Melody, Harmony, Rhythm - Establishing the Elements of...

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Establishing the Elements of Music Groundwork Now that you have learned about the instruments of music and several famous composers, you are ready to start your training on how to listen to music. You will do this by learning about the elements of music. I have selected 6 elements of music that will help you learn the basic principles of how to listen to music. I have decided to split the 6 elements into two tours. In this first tour, you will discover three elements of music that constitute the backbone of any musical work. These three elements are: melody, rhythm, and harmony. Comic Relief from the Elements of Music A guy walks into a pet store wanting a parrot. The store clerk shows him two beautiful ones out on the floor. "This one's $5,000 and the other is $10,000." the clerk said. "Wow! What does the $5,000 one do?" "This parrot can sing every aria Mozart ever wrote." "And the other?" said the customer. "This one can sing Wagner's entire Ring opera cycle. There's another one in the back room for $30,000." "Holy moly! What does that one do?" "Nothing that I can tell, but the other two parrots call him 'Maestro'." Melody Overture Melody is one of the main elements of music. I believe that it is the most memorable of all the musical elements. Why is this? Well, just remember a pesky little melody in your mind that won’t go away and you will agree with me. Engaging the Past The term melody comes from the Greek words melos and aoidein. The word melos means song and the word aoidein means to sing. The combination of both words translates to something like ‘to sing a song’. Some early Greek melodies are based on musical theoretical works of ancient major Greek writers such as Aristoxenos, Quintilianus, and Aristotle.
On the other hand, The Bible has many references to the use of music and melodies. Jewish scholars indicate that their synagogue melodies are of great antiquity as well. This Jewish musical tradition is part of the Ashkenazic tradition of melodies from the Sinai. Semantic Issues In essence, the modern violin is one of the oldest stringed instruments. Presumably, the word violin derives from the Latin word vitula . Other sources claim that the word violin means small viola. Existing pre-Classical instruments hint the current look of the modern violin. Today’s quality instruments still follow the same traditions that luthiers or instrument makers followed in the old times. Melody Rationale Believe it or not, there are two views of melody. One view is a simple view and the other view encompasses a broader view that assumes that melody has a cultural overtone. The first view is the simple view that melody is defined as a succession of pitches that happen consecutively. The second and more extended view defines melody as the aesthetic product of a given succession of pitches in musical time, implying rhythmically ordered movement from pitch to pitch.

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