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A painting on an ancient Greek vase depicts a music lesson (c. 510 BCE).
||Sound, silence, time
Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound and silence, which exist in time. The common elements of music are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics (loudness and softness), and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture (which are sometimes termed the "color" of a musical sound). Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces (such as songs without instrumental accompaniment) and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek (mousike; "art of the Muses"). In its most general form, the activities describing music as an art form include the production of works of music (songs, tunes, symphonies, and so on), the criticism of music, the study of the history of music, and the aesthetic examination of music. Ancient Greek and Indian philosophers defined music as tones ordered horizontally as melodies and vertically as harmonies. Common sayings such as "the harmony of the spheres" and "it is music to my ears" point to the notion that music is often ordered and pleasant to listen to. However, 20th-century composer John Cage thought that any sound can be music, saying, for example, "There is no noise, only sound."
- Sectional form
- Strophic form
- Binary form
- Ternary form
- Rondo form
- Variational form
- Developmental form
- "While Genesis 4.21 identifies Jubal as the "father of all such as handle the harp and pipe," the Pentateuch is nearly silent about the practice and instruction of music in the early life of Israel. Then, in I Samuel 10 and the texts that follow, a curious thing happens. "One finds in the biblical text," writes Alfred Sendrey, "a sudden and unexplained upsurge of large choirs and orchestras, consisting of thoroughly organized and trained musical groups, which would be virtually inconceivable without lengthy, methodical preparation." This has led some scholars to believe that the prophet Samuel was the patriarch of a school, which taught not only prophets and holy men, but also sacred-rite musicians. This public music school, perhaps the earliest in recorded history, was not restricted to a priestly class—which is how the shepherd boy David appears on the scene as a minstrel to King Saul."
- Australia: pitch, timbre, texture, dynamics and expression, rhythm, form and structure.
- UK: pitch, timbre, texture, dynamics, duration, tempo, structure.
- USA: pitch, timbre, texture, dynamics, rhythm, form, harmony, style/articulation.
monophony: a single melody (or "tune") with neither instrumental accompaniment nor a harmony part. A mother singing a lullaby to her baby would be an example.
heterophony: two or more instruments or singers playing/singing the same melody, but with each performer slightly varying the rhythm or speed of the melody or adding different ornaments to the melody. Two bluegrass fiddlers playing the same traditional fiddle tune together will typically each vary the melody a bit and each add different ornaments.
polyphony: multiple independent melody lines that interweave together, which are sung or played at the same time. Choral music written in the Renaissance music era was typically written in this style. A round, which is a song such as "Row, Row, Row Your Boat", which different groups of singers all start to sing at a different time, is a simple example of polyphony.
homophony: a clear melody supported by chordal accompaniment. Most Western popular music songs from the 19th century onward are written in this texture.
- What is the definition of music? (What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for classifying something as music?)
- What is the relationship between music and mind?
- What does musical history reveal to us about the world?
- What is the connection between music and emotions?
- What is meaning in relation to music?
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