MELODIC NOTATION UNIT TWO

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1 MELODIC NOTATION UNIT TWO

2 This is the equivalence between Latin and English notation: Music is written in a graph of five lines and four spaces called a staff: 2

3 Notes that extend above or below the staff use ledger lines: Normally, notes of lower pitch are written in bass clef. The clef changes the pitch of the notes, this is its function. 3

4 These are the names of the notes on a keyboard in treble clef: 4

5 INTERVALS I An interval in music is the distance between two notes. A half step is the smallest distance between two keys on the piano. It is also the smallest interval commonly used in western music. A whole step is a combination of two half steps side by side on the keyboard. A whole step on the piano can be between two white keys, two black keys or a black and white key. Notate that half steps are always located between E-F and B-C 5

6 SHARPS, FLATS AND NATURALS Placing a sharp in front of a note raises the pitch a half step. Placing a flat in front of a note lowers the pitch a half step. A natural placed before a note cancels the effect a flat or a sharp has until the next bar. Sharps or flats placed immediately to the right of the clef sign are called the Key signature. They indicate the scale we are in. These symbols affect every note named by the sharps or flats for the entire song. When sharps or flats appear in a key signature it is no longer necessary to place them next to each individual note. 6

7 Keyboards are tuned in a way that there is half step between each key. Enharmonic notes: Notes that sound the same but have different names. For example: C# and Db. 7

8 RHYTHM UNIT THREE

9 Beat is a steady, recurring pulse. Sometimes beat can be strong an accented, and it s almost impossible not to tap our toe or get up and dance to it. Other times is gently repetitious. We normally say that music has a strong rhythm or a soft rhythm. As we said in the last lesson, rhythm consists of a series of beats which often has regular stresses. 9

10 Observe these rhythmic patterns: DUPLE METRE The strong beats come at regular intervals, every two beats. TRIPLE METRE Here the strong beats come every three beats. 10

11 We express this regularity through the time signature. The strong beat is the first beat of each bar. Meter is the number of beats in a measure. Four beats per bar create a quadruple meter. Observe some terms related to rhythm in a score: 11

12 Time signatures are located at the beginning of the score. They are written using two numbers: - The top number tells you how many beats there are in each bar. The first beat is always the strongest one. - The bottom number tells you the note that lasts a beat. (See the correspondence between notes and numbers in next page). Normally it s number 4 which means each beat is a quarter long. 2 BEATS IN A 3 BEATS IN A BAR 2 BAR EACH BEAT IS 4 EACH BEAT IS 4 ONE QUARTER LONG ONE QUARTER LONG 4 BEATS IN A BAR EACH BEAT IS ONE QUARTER LONG 12

13 Notes and rests represent the length of a sound or a silence. They are represented by numbers in time signatures: NOTE NAME REST Nº WHOLE NOTE 1 HALF NOTE QUARTER NOTE EIGHT NOTE SIXTEENTH NOTE

14 Normally we conduct time signatures by following the movements below with one of our hands: 14

15 The length of notes and rests depends on the bottom number of the time signature. The number four designates that the note lasting one beat is the quarter note, but it can be another note if the number changes. Observe these examples: There are also kinds of time signatures that divide each beat in three, time signatures that combine duple and triple metre, etc. There is even music, like Gregorian Chant, that has no time signature because its rhythm is free! The notes, rests and time signatures we have practiced in this unit will allow us to read a wide range of popular music pieces. On the next pages you have an example applied to a basic drum set rhythm. 15

16 Observe the elements of a DRUM SET: 16

17 Each element of the drum set has a place in the staff: Observe how is written a simple rock rhythm using musical language: Snare Open Bass Hit-Hat Drum 17

18 The tempo is the speed of the music Tempo is Italian for time. In a lot of music the instructions for how fast to play are written in Italian as well. Here are some of the words you re most likely to come across: ITALIAN ENGLISH BEATS PER MINUTE Largo Very slow Adagio Slow METRONOME A mechanical or electrical instrument that makes repeated clicking sounds at an adjustable pace, used for marking rhythm, esp. in practicing music. Andante A bit slow Moderato Moderate speed Allegro A bit fast Vivace Fast Presto Very fast Tempo instruction: This sign means that the music has a tempo of 90 beats per minute. 18

19 These words tell you how to vary the speed. TÉRMINO ITALIANO ABBREVIATION MEANING Accelerando Accel. Speding up Rallentando Rall. Slowing down A tempo Back to the original pace This an example of how it is used in a score: 19

