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Presentation on theme: "UNIT 1: ELEMENTS."— Presentation transcript:


2 Chapter 1: SOUND Sound is all around us John Cage (1912-1992), 4’33”
What is “sound”?

3 Sound – Vibration of an object Transmitted to our ears through the air
Eardrums begin to vibrate Impulses/signals sent to the brain Signals organized and interpreted

4 Music – a type of sound with 4 main properties:
Pitch Dynamics Tone color or timbre duration

5 1. PITCH Pitch – the relative highness or lowness of a sound
Determined by the frequency of its vibrations The faster the vibrations, the higher the pitch.


7 Vibration is measured in cycles per second
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.

8 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

9 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.

10 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.

11 Notating Dynamics (in Italian):
Term Abbreviation Meaning Pianissimo pp very soft Piano p soft Mezzo piano mp moderately soft Mezzo forte mf moderately loud Forte f loud Fortissimo ff very loud

12 Gradual changes are shown as:
Symbol Term Meaning crescendo gradually louder decrescendo or gradually softer diminuendo

13 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

14 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.

15 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.

16 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

17 Listening for Syncopation
Turn in books to page 42 I Got Rhythm George Gershwin Unsquare Dance Dave Brubeck

18 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

19 Other markings: accelerando (becoming faster) and ritardando (becoming slower)

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