Introduction to World Music
Week 1 and 2 Notes
Music is a phenomenon of both sound and culture
The 5 Propositions of Music
1. The basic property of all music is sound
2. The sounds (and silences) that comprise a musical work is
3. Music is humanly organized
4. Music is a product of human intention and perception
5. The term music is inescapably tied to Western culture and its assumptions.
How is music meaningful?
Music is not only a product, but it is also a process.
The meaning of music is both sound and culturebased.
Culture: The things that people do, think, believe, and value as members of groups and societies ∙ Culture is learned and is constantly changing; not genetically coded
Don't forget about the age old question of What are the characteristics of a replicon?
Music and Identity
Identity: An individual’s idea of who they are and how they fit into a society as well as what distinguishes them from other individuals or groups of people
Society: A group of people regarded as a single community. Societies are usually associated with largescaled entities such as nations
Nationstate: Members of a nationstate share a national society, culture, and homeland with political autonomy. Don't forget about the age old question of What s caused by human action?
∙ Think: Territorial Sovereignty
Nation: Members of a nation share society, cultures, a strong sense of nationhood, but without political autonomy We also discuss several other topics like What is the reliability in detecting the difference between presences?
Diaspora: An international network of multiple communities linked together by an identification with a common ancestral homeland and culture
Transnational: A community that operates or extends across national and political borders. ∙ Also known as borderlands
Spirituality and Transcendence in Music
Music in Ritual
Rituals: Special events during which individuals or communities enact certain core values, beliefs, and ideals through performance
∙ Rituals can be either sacred or secular
Music and Dance
∙ Music often has the capacity to move people in a literal way by inspiring them to dance Musical Patronage/ Music as a Commodity
∙ Ownership of music as personal and private property is very common in western culture. ∙ A songwriter or composer holds the right to copyright and sell, distribute, and market their music as they see fits. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the definition of lobbying?
Music as knowledge/ Musical Transmission
∙ The process by which music moves from person to person, generation to generation, and from one community to another.
o Persontoperson/ facetoface
Musical notation/ graphic forms
Recordings of music and other media
Knowledge of music transmitted via books, documentaries, etc.
Music Production and Reception
∙ Production/ Reception
o Participatory: Lacks a distinction between a formal audience and artist; only participants and potential participants. Everyone present contributes to the sound and motion of an event through different roles and levels
o Presentational: Contains a formal audience and artist/ performer. There is a clear distinction between who is presenting and who are observing the presenters.
Musical Creation Process:
Composition: The planning of a musical work prior to its performance
Interpretation: The process of forming an opinion about the meaning of something; making sense of the music.
_____________________________________________________________________________________ How Does Music Work?
What sonic components does music have? Don't forget about the age old question of What instrument has 4-stringed, pear-shaped lute, and has 24 large frets for a pitch?
∙ A sound whose principle identity is a musical one
∙ Acquires cultural meanings through symbolic associations people have with them ∙ Gains meaning from its musical environment such as how it relates to the tones of other instruments or vocals
∙ The 4 properties of tones:
o Duration (Rhythm): How long or short a note is
o Frequency (Pitch): How high or low a note is
o Amplitude (Dynamic/Volume): How loud or soft a note is
o Timbre (Pronounced Tamber): A tone’s indentifying character or quality
∙ Rhythm: How the sounds and silences of music are organized and fit into time. o Beat: the steady, underlying pulse. We also discuss several other topics like What are the three types of commitment problems?
Think: Heart beat
o Subdivision: More than one note per beat
o Meter: The systematic grouping of individual beats into larger groups
The number of beats in a measure
o Accent: Notes that are given emphasis over other notes
For those who are knowledgeable in music: Staccato, tenuto, marcato, etc.
o Syncopation: displaced beats where a stronger beat becomes weak, vice versa o Tempo: The rates at which beats pass (fast or slow)
∙ Pitch: Sound waves that created by the result of vibration
o High sounds: Many vibrations per second; high pitched
o Low sounds: Fewer vibrations per second; low pitched
o Hertz (Hz) and Kilohertz (kHz): Cycles per second
o Determinate pitch: A soundwave’s shape stays consistent
o Indeterminate pitch: A soundwave’s shape changes and varies
o Melody: A sequences of notes organized one after another in a “line”
Often the most noticeable and prominent in a piece of music
o Melodic range: the distance in pitch from the highest to lowest note
o Octave: the same pitch may occur in multiple “higher” or “lower” versions Allows for different ranges and registers
o Harmony: Notes played simultaneously, one on top of another.
Often accompanies the melody
o Chord progression: the movement of one chord to the next, often under a set of rules Accompanies a melody
∙ Dynamics: How loud or soft different tones of music are
o Crescendo and decrescendo
∙ Timbre: The indentifying characteristic or quality of a musical tone or tones which are distinct from its pitch
o Being able to tell apart different musical instruments
∙ Large scale dimension of musical organization
∙ How a piece of music is laid out from the beginning to end
∙ How a musical piece unfolds and progresses
Repetition and Patterns
∙ Ostinatobased forms: An occurrence where a musical performance is built from the repetition of a single pattern or phrase
∙ Cyclic forms: Similar to ostinatobased forms, but are typically longer
∙ Musical work has multiple, distinct sections
o Versechorus: Intro, bridge, prechorus, chorus, interlude, outro (coda)
∙ Through Composed: Where patterns are absent, and instead are continuous and everchanging Texture
∙ The relationship that form and evolve between the different elements of music ∙ Singleline textures:
∙ Multipleline textures:
o Harmonized texture
o Multiple melody texture
∙ Callandresponse: A back and forth alteration between different instruments and/or vocal parts. Musical Instruments
Any soundgenerating object used to produce tones in the making of music
HornbostelSachs Classification System
4 Classifications (Plus newest addition):
∙ Chordophones: Instruments that produce sound via the vibration of a string or multiple strings over a resonating chamber
o Guitar, piano, violin
∙ Aerophones: Instruments that create sound via the action of air moving through a tube or some kind of resonator.
o Flute, trumpet, clarinet
∙ Membranophones: Instruments that create sound via the vibration of a membrane, either synthetic or natural, over a resonator
∙ Idiophones: Instruments that create sound via the vibration of the body of the instrument itself o Xylophone, cow bell
∙ Electrophones/ Electronophones: The newest classification of musical instruments where electronics generate and/ or amplify sound.
o Amplifiers, dubstep (lol)