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Chapter 2: Rhythm and Pitch

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1 Chapter 2: Rhythm and Pitch
Musical Notation

2 Key Terms Notes Rests Dotted notes Dotted rests Ties Slurs Legato
Staccato Triplet Time signatures Staff Ledger lines Clefs Naturals Key signatures Scores

3 Notation Many cultures notate, or write down, their music in some way
Notation uses a complex set of symbols to represent pitch, duration, dynamics, expression, and so on Even if you cannot read music, a basic knowledge of musical notation can help you follow along and understand concepts more easily

4 Pitch and Time Just as on a graph:
Pitch measured vertically, from low to high Time measured horizontally, from left to right

5 Rhythmic Notation Note values Note values express duration of notes
Durations are relative and proportional A whole note equals two half notes; a half note equals two quarter notes; and so on Names based on fractions of whole note (half, quarter, eighth, etc.) Actual duration depends on tempo White notes are longer than black notes The more flags or beams, the shorter

6 Note Values

7 Flags and Beams Flags and beams group together short notes within a beat They make rhythms easier to read

8 Rests Represent the silences between notes or phrases
Each note value has a corresponding rest, a silence of equal duration Short rests have flags that correspond to the flags and beams of short notes

9 Rest Values

10 Dotted Rhythms A dot placed after (to the right of) a note or rest makes it half again as long (150% of original) Dotted rhythms mix longer dotted notes with shorter undotted notes

11 Ties Any two or more notes (same pitch!) can be tied together to make one long duration

12 Legato Slurs Look like ties, but they connect two or more different pitches Indicate that the performer must move smoothly from one note to the next, with no gap in the sound

13 Staccato Staccato Dots
Dots placed above or below note heads indicate that the notes should be played staccato, in a detached manner Musicians often play a staccato quarter note as if it were an eighth note followed by an eighth rest

14 Triplets Notes normally divide into two or four equal parts
Triplets can be used to divide a note into three equal parts Three notes are bracketed together and/or marked with the number 3 Quarter note = two eighth notes = three eighth-note triplets

15 Meter Measures Basic time unit chosen for a piece of music
Vertical bar lines separate one measure from the next Measures are normally equal in length

16 Meter Time signatures Found on the staff at the beginning of the piece
Top number = number of beats in each measure Bottom number = note value of the beat

17 Pitch Notation Seven letter names (ABCDEFG) assigned to seven original pitches of diatonic scale Letter names re-used in every octave Octaves often distinguished by numbers (c1 or c2) or prime marks (A’ or A”) Middle C (c1) is just left of the middle of the keyboard, under the maker’s name

18 The Staff To specify exact pitches, notes are placed on a five-lined staff Notes can be placed on a line or in the spaces between lines Ledger lines temporarily extend the number of lines in a staff when higher or lower notes are needed

19 Clefs Clef signs at the beginning of each staff identify a reference pitch (G clef or F clef) Clefs enable musicians to quickly identify specific pitches on any line or space Most common are treble clef (G clef) and bass clef (F clef)

20 Clefs Middle C is first ledger line above bass clef and first ledger line below treble clef Since these clefs hardly overlap, they are often used together to notate a maximum span of pitches

21 Clefs Piano music brackets treble and bass clefs together in a grand staff With ledger lines, the grand staff can be used to notate every pitch on the piano keyboard

22 Sharps and Flats Letter names identify the white keys on the piano keyboard Sharps and flats are required to identify the black keys In music notation, we write sharps and flats just to the left of a note head In written prose or when speaking, we say the letter name first (C sharp or B flat)

23 Sharps and Flats

24 Sharps To find a sharped note on the keyboard:
First find the white key for the letter name Then find the key just above it (to the right!) C sharp is the black key just above C (B sharp is the white key just above B!)

25 Flats To find a flatted note on the keyboard:
First find the white key for the letter name Then find the key just below it (to the left!) B flat is the black key just below B (C flat is the white key just below C!)

26 Naturals Naturals are used to cancel a sharp or a flat (to revert to the white key) They are used when a sharped or flatted note is followed by a “normal” version of the same note (Bar lines automatically cancel added sharps or flats)

27 Key Signatures Most scales consistently use certain sharps or flats throughout a piece Writing in those sharps or flats every time they appear takes time and adds clutter Instead, composers put them in a key signature, found just after the clef at the beginning of each staff

28 Key Signatures These two tunes sound the same, but the version with a key signature: Looks nicer than the version without:

29 Scores Music for a melody instrument (violin, trumpet, etc.) is written on a single staff

30 Scores Music for keyboard instruments is written on two staves: one for each hand

31 Scores Music for two or more instruments and/or voices is written in scores Scores contain the music for every voice and instrument (every part) in a given piece Parts are lined up vertically In general, high sounding instruments go on top, low ones on the bottom

32 Scores Scores can be simple, with just a few parts:
Or more complex (next slide):

33 Scores

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