CH. 1- SOUNDMusic is an art based on the organization of sounds in time. A sound, any sound, is the result of vibrations in the air set in motion by the activation of a sounding body—the slamming of adoor, the ringing of a bell, or the playing of a musical instrument. In the case of amusicalsound, the vibrations are so definite and steady that they produce what is called atone(also referred to as anote), the highness or lowness of which is called thepitch.The precise pitch is determined by thefrequency,as measured in cycles per second, of its vibration—thefasterthe frequency, thehigherthe pitch, and conversely, theslowerthe frequency, thelowerthe pitch. When music is written down, the higher pitches are represented by notes that are higher (toward the top of the page) on thestaf:the set of five horizontal lines on or between which the notes are placed. The staff helps us measure how much higher or lower one note is in comparison with another. Each line and each space represents a different pitch:The higher the position of the note on the staff, the higher the pitch of the tone:
The following is an example of the contour (or high-and-low shape) of pitches (without the staff) for the beginning of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”The distance between two pitches is called aninterval.The smallest interval that occurs when two identical pitches are played one after the other is called aunison.Another interval, called anoctave,is that between notes of the same name—forexample, one C and the next C above it (Figure 1.1). They will sound similar to each other because the higher pitch is produced by exactly double the number of vibrations that it takes to produce the lower pitch. For example, the wordssayandseein “The Star-Spangled Banner” are separated by an octave. Between the two notes that mark an octave, there are eleven other notes and many intervals possible among them.Figure 1.1Piano keyboard with one octave from C to C and another octave from E to E marked.
As you look at the piano keyboard, you will notice that the blackkeys are grouped in patterns of twos and threes. Each note looks different from any other, depending on where it fits withinthose groupings. Any note on the white key just to the left of a set of two black keys, for example, will be the note C. If you play one C and then the next higher or lower C, you have played an octave. If you play the notes on the white keys from one C to the next, you are playing a Cmajor scale,sometimesreferred to as thedo-re-miscale because those syllables are used to identify the notes as follows: C =do,D =re,E =mi,F =fa,G =sol,A =la,B =ti.If you were to continue on and play the notes up to the next higher C, you would be playing what is called atwo-octave scale.The two-octave scale has a greaterpitch rangethan the single-octave scale. The distancebetween the lowest and the highest notes an instrument or a voice can produce is referred to as the instrument’s or voice’spitch range.