

Example 124 And finally, the fourth enters starting on a note one octave below the first voice:

Example 125 The overall harmonic framework of this section moves between the tonic chord and the dominant, then back. This framework helps create a sense of unity and completeness for the section. Listen to Example 126 to hear the entire opening section of the fugue and see how many of the individual voices you can follow. Imitative Polyphony


Imitative polyphony, where one or more parts imitates another at a slightly offset time, is a common technique in polyphonic music and can occur in different ways. In Example 127 below, a two-part invention for solo harpsichord by J. S. Bach, the two parts (right hand and left hand) are equal in importance. First, an opening theme is stated in the right hand while the left hand rests. Then the roles are reversed, and the left hand states the opening melody. This type of role reversal persists for much of the piece.

Example 127 A two-part invention by J. S. Bach The next example, for four singers, also uses imitative polyphony. Here, four voices enter in succession, one imitating the other, but the starting note is not always the same on each entrance. Identify the starting note in each voice as an interval above the opening note in the bass. Is any voice more prominent than any other? What is the exact duration of the phrase that is being imitated?


Example 128 Imitative polyphony in a Palestrina mass. Polyphony is not common in many types of popular music, where a single melody is usually performed by only one singer or where one instrument is typically the main focus of the music. However, a polyphonic texture would be created, for example, when two guitars solo simultaneously. Listen to the opening of the song On Reflection (Ex. 129) by Gentle Giant. What is the texture in this excerpt and how many individual parts do you hear? How long does the first texture last and what texture enters roughly halfway through the excerpt? Polyphony in music in non-Western cultures is very common. Examples can easily be found in areas including sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania, and many parts of Asia. In Example 130, youll hear a two-part contrapuntal example from the Solomon Islands wherein the individual voices are very similar, even though they are sung in different registers. This song is a funeral lament, mourning the death of a woman who drowned herself in a river. In Example 131, a horn ensemble consisting of over a dozen instruments from the Central African Republic creates a very dense polyphonic texture, with the different instruments entering in different registers in succession. The composition is entitled Song for the Cult of the Twins, and is performed to accompany initiation rites of young boys. The individual melodies are short and are repeated numerous times. No single instrument dominates the texture. Complete Assignment 10 now: short answers and listening. Heterophony Another type of musical texture is called heterophony, and music using this texture is called heterophonic (meaning "different sound.") This approach, often found in improvised music, involves two different versions of the same melody or rhythm


sounding at once. Typically, a melody is played "straight," while an elaborated or ornamented version of the same melody is also heard. For example, a singer might sing a melody while one or more accompanying instruments plays an embellished version of the same tune. This approach is found in Example 132, a troubadour song from the Middle Ages, where the violin, and later the flute, play enhanced versions of the singers melody. Heterophony is common in Western music before Bachs time (18th century), but is not particularly common in modern popular or concert music. It is often found in traditional music of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, however, and is particularly prevalent in Indonesian gamelan music, where it is often used to provide contrast with another more predominant texture elsewhere in a composition. (Gamelan music typically uses different instruments playing the same melody at different speeds.) In Example 133, a short work from Bali, a solo flute performs in unison with a Gamelan ensemble. The flute occasionally adds extra notes to its version melody, then shortly, the gamelan instruments begin to play each note of the melody multiple times for every one note in the flute. Homophony The final texture, homophony, is the most common texture in Western popular music and has been used in nearly every musical style since the Middle Ages. This texture has two main variants, the first is called melody and accompaniment and the second is known as chordal or block chord texture. Melody and accompaniment involves the presence of one main melody and a clearly subordinate, usually chordal accompaniment. A solo guitarist improvising against the background of a rhythm section would be a simple example of this approach, as would the highly standard arrangement of a lead singer performing with a backup band. Though this texture involves two layers, the accompaniment in both cases is completely subordinate to the principal melody and does not typically have sufficient musical interest to stand alone (although the backup band might disagree!).


Example 134 Melody and accompaniment (homophony) in Beethoven's "Spring Sonata" Example 134 above is an example of homophony, employing a principle melodic instrument, the violin, and its accompaniment, the piano. Even though the piano part appears to be fairly active rhythmically, the music it is performing is actually moving at a pace of only one chord every one or two measures. The part seems active because the piano is arpeggiating the notes of each chord. A few measures after this example ends, the roles switch, and the violin becomes the accompaniment to the piano. Look again at the lead sheet shown above. The separation of melody from chords is a sure sign that these roles will be adhered to by the performers and that a homophonic texture will be created. The vast majority of popular songs use a melody and accompaniment texture, whether performed by a rock band, jazz combo, or even a single performer. Listen to Example 135, guitarist Tommy Emmanuel performing the song Cowboys Dream on solo guitar. Notice the clear melody that the performer creates and the way he is able to play both accompanimental chords and a bassline while establishing the melody. d) is t second type of homophonic texture, and in this ape Chordal (or block chord) is the second type of homophonic texture, and in this approach, all voices in the music move in rhythmic unison, i.e., all the parts move together. Chordal homophony is very much a result of vertical thinking on the part of the composer: the music illustrates chords moving in succession, with each note of the chord assigned to a separate performer. Block-chord style is very popular in choral music and is used as the predominant texture in a Baroque form known as the chorale.


Example 136 Block-chordal texture in Bach Chorale (performed on organ) In Example 136 above, an excerpt from the chorale Wie Schon Leuchet der Morgenstern (How Lovely Shines the Morning Star) by J. S. Bach, the chords change every beat and with the exception of an occasional eighth note, all of the voice parts move together on each beat. Even though the melody on which this chorale is based appears in the soprano part, no single voice predominates in this texture. Two final examples illustrate non-Western approaches to chordal texture. In Example 137, a four-voice Sardinian (Italy) chorus sings parallel chords, shifting, in most cases, no more than a step or two up or down from the staring point. A solo bass voice provides a quick introduction to each phrase. The religious text is sung in Latin. In Example 138, a mixed (male and female) choir from Eritrea (East Africa) sings a two-part melody built initially in perfect fifths, then with other chord tones (for example, the major third) added. The vocal parts are accompanied by several percussion instruments. Antiphony Though it does not, by itself, constitute a separate class of musical texture, the technique of antiphony is a performing approach characterized by a texture in which two entirely separate ensembles perform simultaneously. Antiphonal music was very common in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, where, for example, a group of brass instruments would be placed in each of the two choir lofts in a church (the Church of San Marco in Venice was a favorite spot). The two groups enter into a musical dialogue: one ensemble states a phrase, then the other responds to it from a different part of the church, occasionally repeating it verbatim. This type of pattern, called a call and response, is


characteristic of antiphonal music. Listen to Example 139, the Canzon Septimi of Giovanni Gabrieli (1554-1612), a leading proponent of this style of music, and try to identify the points were the antiphony occurs. Call and response is an old and widely used technique, appearing in a vast number of non-Western cultures, popular music forms and music of the African-American church. Listen to Example 140, the gospel song Sheep, Sheep Dont You know the Road, sung by the Georgia Sea Island Singers, and note the continuous alternation between soloist and choir. The spatial distribution of sound is also often the basis today for live presentations of multichannel electronic music, where composers disseminate or diffuse their music throughout an auditorium in which multiple speakers have been arranged during a live performance. Sitting at a mixing console with his or her hands on the volume and positional (pan) controls, the composer will perform the playback of a prerecorded composition by controlling how much sound appears at each speaker. In some cases, composers diffuse their work into as many as four, eight or even more loudspeakers. Edgard Varse's Pome lectronique (1958), presented at the Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World's Fair, incorporated 20 discrete channels of music sent to over 400 loudspeakers. Surround sound, which uses 6 or more discrete channels of sound, gives composers new options for diffusing their work spatially and creating a variety of antiphonal effects. As the examples above show, the number of instruments performing a piece of music is not a significant factor in characterizing texture. A group of instruments all performing the identical musical line in unison would still constitute a monophonic texture, while a work for solo piano might have an extremely dense texture with multiple independent voices appearing simultaneously throughout. In a five-part fugue, for example, the performer must, at times (though not necessarily throughout the entire work), attempt to distinguish five distinct melodic parts simultaneously by using subtle changes in dynamics, playing styles or other methods for each part. And though the textures in the examples discussed here are fairly clear, textures can alternate rapidly within a single work or even within a short section of a work, in which case, no single texture predominates. Chord Spacing Another aspect of texture involves the ways in which notes in a chord are voiced or spaced, meaning the way in which they are distributed throughout various registers. The example below shows five different root position voicings of an Em9 (E minor ninth chord - E G B D F#). Each contains all five chords tones but in different registers and with different intervals between them.


Example 141 Five different voicings of an Em9 chord. In an approach called close position voicing, the upper notes of a chord are grouped as close to one another as possible. By contrast, open position is when the notes are a fifth or more apart. In general, composers tend to avoid close position in the lower register, as the music can get very muddy, even with only a few instruments playing. Chord spacing applies whether the notes of a chord all sound at once or if the chord is arpeggiated. All of the notes in the example below are either Cs, Es or Gs, which means the entire musical passage is nothing more than a single C major triad. Rolling out or playing the notes of a chord one by one, whether only once or repeatedly as below, is called an arpeggio.

Example 142 An arpeggiated C major chord Listen to Example 143, Arpeggios from Hell by Ingwe Malmsteen for an extreme example of arpeggiation. Jazz and some popular music composers and arrangers often use a number of standardized techniques for spacing the notes of a chord. These spacings have become stock techniques in various styles of jazz, especially big band (also called jazz band) music and include configurations such as drop-two and drop-three voicings. In a droptwo voicing, the second highest note from the top of a chord, whatever its original inversion, is transposed down one octave, while in drop-three, the third highest note from the top is transposed down one octave. Also, skip voicing takes the opposite approach and transposes the required note up an octave.


Example 144 Drop and skip voicing techniques In many jazz-band charts (the term used by jazz musicians for a full score), long passages employing one of these voicings will often appear in the horn parts, perhaps filling out the harmony beneath the principal melodic line. Widening the spacing of the chords being played using drop and skip voicings can help avoid a cloudy or muddy texture:

Example 145 Close position, drop 2, and drop 2-drop 4 voicings. Modern music uses a number of different approaches to chord voicing. Among the most popular is the cluster. Clusters are tightly spaced groups of two, three or more notes, typically no more than a few half steps apart. Clusters can add an evocative color to a composition and are used by both classical composers and by jazz arrangers.

Example 146 Tone Clusters Composers such as the Hungarian Gyorgy Ligeti (1923 2006) have written music in which every instrument (or instrumental section) of the orchestra is given its own unique note, with each note being only one-half step away from the next. In Ligetis Atmospheres (Ex. 147; 1961), for example, fifty-six musicians play different notes, creating a sound mass that is, perhaps, unique in music. The resulting texture consists of a massive cluster spanning a five-octave range in which every note of the chromatic scale 86

is played simultaneously. Ligeti likened the composition to a far-away mass for the dead and called its texture micropolphony due to the shifting entrance and exit of players and the extremely subtle changes in the instruments loudness levels. Example 147a illustrates the use of microtonal clusters created through digital processing of a clarinet and a cymbal. The piece, entitled The Hand of Gravity, is by Michel Plourde and incorporates sounds with no distinct pitch. Jazz performers, especially the pianist in a combo (who often performs a comping, i.e., accompanying role), also often use tightly packed note clusters, for example, playing the notes D, Eb, F and G in the right hand while a bass (or the left hand of the piano) plays the root note C.

Example 148 A cluster voicing for the chord C minor 9/11 Though texture may not appear to be an element of music equal in importance to melody, rhythm or harmony, it nonetheless plays a significant role in a musical composition. Musicians of all eras have used changes in texture to help define or distinguish sections of a work and to add color and variety to their music. Even the switch from an entire band performing the verse of a song to a solo section for a single instrumentalist is a common example of a variation in texture. Textural analysis is also significant in understanding different styles of music. In jazz, for example, the Swing style of the 1930s and 40s is characterized by homophonic textures, both melody and accompaniment and chordal, while Free Jazz of the 1960s and Dixieland feature polyphony most prominently. Noting significant changes in texture could facilitate understanding the formal design of a classical work as well one section might be homophonic, while the next could feature a short fugal passage. The perceptive listener will notice the important function texture has in defining the characteristics of each musical era.


Types of textures

A visualization of musical textures (from the Connexions web site)

Complete Assignment 11 now: short answers and listening.


Sonority, also known as timbre or tone color, refers to the unique qualities of sound produced by any instrument that distinguishes it from all others. These qualities range from the "pure, hollow" sound of the flute, to the honking screech of a saxophone in its highest register, to the "deep, mellow" tone of the cello or bass, to the squeal of a distorted electric guitar, with unlimited gradations in between. Although each of these instruments can play the exact same pitches, the different properties of each is instantly recognizable by any listener, assuming they have had some prior exposure to that instrument. One way to describe timbre is using the language and measurements of science, and in fact, the differences in the tone color of different instruments can be explained rather simply from a scientific basis. Any musical instrument when performed generates a series of multiple simultaneous vibrations that combine to form a unique pattern of wave motion in the air. This motion is called a sound wave or sound-pressure wave. Each of the individual vibrations is a sine wave, which is the basic back and forth wave pattern that all other sounds are made from. The specific combination of sine waves that make up any given sound is called its spectrum, and it is the spectrum of a sound that accounts for the tone color we hear. Its possible to examine and analyze the spectrum of any sound using tools of science to identify and measure the sounds specific components. These observations might be interesting and even helpful to a musician working with modern electronic instruments, as such instruments can either generate any type of sound by adding together individual sine waves or manipulate the spectrum of an existing sound. But there are other approaches and terms that are more generally used to describe timbre in the world of music. A brief explanation of the physics of sound, a field known as acoustics, will greatly aid in the understanding of the musical aspects of sonority. Acoustics: The Physics of Sound Sound begins when molecules in the air are disturbed by some type of motion produced by a vibrating object. The object, which might be a guitar string, human vocal cord or rolling garbage can, is set into motion because energy is applied to it. The guitar string is struck by a finger or pick, while the garbage can is hit perhaps by a hammer or shoe. In both cases, the result is the same: each object begins to vibrate. In fact, they begin to vibrate at multiple rates simultaneously, though what we actually hear is a combination or composite of all these vibrations. Both the rate (speed) of the vibrations and their amount (or strength) is critical to our perception of the sound. If they are not fast enough, we wont hear the sound, and if they are fast enough but not strong enough, we wont hear it either. If, however, the composite vibration repeatedly occurs at least twenty times a second, the minimum for human perception, and the molecules in the air are moved far enough (a more difficult phenomena to measure), then we will detect a sound. To understand the process better, the behavior of a guitar string will be used as an example of a vibrating object producing


sound. Note that many of the basic characteristics of the string also apply to other objects, such as brass and wind instruments. Frequency. When a pick plucks a string, the entire string vibrates back and forth at a certain rate of speed (see Figure 12). This speed is called the frequency of the vibration, and the term frequency is used to describe the rate of vibration of any object set into motion. One single back and forth motion of a vibrating object is called a cycle, and the number of cycles per second, or cps, is the increment of measurement used for frequency. (Cps is also referred to as Hertz, abbreviated Hz, named for a 19th-century German researcher.) The phrase A-440, which is a frequency we associate with the note A above middle C (A4), refers to a vibrating frequency that recurs 440 times per second. This is written as 440 Hz, or 440 cps (see the table below showing the correspondence of pitch to frequency). Like other vibrating objects we might wish to measure, for example the vibration of air inside a clarinet or trumpet, or the vibration of the head of a drum, the frequency of the string is very fast, so we use the abbreviation kHz (kiloHertz) to measure frequency in thousands of vibrations per second. A frequency of 2 kHz (read as 2 kiloHertz) signifies a vibrating frequency of 2,000 cycles per second. This means the string or other object goes through its back and forth vibrating motion 2,000 times per second, a frequency well within the range of human hearing. Two thousand cps is not a frequency that coincides with a specific musical pitch our system of notation isolates only a few dozen of the nearly infinite possible frequencies our ears can detect and assigns them to pitches. Several of these are shown in the table below.

Correspondence between musical pitch and frequency of vibration Displacement. The actual distance a string or other object moves from its point of rest is called its displacement, and displacement is the main factor in determining the loudness of the sound we hear. The distance the string moves is a function of the strength of the energy applied to it and for that reason, the term amplitude, meaning strength, is commonly used as a substitute for displacement. The material the string is made of and its thickness and length also greatly influence the distance it will move when struck. The scientific measurement used for displacement is not particularly important for this discussion. Rather, it is important to know that the different vibrations that occur when an object is struck are not equal in strength; some are stronger than others by a significant amount. As a result, displacement is usually measured on a relative scale, where the specific amplitudes of the different simultaneous vibrations are compared to one another. However, if there is not adequate displacement to move the air molecules surrounding the


vibrating object, the waveform cannot travel through the air and we will not hear the sound. FIGURE 12 A plucked string in motion. This figure shows one complete cycle.

