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Lecture 1

MUS110H1 Lecture 1: MUS110 Lecture 1

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University of Toronto St. George
Patrick Nickleson

Mus110: Intro to music history and culture Lecture 1: Introduction What is active listening? • “A framework for listening awareness… found in all music”. Techniques for active listening • Tune out distractions • Give your undivided attention • Concentrate on the beginning o Western art music, especially • Listen more than once o John Cage • Move from emotional to active listening Wallace is entirely focussed on Western Art Music and a core repertory of composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven etc. therefore, his examples are: • Aged music • Mostly European Problems w active listening 1. Assumes there is only one method for active listening 2. Suggests that it can be taught by focussing on a small body of music 3. Suggests that Western art music is the only music worth actively listening to • Active listening doesn’t have a single repertoire! Active listening can be an everyday practice. • “I’ve been led to wonder, therefore, whether music skills… rewards of listening creatively and caringly.” -William Cheng, Just Vibrations Fundamentals of the course • “Understanding the fundamental elements of music… and when or how it is performed” (3). • Timbre: The distinctive sound of a particular instrument or voice [or sound, generally] o “Poetic” component of music o Bach Chaconne from Partita ▪ Harsh ▪ Aggressive ▪ Scratchy ▪ Whiny ▪ Screeching ▪ Tinny ▪ Punctuated ▪ Intense o Bach Brandenberg Concerto, second movement (adagio) ▪ Flowing ▪ Smooth ▪ Eerie ▪ Fluid ▪ Wandering ▪ Rich ▪ Full ▪ Tension ▪ Swelling o *George Crumb Black Angels “Departure” ▪ Squealing ▪ Scary (?) ▪ Swarming ▪ Scratchy ▪ Abrasive ▪ Unstable • Rhythm: The organization of music through time. The term may refer in a general way to the element of time in music, but more specifically to patterns of long notes, short notes, and rests (silences). Rhythm results from the interrelationship of note duration with beat, meter, accent, and tempo. • *Meter: The repeated pattern of stronger and weaker beats o Ex: Accent on “1” in 4/4 time, in rock music accents on “2” and “4” o Recurrence of 4/4 in pop music • Melody: A succession of musical notes and rhythms arranged as a recognizable unit o “Mary had a little lamb” • Harmony: The combination of notes to produce chords, and a way of understanding the progression of chords throughout a piece o “Mary had a little lamb (jazz version!)” • Texture: The relationship between melodic and harmonic elements in a piece of music, especially how many layers of notes occur at the same time o Subjective o Polyphonic, Homophonic, Monophonic, Thick, Thin • Form: The way musical material is organized. It is the way which other musical elements such as melody, harmony, timbre, and texture are combined through the passage of time to create a complete work of music. The way that material repeats or is contrasted throughout a piece of music o ABA o ABACB After reading week o Music… and silence ▪ John Cage! o Music and… noise ▪ Loaded connotations of the word “noise” o Music and national, sexual, racial, and cultural identity o Music and politics/protests o Music and… visual culture o Music and… technology ▪ Spotify, frequenters etc. o Music and… its myths ▪ Composer bios, music as a universal language Listening: “Can I Kick It?” • Form: AA • Hollow timbre • Not much instrument grounding o Bass, guitar • Adapted from Lou Reed “Walk on the Wild Side” • Vocal differences Lecture 2: Form Pay attention to terminology! Overview 1. General terminology 2. Text-based forms (songs) 3. Some instrumental forms from WAM (Western Art Music) • Form (def): The way a piece of music begins, continues, develops, and ends… complex work of music. (121) • Functional definition: Sounds either stay the same or they change. • Form as a metaphor to buildings/architecture • Scores as blueprints • Always keep in mind the relative weight and proportions of sections, rather than just their content • Form functions differently based on what parameter is dominant o Harmony? Melody? Rhythm? Text? Wallace focuses on three structural possibilities: 1. Repetition a. Enables the active listener to detect structure and enjoy its development b. Reinforces important ideas so that the listener will notice and get them caught