Vibration is measured in cycles per second. The smaller the vibrating object, the faster is vibrations Sound that has a definite pitch is called a tone The distance in pitch between any two tones is called an interval.
When tones are separated by the interval called an octave, they sound very much alike Octave = important in music The interval between the first and last notes of most familiar scales
Range – the distance between the highest and lowest pitch in a song or that an instrument can play Pitch – the first tool a composer has in creating a mood.
2. DYNAMICS Dynamics – degrees of loudness or softness in music Loudness is related to amplitude of vibration Accent – when a performer emphasizes tone by playing it more loudly than the tones around it.
Notating Dynamics (in Italian): TermAbbreviationMeaning Pianissimoppvery soft Pianopsoft Mezzo pianompmoderately soft Mezzo fortemfmoderately loud Fortefloud Fortissimoffvery loud
Listening for Dynamics Turn in books to page 11: “Lohengrin,” Prelude to Act III Richard Wagner (“Vahgner”) “The Firebird,” Scene 2 Igor Stravinsky O Magnum Mysterium Morten Lauridsen
3. TONE COLOR/TIMBRE Timbre – the quality that distinguishes one tone from another Words like bright, dark, mellow, rich, etc. Composers use different combinations of instruments to create the tone color they want.
4. DURATION Music is divided into long and short notes Rhythm – the organization of long and short pitches through time Beat – a regular, recurrent pulsation that divides music into equal units of time Forms the background against which the composer places notes of varying lengths. Beats are basic units of time by which all notes are measured.
Meter – the organization of accented and unaccented beats in music Look in books, page 40 Syncopation – an effect when an accented note comes where we normally would not expect one (the “offbeat”) Defining characteristic of jazz music
Listening for Syncopation Turn in books to page 42 I Got Rhythm George Gershwin Unsquare Dance Dave Brubeck
Tempo – the speed of the beat, the pace of music Tempo markings: Prestissimo – as fast as possible Presto – very fast Vivace – lively Allegro – fast Allegretto – moderately fast Moderato – moderate Andante – moderately slow, walking speed Adagio – slow Grave – very slow, solemn Largo – very slow, broad
Other markings: accelerando (becoming faster) and ritardando (becoming slower) metronome