As the string in the example above moves, it displaces the molecules around it in a recurring, wavelike pattern; as the string moves back and forth, the molecules also move back and forth. The movement of these molecules is propagated in the air, meaning that individual molecules bump against molecules next to them, which in turn bump their neighbors (much like a chain reaction). If this movement of molecules is strong enough and we are close enough to the source (the guitar string, in this case), the molecules next to our ears will very soon be set in motion (sound travels at over 1130 feet per second in the air and even faster in water), and they, in turn, will move our eardrum in a pattern similar or analogous to the original string movement. Next, our brain will detect this movement, look up the specific pattern in its data bank to see if there is a match, then identify the pattern as the sound of a guitar (assuming it has been exposed to the sound of a guitar before). We will then hear and recognize the sound. Note that sound cannot travel without a medium of transmission; there must be air (or water) molecules for a sound to exist. For this reason, sound cannot occur in a vacuum, for example on the surface of the moon, where there is no medium to sustain the sound. The air- or sound-pressure wave created by the pattern of moving air molecules can be depicted in several ways. One way to represent the wave is to use a mathematical formula. Musicians, however, typically prefer to use software to view an actual image of the wave on a computer screen. The graphic representation shown below is called a waveform plot, and it shows how much air is being moved at any point in time. The amplitude or amount of air pressure is represented on the y (vertical) axis and time is shown on the horizontal x axis. There are two similar graphs because this sound was recorded in stereo, meaning there is separate information for the left loudspeaker (top) and the right (bottom):

A graphical waveform representation of a single piano note of 1 duration


Note in the figure above that there is a very brief point of silence at the beginning of the diagram, then the sound starts at a very high amplitude. Gradually, the sound fades out until it dies at the end of this graph. The movement of air molecules depicted here lasts less than one second (the indication 00:00:00.500 indicates the half-second point).

Figure 13 above illustrates the movement of air molecules that have been set in motion by a vibrating string. It is an oversimplified plot as it only represents a portion of the actual vibrating pattern, but nonetheless shows clearly how the molecules move during the first portion of the sounds life. The dashed line represents the string at rest before any motion occurs. The segment marked "A" represents the impact of the string vibrating after it is first struck by the pick; "B" shows the air molecule movement as the string moves back towards its resting point; "C" represents the string moving through the resting point and onward to its outer limit; then "D" shows it moving back towards the point of rest. The segment from the start of the graph on the left through to the point marked D represents a single cycle of the waveform. How many cycles are shown in total? This cyclic pattern of vibration repeats continuously until the friction of the molecules in the air (or water) gradually slows the string down to a stopyou can see above that the amount of movement away from the initial point of rest (i.e., the displacement) decreases over time. In order for us to hear the string sound, this back and forth pattern must repeat at least twenty times per second. This frequency threshold, 20 cps, is the lower limit of human hearing perception. The fastest sound we can hear is theoretically 20,000 cps (20 kHz), but in reality, it's probably closer to a frequency of 15 kHz or 17 kHz. Moreover, many playback systems (inexpensive headphones, for example) cannot reproduce frequencies anywhere near 20 kHz. The rate at which the entire string vibrates is called the fundamental frequency, and this frequency is the frequency that gives a sound its strongest sense of pitch. The lowest string of a guitar vibrates at a rate of about 82 Hz, which produces the pitch E2, and the


highest string has a frequency of about 329 Hz, which is E4. But if this one, simple back and forth motion were the only phenomenon involved in creating a sound, then all stringed instruments would probably sound much the same. We know this is not true and alas, the laws of physics are not quite so simple. In fact, the string vibrates not only across its entire length, producing the pattern of fundamental movement shown above, but also at one-half its length, one-third, one-fourth, one-fifth, etc., simultaneously. These additional vibrations are called overtones because they occur at rates faster than (over) the rate of the fundamental vibration. In addition, their amplitudes decrease proportionally, the faster they vibrate. For example, the first overtone, which is a vibration of the string over one-half its length, occurs at twice the frequency of the fundamental and has an amplitude one-half as strong, the second overtone, a vibration of one-third the entire string, occurs at three times the rate of the fundamental and one-third its strength, etc. Our ear doesn't hear each overtone as a discrete pitched event, however. If it did, we would hear a multi-note chord every time a single note on a string was played. Rather, all these vibrations are added together or fused to form a complex or composite waveform pattern that our ear perceives as a single tone (see Figure 14 below).

Simply measuring the combination of simultaneous vibrations that occur when any instrument is played still does not account completely for the uniqueness of the timbre of different instruments, as there is another major factor that comes into play before the sound propagates through the air to reach our ears. This is factor is the resonator, and it has a significant role in determining the sound quality of the tone we ultimately hear. The resonator in the case of the guitar is the large block of hollow wood that the strings


are attached to, that is, the guitar body. It is also the body of the violin or harp, the large sounding board and case of a piano, and the body of a clarinet or trumpet. The resonator strengthens (or amplifies) some of the vibrations produced by the instrument and weakens (or attenuates) others. Different types of guitar bodies and even different types of wood will impact the sound differently, though perhaps only in very subtle ways. Similarly, a clarinet will sound different if it is made of wood, metal or plastic, even though the basic physics of sound production on any clarinet are much the same. Ultimately, it is the combined effect of all the simultaneously occurring vibrations produced by an instrument being altered by the resonator, then fusing into a complex wave pattern as they travel together through the air that accounts for the phenomenon we identify as a musical sound. Stringed instruments provide only one model of the acoustic properties of instruments. Wind and percussion instruments as well as the human voice share certain acoustics properties with strings, but each instrument has its own unique physical attributes that demand different types of representation. A thorough discussion of the properties of instruments is beyond the scope of this text. In summary, sound consists of three primary stages, each with multiple components:

Complete Assignment 12 now: short answers and listening.


INSTRUMENTATION AND ORCHESTRATION The number of different timbres that exist among the entire realm of acoustic instruments and human voices is obviously infinite. In addition, new musical resources made available through the use of electronic instrumentation and the computer have vastly enhanced the composer's palette and choice of timbral combinations (more on electric sound below). As a result, sonority in and of itself has become a fundamental organizing force in music, and no composer can completely separate this element from his or her use of elements such as pitch, rhythm, or form. Sound quality is often among the most important traits in distinguishing one style of music from another. It can be characterized in many different ways and involves not only the type of instruments that are used and the groupings they are put into, but the ways in which they are performed. Two issues that must be addressed when discussing sonority are instrumentation, which is the term used to describe which instruments are found in any ensemble, and orchestration, which describes how the instruments are used in combinations within that group. Choosing the instruments and orchestrating them are two of the most important tasks any composer will undertake. In the film world, an orchestrator is a person other than the composer who is asked to take the composers sketches and orchestrate them by creating a full orchestral score. Danny Elfman, for example, the composer of Batman and other films, does not decide what instruments will play the melodies he composes for a film score. That job is handled by the orchestrator (who typically receives little acclaim). In popular music and some styles of jazz, this job is often done by an arranger, who might create a full big band arrangement from a songwriters lead sheet and who also might assist in rearranging the parts of a song or deciding where strings or background vocals might be added. George Martin, who produced nearly all of The Beatles albums, typically performed arranging duties for the group as well. Over the next few pages, various types of instrumental combinations will be explored. Standardized Performing Resources For much of music history, standardized groupings of instruments have existed based on the concept of either similarity or contrast in timbre. The early New Orleans (Dixieland) jazz ensemble, for example, employed two distinct groups of instruments: the melody or lead instruments, usually a cornet or trumpet, clarinet, and trombone; and the rhythm instruments, most often a bass or tuba, piano and or banjo, and some form of drums. These two groups had specific roles to perform in the music, and each member of the ensemble stayed, for the most part, within the limits set for it. Other styles of music have also employed standardized combinations. The standard rock band of the 1960s era, for example, was (and remains to this day) a fairly small ensemble typically consisting of vocalist, two guitars (lead guitar and rhythm guitar), bass and drums. (An organ or other keyboard was also commonly used, especially by British groups.) Obviously, the rock songwriter (or often, the arranger) had a limited range of possible instrumental combinations to choose from, and much of the music from this period shows no attempt to explore new and unusual sonorities. However some


progressive songwriters and bands became known for their explorations of new sounds. Groups such as Yes, Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd and Kraftwerk (and of course, The Beatles), plus composers Brian Eno and Frank Zappa have explored sonority extensively. Certain instruments have become associated with styles and/or eras of music. For example, the Hammond B3 organ was used by a large number of pop groups in the 60s and 70s (Procol Harum, Vanilla Fudge, The Doors and others), as was the Fender Rhodes Electric Piano. Listen to the opening organ solo from Procol Harums A Whiter Shade of Pale (Ex. 149) to hear the B3 in all its glory. Ray Charles made the Wurlitzer electric piano a classic by using it in his song, What I Say, (Ex. 150) and many British bands used either a Farfisa Combo Compact organ or a Vox Continental portable organ for their signature sound. The keyboard synthesizer became a popular instrument in the 1970s when it was used by musicians such as Stevie Wonder and Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, while country and western ensembles, which are very similar to standard rock bands, have frequently included a steel guitar, which is played by a seated performer using a metal or glass bar that is dragged across the strings. Speedy Wests classic, Speeding West, (Ex. 151) uses a steel guitar as the lead instrument. West for particularly known for the special effects he could create on the instrument. Country Swing, a popular style from the 1950s, and other types of Country music also frequently employed a violin.

Steel-guitar player George Park Instrumentation One early step, then, in describing the sonority of a composition is to identify its instrumentation, which is the instrumental makeup of the performing group. To begin the process, one should be familiar with the sound of instruments used in music of various cultures. A large number of the instruments used in Western music can be categorized as belonging to one of the four orchestral families: woodwinds, brass, percussion, and


strings. The members of each orchestral family are shown below in the order in which they appear in a standard orchestral score, which shows the music for each individual instrument. The reader should make every attempt to hear these instruments in live settings and to make note of how the different instruments work together in different compositions. Try to determine what role each plays is it typically performing a melodic or perhaps a rhythmic role; does it often play the main melody or its it mostly accompanimental - and what types of smaller combinations are used from within the larger group.

Nearly all symphony orchestras seat their instrumentalists the same way. This arrangement is shown below.


Standardized seating arrangement for the symphony orchestra

Score Layout Orchestral music is typically written using a full score, which allows the composer and the conductor to view the music played by each individual orchestra member. Individual performers receive parts, which is printed music that shows only the notes they are to play, and two performers (especially in the string section) will typically read from the same part. Parts often include a few cues, which are small segments of another instruments music. The cues are used to assist performers in knowing when they should start playing, which is especially helpful after long passages where the instrument does not play. By organizing the layout of the score according to established standards, the conductor can quickly grasp how the music will sound and who is playing what part at any given moment. Many conductors, however, memorize the full score for a composition, especially those they perform often. The title of the work appears centered at the top of the first page of the score, and the name of the composer (or arranger) will be on the right. Orchestral scores are usually transposed, which means they show the actual notes each individual instrumentalist will see on his or her own part. This makes it very easy for the conductor to communicate with a player, for example to give them instructions (Trumpet 1, your C is too loud!). However, with a transposed score, it is more difficult for the conductor to imagine the music in his or her head, as that person must retranspose all the individual transposed parts to determine exactly what chord or collection of notes is being played across the entire orchestra. In some modern scores, all the parts are written in C, meaning that


they appear in the score untransposed. Composers will often indicate whether the score is transposed or in C on the left of the first page, or wherever they indicate other notes to the conductor (if any):

An excerpt from the title page of a full orchestral score The music for each section or family of instruments is indicated by the use of a bracket down the left-hand side of the staves on every page. The names of the instruments appear on the first page on the far left in the margin, but are usually not repeated on every page. (In some cases, abbreviated names are used on subsequent pages.) Note in the example below how the barlines are broken at the start of each new instrumental section, for example, between the fourth and fifth line of music. This is an important visual aid to the conductor. On the other hand, all of the instruments in the example above are in the woodwind section, so the vertical barline line is unbroken. When two or more systems are shown on one page, large, bold slash marks (//) are used to indicate the new system. (A system consists of two or more staves that are connected by a barline or a brace and shows the music for all the instruments performing or resting at that point.) The 8va (ottava) indication in the flute part means that the notes shown on the score are to be played one octave above where they are written (the flute is not a transposing instrument).



For many years, instrument names and performance markings were written in Italian, which is most likely because a vast number of composers in the Renaissance, when many modern musical practices were codified, were Italian. More recently, it has become common practice to use English or the native language of the composer. In addition to measure numbers at the beginning of each page (or on every measure), rehearsal letters or numbers are often added to the score and to the individual parts to help the musicians navigate quickly to any spot in the music. Individual parts given to each performer are, of course, always transposed, showing the performer the exact notes they should play (even if the sound they make is not what is actually written on the page). It is the job of a person called a copyist to extract the individual parts from a full score and write them out for each individual performer. (Today, many composers notate their scores directly onto a computer, and the notation software they use does the part extraction automatically.) As mentioned, two or more performers might read the exact same part in some cases, an entire string section of 10 to 12 musicians might be playing the same music. On the other hand, a single instrumentalist may be asked to double on a second instrument, especially one that is played in a similar way. For example, a clarinetist might be asked to switch between three different types of clarinets, or a flautist could be asked to perform on Alto flute or piccolo. Gustav Mahlers Fifth Symphony requires one clarinetist to play six different instruments! If you look carefully at the Viola part below, you will see that the part indicates two notes are to be performed at once. Its possible for a viola to play two notes at once, a technique called a double stop; any stringed instrument could do this. However, the score has the indication Div. above the first measure, which is the composers way of indicating that the section is to be divided, with half the violas playing the top note and half playing the bottom line.

When writing for unusual combinations of instruments, scores usually arrange instruments from high to low by family (according to the standard orchestral arrangement) or simply from high to low. A score for sitar, accordion, bass clarinet and tuba might place the bass clarinet at the top, as it is in the woodwind family, then the tuba (a brass instrument), the accordion (a member of the percussion family) next, and the sitar last (a stringed instrument). Or it could arrange them in any fashion of the composers choosing. The Jazz Band A typical jazz band (also known as a dance, stage or lab band) arranges its sections as follows: Saxophones (1st alto sax, 2nd alto, 1st tenor sax, 2nd tenor, baritone sax); Trumpets (Trumpets 1 through 4); Trombones (Trombones 1 4, typically 3 tenor trombones and 1 bass trombone); Rhythm Section (guitar, piano, bass and drums). The score below uses the convention of placing the music of two or more instruments on a single stave; note


the Alto Sax 1 & 2 and Tenor 1 & 2 and Baritone Sax parts, for example. None of these instruments can perform more than one note at a time (except for some unusual playing styles to be discussed later), so its understood that the highest note is played by the first instrumentalist (Alto 1), the second highest by the second, etc. Also notice that the guitar and piano are given only chord symbols and are free to choose their own voicings.

A standard big band chart (public domain arrangement by David Kear) Listen to Example 152, the opening of the Tonight Show theme, which uses traditional jazz band instrumentation. The brass (trombone and trumpet) section is featured throughout. Classification of Non-Western Instruments Non-Western music has an extremely diverse and rich heritage of instrumentation, some of which has been used by or has influenced both Western concert-music composers and


popular musicians. The Beatles used the Indian sitar in Norwegian Wood and elsewhere, for example, and Mozart imitated a Turkish music ensemble in his opera The Abduction from the Seraglio. Not surprisingly, non-Western cultures have also developed a variety of traditions that are unlike the practices found in our own culture. For example, much non-Western music is not notated but instead is passed down from generation to generation through an aural tradition, possibly one in which a master performer teaches his or her students performing methods and music literature through individual private study. In addition, the composer or source of a particular melody might be unknown, and the performance of a traditional composition may vary from performer to performer (as is common in American Folk music). In the early part of the 20th century, musicologists developed a multi-level system of classifying instruments on the basis of how they produce sound. This system was intended to encompass instruments of all cultures and as such, can be used for both Western and non-Western instruments. The term chordophone, for example, is used for instruments in which the sound is made by vibrating strings. This refers equally to the harp and banjo as to the Hungarian zither and the Iranian tar (Ex. 153). The tar has 26 to 28 frets and a range of about 2 and 1/2 octaves. It is usually played with a small brass pick and has three sets of double strings.

Another category is the Aerophone, in which the sound is produced by vibrating air, typically inside the instrument. Examples are the Australian didgeridoo (Ex. 155) alternate spelling: didjiredu), a large wooden tube hollowed out by termites through which air is blown, as well as the ancient African and Australian bull-roarer (Ex. 154) see above), which, when swung in the air, produces a howling or whirring sound. (Flutes, clarinets, and the accordion are Western instruments that fall into this category.)


Example 155 Didgeridoo (highly ornamented) In the next category, membranophones a skin or membrane is found most often pulled tightly across a resonator. Drums of nearly all varieties fall into this category, as do the tambourine and other percussion instruments. The tambourine also falls into the subcategory of frame drum, in that like other frame drums, the membrane is stretched across a circular wooden frame (the frame can also be square). Frame drums are most often hit with the hand, but some, like the Irish bodhran (Example 156), are played with a stick.

