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The Elements of Music
Sound: Pitch, Dynamics, and Tone Color•Sound begins with the vibration of an object.•Music is part of sound based on the organization of sound in time.•Pitch is the highness or lowness of sound.•Determined by frequency of vibrations•The faster the vibrations, the higher the pitch•The slower the vibrations, the lower the pitch•A sound with a definite pitch is called a tone.•The distance between two pitches (notes) is called an interval.•An octave is 7 pitches apart. If the 1stnote of a scale vibrates at 440 cycles per second, the top note of the scale (one octave higher) will vibrate at 880 cycles per second.
Pitch•The distance between the lowest and highest tones that an instrument or voice can produce is called its pitch range.•Untrained voices have a pitch range of 1 and 2 octaves.•Piano’s range is over 7 octaves•Men’s voices are usually one octave or so below a woman’s•Percussion instruments such as bass drum or cymbals make indefinite pitches.
Dynamics•Degrees of loudness and softness in music•To play louder, pluck the guitar string harder, use more air in a wind instrument, or strike the piano key harder•To play softer, generally do the opposite•An accent is an emphasis on a tone. >•Italian words are used to notate dynamics•Pianissimo is very soft and notated with pp.•Piano is slightly louder than pianissimo and is notated with p.•Mezzo piano is slightly louder than piano and is notated with mp.•Mezzo forte is moderately loud and is notated with mf.•Forte is loud and is notated with f.•Fortissimo is very loud and is notated with ff.•There can be extremes of ppp, pppp, fff, or ffff.
Crescendos and Decrescendos•Crescendos involve a gradual increasein volume and are notated as •Decrescendos involve a gradual decreasein volume and are notated as
Tone color•Tone color, or timbre, refers to the sound quality that distinguishes instruments from each other.