Musical Texture and Form

Musical Texture and Form - UNIT I Introduction Fundamentals...

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UNIT I – Introduction Fundamentals of Music Musical Texture and Form Up to this point, we have talked about how music works in time. Now, we will briefly explore how music is put together – how it is constructed. Again, we can think of this construction in terms of “vertical” and “horizontal.” Vertical can refer to how elements are piled on top of each other – the “thickness” of the music, if you can think of it that way – and we call this element the texture of music. There are essentially 4 typex of textures, but several of these types have sub-types that help to describe them better: Monophony: (from mono = “one,” and phon = “sound”) This texture is the most simple. Basically you will hear one musical line – that’s all. Like this: However, there may be multiple people or instruments performing that one line—imagine the same line as above, but in boldface: For example, when we sing “Happy Birthday” to someone, we all generally sing the same line together – that is monophony. Heterophony: (from hetero = “different,” and phon = “sound”) Closely related to this texture is heterophony. Heterophony is when the same line is performed by multiple performers (like in monophony), but unlike monophony, not every performer sings it that same exact way. Some people may add scoops, bends, extra notes, etc. to the melody. However, it is still apparent that the same melody is being performed. It might look like this: Homophony is very rare in European and American classical music: those styles often prefer that melodies are performed very “cleanly” and “uniformly.” However, non- Western styles, as well as popular styles like jazz and some rock music, often utilize heterophony (but most of the time in combination with other textures).
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Homophony: (from homo = “same,” and phon = “sound”) Homophony is the most common texture in the music we are going to study this semester – most of the music we will listening to will incorporate some amount of homophony. At the most basic level, homophony is a musical texture where you have multiple musical lines, but one line is more important than the rest. However, there are two common versions of this texture, both of which could be considered a ‘sub-set’ of homophony. This first, homorhythmic texture, is when you again have multiple musical line with one line being more important than the rest; but here, all the lines will have the same rhythm (get it? – homorhythmic= “same rhythm” ). This is a common texture: most church hymns use this texture. For example, your mother may sing the melody up high, your father may sing the bass line down low, and your siblings may fill in lines in the middle; but they will all be singing the same words on the same rhythms, and changing notes on the same syllables. It might look like this: on grace Thee. His
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This note was uploaded on 10/21/2008 for the course MUS 355 taught by Professor Carson during the Spring '08 term at ASU.

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Musical Texture and Form - UNIT I Introduction Fundamentals...

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