Ex. 156 Irish bodhran (pair) Idiophones are a category of instruments in which the object makes a sound directly when struck or played. There are several categories of idiophones, and the classification depends on how the instrument is made to vibrate. These include percussion idiophones, which are struck with sticks, beaters, or clappers (bells and steel drums, for example); shaken idiophones (maracas, eggs, jingle bells); concussion idiophones, where two objects are struck together, one by the other (castanets, claves, cymbals, and spoons); and scraped idiophones, which are played by scraping a stick across ridges or grooves in the instrument (guiro, washboard). The Indonesian caklempong shown below is a gong-like instrument that is played by striking with a wooden mallet.


Example 157 The Indonesian caklempong Other categories include the electrophone, which is a class of electronic instruments that produce their sound with the help of electronic circuitry (electric organ, synthesizer, theremin, etc.). And the human voice is often classified in its own category, called vocalizations, though technically, the vibration of the vocal chords that produce speech would put it into the chordophone group. The world of musical instruments is vast, and it is hoped that the reader will explore the traditions of other cultures in-depth. When doing so, pay particular attention to those cultures that have had an influence on our own Western practices, such as European and African musical traditions and music from Central and South America and the Caribbean. Classifying Instrumentation As mentioned earlier, there are many standardized combinations of instruments that have been used throughout music history, and in the 20th and current century, nonstandard groupings have also become commonplace. For purposes of classification, we will split instrumental combinations into three categories: solo, chamber and orchestral. Solo Performer Across all musical styles and eras, one can find a vast number of works written for solo performer. In Western music, numerous instruments are commonly performed entirely without any accompaniment. These include the piano, the most common of all solo instruments, as well as the harp and guitar, for which literally thousands of works have been written. Members of the string family, such as the violin and cello, also have a large amount of solo repertoire, while members of the brass and percussion family (with some exceptions) do not usually perform solo. In non-Western music, solo performances are very common and in certain styles are the rule rather than the exception. The didgeridoo mentioned above is typically performed without accompaniment, as are the Japanese shakuhachi (Example 158), a bamboo flute, and Persian ney (Example 159), also a wooden flute. The Japanese koto (Example 160), a 13-stringed instrument that is plucked by the performer, is also played by a solo


instrumentalist (though a large work for solo koto and Western orchestra was written by the early 20th century American composer, Henry Cowell), as is the dan tranh (Example 161), a 16-string Vietnamese zither, though like the others, it can be found in small ensemble groups as well. Solo performances can be among the most intimate and satisfying of all musical experiences. This makes such performances especially appealing to a composer. It presents him or her with the challenge of writing a work that retains the interest of the audience despite using only the capabilities of a single instrument. Solo works also appeal to performers, as they allow the musician a wide range of expressive potential. In the 20th and 21st centuries, an increasing number of works have been written for instruments that do not typically stand alone. This category includes unlikely soloists such as the tuba, bassoon, bass guitar and triangle. Writing works for such non-standard solo instruments can be appealing to modern composers because it provides them with the potential to receive a large number of performances of their work, as the performers of such instruments have little existing music repertoire to choose from. Some modern composers, such as Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), wrote pieces for nearly every orchestral instrument, including those that typically do not perform solo. Much of this music does not require highly skilled musicians and conforms to Hindemiths goal of making modern music more accessible to the public. It is quite common for solo instrumentalists to perform transcriptions, which are new versions of works that were originally written for other instruments. Many of Bachs works, for example, were originally written for harpsichord but have been transcribed for modern keyboards instruments, guitar, harp, chorus, synthesizer and stringed instruments. (In popular music, the term cover is used to describe songs performed by one group or artist that were first performed by someone else.) This is especially appropriate where two instruments share the same range, such as the viola and the clarinet. Transcriptions vastly increase the amount of music available to the various instruments, both solo and in combination. A common form of transcription is called a piano reduction. This technique, popular in the 19th century, involves rewriting an entire orchestral score for a single (or perhaps two) piano players. Among the most famous piano reductions are those of the Beethoven Symphonies by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt (1811- 1886). Listen to the opening of Beethovens 5th symphony (Ex. 162) and compare it with the Liszt piano reduction (Ex. 163) of the same piece. Then listen to Example 164, which is the opening 30 seconds of Peaches and Regalia, a composition by Frank Zappa, performed on the original electronic instruments, then a performance transcribed for a woodwind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn and bassoon). Chamber Works A second major category of works exists for chamber ensemble, including those for both standard and non-standard groupings. Chamber ensembles are instrumental combinations that consist of two or more performers, typically with only one instrument per part. This category covers the huge middle ground between solo works and those for


full orchestra, chorus or concert band. A large number of standardized chamber ensembles has existed for many years, but since the beginning of the 20th century, there is virtually no combination of instruments that has not been employed by industrious composers. Among the standard Western chamber ensembles, one can identify the rock ensemble; jazz combo (usually consisting of four to six performers); string or brass trios, quartets and quintets; ensembles consisting of piano plus two or three string players (called piano trio, piano quartet, etc.), and many more. These ensembles have survived over the years because they present a composer with a well-balanced collection of instruments. Such ensembles often combine members of the same instrumental family that cover different ranges of the musical spectrum (the string trio, quartet, and quintet, for example). Familiarize yourself with some of the standard chamber combinations shown below and listen to the representative examples where shown. Also attend local area concerts where ensembles like these regularly perform: String Trio Violin, Viola, Cello (Ex. 165; Beethoven Trio in E-flat) String Quartet Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello (Ex. 166 Bartok, S. Q #2/II) String Quintet Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Viola II (or Double Bass), Cello Brass Trio Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone Brass Quartet Trumpet I, Trumpet II (or Tuba), French Horn, Trombone Brass Quintet Trumpet I, Trumpet II, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba (Ex. 167 An Elizabethan piece) Piano Trio Piano, Violin, Cello (Ex. 168 Schubert, Trio op. 99/III ) Piano Quartet Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello Piano Quintet Piano, Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello Saxophone Quartet Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Baritone saxophones (Ex. 169 Bach, Fugue 7 from WTC, transcribed) Rock Band Lead Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Drums, Singer, (keyboards) Jazz Quartet Horn (sax or trumpet), Bass, Piano, Drums In the 20th century and beyond, non-standard chamber groupings have become as common as or even more common than more standardized ensembles. Composers since 1900 have experimented with nearly every possible combination of musical instruments, even those that mix Western and non-Western instruments. Sometimes, these unusual combinations come about simply through a desire to experiment. In other cases, new works were created to fulfill a specific commission (a paid request for which the composer creates a new work for an ensemble) or other opportunity. In some cases, a new or unique instrumental combination becomes popular and is employed by composers other than the one who first used it. One such case is the Pierrot Ensemble, so named because it was first used in Arnold Schoenberg's classic work Pierrot Lunaire (Example 170). This ensemble consists of a piano, flute (doubling on piccolo), clarinet (doubling on bass clarinet), violin (doubling on viola), cello and voice.


The combination represents an effective mix of timbres from the different orchestral families and covers the high, middle and low registers of each familys range. It was created not because of the similarity among the members of the group, but because of their heterogeneity. There is an infinite range of other Western chamber ensembles, stemming from works for seven accordions, to jazz pieces for clarinet, percussion and piano. Moreover, there are endless variations of popular music ensembles, many of which now employ electronic instrumentation, and choral groups, jazz and folk ensembles, ensembles featuring early (pre-18th century) instruments and hybrid groups that combine Western and nonWestern instruments fill the modern landscape. When dealing with works using such combinations, it is important to note how the composer employs the sound resources in the group and what role each instrument plays. Chamber-sized combinations of instruments are vast in number and appear in virtually every culture. In fact, small ensembles are very common in most of the non-Western world. Bear in mind that there are typically elements in non-Western ensemble performances that are not commonly found in Western traditions. For example, the visual elements of dress and movement are often significant in other traditions, as are dance, context and performance venue. Experiencing music of other cultures is often best done through a visual medium so that the viewer can fully experience these and other aspects of the performance. Representative examples of non-Western instrumental groupings include the steel bands commonly found in the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, which consist of multiple steel drums (or pans), each covering a different register. Steel drums are constructed from large oil barrels and are played by a single performer using either two or four rubber-tipped drumsticks. Drums come in different sizes, some with several dozen notes and some with only a few. Listen to Example 171, a steel drum performance of a calypso dance, the national dance of Trinidad. The Japanese gagaku ensemble performs at ceremonial and courtly events as well as at religious ceremonies and concert formats. It typically includes wind, string and percussion instruments and the music itself is generally slow and tranquil (the word gagaku means elegant music.) It is traditional for a family of musicians to pass along performance traditions from one generation to another, often extending hundreds of years, though the music can be and often is notated. Gagaku can be performed standalone or as an accompaniment to dance. Listen to Example 172, an orchestral piece called Etenraku, (music brought from heaven) considered to be the most important piece in the entire Gagaku repertory. The ensemble consists of 16 instruments, including flutes, oboes, mouth organs, 4-string lutes, sitars and drums. Another example is the Arabic ensemble called the takht consists of oud, a stringed instrument similar to a lute or guitar; the qanun, which resembles an autoharp or dulcimer; the nay (or ney), a type of flute; the riqq, a small tambourine; and the kamanjah, a bowed instrument with one or two strings (a Western violin is often used as a substitute). Example 173 illustrates the sound of the takht.


The Indonesian gamelan, mentioned above, is another common non-Western instrumental ensemble. A gamelan is a collection of gong- and bell-like instruments that is used for both social and religious music (Example 174). French composer Claude Debussy was very influenced by its sound when he heard a gamelan at the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition. One of the more unusual performing combinations is the honk horn ensemble of the West African country Ghana (Example 175). In this tradition, drivers of the countrys public transportation often form groups of 6 to 8 and perform on squeeze bulb horns, similar to large bicycle horns. The style is called por por locally, and the music is performed by members of the Drivers Union of Accra (the countrys capital), most often at members funerals of members. Drumming ensembles are very common among African cultures. Ghana has dozens of different standardized drumming ensembles, some of which are used in different regions of the country or for different ceremonial purposes. Many such ensembles include a master drum performed by the ensemble leader as well as bells and shakers of various kinds. The master drummer sets the tempo, cues the other performers when to start and stop, might also perform the principle rhythmic pattern and is also most likely to improvise where appropriate. Many African drums can produce different pitches, typically by the performer exerting pressure on the drumhead, and African drum performances often include imitations of spoken language. The Fontomfrom Ensemble, for example, is a multi-drum family of instruments found in the Ashanti region of Ghana. It typically includes a total of seven drums of three or four different sizes, the largest of which is usually over four feet tall. The ensemble performs at a variety of settings, including ceremonial and ritual events. Example 176 illustrates the Fontomfrom style as performed by the Eyisam MbensuonFontomfrom ensemble.

A Fontomfrom Ensemble from the Ashanti region of Ghana


Often, a culture will have both classical ensembles as well as groupings that stem from folk (or traditional) practices. China has a very old tradition of instrumental ensembles that were used primarily for court performances. On the other hand, some Chinese instruments, such as the suona and guan, which are both woodwind instruments, are practically never used at court. More recently various aspects of Western musical traditions have found their way into modern Chinese music, as in other cultures, and many of the current trends in Chinese music include not only Western rhythms and harmonies, but Western instruments as well.

The Chinese woodwind instruments, suona and guan. Complete Assignment 13 now: short answers and listening. Orchestral Works The final category of music exists for orchestral forces and in this category, standardized groupings predominate. According to the method of classification used here, orchestral refers to works written for any large ensemble consisting of two or more instruments (or voices) performing the same music or part. The traditional symphony orchestra meets this criterion, as do several other large ensembles. For example, a concert choir typically has multiple performers singing the same individual voice parts, (minimally, soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), so it would be deemed orchestral, as would a jazz band with multiple players on each of its parts. The traditional symphony orchestra has expanded in size greatly from its origins in the 18th century, through the 19th and into the 20th centuries. During this evolution, several individual composers can be credited with making major contributions to the orchestra, for example Beethoven, who typically requested two of each instrument per brass and wind part, where the norm had been only a single performer per part. French composer Hector Berlioz (1803 1869) is credited with increasing the size of the orchestra even more, as well as with being one of the first composers to give performers very specific details regarding how they should perform their parts. Berlioz also wrote what is considered to be the first text on the study of orchestration. Prior to the 19th century, chamber orchestras were common, in which 50 or fewer players were the norm. These groups often performed without a conductor or with the conductor seated at the piano (or harpsichord) both performing and conducting. (Several modern composers, including Charles Ives and Karlheinz Stockhausen, have written works that require more than one conductor.) Composers of today still compose for chamber orchestras, especially because they are more likely to get their music performed than if it is written for a full symphony orchestra. In any orchestral configuration, there the principal violin player is typically known as the concertmaster, and each of the sections also has one member designated as leader.


Listen to the excerpt from Gustav Mahlers Third Symphony (Example 177) to hear the sound of a full Romantic orchestra. How many different instruments or instrumental families can you name? The term orchestral is most often used for Western ensembles, though the Indonesian gamelan could easily be considered orchestral because of its size and makeup. There is also an ensemble typically known simply as a modern Chinese orchestra that consists of families of indigenous Chinese instruments (winds, percussion, plucked strings and bowed strings) in addition to, in some cases, Western instruments. The Voice Human voice parts are classified by several characteristics including the range they cover, their gender and in some cases, certain qualities of performance. The four most common human voice parts are soprano and alto for female and tenor and bass for male. Depending on the demands of the music, additional parts can be included between these voice ranges, for example the baritone is a male voice range falling between tenor and bass, the contralto is a female part that falls below the normal alto range, and a mezzo soprano covers the range below soprano (overlapping with its lower notes) and alto (overlapping with its upper register). Listen to the examples of each of these common voice types: 1. Mezzo soprano (Example 178 Habanera from Bizets opera Carmen) 2. Tenor (Example 179 Nessun dorma" from Puccinis Turandot) 3. Soprano (Example 180 Summertime from Gershwins Porgy and Bess) When combined, the overall range of human voices is fairly wide range, covering more than four octaves from the lowest note of the bass to the highest note of the soprano. Each individual voice part can typically manage two (bass, for example) or nearly three (a skilled soprano) octaves. Though this is fairly modest compared to the seven-plus octaves of the piano, the voice is perhaps the most expressive of all sound producers and has been used as a significant performing medium in music since the beginning of time. Soprano, alto, tenor, and bass are terms used to identify specific voices and the ranges they sing, as well as different registers in music. For example, one often hears the comment that a particular sound appears in the "bass" register or that an instrument has a nice-sounding upper or "soprano" register. Many families of instruments are identified by the different registers in which their members play, for example both the saxophone and the recorder families include soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone members. Usually the


context will define how the term should be interpreted.

A concert choir in performance. Non-Western Singing The richness and diversity of non-Western vocal styles is boundless. Some scholars have found it useful to classify non-Western singing practices by the function they serve (singing for worship, singing for festivals or for working, for example) or by ethnic or regional groupings. Another way to classify vocal traditions in non-Western music is by the texture in which they are used: polyphonic vocal music is commonplace in some areas, for example, the dance songs of certain groups in South Africa. Homophonic and monophonic singing styles are also quite common. Vocal styles can be furthered differentiated by their use of pitched versus non-pitched melodic material. Another aspect of singing classification involves the presence or absence of improvisation (this would apply to instrumental performing traditions as well). One could also look for differences among various vocal timbres when first encountering nonWestern singing. Vocal music from Middle Eastern and North African, for example, often has a nasal or forced quality, while voices from South Africa typically produce a more mellow or relaxed tone. In general, classification of non-Western vocal styles is more difficult than that of Western styles. This is compounded by the fact that the methods used by researchers are inexact, are not in themselves necessarily standardized, and that researchers dont necessarily agree about what specific practices might be used by any given group. Yet listeners can begin to grasp the rich diversity of non-Western singing by considering the characteristics presented above and/or by using the manner of singing as a guide. Thus, singing styles of all traditions could be grouped into categories such as calls, whispers, grunts, yodels, whistles, spoken (or declaimed), humming, shouting, cries, etc. Listen to the following recordings of non-Western singing and where possible, try to place them into one of the categories listed above. Example 181 Male vocal from Burundi (Africa)


Example 182 Female vocal from Central Africa Republic Example 183 Mens chorus from Bali Example 184 Male vocal from Switzerland Example 185 Male vocal from Japan Complete Assignment 14 now: short answers and listening. ARTICULATION Articulation refers to the actual manner or method by which a sound is produced on an instrument and is a key aspect of sonority. Early jazz, for example, was heavily influenced by music of Western Africa, where certain types of melodic performance were common. Such performances often involved imitating the inflection of the human voice through an instrument, an approach that found its way into nearly every style of popular music thereafter. Other techniques include the imitation of animal sounds, usually implemented by growling or grunting with a horn, or playing notes "between the keys" (also called "bending a note"). Bending a note refers to a technique where sounds are created that fall in between those that are produced by normal fingerings on the instrument. All modern guitarists can produce this effect simply by pushing the string a slight distance on the neck of the instrument. Composers and performing musicians use a vast number of approaches to articulation. A performer might choose to play all the notes of a melody legato, making them as smooth and as connected as possible. Example 186 features a full orchestra playing a chordal texture with legato bowing. Another option is to play the notes staccato, separating each note and making it as short and detached as possible (see Example 187). These types of articulations, along with dozens of others, are found in both notated and improvised forms of music and help give a piece variety and color. Keep in mind that different tracks or layers of a composition might employ different types of articulations simultaneously. In the Tangerine Dream song, "Turning of the Wheel," (Ex. 187a) you should be able to identify at least three different types of articulation within the first minute or so. How would you describe each? The specific manner in which a musical passage is performed depends both on the instrument(s) and the style of the music being played. Though two musical passages might both contain staccato markings, the actual amount of space between the notes in the two would probably be different if one were performing a march and the other an opera overture. Moreover, when no articulation marks are provided by a composer, the performer must determine how the notes will be played, for example, where accents or points of stress will be placed and which notes should be slurred together. The performer must rely on his or her familiarity with the era and style of the music being performed to make such decisions. In the example below, the composer has added detailed articulation markings for every note. How many different articulation symbols are used? Notice also the very exacting dynamic markings the composer uses to create changes in loudness. These are indicated under the notes themselves by using the letters mf (for mezzo forte, or half loud), f,


(for forte, or loud), etc. The symbol on the lower right between the p and ppp marks is a decrescendo mark, which means gradually move from the start value (p, or soft) to ppp (pianissimo, meaning very soft). Dynamics play an important role in compositions of all styles and are among the most powerful types of expression markings composers use to clarify their intentions.

