Week 1 Notes
Jan 8, 2008
-the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in
temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity
-vocal, instrumental, or mechanical sounds having rhythm, melody, and/or harmony
-humanly organized sound
Rhythm: The patterned alternation of sound and silence, often repetitive, relative to
Tempo: The speed of music, the pulse, the beat (affects how music sounds and
feels, the same piece of music will sound different if played slower or faster)
Syncopation: The stressing of a normally unstressed part of the beat, emphasis on
a weak partial
Polyrhythm: simultaneous playing of contrasting and cyclical rhythms which, in
combination, create a consistent rhythmic texture or groove
Instrumentation: The combination of musical instruments in a given ensemble.
Melody: a succession of single tones organized as an aesthetic whole, i.e. "the tune,"
the part that you hum.
Harmony: The simultaneous combination of notes, usually "behind" the melody as
support giving texture and/or mood.
Pitch: the sound of a particular note, used to discern high and low for our purposes,
pitches arranged in consecutive order are called scales
Timbre: tone color, for example, the reason the same note sounds differently when
played on a guitar as opposed to piano
Texture: the density of musical sound, i.e. thick/thin, dense/sparse