20 By combining all these musical elements related to tempo and rhythm, as well as others we will discover later on, we can create a specific emotional atmosphere throughout the music. Mood is the overall feel of a piece It is indicated at the beginning of the piece using Italian terms. There can be as many terms as different emotions can exist: giocoso (playful, humorous), trionfale (triumphant), dolce (soft and sweet), energico (energetic), amoroso (loving), etc. 20

21 INTERVALS AND SCALES UNIT FIVE

22 INTERVALS II An interval is the gap or distance between two notes and it has two parts to its name: a number and a description. For example: Third Major interval The number tells you how many notes the interval covers. You get the number by counting up the staff from the bottom note to the top note, including the bottom and top notes in your counting. We can find second intervals, thirds, fourths, fifths and so on. 3 notes 4 notes rd. 4th. When two notes are the same interval it is called a prime, or unison. An interval of eight notes is called an octave: 22

23 The description (major, minor, perfect, etc ) tells you how the interval sounds and the number of half and whole steps it contains. Name of the interval Mayor second Minor second Second augmented Distance Whole step (two half steps) Half step Step and a half Between be and F there s a major second interval. Between B and C there s a minor second interval. 23

24 MAJOR SCALE A scale is a set of pitches in an arrangement of whole and half steps. The word scale comes from the Italian word scala, meaning ladder. The pitches of a scale are arranged from lowest to highest, (ascending) or highest to lowest (descending). One of the most common and familiar scales is the major scale. It has seven notes. The major scale uses a specific arrangement of half and whole steps to give it its distinctive bright and cheery sound. It follows the sequence of intervals below. 2nd major 2nd major 2nd minor 2nd major 2nd major 2nd major- 2nd minor Whole step Whole step Half Step Whole step Whole step Whole step Half Step 24

25 MINOR SCALES Minor scales sound completely different from mayor scales because they ve got a different half-whole pattern and it produces a melancholic mood. There are three types of minor scales. This is the pattern of the harmonic minor scale: Whole step Half Step Whole step Whole step Half Step Step and a half Half Step It follows the next pattern of intervals: 2nd mayor 2nd minor 2nd mayor 2nd mayor 2nd minor *2nd augmented 2nd minor 25

26 Our musical system has fifteen mayor scales and fifteen minor scales. In fact there are just two sonorities (major and minor mode) that can start from any note. The first note of the scale is the tonic and gives the scale its name. The rest of the notes have to follow the patterns that we have explained. These are all the key signatures (sharps or flats of each scale) you can find in our musical system: 26

27 SCALE DEGREE NAMES Each of the seven notes of the scale has a name: Some degrees are more important than others and have special harmonic functions. For example, the first degree, the tonic, is the sound centre where the music starts and finishes, melodically and harmonically. Dominant and subdominant contrast and alternate with the tonic creating movement and sound tension to build the musical discourse. Main cadences are based on the dominant and the subdominant. We ll study this point later on. On C major scale, for instance, G is dominant note and F is subdominant. 27

28 This musical system called Tonality was consolidated during the seventeenth century and has let the musical discourse become longer and more complex by changing from one key (scales) to another within the same musical piece. To change from one key to another is called a modulation. We use this technique in classical but also in pop and rock music to create certain sound effects or to repeat a bit of music with a different sonority. Normally we modulate to the closest keys, which are the relative minor/major scale or Key signatures with one more or one less sharp or flat. Close keys keep a relation of fifths (five notes included in the bottom and the top note). The fifth note of a scale is the dominant but also the tonic of the next scale. That s why we use a lot the dominant chord as a pivot to change to the next key. Observe that minor keys are step and a half (three half steps) under the tonic of their relative keys. Pay attention to the relation of fifths in the Circle of fifths on the next page. 28

29 CIRCLE OF FIFTHS 29

30 TIMBRE, DYNAMICS AND ARTICULATION UNIT SIX

31 Every instrument has its own timbre, just like every person has a unique and personal voice. Timbre is the type of sound that different instruments make. It s also known as tone colour. Physically, timbre is the quality the harmonics (sound waves) confer to the main frequency (the lowest wave that an instrument generates). Those harmonics generate variations in the main wave. Harmonics are produced because all the parts of the instrument vibrate. In the case of the human voice, bones from our faces, thorax and cranium vibrate. The arrangement of these bones varies for everyone, which is why G note sounds different from one person to the next. 31

32 ELEMENTS OF THE TIMBRE -Different instruments produce vibrations in different ways. For example, on a string instrument the bow is drawn across the string to make it vibrate. On a brass instrument the vibrations are produced when the player buzzes their lips - The size and material of the instrument alter the timbre as well e.g. a cello has a different timbre than a violin because it s bigger, and wooden flutes sound different from metal ones. - Timbre can change depending on the strength you use to play an instrument (dynamics) or the way you play it (articulation). 32