Articulation and dynamic markings. In the next example, the composer has used large sweeping arc shapes called slurs to indicate that the notes under each arc are to be performed with a legato articulation. This would sound very different from the example just above, which uses very detached notes. All of the notes in the example below are to be performed very smoothly with no space between them.

Example 188 Legato articulation Sometimes an entire passage of music is written with one predominant type of articulation. When the music switches to another form of articulation, the listener is given a clear cue that a new passage or section of the work has begun. This is one means by which composers use articulation to help delineate the overall structure or form of a composition. In other instances, articulation is used simply to add an expressive quality to a composition and does not have any particular implications for the design of the work. In Example 189, for example, Stravinsky uses staccato as the predominant articulation in every instrument for an entire movement in his chamber piece LHistoire du Soldat (Tale of a Soldier). The example below shows a number of symbols that are used to indicate various types of expression marks to a performer. Tenuto means to hold the note out to its full value, accent and marcato are two different ways to imply a heavy emphasis on the note under the symbol, a breath mark tells the performer where a break is allowed to accurate, tremolo means to move rapidly between the two indicated notes and repeated note simply means to play the note repeatedly as fast as possible for the duration of the notes value. The tremolo example uses two different notes, which is the way non-stringed


instruments would interpret the marking. A stringed instrument can also perform a tremolo on a single note:

Some common articulation markings Articulation marks can be also be used in combinations, for example an accent mark could be used under a slur. Dynamics Controlling the loudness levels of entire musical passages or even single notes is an important way for a composer to insure that the music is performed as he or she intended. Below are some common dynamic markings, which are also typically written in Italian. Dynamic levels are relative a piccolos ff is much louder than one played on an English horn, and a single loud note on a trombone could easily overpower a quartet of clarinets playing mf.


Dynamics are often used to shape or clarify a phrase. A long crescendo can help add tension to a passage of music and bring it to a point of climax. Repeated, rapid changes from soft to loud can also help build excitement or momentum. Composers often use extreme dynamics in their work: Tchaikovsky, for example, specified markings between pppppp and ffff in one of his symphonies, while modern composers have used more poetic indications such as al niente (meaning fade to nothing) to instruct the performer in the nuance they desire. In electronic music, dynamics can be extremely precise. The MIDI language, for example, provides 128 dynamic levels (numbered 0 - 127), and every note in a composition is assigned a discrete dynamic value. (Dynamics in MIDI are called Velocity because they are a function of how fast or a slow a key on a keyboard moves when pressed.) Using specialized software to create sounds synthetically, composers have access to 65,536 (216) distinct dynamic levels, which makes long fade ins and outs extremely smooth. Listen to the first few minutes of the Merzbow composition "September" (Ex. 189a) and note how many changes in dynamics occur. Are the changes gradual or instantaneous? Changes in dynamics can occur either by raising the actual loudness level of a single event or by adding or decreasing the total number of events sounding at once. How do the changes occur here? Now listen to Example 189b , a work entitled Volumina by Gyorgy Ligeti. This composition, for electronic organ, opens with the performer pressing every key on the organ using the maximum possible volume, then gradually over an extended period, reducing the volume to almost nothing (you can see the effect in a waveform view of the recording below). Clearly, dynamics play a significant role in the composers concept underlying the work.

This image shows the waveform of Ligetts Volumina for electric organ

Complete Assignment 15 now: short answers and listening. INSTRUMENTAL CHARACTERISTICS Strings Individual instruments and families of instruments have their own unique performing characteristics. For example, the string family uses a number of bowing techniques that are employed for creative and expressive purposes. These include martele, which is a hammer-like effect created by bowing with sudden, forceful strokes; jete, which means


to bounce the upper portion of the bow on the string; and spiccato, an effect where each note is detached from the next by dropping the bow on the string and lifting it cleanly between each successive note. Col legno is a technique that means to strike the string with the wood of the bow, and sul ponticello instructs the performer to bow over or very near the bridge, which is the small piece of wood that elevates the strings. The traditional method of performing with the bow is called arco. It is also fairly common for a string player to use pizzicato (plucking the string) or double stops (playing two notes at once). Listen to Example 190, which contains all of the bowings shown below (in order): 1. Violin arco 2. Violin double stop 3. Violin pizzicato 4. Violin with vibrato 5. Violin open string 6. Violin tremolo 7. Violin col legno Now listen to the excerpt from Bartoks Third String Quartet (Example 191), which makes heavy use of pizzicato, tremolo, and various other string performance techniques. Brass The brass family often employs a variety of mutes to alter and affect tone quality. (A mute can also be used on a stringed instrument to dampen the sound.) Mutes are made from metal, wood, or plastic materials (discarded rubber toilet plungers are also common) and are used by all brass instruments. (The French Horn is normally played with the performers hand in the bell, but it too can use a mute.) The Italian term con sordino is used in a score to call for a mute, and senza sordino means to remove the mute. Listen to Example 192 to compare a trumpet sound without, then with a mute. Among the most common mutes are Harmon, straight, cup, and wah-wah. By using a mute, brass instruments can produce a very broad range of tone colors and variations in sound. Various mutes are shown below:


Brass instruments, especially those in a jazz ensemble, are often asked to use a variety of playing styles that require unique markings. For example, the doit, drop and fall are common jazz articulations, each of which has its own symbol:

The doit (shown above) requires a performer to force the pitch upward over the length of time indicated by the symbol itself.

This drop (shown above) will begin on beat three and last about one-half beat. The pitch is forced downward, perhaps as much as one octave.

A fall (shown above) is a long drop. The pitch of the note is established over the first half of the notes duration, then the fall occurs over the second half of the note. Brass (especially trumpet) players in a jazz band are also often asked to shake, bend, squeeze, turn or otherwise alter the pitch and duration of a note. Woodwinds Woodwinds and brass alike produce different articulations through a variety of tonguing techniques. These techniques require that the performer produce various syllables to achieve the required effect, for example t-t-t-t-t for single tonguing and t-k t-k t-k t-k for double tonguing (Example 193). Flutter tonguing is a technique that requires extremely rapid repeated tonguing. It is normally used on the flute but is also possible on the clarinet, sax and some brass instruments. Listen to Example 194 for the use of flutter tonguing on a bass clarinet. In this example the flutter tonguing is followed by a glissando, a gliding effect. Circular breathing is another technique occasionally used by both woodwind and brass players. It requires a continuous stream of air to emanate from the performers mouth, which produces notes of very long duration. (One source lists the worlds record as a 45minute note produced by saxophonist Kenny G.) The technique involves blowing into the horn, then when almost out of breath, filling the cheeks with one last puff of air and quickly breathing through the nose to fill the lungs while exuding the last breath of air


through the mouth. Circular breathing is required for the performance of some nonWestern instruments such as the Australian didgeridoo, but is not typically required for the performance of most Western works. Woodwinds are also well suited to performing microtones, which, as noted previously, are intervals smaller than a semitone. Listen to Example 195 for an example of quartertones played on a saxophone. Percussion Percussionists learn a large number of rudiments, which are basic sticking styles, often with colorful names such as Single Dragadiddle, Paradiddle, Swiss Army Triplet, Pataflafla and Flamacue, not to mention the more tamely named Single Stroke Seven, Thirteen and Seventeen Stroke Rolls.

The pataflafla rudiment pattern shown with stick indications. (From Listen to Example 196, which demonstrates an accelerating Paradiddle-diddle, shown below:

Percussionists also employ a wide variety of sticks or mallets to create different tone qualities and articulations. Depending on the specific instrument being played, a mallet might be made of hard, medium or soft rubber; tightly wound yarn; metal; various types of wood and felt; plastic; fiberglass; or other synthetic materials. Listen to Example 197, which demonstrates the use of soft mallets on a vibraphone. The most common assemblage of percussion instruments is the standard rock drum set (or kit), which consists (typically) of a snare, two mounted tom-toms, a floor tom, a bass drum, a ride cymbal, a crash cymbal, and a high-hat cymbal. Rock drummers typically perform with wooden sticks, though thin metallic brushes are also common in both rock and especially jazz. Rim shots, a technique that involves hitting the metal rim of a snare drum with a drum stick, and cymbal rubbing are both common for drummers in all styles.


A standard Rock drum set Piano Piano players can alter the way they strike the keys to create different articulations and also rely heavily on pedals controlled by the foot to vary tone quality. (Mozart was one of the first composers to add pedal markings to his music, but Beethoven was likely the first to integrate the pedal into his music in a very significant way.) Pianos commonly have three pedals. The right-most pedal is the sustain pedal, which, when depressed, removes the damper from the piano strings so that notes ring out even after the key is released. Listen to Example 198, which starts with no sustain then ends with a sustain pedal on. The una corda pedal (also known as the soft pedal) is the left-most pedal and the second pedal on instruments that have only two. It shifts the hammers slightly so that they hit only two of the three strings that make up most of the pianos notes. (The name una corda means one string in Italian). This creates a lighter tone on the instrument. The third (middle) pedal is the sostenuto pedal. Its allows the performer to play a note or chord, press the pedal, then sustain only the notes that were being held down while the pedal was pressed, but continue to play other notes that will not be sustained. Its use is rare, for the most part. Plectrum Instruments


Guitarists and banjo players employ a wide range of performing styles including using a pick (or plectrum) and various types of finger picking. Among these is Travis picking, named for country guitarist Merle Travis and popularized by Chet Atkins, which involves using the thumb to play the lower notes on the guitar and the other fingers to play oftensyncopated patterns on the upper strings. Listen to the well-known example of Travis picking in Example 199, the Kansas song Dust in the Wind. Then listen to Example 200, another example of finger picking by Merle Travis, after whom the Travis pick style was named. Some guitarists, especially those playing country and folk music, place picks on the ends of their fingers, and banjo players often use thumb picks, with or without the use of picks on the other fingers. One of the more common styles of playing a banjo is clawhammer, which refers to a picking style in which the hand always moves in a downward direction. Whereas other styles of folk and classical playing use the fingers for up-picking and the thumb for down-picking, in this technique, the thumb and middle or index finger are used to flick the string with the back of the fingernail. Listen to Example 201, which is a clawhammer banjo performance of the American traditional Arkansas Traveler. Guitarists use a form of notation called tablature. Tablature is a six-line system, each line representing a string on the guitar, that shows which fret on the fingerboard a musician is to play the note on. The example below (from shows how notes would be represented using tablature.

Guitar Tablature Guitarists often use a capo, a small metal device that is clamped onto the neck that spans all six strings, which raises the guitars pitch by shortening the strings. This allows the performer to quickly change the key of a song. Vocal Techniques As expected, a vast number of singing styles and techniques have evolved throughout history. These range from the falsetto technique, in which a male singer sings well above his normal range using a light, often airy quality; to the scat style in jazz, where the singer improvises a melody using only made-up syllables. Listen to Anita Wardel scatting on the song Freedom Jazz Dance (Example 202) by Eddie Harris. Sotto voce is a very soft, undertone style used in art songs, and among many other common


techniques are the guttural, nearly incomprehensible death grunts of heavy metal and the belting style of musical theatre. Coloratura is a highly ornamental, virtuosic style used by opera singers (sopranos), especially in early to mid-19th Italian opera; and lyric soprano is a lighter, more relaxed style often used by vocal recitalists. Listen to the famous aria Queen of the Night from the Mozart opera The Magic Flute for an example of coloratura singing (Example 203). This example uses a piano for the accompaniment rather than the full orchestra. Among the operatic male voices are basso profundo, a powerful voice quality that dwells in the very low register, and basso buffo, a style that is often used in comic roles. Listen to Example 204, which uses a basso profundo bass in a folk music context. Sprechstimme is another singing technique found in classical music and is characterized by being half-spoken and half-sung. Arnold Schoenberg called for this style (notated as shown below) in his famous chamber work, Pierrot Lunaire (Example 205):

Many singing styles use the technique of vibrato, which is a slight upward/downward deviation in pitch. Vibrato usually involves a repeated variation of about +/- 2% of the main pitch at a rate of about 5 repetitions per second. Vocal percussion (Example 206), on the other hand, is a style in which the mouth is used to imitate percussion instruments. Vocal percussion is often found in contemporary popular music styles including hi-hop, but is also used in non-Western traditions including the music of India. When setting words to text, composers tend to use two approaches most often, though it is very common for the two to be mixed in a single composition. These are syllabic settings (Example 207), where a single note is used for each syllable of the text, and melismatic, which uses two or more (often times, many more) notes to articulate a single syllable:

Example 207 Syllabic text setting, one note per syllable (Mozart: Magic Flute) A phrase of music that uses many notes per syllable (as shown below) is called a melisma.


Example 208 Melismatic text setting, many notes used for one syllable Wordless singing refers to a singing style that uses some form of vocalizing other than words. It is found, for example, in the Humming Chorus from Puccinis opera Madam Butterfly (Example 209) and in the song Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground by blues great Blind Willie Johnson (Example 210). A capella, which means in the style of the chapel, has long referred to sacred or secular choral music that is performed without instrumental accompaniment. In popular music of the 1950s, a capella referred to an urban popular singing style that featured elaborate 4part harmonies. Its huge popularity on college campuses (as of this writing) reflects a revival of the style. Note the effective use of vocal percussion and the doubling of the main melody in octaves in Example 211, the song Whats it All About performed by 5 oclock Shadow. Complete Assignment 16 now: short answers and listening REGISTER Another element of sonority that helps account for the sound quality of music is register. As mentioned earlier, register refers to the specific segments of the overall range that is available to any given instrument or ensemble. By emphasizing a single register for some section of a piece, a composer can give the music a dark and solemn quality, or, if preferred, a bright and glittering sound. The latter occurs, for example, in the opening of Maurice Ravels piano piece, Gaspard de la Nuit (Example 212), in which a bright, shimmering sonority results through the exclusive use of the pianos upper-most register. The overall range of most musical instruments can be divided into different registers, and, in some cases, the sound of these regions are so distinct that they have names. The lower register of the clarinet, for example, which includes the notes from E3 to Bb4 (written), is called the chalumeau register and is characterized by a dark, woody sound (Example 213). A somewhat uncommon register of the human voice is known as the whistle register, which involves notes in the extreme upper part of a sopranos range. Several notes in one of the arias from Mozarts Magic Flute require the use of this register, and pop singer Mariah Carey also uses it on occasion. (Anecdotally, notes in this register are supposed to be able to break glass.) Trained singers also use both the head register, which creates a lower volume and less rich sound, and the chest register, which results in a deep and colorful sound, to add variety to their range of vocal qualities. Other instruments have registers that are similarly distinctive.


