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UNIT 1: ELEMENTS Chapter 1: Sound: Pitch, Dynamics & Tone Color.

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Presentation on theme: "UNIT 1: ELEMENTS Chapter 1: Sound: Pitch, Dynamics & Tone Color."— Presentation transcript:

1 UNIT 1: ELEMENTS Chapter 1: Sound: Pitch, Dynamics & Tone Color

2 Sound  Sounds begin with the vibration of an object.  Those vibrations are transmitted as sound waves to our ears by a medium.  What mediums can be used to transmit sound?  Once the vibrations reach our eardrums, they start vibrating.  Impulses (or signals) are then transmitted to our brain.  There, they are selected, organized & interpreted.

3 Sound  Three main methods of creating sound:  Striking  Scraping  Plucking  Four main properties of sound:  Pitch  Dynamics  Tone Color  Duration

4 Pitch  The relative highness or lowness that we hear in a sound.  The pitch of a sound is determined by the frequency of its sound wave.  The faster the vibration, the higher the pitch  The slower the vibration, the lower the pitch

5 Pitch  A sound with a definite pitch is called a tone.  Tones have specific frequencies.  The number of cycles per second is called a frequency.  A common frequency is “A-440” We call the tone of 440 cycles per second an “A”  Two tones sound different when they have different pitches.  The distance in pitch between any two tones is called an interval.  Example: A-440 & C-523.3

6 Pitch  When you double or halve a frequency, you create the interval of an octave.  Example: A-440 up an octave is A-880  Example: A-440 down an octave is A-220  Two pitches that are separated by an octave blend extremely well.

7 Pitch  There are an infinite number of pitches between octaves.  Demonstration  However, there are only 12 typical tones used in western music:  A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, G#/Ab  These correspond with the 12 keys of the piano:

8 The 12 Pitches of Western Music

9 Pitch  Range – the distance between the lowest and highest tones that a voice or instrument can produce  The average untrained voice has a range of 1 ½ octaves.  The piano has a range of over 7 octaves

10 Pitch  Definite pitch – a pitch with a specific frequency  Wind & String instruments and voices have a definite pitch  Indefinite pitch – a pitch without a specific frequency  Many percussion instruments are based on indefinite pitch: Snare drum Bass Drum Gong Others?

11 Dynamics  Dynamics are degrees of loudness or softness in music.  Dynamics are related to the amplitude of the sound wave.  The amplitude is the height of the sound wave. The bigger the amplitude, the louder the sound. The smaller the amplitude, the softer the sound.

12 Dynamics Chart TermAbbreviationMeaning pianissimoppvery soft pianopsoft mezzo pianompmoderately soft mezzo*mmoderate mezzo fortemfmoderately loud fortefloud fortissimoffvery loud * Mezzo is very rarely used. It is most often used with piano or forte.

13 Dynamics  There are extremes of the dynamic range  ppp – pianississimo – extremely soft  pppp – pianissississimo – almost nonexistant  fff – fortississimo – extremely loud  ffff – fortissississimo – bombastic  These are typically used to indicate degree of softness or loudness. They are mainly for effect.

14 Dynamics  Dynamics can change either gradually or suddenly.  Gradual changes are notated by the following notations: SymbolTermMeaning decrescendo (decresc.)gradually softer or dimenuendo (dim.) crescendo (cresc.)gradually louder

15 Dynamics  Unlike (definite) pitch, dynamics are NOT absolutely precise.  Dynamics are relative to one another within the context of the piece or situation.

16 Sound Waves Visualized

17 Tone Color  Also called timbre (pronounced tam-ber).  Timbre is how we can differentiate one type of sound from another.  Example: The difference in a flute or a trumpet.  Example: The differences in people’s voices.  Can you tell the difference?  Used to create variety and contrast in a word

18 Listening  The Firebird, Scene 2 (1910) The Firebird, Scene 2  Igor Stravinsky  One melody repeated over and over  Dynamics, tone color, and rhythm are used to create musical variety & contrast  Instrumentation:  Piccolo, 3 flutes, 3 oboes, English horn, 3 clarinets, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 6 trumpets, tuba, timpani, triangle, cymbals, bass drum, 3 harps, 1 st violins, 2 nd violins, violas, cellos, double basses

19 Listening  C Jam Blues (1942) C Jam Blues  Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra  8 Parts: 1. Piano, repeated note melody 2. Saxophone, repeated note melody 3. Violin alone, then accompanied 4. Muted cornet alone, then accompanied 5. Tenor saxophone alone, then accompanied 6. Muted trombone alone, then accompanied 7. Clarinet alone, then accompanied 8. Full group  This is a prime example of improvisation – music created at the same time it is performed.

20 Chapter Wrap-Up  4 characteristics of sound  Pitch - The relative highness or lowness that we hear in a sound.  Dynamics - are degrees of loudness or softness in music.  Tone Color  Rhythm (discussed later)  The characteristics are used to create variety and contrast in music.

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