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Chapter 2: Rhythm and Pitch

Key Terms (Rhythm and Tempo)

rhythm beat accent meter measure (bar) bar lines simple meter compound meter nonmetrical syncopation tempo metronome marks tempo indications fermata

rhythm = general time aspect of music, relationship between sounds in time a rhythm = arrangement of longer and shorter sounds and silences

Time Concepts in Western Music

regular background pulse

extra emphasis on a beat regular, irregular, or no accents

regular, recurring pattern of accented and unaccented (strong and weak) beats

simple meters compound meter irregular meters no meter (nonmetrical)

Simple Meters
duple meter
ONE two | ONE two | ONE two |

triple meter
ONE two three | ONE two three |

Compound Meter
two or more beats per measure quick, triple subdivision of beats
ONE-and-a two-and-a | ONE-and-a two-and-a |

Row, row, row your boat

Rhythm vs. Meter

meter as background; rhythm as foreground meter the yardstick; rhythm the object being measured

can coincide with meter strongly metrical can play with meter syncopation can contradict meter implying the wrong meter or becoming nonmetrical

Rhythm and Meter

displaces accents
accents on weak beats
one TWO | one TWO | one TWO

accents in between beats

one AND two AND | one AND two AND |

plays with meter Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

the speed of music the rate at which beats follow one another metronome marks: exact
60 = 1 beat/sec. 120 = 2 beats/sec.

tempo indications: approximate; can express mood

Common Tempo Indications

adagio andante moderato allegro presto slow slow, but not too slow moderate fast very fast

Tempo Changes
accelerando ritardando pi lento pi allegro fermata a tempo gradually faster gradually slower slower faster hold of indefinite length at the main tempo

Listening Exercises
metrical or nonmetrical? regular, irregular, or no accents? duple, triple, or compound meter? Rondo, Waltz, 15 steps (irreg), Dilmano (irr), Money, Blue Rondo syncopation? slow, moderate, or fast tempo? accelerando or ritardando?

Key Terms (Pitch)

pitch scale interval octave diatonic scale chromatic scale flat sharp half step whole step

Aspects of Pitch
definite or indefinite high or low scale: a pool of definite pitches interval: the distance between any two notes

eight span higher note seems to duplicate lower note smooth blend of sound comes from overtone series

usually the distance between adjacent notes of a scale suggests a ladder of discrete pitches scale steps: specific notes of a scale (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do)

Half Step (Semitone)

the smallest interval the distance between two adjacent notes of the chromatic scale the distance between two adjacent notes on the keyboard

Whole Step
the most common interval in diatonic scales equals two consecutive half steps

fixed collections of pitches used to construct music diatonic scales chromatic scales other scales (modern and world music)

Diatonic Scales
contain seven pitches octave (eighth note of scale) repeats the starting pitch contains 5 whole steps and 2 half steps examples: major scales, minor scales, church modes

Diatonic Scale

Chromatic Scale
contains 12 pitches consists entirely of half steps requires sharps or flats

Chromatic Scale

Sharps and Flats

flat lowers a note by a half step sharp raises a note by a half step

Diatonic vs. Chromatic

Scales and Instruments

Western instruments are designed to play scales some can bend pitches
a little: flute, clarinet, saxophone, guitar a lot: voice, trombone, violin, cello, timpani musicians learn to play in tune

chromatic scale? diatonic scale? Non-Western scales?