Now listen to Example 213a, Proximity, an electronic work by Tokyo Dawn Labs & Vladg Sound, and note the use of different registers simultaneously. How many registers are there and in which registers do the main musical events occur? Often, segments of a composition can be characterized as occurring primarily in the low, middle, or high registers of the musical canvas. Like other musical elements, however, one would not expect a specific register to predominate for more than a short section of a work. Register plays a significant role in accounting for the sound quality of many works and can also be an important element in defining the musics overall formal structure. It should be clearly and carefully characterized when sonority is under discussion. EXTENDED INSTRUMENTAL TECHNIQUES Modern composers frequently ask instrumentalists to perform extended techniques, which are playing styles and methods that are outside the ordinary. Extended techniques can have a major impact on the sound quality of a work and often result in unique and evocative tone colors. Among the more unusual performing methods in this category is multiphonics, which occurs when a monophonic wind instrument such as the clarinet or flute performs two or more notes simultaneously (Example 214). A human vocalist singing two or more notes would also represent an example. This technique is, in fact, common in certain Central Asian traditions, where vocal multiphonics are used in throat singing (Example 215). The specific notes that can be produced using multiphonics range from triads that are in (or nearly in) tune, to octaves and other common two-note intervals, to chordal structures that include microtonal elements. Overblowing is a technique that many beginning wind players produce by accident when they force too much air into an instrument. Example 216 illustrates such mistakes on the recorder; notice the occasional jumps upward of an octave that are the result of blowing too hard. Overblowing is a technique often requested by modern composers for creative effect. Key clicks (Example 217), where the keys of an instrument are pressed without any air going into the instrument, are employed by woodwind and brass players and are often used to add a percussive quality to a composition. Scordatura is a custom tuning of a guitar, violin or other stringed instrument and is used for several purposes. One is to facilitate the performance of certain musical passages, for example, retuning a violin, which is normally tuned G3 D4 A4 E5 (from the lowest note upward) to A4 E5 A5 E5 in order to perform a piece in the key of A. It might also be used to extend an instruments range above or below the norm or for special effects. Stravinsky specified a retuning of one string by each violin in his Firebird ballet in order to produce a specific harmonic (see below). Other examples of extended techniques are glissando and portamento, which involve gliding or sliding between two notes. These effects can be produced easily on stringed instruments and on many wind instruments including the trombone. A piano player could also be asked to strum the strings inside the piano to produce a glissando effect. Harmonics are an effect played by stringed instruments including the guitar and harp. They are produced by touching the string at specific points that coincide with the natural


vibrating frequencies of the string, for example, at exactly one half (resulting in a note one octave above the open string) or one third (which produces a note one octave and a fifth above the open string) of its length. This creates a very thin, shimmering tone that does not include the notes fundamental frequency. You can hear the sound of a guitar harmonic in the song For What Its Worth by the Buffalo Springfield (Example 218). Guitar harmonics are notated by placing a diamond-shaped note head on the line or space where the harmonic should be created (not where the actual sound will occur), while string harmonics are written with a circle above the note:

Composer John Cage wrote a famous set of pieces for prepared piano called Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (Example 219). In the piece, he requires the performer to place screws, bolts, and other objects inside the piano directly on the strings. American composer Henry Cowell preceded Cage by many years in asking the performer to play on the piano strings. Dozens of other methods of creating unique sounds have been devised by composers and performers over the years, and a number of them have developed very elaborate systems that often require explanations in the form of text accompanying the performer's part or the score. The use of these types of extended playing techniques has also resulted in the creation of very elaborate and highly detailed musical scores, which often looks like abstract works of art. Krystof Penderecki provided elaborate notes for the performers to assist them in interpreting his early orchestral works, which contained dozens of unusual symbols to represent the extended techniques he required. The American composer George Crumb is notated for his elegant and expressive musical scores, which have been displayed in museums as works of art. The score for his piano piece, Mikrokosmos (1972/73), is shown below. Crumb stated that his intention was to write an all-inclusive technical work for piano [using] all conceivable techniques.


The score for Brian Enos Music for Airports represents his interpretation of the musical events that he wants to occur during the works four movements:

Like other aspects of sonority, special effects are used by composers and performers to extend the expressive range of sound resources in their music. ELECTRIC SOUND Since the early decades of the 20th century, composers have employed electrical and, later, electronic devices of various kinds in their search for an expanded sonic palette. In


some cases, phonographs and tape recorders were used to allow the composer to manipulated prerecorded sound; slowing down or speeding up a phonograph, for example, or cutting tape into small pieces and recombining them into a new arbitrary arrangement. By the mid 1950s, composers were able to generate new sounds by entirely electrical means, often using equipment such as soundwave generators that were initially designed for other uses. During the 1980s, digital technology provided even greater control for musicians. In electronic music, the term "instrument" is often used to describe a sound created electronically by the composer using one of the synthesis methods described elsewhere in this text. This instrument will likely be an original "design" of the composer and will incorporate whatever sound-generating or sound-manipulating techniques the composer desires. In the world of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface, a protocol or language for communication between musical instruments and digital devices), such unique sounds are called "patches," which is a term that harkens back to the days of analog synthesis when composers created their sounds by linking together actual wires called patch cords. In the MIDI universe, patches are also known variously as "programs," "tones," or even "sounds" or "instruments" depending on the terminology used by the device's manufacturer. A commercial synthesizer may contain as many as 1,000 or more preset patches (known simply as "presets") supplied by the manufacturer and will also allow the user to modify and save those presets or create his or her own from scratch. In the next section, several recent techniques of electronic sound production will be covered. As before, these tools are used to give the composer an ever-greater world of sound to manipulate. Sampling Sound created on or by a computer is found in many forms of todays music. In some cases, a computer is used to manipulate or process acoustic (natural) sounds that have been previously recorded. This technique, called sampling, is common in both popular music and in electronic (computer) music that is intended for the concert hall. It is also found in music that accompanies visual media such as film or games, for which a sound designer creates the effects requested by a director or producer. (Creating sounds for use with other media is a process known as sound design.) A sample is typically a short sound, either electronic or, more likely, acoustic, that has been recorded onto a computer or onto a standalone electronic hardware device called a sampler. Once it has been recorded, it can be manipulated in a vast number of ways. For example, a sample can be pitched-shifted (transposed) under the control of a MIDI keyboard. Example 220 illustrates this effect, playing first a sample of a soprano singing a short phrase, then a version of the phrase shifted one octave down that retains the original duration. If the sample happened to be the sound of a trumpet playing a middle C, then when the performer played the note middle C on the keyboard, the sound at its original pitch level would be heard. But if a D, E or other note were played on the keyboard, then the trumpet sample would automatically be pitch-shifted by the sampler and would play back at that new pitch.


Pitch-shifting works well if the original sound is transposed no more than a fourth or fifth up or down, but is not effective when the original sound is shifted more than that amount. As a result, musicians often use a technique called multisampling, whereby multiple notes of the instrument are sampled perhaps every three half steps and no sample would need to be shifted more than just a few steps. (For a variety of reasons memory limitations, most notably it is not feasible to sample every note of an instrument. New approaches to sampling are now bypassing such limits, however.) A sample could also be time-stretched, whereby it would be lengthened or shortened without having its pitch changed. Unlike simply changing the speed of a tape recorder or record player, where the sound would slow down or speed up and the pitch would be altered, time-stretching allows the composer to alter the length of a sample yet keep it at its original pitch. This has both corrective uses, for example, changing the length of a music cue that is intended to accompany a specific scene in a video, or artistic ones. Example 221 illustrates time-stretching, playing first the same soprano sample used in Example 220 stretched 5 times its length, then stretched 15 times its length with the pitch staying the same in both cases. A sample could be filtered, whereby the sounds spectral makeup would be altered. A filtered sample could be made to sound brighter or duller than the original, or it could be made to sound as if it were emanating from a tin can, a large gymnasium, or even underwater. It could also be altered into an unrecognizable state. Example 222 is a drum loop played in its original version, then played using two different filtering effects, one after the other. Another type of filtering, called convolution, can be thought of as spectral cloning. Convolution applies the spectral characteristics of one sound onto another. This can produce effects like a cat singing or a baby meowing. Example 223 begins with two cat meows, which are followed by a single note on a Jews harp, then a convolution of the cat with the Jews harp. It appears that the cat is actually inside the Jews harp, creating the sound. Sound Synthesis A second approach to creating sound on the computer is called synthesis, and with this approach, a sound is generated by the computer literally from scratch. In sound synthesis, the computer is given an algorithm, which is a set of instructions (or recipe) that describes what processes or operations it should perform to create the desired sound. Sound synthesis is used in a number of commercial software programs, some of which provide the user with colorful, graphical interfaces for designing sounds of any complexity. There are also several programming languages dedicated to synthesizing sound entirely in software, Csound, developed by a professor at MIT, being the most popular. The text below is the exact programming code that would be used by the Csound language to create a simple sine tone, the most basic sound in nature. This tone will have a frequency of 440 (A above middle C) and a relative loudness of 5000 (out of a possible 32,000). The instructions regarding how long the tone should last would appear in a separate file:


You can hear the sound in Example 224. There are many different synthesis methods available to the computer musician, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages, and each of which will generate its own class and category of timbres. Frequency Modulation (FM), for example, is particularly useful for synthesizing metallic, brass and percussive sounds. Listen to Example 225, which starts with a harsh sounding FM phrase followed by a more-musical bell sound also created with FM. FM works by using one sound wave to change (or modulate) another sound wave. Additive Synthesis, a process where many dozens of individual sine tones, all with different frequencies and in varying amounts, are added together. It is effective for producing vocal timbres as well as flute and other woodwind simulations, organs, and more. Listen to Example 225a and you may notice that this additive synthesis excerpt, created on a synthesizer offering hundreds of sine waves for manipulation, resembles the sound of an organ. In fact, organs from the earliest times used primitive forms of additive synthesis to generate sound. Because it operates with the most basic components of all sounds, additive synthesis has the potential to recreate synthetically nearly any sound imaginable. But the effort and computations required to synthesize highly complex sounds such as a grand piano are not worth the effort, especially because other, newer techniques are far more effective for that task. Subtractive synthesis is perhaps the most common of all synthesis methods and has been used in nearly every genre of electronic music. It employs a sound source such as an oscillator (a digital function used to generate a basic waveform) or noise generator, a filter to shape the sound, and an amplifier to control the final output level. All of these processes are modeled in software; like the others, there is no hardware required by this method. Listen to Example 226, which begins with a fairly complex waveform called a sawtooth wave, then ends with an elaborate, animated sound created by modulating the waveform using filters whose own characteristics change over time. One of the newest synthesis techniques, Physical Modeling (PM), is a novel approach for creating the sound of both highly realistic acoustic instruments and completely otherworldly virtual instruments, such as the sound of a 10-foot long glass flute or string or the sound of an instrument that gets larger while it is playing. Physical Modeling


works by analyzing the most significant physical properties of an instrument that determine its sound, such as its length, width and the material it is made of, as well as how air travels through or across the instrument, then generating a mathematical formula that models all those properties. All of the sounds heard in Example 227, an excerpt of a composition entitled Monostique by Philippe Drogis, were created using this method. A modern electronic music studio (often called a home or project studio) will no doubt be based largely around a personal computer on which many different types of software for creating, editing and notating music have been installed. A studio might also contain a number of actual hardware devices, for example a sampler or sample player (which could play back actual sound files but not record them), one or more synthesizers (either with or without a keyboard attached), and some type of keyboard or other MIDI controller. A controller is a device used to transmit performance instructions to a soundgenerating module or to a computer to be recorded. Controllers can take the shape not only of keyboards, but also guitars, wind instruments, electronic drums, etc. More recent controllers can even transmit brain waves to an electronic instrument.

An electronic-wind instrument (EWI), a form of MIDI controller A well-equipped studio would also contain audio hardware such as an amp, a mixer, headphones and speakers (called studio monitors), as well as processing gear to manipulate sound, for example reverb and delay units, compressors, EQs, and more. All of these hardware devices have been modeled (simulated) by software applications, however, and todays studios, even those of many professionals, are becoming ever-more computer-based. USE OF SONORITY Many listeners will respond immediately and intuitively to the sonority of a work - its sound quality - almost without thinking. On first impression, a piece might sound loud and aggressive, or maybe its heard as soft and soothing. A listener might notice a shimmering quality upon first hearing a new composition or detect a dark, moody tone. These and many other attributes can be created by the composer through the careful interaction of all the elements of a composition, but especially by close attention to their instruments capabilities and characteristics.


In classical music, sonority serves numerous functions. Before the twentieth century, sonority was used most often to help define and distinguish the main melodic elements of a composition. For example, it was not unusual for a composer to employ different instruments to perform the various phrases of a melody. A flute might be used to play the antecedent part of a phrase, while the strings might answer with the consequent. In this way, sonority helped guide the listener to an understanding of what the main melodic themes consisted of while clarifying their structure. In the twentieth century and beyond, sonority has become even more significant as an independent musical element. For that matter, like certain styles of modern art, some compositions are simply "about color"- their focus is on exploring and developing sonority and timbre above and beyond the other elements of the piece. Beginning with Claude Debussy and other Impressionist composers (in particular in France at the beginning of the 20th century), color for its own sake became a working premise. Choosing from the unlimited palette of colors that the orchestra provided, composers often attempted to create new and highly original sound combinations. Some pieces consisted of nothing more than gradual movements from one tone color to another. Schoenbergs orchestral work Five Pieces for Orchestra, Opus 16, for example, contains a movement called Farben (Color; Example 228) that reflects the subtle hues of a shimmering scene by the lake, with occasional flickers of activity. The sound is a continuously evolving melting and blending of colors, or in Schoenbergs words, a melody of color (in German, klangfarbenmelodie). Ravels orchestral work Bolero (Example 229) on the other hand, evolves by repeating a small number of melodies layered over a recurring rhythmic pattern played by a snare drum a vast number of times. The shifting and ever-changing instruments used to play the theme give the piece a kaleidoscopic quality. A focus on sonority as an element equal to (if not surpassing) others has become commonplace in classical music since 1950 and in electronic and computer music in particular. Though at first glance this may seem an incomplete or inappropriate working premise for creating a composition, the main intention in such works is often to sensitize the listener to the incredibly rich and varied sound quality music can provide. Moreover, popular music of many styles now uses more advanced elements of sonority, including electronic instruments and digital effects processing, than at any time in the past.


To prepare yourself for further inquiry into sonority, get to know the sound of individual instruments by listening to Example 230a-v. Learn how they sound when played in different ways and in different registers, and compare the performing styles of different musicians. Being able to recognize these and other common musical instruments and ensembles is only the first step in gaining an understanding of the role Sonority plays in any musical composition but is an important step nonetheless.
Xylophone (Ex. 230a) Vibraphone Marimba Flute Oboe English Horn Bb clarinet Bassoon Woodwind quintet French Horn (Horn in F) Tuba Brass quintet Violin Viola Cello Double bass Shakuhachi (Japanese) Mbira (duo; African) zither/autoharp (traditional) Sitar (Indian) Bagpipes (Scotland) Chin (China; Ex. 230v)

Complete Assignment 17 now: short answers and listening.

This is an image of the spectrum of a jet airplane at takeoff.


Form refers to the overall outline or design of a musical composition. It is the structural element of a piece of music that helps account for that composition's sense of long-range coherence and continuity. Because it can involve materials that extend over long spans of time, the form of a work is often difficult to perceive on the first hearing. However, composers and song-writers use a number of means to give their music coherent shapes that can be recognized and understood by the listener, though perhaps only after repeated listenings. Musical compositions are organized in many ways and on many different levels. Certain connections among the elements of a piece are obvious or at the surface. For example, two sections of a piece might be in the same key or use the same instrumentation. Or an entire composition might consist of a series of variations on a simple melody stated at the outset. Other connections between and among the elements in a work are more subtle, often hidden beneath the surface. For example, the first and last movements of a largescale symphonic composition might use elements that are similar to one another but varied just enough so that no connection between them is immediately apparent. The way in which the musical elements of a work are interrelatedthe way in which they are shaped and held togetherdetermines the overall form and design of a composition. Using and reusing elements, introducing them at important moments along the roadmap of a piece, allows the composer to create large-scale connections among the sections of a musical piece and helps to insure that the work as a whole is unified and coherent. Repetition and Contrast Regardless of the musical style or era, several general factors are important in the creation of a cohesive musical composition. Among the most important of these are the principles of repetition and contrast. Repetition, the reuse of the key elements in a work either immediately after they first occur or at later moments, helps the listener become familiar with the principal melodies, themes, sonorities, rhythms, and other materials that make up the composition. It creates a sense of unity and continuity for a work, whether a popular song, jazz standard or a symphony, and helps establish reference points and associations that will assist the listener in following the logic, direction and goals of the music. Contrast, on the other hand, is the use of materials that are totally new or radically different from others used elsewhere. It is essential for giving a work variety, for keeping it from becoming monotonous or predictable, and for creating a sense of surprise, tension and anticipation. The bridge section of a popular song (see below), often in a different key and using a new chord progression, is a simple example of contrast and is the section where a song moves away from the musical elements it had been using up to that point. The bridge adds variety to the song, and when it ends, there is most often a return to the familiar music that preceded it.


