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Joshua Pilzer

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MUS110H1 Lecture 3 Timbre 10-12-07 2:07 AM
Thursday, October 7, 2010
timbre/tone colour
timbre = tone colour = the “sound of the sound”
i.e. bright/dark, cool/warm, smooth/raspy, thin/rich, clear/muddy,
Historical Different of Timbral Preference
Homogenous instruments of similar types
o i.e. Perontinus, Viderunt Omnes (ca. 1200)
! four voices
! over tones
! come in at different times
! very similar, all singing in the same ranger
! overlapping
! all have the same similar tone colour
o Giovanni Gabrieli, Canzona Duodecimi Toni (1597)
! all brass instruments
o i.e. W.A. Mozart, Eine Kleine Nachtmusic (A Little Night
Music), Movt 1 (1787)
! all bowed string instruments
! a lot of instruments were playing the same thing (the
sound changes once things are slightly off) you can
hear this because of the timbre
" by doing this the sound becomes much richer
Heterogeneous instruments of different types
o i.e. J.S. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, first
movement (ca. 1720) (idea for assignment)
! 3 soloists (violin, harpsichord, recorder)
! warm
Combinations of Homogeneous and Heterogeneous
o i.e. Charles Ives, “The Unanswered Question(1906)
! strings very homogeneous
" richer, warm overtones
! trumpet darkened sound
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