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Unformatted text preview: Dynamics The volume (loud or soft) of sound
Terms Loud: forte (f) Soft: piano (p) Growing louder: crescendo Growing softer: diminuendo Dynamics Extremes Very loud: fortissimo (ff) Very soft: pianissimo (pp) Moderate dynamics Moderately loud: mezzo forte (mf) Moderately soft: mezzo piano (mp) Suddenly loud: sforzando (sfz) Color Quality of sound produced a voice or instrument
Synonymous with Timbre Aspects of Vocal Color Range Soprano Alto Tenor Bass Style of singing Opera Blues Country, etc. Individual traits: training, physical characteristics, etc. Why Do Musical Instruments Sound the Way They Do? More than one sound is produced when an instrument is sounded Fundamental: the basic sound or pitch of an instrument
Overtone: faintlyheard pitches, created by fractional vibrations when a note is played on an instrument Each type of instrument manifests a distinctive pattern of overtones Instrumental Color divided in four groups Strings: sound produced by a vibrating string Woodwinds: sound produced by a column of air
Brasses Air blown through buzzing lips Air focused into a mouthpiece Percussion: sound generated by striking an object High String Instruments
Violin Smallest orchestral string instrument
Has the highest pitch Often plays the melody Viola Slightly larger than the violin
Darker, more somber tone Low String Instruments
Cello Held between the legs
Rich, expressive tone Double bass Largest orchestral string instrument Performer stands next to the instrument
Adds weight and power to the bass line Harp A common folk instrument throughout the world
Sometimes added to the orchestral ensemble Special effects
Vibrato A controlled wobble in the pitch Produced by shaking the hand Adds richness to the tone Pizzicato Plucking the string A sharp attack that dies away quickly Special effects (cont.)
Tremolo A musical tremor Rapidly repeating the same pitch Quick movements of the bow
Musical effect Loud: tension and excitement Soft: shimmering quality Soft: shimmering quality Special effects (cont.) Trill Rapid alternation between two neighboring pitches Most instruments can play trills Mute A device placed on the strings Dampens the tone Brass instruments also use mutes Glissando Special effect for the harp Running rapidly up and down the strings High Woodwinds Flutes Air blown across a sharp edge Originally made out of wood Piccolo is a smaller flute Oboe Air is blown through a pair of reeds A nasal, slightly exotic sound Clarinet Air blown through mouthpiece with a single reed A mellow, smooth sound Low Woodwinds Bassoon Air is blown through a pair of reeds
Bass of the woodwind family Saxophone Made out of metal Air blown through a mouthpiece Single reed Mouthpiece similar to the clarinet Occasionally added to the orchestra Brasses Trumpet: high brilliant sound French horn Associated with hunting and mountains Similar in range and sound to the trombone Trombone Generates sound by a moving slide Sound slightly clearer, more focused than the French horn Tuba The largest brass instrument Contributes to the foundation of the orchestral sound Percussion Instruments of definite pitch
Timpani Also called kettledrums Orchestra normally includes four Xylophone: wooden bars struck by mallets Glockenspiel: metal tubes struck by mallets Celesta: hammers strike metal bars, played like a piano Percussion Instruments of indefinite pitch
Cymbals The Symphony Orchestra The largest and most colorful ensemble Originated during the seventeenth century
Early 18th century: 1525 musicians
Late 18th century: 2580 musicians 19th century: around 100 musicians Conductor Prior to 1800 Small ensemble Led by one of the performers Keyboard player Principal first violinist After 1800 Larger ensemble More complex music Conductor needed to convey essential lines and themes ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/10/2012 for the course MUS 1751 taught by Professor Harris during the Summer '08 term at LSU.
- Summer '08