A successful balance of repetition and contrast, between the reuse of existing materials and the introduction of new materials, must be maintained by a composer or songwriter if his or her music is to present itself as a coherent, continuous entity. Very few musical forms are based entirely on exactly repeating material. Where do musical forms come from? Forms have evolved over centuries from both the oral and written traditions of music making. Forms can mutate and develop over time, as existing forms incorporate elements from other styles, eras, and cultures. For example, many styles of contemporary popular music show the clear influence of earlier musical styles and, in some cases, also reflect the influence of music from other cultures. Early rock music of the 1950s was directly influenced by a style called rhythm and blues, which was, in turn, deeply indebted to the Blues, which was itself heavily dependent upon African traditions! Classical music forms also have similarly diverse origins. Many early types of vocal compositions, for example, are built around the formal design of the texts that they used. Palestrinas famous Missa Aeterna Christi Munera, written in the 16th century, is based on a Gregorian chant of the same name that had been composed hundreds of years earlier. Gregorian chant, an important form of medieval sacred music, was itself derived from even older sacred texts used for worship. Genre Before analyzing and discussing a number of specific musical forms, we will look at the concept of genre, a term that means, loosely, category. The word genre is used in several ways. One of those is synonymous with the concept of style, for example, Rock, Jazz, Country, Folk, Easy Listening, Electronica, and Blues, are often referred to as genres. These categories of music are very broad, however, and can be broken down even further. Try this exercise: Think of as many forms of blues styles as you can in two minutes... Perhaps you have three or four in mind, or maybe as many as eight or ten. The Internet music service, however, lists no fewer than 83 different types! Categories of Blues Styles (adapted from Chicago Blues: Chicago Blues, Modern Electric Chicago Blues Country Blues: Acoustic Blues; Modern Acoustic Blues; Classical Female Blues; Acoustic Memphis Blues; Acoustic Chicago Blues; Acoustic New Orleans Blues; Acoustic Texas Blues; Vaudeville Blues; Prewar Country Blues; Delta Blues; Folk-Blues; Early American Blues; Memphis Blues; Blues Revival; Dirty Blues; Work Songs; Prewar Blues; Spirituals; Prewar Gospel Blues; Songster Delta Blues:


Finger-Picked Blues East-Coast Blues: Jump Blues; Piedmont Blues; East Coast Blues; New York Blues Harmonica Blues: Electric Harmonica Blues; Harmonica Blues Louisiana Blues Modern Electric Blues: Modern Electric Blues; Blues-Rock; Modern Electric Chicago Blues; Modern Delta Blues; Contemporary Blues; Modern Electric Texas Blues Texas Blues: Electric Texas Blues; Texas Blues Electric Blues: R&B; Soul-Blues; Electric Chicago Blues; Electric Blues; Electric Texas Blues; Electric Country Blues; Electric Memphis Blues; Electric Harmonica Blues; Urban Blues; New Orleans Blues; Swamp Blues; Juke Joint Blues; Detroit Blues; Slide Guitar Blues Jump Blues/Piano Blues R&B; Piano Blues; West Coast Blues; Jazz Blues; St. Louis Blues All of the genres mentioned above (and many others) could fit into the broader category of Popular Music, but it is unlikely that all readers will agree as to exactly what Popular Music is. Definitions and discussions of musical genres and systems of classification are not scientific and often become very subjective and personal. Classical Instrumental Genres Another way to understand genre is by placing musical compositions into categories based on what type of performing ensembles they are written for. Using this approach, classical instrumental genres include the symphony, a large-scale, multi-movement composition for full orchestra; and the concerto, a multi-movement orchestral work that pits a soloist such as a piano or violin (or sometimes a small group of instruments) against a full orchestra. A concerto typically contains a cadenza, which is a flashy, virtuosic section of the piece near the end of the first movement in which the soloist performs unaccompanied. In the 18th and 19th century concerto, cadenzas were typically improvised, but today that practice is very rare. Example 231 is the cadenza from the first movement of Mozarts Piano Concerto K. 271. After the orchestra slows down and pauses on a I6/4 chord, the cadenza begins. When the cadenza finishes, the orchestra reenters with a dominant V chord, which ultimately moves to the tonic as the movement concludes. This exact outline is very standard and is used in a vast number of different pieces.


Other instrumental genres include the suite, a collection of often fairly short, related movements for either solo instrument or larger ensemble that was originally intended as dance music. Example 232 is an excerpt from a suite in G major by Bach for solo viola da gamba (a stringed instrument that is very much like the modern cello), one of six suites he wrote for the instrument. A tone poem (or symphonic poem) is a large-scale, single movement orchestral work that attempts to portray a story or legend through music without using any sung text. In his tone poem, The Hebrides (also known as Fingals Cave; 1830), composer Felix Mendelssohn portrays the magic and mystery of a remote cave on a legendary island off the west coast of Scotland (Example 233). A sonata is a multi-movement work for solo instrument typically with keyboard accompaniment. Many hundreds of solo piano sonatas were written in the 18th and 19th centuries, and other sonatas for instruments such as violin, viola and clarinet, all with piano accompaniment, can also be found. (Note that a composition is called a solo sonata even though it is written for an instrument that is accompanied by a keyboard instrument.) Unaccompanied sonatas, such as those by Bach, Bartok and others, are also common. Example 234 is the fugue movement from Bartoks Sonata for Solo Violin. Classical Vocal Genres Vocal music genres include solo or art songs (called lieder in German and chanson in French), which are usually for solo voice and piano accompaniment and which can either be single songs or multiple songs collected into a thematic grouping called a song cycle. Schuberts dramatic lied Erlkonig, for voice and piano (Example 235), is a setting of a poem by the German author Johann Goethe (Erlkonig can be translated as either elf king or alder king). The driving, propulsive piano music elevates that instrument from acting as a simple accompaniment to a central character in the drama, capturing the anxiety and emotion of the text. Four separate characters appear in the song (the narrator, father, child and the Elf King), all sung by the same vocalist. Among the more common genres of sacred (devotional) choral music are the mass and requiem, which use texts taken from the liturgy; and the cantata, motet and anthem, which typically use non-liturgical texts on sacred subjects. An oratorio is a sacred story presented in an operatic style but without staging or costumes. Handels Messiah is the most famous example. The madrigal is perhaps the most common genre of non-sacred classical choral music. Some genres, for example the motet and cantata, can be either sacred or secular depending on their choice of text. Opera, musical theatre, and music for the ballet represent different types of stage or theatrical genres. In some cases, opera is performed in a concert version, where the dramatic elements of costume and staging are omitted and the music (and singing) is presented in a concert setting. Note that genres often fall out of favor as musical epochs change. For example, the mass was the highest achievement for a Renaissance composer but became less common during the Baroque period (roughly 1600-1750). The Baroque favored instrumental genres such as the concerto grosso, in which a small group of instruments shares the main musical material with a larger orchestral ensemble. The concerto grosso itself gave


way to the solo concerto of the Classical era (roughly 1750-1830). During the Classical period, the symphony also took on added significance to become the pinnacle achievement of composers. (Mozart, Haydn and other composers in the Classical Era and beyond continued to compose masses, however.) Similar trends and changing styles have appeared since that time. Complete Assignment 18 now: short answers and listening.

ANALYZING FORM The key challenge in analyzing the form of a work is determining where "to draw the line," that is, where to make a distinction or division between one part of a work and the next. Equally important is knowing whether changes that are detected represent shortterm divisions or are major formal landmarks in the music. There is no single or simple way to accomplish this, but understanding form will always involve repeated listenings: the more familiar you become with the music, the easier the task will be. Here are some key steps. First do a little research on the composer or songwriter. From what musical era does the work come? You can gain some expectations about form if you know the music was written during the Renaissance and not the 201h century or that the band performing is known for its lengthy improvised live jams. Does the composer have a particular technique that he or she is known for? For example, is the band known for using blues arrangements, which define certain standardized orderings of musical sections, or is the composer known for drawing upon music from folk traditions of his or her country? If a pop group, who were their influences? Who did the band members play with before? How have their styles changed? Also, find out if the composer has written something about the work itself. Next, listen to the piece several times and find different performances of the composition, if possible. Music performance is interpretive each performance (even by the same person) can illuminate different aspects of the score (this is true even for non-notated music). Listening to the work multiple times will make you familiar with the overall flow of musical events and help you better understand the large-scale structure of the work. If at all possible acquire a score (or sheet music) of the piece you are going to analyze. Most composers work very hard at including important structural information in their scores. After all, it will be easy to detect sections that repeat or have texture or sonority changes just by looking at the music itself (if you read music, of course). Look for and highlight repeat signs, double bar lines, second endings, Da Capo markings and any sectional information that you see on the printed score. Next, detect and mark areas where there are significant changes in orchestration, key signature or meter. Large-scale repetition, motivic connections, moments of tension and release and structural breaks will all be clearly seen (and probably heard) in the musical score. Listen again and verify that you have marked the changes that sound most important.


You might find it helpful to write down your responses to the piece you are listening to. For example, noting that the brass entrance after the quiet strings was shocking, or that the timpani roll just before the final melody seemed really dramatic. This kind of observation can guide you through a piece of music in a more informed way. Also take note of a guitar taking a solo on the same chord progression that was used in a verse. Dont be surprised that you will hear new things each time you listen. Next, determine whether the work is sectional or continuous. A sectional work will have clear, distinct areas that should be easy to identify and isolate. You might hear strong harmonic cadences at the end of each section, significant changes in the tempo of the music, the introduction of entirely new melodic themes, changes in instrumentation or key (if tonal), new lyrics or other cues. Sectional works tend to be balanced in length, meaning its likely that the sections will be relatively the same in length, but there is, of course, no guarantee that that will be the case. Its also possible that a sectional work will have a single section of music that simply repeats, perhaps with minor changes or the addition of a few new elements each time. For example, note in Example 235a that a single section of music repeats multiple times. Within the larger section A are four smaller sections, which would be labeled using small letters a and b, or if the listener thinks the second melody is different enough from the first, then the b phrase would instead be labeled a1 (a prime). A graph of the form would look like this (the numbers represent the number of measures of 4 beats each per phrase): A a a b b 4 4 4 4 transition A a a b b 4 4 4 4 etc.

4 2 (inst) (vocals)

Follow the graph above as you listen to the music and note the difference in the 4measure melody between its first two repetitions and the second two. Decide if you think it is different enough to be called a b phrase or if a1is better in your opinion. Continuous forms do not have clear sections. Works of this type, which are often called through-composed, simply spin out their ideas along lines of continuity and cohesiveness determined by the composer. As in other, more structured forms, one would still expect to find a balance between similarity and contrastunity and variety that would guide the composer in his or her choice of material. Moving from loud, aggressive music after a long, extended soft and slow section, for example, or shifting to music mainly in the low register after a section mostly in the upper register are both possible reasons for explaining how a composer organizes the materials in a piece. Note any recurrence of melodic and rhythmic elements and determine if their reappearance signifies a meaningful division in the work.


Listen to Example 235b and notice that there are no recurring elements that define or distinguish one section of the music form the next. New elements appear and disappear essentially at will over the recurring drum part. The listener cant really predict how long any one melodic idea will last or if it will be repeated or when a new idea might appear. This form is continuous and through composed (it is also mostly improvised in live performance). Continuous works can often be unpredictable, which can produce a feeling of excitement and anticipation in a listener or, on the other hand, may make them feel uncomfortable. These qualities are mostly under the control of the composer and are often used to manipulate the response a composer wants from his or her audience. Some through-composed works are episodic, meaning they contain numerous short episodes consisting of musical ideas that are developed over a short span of time and then moved away from. Other pieces might use dynamics as a structural element - the music simply gets louder from the beginning to the mid point, then gets softer again from the middle to the end. This is one of many ways a composer might create a giant arch form, which is a formal shape used in various ways throughout music history. Because there is no preset arrangement of the materials in a through-composed work and there is typically no repetition of distinct sections, through-composed music is more challenging for the listener to follow (and for the analyst to analyze). Yet every new piece will expose its logic and order over time to the patient listener. After having taken these steps, ask some questions about the structure of the music. The questions below are a guide to help you refine your analysis. Not all the questions will apply to all music. Remember that the purpose of formal analysis is to deepen your understanding of the organizational principles of the music you are experiencing. 1) How unified is the musical material? Are there obvious contrasts of thematic and non-thematic elements? Are the melodic themes strongly contrasted with each other? Are the themes clearly stated? (Use your understanding of melody to determine your answers here). If melodic themes are not found, what other elements seem to be the central focus? 2) Is there a transition between the thematic elements of the music, whether those be melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, etc? If so, what does the transition bring about: A change of key? A change of texture? Sonority? Do the transitions serve more to link or separate the materials? Does a new theme arrive during the transition or after some section of the piece has been reached? 3) Is the piece sectional? If it is, what is the overall tonal plan of the music? At what points is the tonic clearly established? Do these coincide with the statement of familiar material or do they bring new material? If the work is not tonal, then how are the sections distinguished from one another? 4) Does the music come to a stop at some point before the piece ends? When does the stop occur and what does it signal? Is the stop a moment of tension or of release? Does the music repeat after this stop or does it continue to new material? 5) When, where and what is the moment of highest tension? What are some of the characteristics that give this moment its identity?


6) Does the moment of most significant repose occur soon after the moment of highest intensity? 7) Does any of the opening material reappear near the end of the work? Is this a literal repetition? In what way has the opening material been altered (change of key, change of instrumentation, change of register, etc.)? 8) Is there any musical material that appears only once in the piece? Can you explain why that material is not repeated? Is it just filling space, killing time, transitioning between more important sections? 9) Does the piece have a follow-up section after it seems to have concluded? If so, why? What does this add to the composition? Does it impact the balance of tension and repose in the piece? 10) Identify the phrase lengths are they symmetric or asymmetric? Do they fluctuate between the two? How do the phrase lengths affect your experience of the work? Do these elements become predictable (do you tune out)? 11) Count the number of measures for each section you detect. What are the proportions of each section? Are they equal in length? Unequal? 12) Does your piece exemplify a standard form (several common forms will be described below)? 13) Does your understanding of the form of the piece accurately reflect your experience of hearing it? Can you follow the roadmap set out by the composer? 14) Does your written analysis reflect your understanding of the piece? Have you clearing explained your observations? Your written analysis of a composition should help a reader understand the way you experienced the music. Try to be convincing in your writing and be specific when giving representative examples: Event X occurs in measure Y and from that point forward, the music does such and such This helps your reader understand what you believe the important landmarks in the work are. Though there can be correct and incorrect parts of the same analysis, for example, a phrase may or may not be symmetric or a modulation may not have occurred where you thought it did, each analysis is a reflection of one listeners experience of the music. Everyones experience will be slightly different, but the more compelling, convincing and accurate your powers of observations are, the more likely you will persuade others to experience the piece in the way you have. POPULAR MUSIC FORMS Popular music from many different eras and styles typically incorporates one of the various standardized sectional arrangements of material. In popular music, the individual sections of a song are typically verses, which are delineated by clear segments of text and music that make up a complete idea as well as by distinct harmonic landmarks. Often interspersed among the verses are refrains, which are short passages of text and music that repeat several times. (Refrains are also known as choruses or hooks). There might also be an introduction (intro); a bridge, which is typically a contrasting middle section often in a key other than the main verses; and perhaps a fade-out (outro) or vamp, which is a section of music that repeats while fading out. Songs, whether popular or classical,


that use a single repeating section of music such as a verse throughout their entirety but that have different lyrics for each verse are called strophic. One of the most common of all popular music forms is Blues form. Blues form is a strophic form that is characterized by a standardized arrangement of chords spanning eight, twelve or sixteen measures. Each section is built on the identical chord progression, and the recurring harmonic progression, an alternation of I, IV, and V chords (shown below), gives the piece a clearly definable shape. The chord pattern can be repeated any number of times, and the clear-cut, simple layout of the basic materials makes it easy to delineate the songs evenly divided sections and strophic form. In musical analysis, capital letters are used to designate the major sections of a composition. As in other forms, the lyrics in Blues form change in each section while the chords remain the same, so a superscript is used with each A section to indicate that the sections are very closely related, but not identical. Each of the sections in the Blues form is a verse; there are no bridges, refrains or choruses. Even an instrumental solo (if there is one) is considered a verse because it uses the same music as the other sections. Here is one common arrangement of the blues chord progression, which in this version spans twelve measures. This entire progression constitutes the A section of the song:

Example 236 12-bar Blues progression The chord progression above is used in every verse of Example 236, Jimmy Reeds song Baby What You Want Me to Do. Another variant on the chord progression used in blues forms is shown in Example 237:

Example 237 uses this progression in a New Orleans-style piano version of the blues form. The graph below shows the overall formal design of the blues. Each repetition of A represents one complete cycle through the chords shown above:

A second layer of form appears in many blues songs at the level of the phrase. Typically, a single phrase, representing a line of text, is stated over the first 4 measures. This phrase is repeated a second time using the same text, and finally, a third phrase of new text appears. The first line of text makes a statement of some kind that is inconclusive, and the


final line sums up or provides a resolution to the idea introduced earlier. The opening verse of Bessie Smiths St. Louis Blues is show below: I hate to see the evening sun go down, I hate to see the evening sun go down, It makes me think Im on my last go round. As before, the individual phrases would be labeled a, a, b, so a complete analysis of the first verse would be:

