Music: Musc 216
culture has some kind of well-developed music theory that can be transmitted
to succeeding generations through study and apprenticeship. This is
more than just how to play a musical instrument or how to sing. MUSIC
THEORY is synonymous with the MATERIALS or FUNDAMENTALS of music such
are the sets of notes (pitches) from which music is generated. In
WESTERN MUSIC, various scales include:
notes of a SCALE are intimately linked with various systems of tunings.
Individual cultures throughout the world have their own methods of
tuning which consequently influence the variety of scales that are
used. The most common tuning in WESTERN MUSIC is Equal
Tuning. Other historic
tunings (various tunings used throughout history) include:
Beginner's Guide to Alternate Tunings
cultures throughout the world have their own systems of tuning which
result in a wide variety of scales. In India, for example various
scales and tunings are used depending on the time of the day and the
day of the year.
in music has to do with the placement of sound in time. Rhythm throughout
history has often been linked to drumming and dancing. Traditional
WESTERN MUSIC has been concerned with the organization of notes in
relation to a STEADY BEAT which is organized in either groups of TWO
(duple meter) or THREE (triple meter). Twentieth century classical
music was often concerned with organizing music in such a way that
there was no discernible "beat" or steady tempo.
are tunes constructed of the notes from individual scales. The character
or mood of a melody is intimately affected by the scale; the scale
is intimately affected by the system of tuning.
occurs when two or more notes occur simultaneously. Notes occur simultaneously
because two or more melodic instruments or voices are playing at the
same time. Some instruments such as a KEYBOARD can play many notes
at the same time.
notes occurring simultaneously are called INTERVALS; THREE or more
notes occurring simultaneously are called CHORDS.
music has the most developed (complex) theory of HARMONY. Middle-Eastern
and Asian music has the most developed theory of MELODY.
cultures have no theory of harmony per se. When two or more melodic
instruments are playing at the same time, they generally play in unison
or at the octave with some IMPROVISATIONAL EMBELLISHMENT of the melody
at the discretion of the performer. This type of "harmony"
is called HETEROPHONY and is characteristic of much Middle-Eastern
and Asian music.
music which is more complex harmonically tends to be less complex
melodically and visa versa. By the end of the 19th century when classical
Western Music reached an apex of harmonic complexity, melodies became
about WESTERN Fundamentals
Indian Music Theory.
this out: World