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The organization of sound in time

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Presentation on theme: "The organization of sound in time"— Presentation transcript:

1 The organization of sound in time
Introduction to Music The organization of sound in time 1. I’ve added notes to this PowerPoint presentation. The notes are only meant to remind me of the things that I want to address in class about the individual song selection. The students are not meant to have access to the notes, and I will omit them when I publish them online.

2 Music In this module you will consider the following Elements of music
Context of music Emotions / ideas / feelings expressed What is music? Historical influences Knowledge that you bring to listening to music

3 How to use this module The following slides contain nine audio files and questions for each audio sample. To hear the audio portion of the slide, click on the graphic. Please listen to each audio selection at least once and jot down your general reaction to the excerpt and your answers to the questions. Then post your answers on the Blackboard site for the Introduction to Music module.

4 Song 1 What is the primary age group for this song? Why do you think so? Are the lyrics important for the song? Why or why not? What is the mood of this song? What kind of song is this? Have you heard anything similar? What instruments do you hear on this song? I have not included the sound clips used in this module because of copyright issues, but I do indicate what song could be heard. I am in the process of getting permission to use these musical examples. Alternatives to that approach: has royalty free music for sale or you might put together your own music excerpts using Acid Pro. See module C3 for more about capturing music files and making your own music. Thanks to Ellie Pinkham for advice on this. The song is Senor El Gato, sung by Kelly Hogan from The Bottle Let Me Down. The main points that I want to bring out in the discussion include: The audience is sophisticated children and adults, in particular the use of animal sounds, but vocabulary such as solar plexis (compare with module A5 on the use of animals in children’s books use of humor in children’s songs: appropriate or inappropriate? At what age do children “understand” humor? Instruments: voices, guitarro, strings, drums, trumpets Corrido style: Mexican ballad whose content is often gruesome tale sung in a deadpan style. Compare with nortena music. Even though the song is about death, the mood is light.

5 Song 2 What instruments do you hear?
Is the music “pleasing” or easy to listen to? Why or why not? What is the mood of this piece? Choral ode from Euripides, Orestes (408 BCE) performed by Organographica fro their CD entitled Music of the Ancient Greeks. Modal scale, which sounds “off” to Western ears accustomed to all intervals within a scale as seconds. But compare with Turkish and North African music. This is a perfect fourth to (ascending) quarter step, quarter step, major third. Changes in determining “good” music; attitudes embedded in cultural attitudes. Similarly to the previous example in which our knowledge adds to our appreciation of the music, our appreciation or lack of depends on our culture and knowledge of western music. Lyrics from the ancient Greek: “I lament, I lament” because of your mother’s blood that drives you mad. Great fortune among mortals does not endure: a god upsets it like the sail of a fast boat overwhelmed in the rough frightful wars of dreadful calamity, as in the sea.” (Translation from liner notes.) Compare with Homeric representation of war. Instruments: voice, aulos parthenios (double pipe) Choral odes were sung and danced by the Greek chorus in a tragedy. Would we consider this dance music?

6 Song 3 From what country do you think this band originates?
Would you consider this dance music? Why or why not? What is the mood of this song? Why do you think so? Is this seamless sound or are you meant to hear more than one sound at the same time? This song is Utrus horas, performed by the Orchestra Baobab from their CD Pirates Choice. They are a Senegalese group but are performing a Cuban song in Wolof and Spanish. African influence on Cuban and Latin American music and now the cross-influence of Cuban music on African music. One might ask what music isn’t influenced by African music; discuss the influence on American pop, blues, spirituals. One might ask what is African music or has music become more global? Polyphony, polyrhythmic, polymeter. Instruments: vocals, tenor sax, electric guitar, bass, percussion. Toque: in general the “beat” in Latin music. A standard rhythmic phrase for percussion, probably originated from African religious drumming which associated a particular rhythmic pattern with a particular god. In Latin music, virtuosity with percussions is often associated with the ability to improvise and incorporate a variety of toques.

7 Song 4 How many instruments do you hear in this selection?
Does one particular instrument stand out? What ideas or emotions come to mind when you listen to this sample? What kind of music is it? Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Homophony, polyphony, monophony. Compare the blended sounds here with the earlier Orchestra Baobab selection. Discuss concertos: one player (the violin here) plays a melody and the rest of the orchestra accompanies the instrument. A kind of conversation or argument. Three movements: Fast/slow/fast. Programmatic vs. absolute music. Spring: bird songs, thunderstorms, barking dogs.

8 Song 5 What instruments do you hear in this example?
Is there anything that sounds unusual? What ideas or emotions does this sample suggest to you? From what country are these singers? Have you heard anything similar to this before? The Orphan’s Lament sung by Huun-Huur-Tu (Tuvan throat singing) from The Orphan’s Lament. Emphasis on timbre: everything in their repertoire based on characteristics of tone color. Vocals and simultaneous throat singing (igil, byzaanchi, marinhuur). Discuss our ideas about what constitutes an instrument. In Tuvan folklore, orphans are key figures who illustrate the importance of family and love. An orphan is always an unlucky figure, even if prosperous and wealthy. This is a sad lament. Compare with the second example and the use of slow rhythm and stringed accompaniments.

9 Song 6 How does this example begin? Is this music?
What kind of music is this? What instruments do you hear? What is the general mood of this example? The song is “Left Hand Suzuki Method” performed by the Gorillaz on their CD Gorillaz. Synthesized music: new technology and its impact on music. Compare lute to mandolin, viola da gamba. Polyphony: voice vs. rhythm. The idea of sampling (extracts from other songs). Discuss intertextuality / sampling which contributes to the complexity of meaning and depends on the knowledge of the audience.

10 Song 7 What instrument do you hear? How many people are playing?
How many sounds do you hear? Bach, Goldberg Variations, played by Glenn Gould from The Glenn Gould Edition. Continue with discussion of technology, e.g. differences between harpsichord (not touch sensitive) and piano. Volume achieved with the former with rolling chords. Keyboard tuning change: Tuning keyboard so that the musical distance would be the same from each key to the next key. Counterpoint: Fugues with 3 or more melodic lines, which enter at different times. The question of “authentic” playing of older music.

11 Song 8 What instrument can you hear in this song?
What is the rhythm or beat of this example? What kind of music is this? What is your evidence? What is the mood of this song? Why do you think so? “Paris Mambo” on Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri, Masterpiece. Heavy brass (trumpets, sax, trombones) characteristic of Puente style of mambo and percussion. Instruments: trumpets, sax, trombones, congas, timbales, vibes, clave. Afro-Cuban rhythm; compare with song 3. Mambo: Cuban up tempo dance music transformed by New York Big Band musicians. Mambo dance has been described as rhumba with jitterbug: how does the rhythm contribute to this? Tito Puente, the king of Mambo.

12 Song 9 Is this music? Why or why not?
What does this music remind you of? What instruments are being played? What is the mood of this song? “Imaginary Landscapes, No. 1,” written and performed by John Cage from Early Modulations, Vintage Volts. Electronic music written in 1939. Composer and music become fused; compare this with song 6. How much knowledge does the audience need to appreciate this? Discuss Milton Babbit’s Philomel in which he synthesizes the human voice to illustrate the story of Philomel (Ovid’s story of the woman who became a nightingale after being raped and having her tongue cut out.) Music less about emotions and more about meaning.

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