The song opens with a short introduction of a single chord played by an organ accompanied by a note on the trumpet played by jazz great Louis Armstrong. Armstrong accompanies Bessie Smiths vocals throughout the song in a classic call and response fashion. The song uses a slightly modified chord progression in each of its verses and adds an unusual bridge section in a minor key after the first two verses. Listen to Example 238 and try to follow the formal structure from beginning to end. It should be clear from this graph that blues form is one of the simplest arrangements of musical material used in music and that it is open to endless variations by its performers and composers. Yet it is this simplicity and directness that holds an appeal to musicians. Blues form has remained in use from early in this century to the present day, perhaps because it allows musicians to display their creativity within a very limited formal and harmonic framework. Another single section form is called Simple Verse form. In this structure, a single section A repeats throughout the song, but the chord progression does not follow the blues pattern. For example, a progression such as i - IV might appear throughout the entire song, and sections of the composition might be distinguished only by a change in lyrics or a switch from a sung verse to a guitar solo. Simple Verse form was popular with groups in the 60s and 70s such as Santana and the Grateful Dead and often served as the basis for extended improvisations, especially in live performance. Santanas song Evil Ways (Example 239) uses the progression i - IV for the majority of the song, with only an occasional V chord interrupting the flow. Another common layout in music is the Popular Song form. This sectional form contains two very different sections of music arranged in the following order:


Example of Popular song form In the structure shown above, the song begins with verse I, labeled "A," then is followed by a second verse A' (A prime), typically with different lyrics. Then a bridge section "B" appears, usually in a new key and with different music and lyrics to provide contrast. This is followed by a third verse A'' that is in the original key; it may or may not use the same words as the opening verse (if it were an exact repeat of the opening verse, then it would be labeled simply A). Both of the first two A sections are closed harmonically, meaning they begin and end on the tonic of the key. The B section usually modulates and ends on the dominant chord, preparing the return to the tonic in the final A section. Listen to Example 240, the Jimi Hendrix song Fire and follow its design below. The song is built around an AABA format but adds an introduction and closes with a vamp. There is also a refrain following each verse. The bridge is preceded by a four-measure transition, and then features a guitar solo. There is also a modulation to a new key in the bridge. During the vamp, Hendrix refers back to the second key he introduced in the bridge by using chords from that key, unifying the song as it concludes. The opening through the bridge is shown below:

Listen to Example 241, the song While my Guitar Gently Weeps by the Beatles, for its use of an enhanced popular song form. Note especially where variations on the basic formal design shown above occur:

Now listen to the song I'm The Only One (Example 242) by Melissa Etheridge and try to distinguish all of its segments as you listen. Make a note of the specific number of measures for every section and be sure to include any intros, outros, vamps, verses, choruses and refrains. How long does the intro last? How long is each verse and how many verses are there? Be prepared to discuss your analysis in class. An interesting variation on the popular song form is often found in instrumental music. This variation appeared in the music of Tin Pan Alley (especially in the 1920s) and remained popular in jazz of the 1940s (especially Swing) and 1950s (especially Be-bop). In this form, a composition is built around the 32-bar pattern shown above (A A B A), but rather than play through the design only once, the 32 bars are repeated several times. The first time through, the main melody (called the head) of the tune is presented, then on subsequent repetitions, any number of instruments might improvise over the underlying chord pattern in each section. Each repetition of the 32-bar form is called a


chorus, so a performer who improvises through two complete repetitions (64 bars) is said to have taken two choruses. Listen to Example 243 Lester Leaps In as performed by Count Basie. Follow the form shown below. The tempo is a very fast 4 to the bar:

Formal design of Count Basies: Lester Leaps In There are endless variations on popular song form: the final verse might restate the first verse, or there might be an introduction that appears at the beginning and recurs in a modified form at the end. Or perhaps a guitar solo substitutes for lyrics in one of the verses or in the bridge similar to the Jimi Hendrix song. The basic 32-bar (bar is a synonym for measure) AABA pattern is one of the most fundamental basic designs of the popular song and has been used countless times over the years. Recent music especially since the 1970s, however, has moved away from the simple popular song form to include more sophisticated arrangements of material, often including multi-part verses, more than one refrain (repeating) section, instrumental interludes, various types of transitions, etc. Songs like Bjroks Isobel, combine complex formal designs with elaborate orchestrations. In Bjorks case, these formal elements support the surreal and evocative lyrics. Listen to Isobel (Ex. 244) and see if you can keep track of how many different sections of music there are and how they are arranged in sequence. Complete Assignment 19 now: short answers and listening. Open Form Though blues and popular song form account for the vast majority of popular music compositions, a more recent approach to formal design called open or free form employs a less-defined structure. As its name implies, this approach has no set arrangement of music or harmony and is typically through composed (i.e., continuous). Free form is a spontaneous, heavily improvised scheme favored by the progressive performers who appeared particularly in jazz in the late 1950s. Included in this group are musicians such as Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy. Listen to the composition Densities (Example 245) performed by Eric Dolphy and note the improvised quality of the music. The


ensemble consists of Dolphy playing bass clarinet, plus harp, vibes, and bass. How would you describe the interactions among the players? What musical elements repeat and become thematic and which are only transitional? Another music style that made use of free forms within extended compositions was Art Rock, which flourished in England in the late 1960s and '70s. Groups such as The Nice, Yes and Soft Machine were influenced by techniques used in experimental and avantgarde classical music and rejected the simple forms of more popular music styles. Compositions were often album length and thematic or programmatic (that is, telling a story) in nature. Listen to Example 246, the song Sound Chaser by Yes, and note the elaborate arrangement of musical materials the song uses. How are sections distinguished one from the next? Where and when do thematic materials recur? Free form allows composers and performers great flexibility in the working out of their ideas and often imposes no constraints or limitations of any kind on a composition. The music does not have to reach any predetermined landmark or reach a goal at any set point, and the musical material can follow a spontaneous path, based only on the composers or performers intuition. As a result, works employing this approach present a greater challenge to both the performer and composer (often the same person), both of whom must rely more heavily on their skill and taste to determine how the music should best proceed. They also creates problem for the listener who cannot benefit from previous associations (that is, other hearings of a similar type of work) to understand the game plan or logic that motivates the composition. Each new work becomes a challenge for the audience, which must determine where the music is heading, how it is moving, and where the piece is taking them. This can be an exciting and often dramatic experience. FORM IN NON-WESTERN MUSIC Though it has been said that music is a universal language, many traditions found in the music of one culture do not appear in others. (This idea is developed more fully by James Wierzbicki in his online article, Nonwestern Music.) Moreover, the musical vocabulary - the chords and melodies and their governing principles, for example - that are common in one culture may not be intelligible to outsiders. Someone listening to the music of another culture may have a superficial appreciation of the musical elements used, but it is unlikely that that listener will fully comprehend the deeper meaning or essence, much less the role or function, of the music being played. This is especially true in the area of form. The music of non-Western cultures does not rely heavily on pre-existing compositional forms such as those found in Western popular and classical music, though various established formal schemes do exist. In some types of non-Western music, performances are intended to accompany a stage event such as a dance, play or puppet show or serve as a component of a ritual or ceremonial event. Indonesian gamelan music, for example, often accompanies a religious event or ceremony. In this context, the structure of the music is dependent on the action on stage. Wierzbicki cites one example where the form in a gamelan work is based on a repeating 256-beat rhythmic pattern. The 256-beat pattern is closely related to the cycles of days and years that make up the Javanese


calendar, and it is doubtful if Western listeners would be able to perceive the repeating pattern, much less be aware of its origin. Repetition (or repetition with continuous variation) is an even more central element in non-Western musical practices than it is in the West. Layering techniques, where two or more main rhythms appear simultaneously, are often used, and musical performances in many traditions are improvised, with no written score for the music. This is true, for example, of some forms of Indian classical music. In one type of performance, the performer follows only a loose roadmap of a three-part formal structure consisting of the alap, or opening section, where a slow, freely rhythmic improvisation is common. This is followed by the jod section, in which a more rhythmic pulse is introduced; and finally, the jhala section, in which the tabla (drums) typically joins in while the intensity and complexity of the music increases. In Example 247, the principle performer, a flute player, improvises on a five-note raga called Raga Abhogi, creating a slow and evocative melody above the sustained drone accompaniment of a tabla player during the alap. The music is nearly free of meter and has a free-floating quality to it. In the jod section, the flautist establishes a clear quadruple meter at a medium tempo while the tabla continues to play. The jhala section opens with rapid flourishes of virtuosic performance by the flautist, also improvised, and continues at a fast tempo, despite the sustained notes of the tabla. Listen to excerpts from these three sections (separated by a very short pause) and note in particular the dramatic and climactic ending section of the performance. Other approaches to formal organization appear in non-Western music, such as the Jo Ha Kyu used in a Japanese gagaku court music and in the recurring cyclic patterns that typify the Shona mbira music of Zimbabwe. These and other practices are beyond the scope of this text, but it is hoped that the reader will listen to such forms with open ears and not attempt to impose Western expectations on music where it does not apply. FORM IN CLASSICAL MUSIC Varieties of Classical Musical Form Classical music shows a long and varied history in its use of standardized, prearranged forms. As noted, in Gregorian Chant, which flourished between the 6th or 7th century until well into the Middle Ages, music typically followed the design implied by the structure of the text. In the 14th century, a new approach, called formes fixes (fixed forms), evolved. Compositions of this type, such as the ballade and virelai, were typically settings of French secular poetry and were often fairly elaborate in structure. Each form had its own unique arrangement of musical material, often with a fairly complex scheme of repetition. The Baroque era (roughly 1600-1750) popularized instrumental forms such as the Minuet and Trio and Suiteboth fairly standardized collections of aristocratic dance music. These will be among the specific musical forms that are covered in the next section.


Diagramming Forms The approach to diagramming the form of a classical composition is often very similar to that used in popular music: large formal sections are labeled with upper case letters. As in popular music, letters can indicate any relationships that exist, whether similarities or differences, among the sections. As before, the letter "A" denotes one section of music, typically at the opening of a piece and "B" indicates a contrasting section containing new music and, if there are any, lyrics. If the A music returns but with slight or only moderate variation, a superscript Arabic number (A1) is used to show that it is related to the original music but not an exact repetition of it. The superscript numbering would continue with every variation of the A music (A2, A3, etc.). Smaller segments of form, such as the phrases and motives that typically appear in classical works, are indicated with small letters and/or numbers. Additional details are provided below. One form of music that fits nicely into this approach to analysis is the Theme and Variations. In this form, the theme, labeled A, undergoes various transformations and elaborations, and each new section is labeled A1, A2, A3, A4, etc. In some works, Bachs Goldberg Variations, for example, the theme ultimately returns in its original form, but this is not always the case. Listen to Example 248, a theme and variations by Mozart, and write down the arrangement each new variation using a different superscript. Also note what elements of each variation are different from the original statement of the theme. Another design that can easily be diagrammed is Rondo form. A Rondo is an instrumental musical form in which some section, denoted "A," is repeated in alternation with one or more others. A diagram of the form is found below: A B A C A B A The example above shows seven distinct sections so is called a seven-part rondo. The A section is typically always in the same key. The keys of the other sections are not fixed, though in many examples of the form, B is in the dominant (V) and C modulates to the sub-mediant (vi). In the Classical era, the rondo often appeared as a single movement within a larger, multi-movement work (a sonata or symphony, for example). Notice in Example 249, a rondo from a work for solo violin by J. S. Bach, the repetition of the A section at the opening. Also note the fake return to the A theme at the end of section C. Are the sections of roughly the same or of different lengths? Binary Forms Instrumental music in the Renaissance and Baroque eras often took the form of short collections of works, such as the dance suites mentioned earlier. As such, the works were typically not very long and their formal designs were fairly simple. One of the most popular designs used during both of these eras is binary form. As its name implies, a binary form is a two-part form that contains an A and contrasting B section, both of which typically repeat:


In binary forms, the first section starts in the tonic key and typically modulates to the dominant (or to the III if in minor) by the end of the section. This first section then repeats. Next, section B starts on the dominant (or III) and ultimately ends back on the tonic; it too repeats. Clear cadences usually mark the close of each section. The two sections are usually similar, but not necessarily identical, in length. Within these two large sections, a clear phrase structure (indicated using small letters: a, b, etc.) is usually found. The phrases, most often two or four measures long, are also repeated, but most often with some variation in the repetition. The repeated phrases combine to form periods, usually distinguished by some type of cadential point. Periods are joined to form sections, and so the form is built. Because the overall shape of a work in binary form is created from smaller units, it is important to identify all layers of structure. This might include distinct motives that are used to form the phrases, the phrases themselves, the periods and the two largest sections. Listen to the binary form in this movement from a Bach flute sonata. Note that the movement starts in a minor key and that the B section is longer than the A. Try to identify the phrase structure within each section:

Example 250 Binary form in a Bach flute sonata Now listen to Beethoven's Seven Peasant Dances, no. 4 and try to follow the score below. The piece is in two major parts, each of which repeats. This is clearly indicated by the use of a repeat sign near the end of the second stave. The A section is eight measures long and contains a single period, built from two phrases in an antecedentconsequence relationship. The antecedent phrase ends in m. 4, cadencing on the dominant (creating a half-cadence). The consequent phrase is also four bars and cadences on the tonic chord, D major, in measure 8. Section B begins in measure 9 and is also a period containing two four-bar phrases. The cadence in m. 12 is on the tonic. The B section is built from an antecedent-consequence phrase structure, but the beginning of the consequent (in measure 11) is very similar to the antecedent (measure 9 and 10). This consequent phrase also cadences on the tonic (m. 16), but now it is much stronger. The B section repeats as well. Try to follow the indications on the score itself or this analysis as you listen to the music:


Example 251 Binary form in Beethoven's Seven Peasant Dances, no. 4

Ternary Forms In the next example, Example 252 by the Romantic era composer Robert Schumann, there are three sections of identical length. This is an example of ternary form. Ternary form is very effective for providing both similarity and contrast through its design: An opening section, A, is followed by a contrasting section, B, and the music then returns to the beginning section A, intact or in modified form (A). This creates a very unified design and is, perhaps, one reason why ternary designs remain popular to this day.


In this Schumann piece, the first section A (ms. 1-8) begins and ends on the tonic C major, while the second section B (ms. 9 - 17) begins on the dominant and revolves around the key of G for its entirety. The second section ends on a V - I cadence in G, but then returns immediately to the home key of C. With the restatement of C in ms. 17, the third section (A) begins and the music from the first section recurs. This three-part formal design can be graphed as A B A since the third section is nearly an exact duplicate of the first. Note that the material in the B section is similar to that of section A. Watch for the major section division as well as the smaller scale phrase-level structure as you listen to the piece. You should detect two four-measure phrases that can be clearly distinguished and that together form a period. This structure makes the piece highly symmetric as the sections are perfectly balanced. The formal design is shown below:

Though there is only one period in each section, this is not always the case, as longer ternary works would most likely contain numerous periods. The two phrases in each of the periods are again examples of the antecedent-consequent relationship. The first phrase ends in measure 4, where the notes G4 - B3 - D5 create a V chord in C (because B is the lowest note, this chord is in first inversion). Ending on the V chord in first inversion is not a very conclusive moment in the composition and should be considered to be a fairly weak cadence. In fact, this type of cadence is called a half or incomplete cadence because it is only temporary (the music moves on). The music moves back to the tonic in measure 5, then the second phrase ends with a complete authentic cadence in measure 8. A complete authentic cadence ends on the tonic chord in root position and the root of the chord is also the highest note. It is typically found at the end of a chord progression and produces a strong sense of finality.


Example 252 Ternary form in Schumann's Humming Song (from Album for the Young)


Though the principle melodic theme of the Schumann piece is repeated in each of the sections, there are other elements besides melody and harmony that help delineate the form in this short work. Can you tell how texture and register, meter and rhythm, phrasing, tempo, musical character and even section length help clarify the formal structure by supporting the melody and harmony in creating the sections? Also, consider the question of repetition and contrast in this work. What elements repeat and which are different in the various sections? Recall that a successful work will typically balance these two forces. One-part Forms Any piece that has only a single section of music, with no B section or other contrasting material, would be said to have a one-part form. The Blues form is an example of onepart form, even though its single section repeats continuously. The preludes in Bachs famous collection The Well-Tempered Clavier are also examples of this form, as is Chopins Prelude in e minor, op. 28, no. 4 (Example 253). Here, the A section material is repeated, with a slight difference between the ending of the first instance and the end of the second. Despite the repetition of the main musical section and the fact there it varies each time, there is still only one main section of music, hence the one-part label. Listen to the example several times and see if you can spot the midway point in the work. Compound Forms Longer works of music typically exhibit formal designs far more elaborate than this text can cover. Moreover, there are many variations among the various forms described here. Be aware that any of the designs shown below are merely representative models. It is rare that any two pieces, even though they purport to use the same general formal scheme, will employ these forms in exactly the same way. Compound form is the name used for several types of multi-sectional forms in which each section has a design equal to or more complex than the simple forms discussed above. In the next section, we will explore several compound forms, each of which implements the compound design in a different way. Compound Binary As its name implies, compound binary consists of two main sections. A well-known example of a compound binary form is the military march form, popularized by composer and bandleader John Philip Sousa. This form consists of a march section, which contains two smaller sections called strains, and a trio section, which is usually made up of two internal sections of its own. The sections in the march typically repeat in the arrangement A A B B, while the sections in the trio can appear in a variety of arrangements. Each repetition of the music in both sections can be enhanced with a change in dynamics, added instrumental parts, or a change of articulation, and repetitions of the music of the trio are typically further contrasted through a change in key and timbre. A march almost always starts with a loud introduction that is 4- to 16-measures long and that is in the dominant key.