33 WOODWIND INSTRUMENTS: crystalline and light sounds (piccolo and flutes), nasal and opaque sounds (oboe) PERCUSSION INSTRUMENTS: it is a jumble drawer; it contents very different sounds. Compare a bell with a bass drum! STRINGS INSTRUMENTS: warm sounds (viola), incisive sounds (violin), dark, smooth sounds (cello and double bass) HUMAN VOICES: they have a large variety of touches TIMBRE FAMILIES: we group instruments by the way they produce vibration BRASS INSTRUMENTS: bright and metallic sounds (trumpets and trombones), big and deep sounds (horns and tubes) SYNTHESISED SOUNDS: imitate the rest of the instruments, record and alter sounding materials from the real world (samples), or create new sounds They can all be modified by using microphones with effects, amplifiers and equalizers. 33

34 Modern symphony orchestras have four sections of instruments: Strings, woodwind, brass and percussion. The sections always sit in the same places for acoustic reasons. The loudest instruments the percussion go right at the back The brass go behind the woodwind The woodwind go behind the strings The strings are the quietest. They go at the front so they aren t drowned out. The conductor stands at the front, facing the orchestra 34

35 DYNAMICS Music that was all played at the same volume would be pretty dull. Dynamic markings tell you how loud or quietly to play. To get a variety of different volumes you can use these symbols: pp p mf f ff pianissimo piano mezzoforte forte fortissimo very quiet quiet fairly loud loud very loud crescendo Diminuendo Getting louder Getting quieter The markings go underneath the stave 35

36 ARTICULATION Articulation tells you how much to separate the notes. In theory all the notes of a bar should add up to one continuous sound but actually there are tiny gaps between them. If you exaggerate the gaps you get a staccato effect. If you smooth the gaps out, the notes sound slurred. A breath mark: It s a comma placed above the staff at the ends of the musical phrases. It directs the performer of the music to take a breathe. 36

37 MUSICAL FORM UNIT EIGHT

38 The musical form is the structure or time frame upon which music is developed. Basic principles of formal composition. Repetition Contrast Music needs repetition to be understood and remembered, but too much repetition could lead to boredom or tiredness. Therefore, music also needs to combine different things or add new stuff. It needs to create contrast. The beauty comes from finding the balance between repetition and contrast. 38

39 Musical form is normally based on the melodies of a composition and the connections between them. To analyse musical form we assign each melody a letter. If the same melody appears again we repeat it, and if we hear something new we assign it a new letter. Melody 1 Melody 2 Etc. A B You ll see the diagrams of the most common forms of western music. Later on you ll have an explanation of each of them. 39

40 COMMON FORMS Strophic Form or Ballad Binary form 12-bars blues Verse- Chorus Structure Ternary form Rondo Theme and variations The same section of music is repeated over and over again with virtually no changes. Consists of two different musical phrases or sections that are usually repeated. It repeats the same melody twice (the call) with slight variations, followed by a new melody (the response). The structure goes verse-chorusverse-chorus and so on. Consists of three phrases or sections in which the third one is usually the repetition of the first one. A piece of music in which a refrain is repeated between new musical ideas. A piece that starts with one tune and then change it in different ways. 40

41 STROPHIC FORM In a strophic song each verse has the same tune; the same section of music is repeated over and over again with virtually no changes. Strophic form is used in Classical, folk, blues and pop music. The music for each verse is the same but the lyrics change in every verse. Hymns or romances are good examples of this. 41

42 BINARY FORM Binary form has two sections, and each one is repeated twice. It s usually used for Baroque dances, e.g. borrée, menuet, gavotte, sarabande and gigue. The two sections should sound different (to contrast). The contrast is often made by modulating to related keys: Pieces in a minor key usually modulate to the relative major, e.g. A minor to C major. Pieces in a major key usually modulate to the dominant key (V), e.g. C major to G major. 42

43 12-BAR BLUES STRUCTURE (CALL AND RESPONSE ) Call and response is an old, simple musical structure. It takes place between either two groups of musicians or between a leader and the rest of the group. One group (or the leader) plays or sings a short phrase, this is the call. It s answered by the other group, this is the response. In a 12-bar blues structure the usual pattern of a call and response is slightly modified by adding a variation of A. The result is this: A- A1- B: Pattern of chords in a 12-bar blues 4 bars 4 bars 4 bars A CALL A1 - CALL WITH VARIATION B RESPONSE I I I I IV IV I I V IV I V/ I This pattern is very popular in blues and pop music. 43

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