Listen to the next example, Sousas march Semper Fidelis, and note the formal design shown below. Follow along as the music plays and listen to the unusual drum cadence that separates the march from the trio. Fill in the phrase structure and the number of measures for each phrase and section (the first phrases are done for you):

Example 254 Form of Semper Fidelis by John Philip Sousa The next example is a ragtime composition, Maple Leaf Rag (Example 255) by Scott Joplin, which uses a variation on the march form. Here, each section is repeated exactly. Note that each lettered section contains sixteen measures of music, with an exactly symmetric phrase relationship of 8+8 measures. In some sections the phrases simply repeat, while in others there is a contrasting second phrase within a section. Does this help or hinder the formal structure of the piece? Listen to the piece several times. A detailed analysis of the opening three sections (A A BB A) is shown below this score. See if you can fill in any additional details.




Example 255 Scott Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag


Analysis of opening three sections:

Compound Ternary Compound ternary is another type of compound design. One very common example of this form is the Classical era Minuet and Trio. This form consists of three main parts: the Minuet, Trio and Minuet repeated. This large scale A B A design is mirrored in the individual sections, for example, the Minuet itself has three interior sections, each of which has two or more phrases: MINUET |:A:| |: B A:|

The "A" section of the Minuet repeats, followed by the B and A sections, which also repeat, though in alternation, so the actual music we hear in the Minuet is as follows: A A B A B A Next is the Trio, which also has three parts and the same type of internal repetitions: TRIO C C D C D C Finally, the whole form ends with the Minuet again, but without the repeats. The diagram below shows the overall layout of the main sections of the Minuet and Trio:

Follow the design while listening to the minuet and trio movement from Beethovens Sonata in F minor (Example 256). Do you notice any variations from the design shown above? Another type of compound ternary form is the da capo aria, which has an overall form of A B A. This form was popularized during the Baroque period and was used in operas and oratorios by composers such as Handel and Bach. The A section is a unified musical entity and could conceivably stand alone. The B section contrasts with A in key, texture, and overall character. The final A section was not even notated by the composer. Rather, the initials D.C. (Da Capo, meaning to the head) were placed at the end of the B section, which instructed the musicians to return to the beginning of the piece. Typically,


the main singer would improvise ornaments and enhancements to the basic melodic line when repeating the A section. Listen to the aria Va Tacito (Example 257) from Handels opera Guilio Cesare (Julius Caesar) and note the variations in the vocal melody that occur with the repetition of the opening A section. Also note the interaction of the horn part and the vocalist; at times, the horn plays an accompaniment to the voice part, and at other times, it seems an equal partner. The horn part in this instance is called an obbligato, which is an elaborate and essential instrumental part that accompanies a vocal part. Listen for the cadenza-like passage around 6:08 - 6:28 in which the voice and the horn appear to trade fours, each musician playing his part in turn. The voice part used in this example is a counter-tenor, the highest male vocal part (the part was originally written for a castrati). The horn used is a valveless horn for which the performer uses only his or her lips (as opposed to keys) to change the instruments pitch. This limits the notes and the keys in which the instrument can play. Complete Assignment 20 now: short answers and listening. Polyphonic Forms During the Baroque era a number of formal schemes became commonplace. Because many employed polyphony extensively, these types of formal designs are categorized as polyphonic forms. Included are well-known compositional forms such as the fugue, canon, passacaglia, toccata, and fantasia. Fugue The fugue has many variants, all of which are characterized by the presence of a repeating theme called the subject that is stated polyphonically by two, three or more independent voices throughout the work. As mentioned previously, the subject has a recognizable melodic contour and typically a distinct rhythmic character. Once a voice finishes a statement of the subject, that voice will then begin a countersubject (also called an answer) while a second voice begins its statement of the subject, usually at the interval of a fifth above or below the original. Sections in which the theme is being stated in turn are called expositions, and sections where the theme is not being stated are called episodes. Episodes are typically developmental, in that the fugue subject is fragmented, inverted, sequenced, augmented, diminished or otherwise modified. Episodes might also contain a stretto, which is when one statement of the subject (in whole or part) begins before the preceding one has ended. A fugue rarely pauses for any length of time. More often, cadences are elided, which means while one or more voices is reaching a point of rest, other voices are beginning to state new material at the same time. In other words, the end of one idea and the beginning of a new one overlap across two or more voices. Most fugues end with a clear concluding section or coda (the Italian word for tail), in which it is common to have a pedal point. A pedal point is a harmonic device where a single note, typically in the bass part, is repeated (or simply sustains), while the other parts form a series of chords that move in and out of consonance with the bass note:


Example 258 Pedal point Try to locate the statements of the subjects in the Bach Fugue in C Minor (from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I; Ex. 259) while listening to the music. Can you tell how many voices are present in this fugue and in what order (top, bottom, middle, etc) they enter? Which voice has the most statements? The fewest? Can you recognize any of the transformations that are being used as the main melodies are being developed? Sonata-allegro form Sonata-allegro form, a form popularized during the Classical era, was historically derived from the rounded binary form of the Baroque period. This single-movement form was used most commonly for the first movement of a symphony, string quartet or sonata, and usually has a tempo marked Allegro, hence its name. The form of a sonata-allegro movement is based on both thematic/melodic elements and a fairly standardized harmonic roadmap and can be broken into three parts: exposition, development and recapitulation. It will often conclude with a coda. A sonata-allegro form may begin with an optional introduction. If an introduction is present, it will always be slow and usually terminate with a half-cadence. Exposition. In the exposition section, the composer begins with a statement of a principle melodic theme or a small number of closely related themes (called a theme group). This opening theme is in the tonic key (major or minor) and has some distinguishing characteristics, such as a distinctive melodic contour or rhythmic pattern. Themes might have a distinct mood or emotional quality as well: aggressive, relaxed, lilting, or propulsive, among many others. The first theme or theme group ends, and there is typically a short transition to the second theme, which is contrasting in nature. During the transition, the piece modulates to the dominant key (if it began in major) or the relative major (III, if the piece is in a minor key). The second theme runs its course, and a third or concluding theme appears, also in the second key, bringing the exposition to a close. In most cases, the exposition is repeated in its entirety (though performers sometimes choose not to perform the repeats), and the composer may choose to use short transitional or developmental material anywhere within the movement. Development. With the end of the exposition comes the development section, where any number of things can happen. The composer might juxtapose the first and second themes against one another either by playing parts of each simultaneously or by simply


alternating fragments of each. Here, every type of melodic development is possible: sequence, inversion, augmentation, diminution, and more, and it is very common for the music to modulate several times. In fact, the development is the section where the composer shows off his or her skills. Beethoven, in particular, focused much of his attention on the development sections of his works and, in the Third Symphony (The Eroica), employed a highly structured development section that had no fewer than four sectionsa form within the form. Most development sections also introduce new material, though often only for transitional or episodic purposes. Recapitulation. After the development section terminates, there will be a clear harmonic signal indicating that the recapitulation has begun. At this point, the first theme will be stated in the tonic key. The most important feature of the recapitulation is that the tonal differences between the thematic material are reconciled all the music is presented in the tonic key. The idea that the thematic material is tonally reconciled gives the recapitulation a feeling of resolution. Coda. The optional final section of a sonata-allegro form is the coda. Codas in the time of Haydn and Mozart were usually quite short, often consisting of alternations between tonic and dominant chords. It was only in the hands of Beethoven that codas became substantially lengthened. For example, the coda in the first movement of his Eroica symphony is nearly 400 measures long! In many cases, the overall scheme of a sonata-allegro movement outlines a passage from relative stability, signified by the opening theme, typically to a phase of heightened tensionthe second, contrasting themeto even greater instability in the rapidly shifting development section, back to greater stability and resolution in the recapitulation and coda. This dramatic arc is an important element in unifying the movement as a whole and should be identified where appropriate when examining works that have this form. Follow the outline of the first movement of Mozarts Symphony # 40 in G Minor Example 260 (note that the timings may be off). In this movement, the second theme is actually more restful and lyrical then the opening theme.



The next example is the first movement of Beethovens Sonata in F Minor, (Example 261) Opus 2, no. 1, his first piano sonata. Unlike Beethovens later works, this piece exhibits all the characteristics of the early Classical sonata-allegro form. Listen to this piece several times both to get a feel for its thematic material and overall flow of events and for the areas of repetition and contrast. Try to identify as many characteristics of sonata-allegro form as you can, and note the appearance of the main themes, the major transitions and the important cadences. Because this piece is in F-minor, the second theme will occur in the relative-major (III). Romantic Era Forms During the Romantic era (roughly 1830 - 1900), several different formal trends emerged. To fit the greater emotionalism and overall increased intensity and freedom of expression of this period, works as a whole became longer and used more elaborate formal schemes. On the one hand, a large number of three-part, ternary forms evolved. On the other, largescale works, in which less rigid formal designs were employed, were also common. These looser formal designs came about because composers found that earlier formal models no longer suited their expressive needs. Massive orchestral works, such as the symphonic poems of Franz Liszt and Richard Strauss, also moved away from clear, preexisting design constraints. Similarly, the elaborate operas of Richard Wagner and others abandoned the sectional forms of the Classical period. Romantic composers were also very fond of composing short, miniature character pieces that evoked a single mood or tone. Short piano works by Schumann, Frederic Chopin and others, for example, contrasted greatly with the large, expansive orchestral works of Wagner and Liszt (though Liszt himself also wrote several small, intimate piano works). Descriptive titles such as Gray Clouds, or Nocturnes (Night Pieces) suggest the mood the composer is trying to evoke. Such pieces are usually compiled into sets of works and generally use simple three-part (A B A) forms. In conjunction with the dissolution of traditional formal designs came a heightened awareness of the expressivity of chromaticism. Composers understood that pitches


falling outside of the major and minor scales increased tension and heightened drama. More and more frequently, chords that were previously considered dissonant were used in a way that made them sound consonant. This is evident in the next piece. Franz Liszts Nuages Gris (Gray Clouds; Example 262) is a highly chromatic late Romantic work. Nuages Gris uses the interval of a fourth as the building block of its main theme. Though Liszt was one of the greatest piano virtuosi of all time, known for making spectacular solo piano arrangements of complete symphonies and operas, this work is extremely simple. However, the music demands very subtle shadings and timbral changes on the part of the performer. Listen to Nuages Gris and see if you can determine how the piece is structured. How many sections are there and what musical elements help distinguish one section from another? Are there repeating phrases or motives? Are the sections roughly equal in length or not? What sections sound transitional and where does it appear that a theme is being stated? What registers does the piece span? Ask yourself these and other questions about what musical elements (harmony, texture, sonority, etc.) are at work in this piece. 20th and 21st Century Forms In the 20th century and beyond, composers with few exceptions abandoned the standardized forms of the past and for the most part, took a fresh approach to structure, often with each new piece. The past century and our own reflect a vast diversity in forms of musical expression. New techniques, such as the atonality and serialism of Schoenberg and his Viennese colleagues, intermingle with practices drawn from the folk music or other native elements of a composers origins. (Nationalism, i.e., the use of musical materials drawn specifically from ones own culture, can be seen in music by Bartok, Stravinsky, and the American Aaron Copland, among many others.) Non-western musical techniques, such as the complex polyrhythms of African music, have become commonplace in Western recent music, both popular and classical, and technology has had a huge influence on the formal design of musical compositions, not to mention the sounds themselves. A number of modern concert composers, including Steve Reich, Terry Riley and Philip Glass, are known for a style called minimalism, which relies heavily on extensive repetition of simple rhythmic and melodic materials as the basis for their compositions organization. Other approaches to musical form come from cross-pollination between classical, jazz and rock styles. Twentieth-century composers such as Darius Milhaud, Copland, and Stravinsky all used jazz instrumentation as well as jazz melodic and rhythmic elements in their concert works. More recent composers such as Steven Mackay and Michael Dougherty use direct quotations from rock riffs in their orchestral pieces. Overriding all the specific approaches mentioned above, however, is the fact that composers of 20th and 21st century concert music are motivated by the same forces that have driven composers in the past: creating a balance in a work between the new and the familiar. Composers today are concerned with repetition and contrastunity and varietyjust as they have been for centuries. But now that traditional harmonic, melodic and rhythmic models have been abandoned by many modern composers, it is the


composer's intuitive sense of continuity - their own artistic sense of how the elements should flow and develop - that governs a majority of works. Though there is no guarantee this will produce a successful, coherent composition, well-schooled, creative composers have managed to produce thousands of successful works that are well worth the attention of modern audiences. When faced with a modern concert work or, for that matter, an unfamiliar non-Western composition, use the techniques and tools you have learned in this text to grasp it. Try to apply the guidelines discussed above to an unfamiliar piece of music just as you would any other. As before, repeated listenings are the best wayindeed, a requirementto understand the workings of any piece of music, especially one that you are hearing for the first time. SUMMARY The theorist Wallace Berry in his book Form in Music (1986, Prentice-Hall) speaks of five overriding elements that govern a vast number of musical compositions. These are: the process of introduction, in which the major elements that will be used in a work are first prepared and in which expectation of what is to come is created; the expository process, in which a statement of the principle thematic materials occurs; the process of transition, where the music moves from the expository section to what is to follow; the developmental process, where musical activity is intensified and where elements from the exposition are reviewed and explored; and the process of resolution, in which closure and conclusion occur. Though not every work will use each of these processes in a clearly defined way, they are the underlying principles that operate in a great number of musical compositions from all eras. Not coincidentally, the same processes could be identified in other time-based art works, such as film, theatre, certain forms of dance (particularly classical ballet) and fine-art animation. They might equally apply to a novel or epic poem. Being familiar with representative forms from different musical eras and cultures is a significant part of understanding and appreciating music and will help the student expand his or her understanding of how musical processes work. Form may not be the most obvious musical element to detect but, ultimately, it is what makes a composition most successful and satisfying to the listener. Listen carefully to each new piece and try to detect what the composer is saying, and try to determine how they are saying it. Then listen again and see what new information you can acquire. Gradually and over time, every new work will reveal itself to you. Complete Assignment 21 now: short answers and listening.


What Makes Music Work Final Project Guidelines Please review the materials at the following Web site BEFORE you begin this project. This material will be especially useful as you prepare your paper: The final project will consist of an 8 to 10 page paper describing the musical characteristics of a piece of music chosen by the student from the compositions on Blackboard. The piece should be analyzed to determine how the musical elements covered in class are used and developed in the music. The paper will begin with a short introduction stating the students goals and premise for the paper, then proceed to a very short biographical section that covers the composer, performing group or songwriter. This section will also include the historical context for the music and any significant musical influences that are relevant to the analyzed piece. Next, the main body of the paper will describe all the musical elements, complete with representative examples that cite specific measures or times in the music. In this section you have two choices: either cover each element one at a time throughout the entire composition, or go through the entire composition section by section and cover all elements within that section. If the sections of the piece are very clear, then this last approach would make most sense, but if the music has a continuous form, the former approach would probably work best. In either case, you should be very specific about the types of musical characteristics the work displays and you must include a significant number of specific musical examples. It is not necessary nor is it appropriate to define the musical elements within your paper. DO NOT start each section of your paper by simply restating the definitions of melody, harmony, etc. that you find in the text. You should assume that the reader understands these terms. Your paper should be written in a professional, non-chatty manner - do not address the instructor directly in the text - you are not writing the paper for the instructor. The paper should adopt a formal, third-party tone and approach. Because any piece of music, even a very short one, will typically use musical elements in many different ways, your job is to show representative examples of the elements discussed in class. A melody will typically not be wave-like or angular for any length of time. You could use those terms to describe the first theme of the work, or to refer to the melody that a certain instrument plays at the beginning of a section, but you will need to describe melody, like all the other elements, over many different parts of the composition. You should expect that most of the elements will be used in many different ways. Your description of the form of the music must be shown graphically. If you wish to use measure numbers to show how long each section lasts, that is acceptable, but for longer pieces, or for pieces where you cannot follow the meter in every measure, it would be better simply to show timings by the clock. A CD or audio file player with an elapsed-time readout is especially handy for this purpose, but a watch is just as good. NO PAPER WILL BE ACCEPTED that does not have a graphic representation of the form of the work. REFERENCES This paper must include at least one outside source besides the text of the class. If you use the Internet as a reference, then you must have at least two outside references. Many rock groups, especially progressive ones, have been written up in anthologies such as the Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll by DeCurtis and Geroge-Warren, eds. (Straight Arrow Publishers, New York, 1992), and The Art of Rock and Roll by Charles T. Brown,


(Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ; 1992). All major classical composers have their own biographies, while dozens of classical and jazz anthologies and periodicals are also available in the library. You must use endnotes to cite any quotations that are not your own opinions or common knowledge - these should appear on a separate sheet of paper and are not counted as part of the 8 - 10 page length. Also, be sure to use the proper formatting for songs and albums: Album titles are underlined or italicized, and the record label and date of release is put in parenthesis. Song titles are put in quotation marks. Works by classical composers are put in italics. The paper must be typed, double-spaced, and is due on the day of your final exam. All papers must have numbered pages.