in their ear 2. Contrast a. Introduces new elements b. Intro of a new content may occur in several ways, which should always be considered c. Most evident through sharp changes i. Metre, tempo, harmony, mood, timbre, instrumentation etc. d. *Always try to think of major contrasts as important structural events 3. Variation a. Hybrid of the previous two b. Has to do with retaining a common element (repetition) while changing others (contrast) c. The changed elements should remain recognizable i. Ex: key change, tempo change d. “Variations on a theme” Formal terminology and labels • Major sections are marked with ABCD etc. (primary section) • Smaller, internal sections are marked as abcd etc. (secondary section) • A modified return of a section gets a “prime” mark, as in A • Things like intros, codas, bridges, pre-and post-choruses, and so on typically treated as secondary and not given their own structural letters • Things get nested: an A section can be made up of abc, while the B section is acda When writing about form, think of the white and blue diagram to help map it out Twelve bar blues • Tonic chord • Perfect fourth, perfect fifth etc. • Notes the relationship that occurs between chords Blind Willie McTell: “Broke Down Engine Blues” • AAB, AAB Eddie James “Son” House Jr. • Prominent in 1930s • Resonator guitar with slide • “Death letter blues” o AAB form 32-Bar Song (or AABA) • Tin pan alley origins • “Golden age” of American popular song • Beginnings of industrialized music o “Factory style” • Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin etc. • “American standard” songbook comes from this form • Cole Porter “What is this thing called love” o Performed by Billy Holiday • Similar to blues form, however there is now a return to the original A form • Prime on the second A form, because the lyrics are different • Bridge only occurs with text • “She loves you”, “I wanna hold your hand”, “The Suburbs” (Arcade fire) Strophic Form Songs • Music stays the same, but text changes with each verse (or strophe) • Very common in folk music and narrative ballads with a lot of text • More about the lyricism and poetry than the music • Bob Dylan o “My Back Pages” o “Positively Fourth Street” o “The lonesome death of Hattie Carroll” • Nico o “These days” from Chelsea Girls o Song by Jackson Brown o Finger picked electric guitar and strings • Wallace draws here on the two Schubert songs: KNOW THEM! • Strophic songs can be in several forms: AAAA, AAAB, even 12 bar blues are strophic • Plenty of songs to play w form • “Form should not be the thought… with which [musicians] can work” (124) Verse/Chorus song form • Developed out of the 32-bar form and became dominant pop song format in 1960s • AABA format replaced with verse and chorus • Open Music Theory online o “Where the title lyrics… and which ends the song”. • “Since U Been Gone” • VerseVerse 2ChorusVerse 3ChorusBridgeChorusOutro o A, A , B, A, B, C, B, D Theme and Variations Form • Typically opens with a main theme before a series of variations, often closes with the theme • In WAM, each variation typically devoted to a single parameter o Meter, harmony, key, tempo, range, mood, texture etc. • Wallace draws on a dialogic model of how themes are varied (131-134) • Note the Mozart piece! o Gran Partita K. 361, sixth movement • Frederic Rzewski: “The People United Will Never Be Defeated” (1975) Contrast Based an Return based forms Binary Form AB Ternary Form ABA • De capo aria Sonata-Allegro Form • “A flexible form, normally apply to the first movement…and then a recapitulation and resolution [of the exposition]” (142) • “The Sonata Principle” Sonata form • *Mozart’s Symphony no. 40 • Rhythmically regular phrases and motives • “Beauty disguised as simplicity” Symphonic model • Typically four movements • Begins with sonata allegro movement in sonata form • Second is a slow, introspective movement • Third is typically a light, dance-like movement • Fourth is fast, triumphant, conclusive Throughout the 19 century, symphonies became more and more intertwined, sharing thematic material… Suite Model • Many movements • Typically thought of as less serious and less substantial • Listen to the Bach suites! o Cello Suite no. 1, or any of the French suites What about the album? • Connections between songs o Side 2 of the LP “Abbey Road” o Radiohead, Frank Zappa Clarifications • Strophic form o Internal rhyme scheme o Small  Big scale • Level of rhyme scheme: Blues AAB o Level of the “chorus” or 32-bar unit: AABA pop song form o Level of strophe ▪ Any unit that repeats (usually with new lyrics each time) ▪ AAB and AABA can be strophic, if the strophe as a whole repeats itself o Larger scale forms: Verse, etc. Lecture 3: Timbre Term Paper • 4-5 page paper on a song, and then a cover of it • Use terminology from class to contrast and compare the songs • Include history and background work! • Recorded, studio cover • Min. 4 bibliography items Timbre: “Or tone colour, is the quality… and atmosphere of a piece of music”. (156) Focus on: • Acoustics o Amplitude vs. time ▪ Period waveform ▪ Sine wave • Single note, single frequency o Noise ▪ Every sound, in their oral range, happening at the same time ▪ Ex: A radio in-between stations o Waveforms of clarinet vs. trumpet ▪ Clarinet: waves more shaky ▪ Trumpet: waves more spread apart o The waveforms are how we differentiate between each instrument or voice o Fundamental: “The lowest-sounding frequency vibration of a sounding, tone, and the predominant part of the sound” (158) o Harmonics: “Related vibrations above the pitch of the fundamental. Also known as overtones or partials” o Vibrato: “A subtle pulsating quality, caused by very slight pitch change recurring in a rapid pattern, that is said to increase the expressiveness of a tone” o Acoustics of timbre: The harmonic series on C • Instrumentation • More “subjective” timbral language Timbre and the voice • Different vowel and consonant shapes • Like instruments, the voice relies on moving air through a “resonating chamber”—our mouths • Diff. shapes produce diff. timbres, and thus “letter” sounds • In music, we divide voices by range o Soprano, alto, tenor, bass • We refer to a traditional choir of mixed male and female voices as SATB Opera and choral music play w contrasts and similarities between voice types Giuseppi Verdi (1813-1901) • Otello o Performed at La Scala • Contrasting voices a traditional part of (heteronormative) opera duets o Typical voices for hero/lovers in operatic repertoire (tenor and soprano) Claudio Monteverdi • Poppea • The heroes are evil • A unique standout in the Operatic repertoire • Nero performed here by a countertenor—high male (falsetto) voice o Intertwined voices o Singing at the same level shows their relationship • Always staged during a carnival • Written for a castrato Families of the orchestra • Strings are bowed or plucked to vibrate the string, which resonates in the body o Turkish baglama, prominent in arabesk music o Bulent Ersoy, “Bir Teselli Ver” o Call and response between strings and vocalist • Woodwinds: Wooden reeds in the mouthpiece buzz to push air through the instrument (flutes different) o *Gran Partita, 2 nd movement • Brass: Use lips against brass mouthpiece to create a “buzzing” column of air o *Stars and Stripes Forever o Bjork, “Dull Flame of Desire” ▪ “Gloomy” horns ▪ Fluid ▪ Triumphant ▪ Muddy • Perc: things you hit! o John Cage: First Construction in Metal o Based on repeating rhythmic patterns o Gongs, symbols, brake drums, anvils, “prepared piano”, and a water gong ▪ Rough and gritty ▪ Disjointed ▪ Heterogenous o Gamelan (general concepts if tested on it) ▪ “A general term for various types… and even vocalists” (174?) ▪ Tuned with itself ▪ Gender Wayang, Sukawati • How tuning impacts (and is central to) the timbre of a gamelan • “Waivering” o Igor Stravinsky ▪ Used “blocks” of music • Articulation of the music’s form • The timberal blocks are the form, rather than melody ▪ Symphony of Psalms, 2 movement ▪ 1 block: woodwinds, in a fugal style nd ▪ 2 block: choral sopranos accompanied by oboes, English horn, bassoon, French horns, celli, and basses The Knife: “Full of Fire” • Texture in electronic music • What timbres are available to electronic music? What ends can they be used to? Summary • Timbre is closely related to acoustics • Timbre relies on careful descriptors • Draws not only on acoustics but also relies on a close awareness of a variety of instrumentation from around the world Lecture 4: Rhythm *MC, Short answer, fill in the blank (midterm) Twelve-bar blues A: I I I I A: IV IV I I B: V IV I I Rhythm “The organization of music through time… beat, meter and tempo.” (185) • Related to the movement of music through time Is there any sound with NO rhythm? • What is the rhythmic nature of a DRONE? Olivier Messiaen “Let us not forget that the first, essential element…that is the birth of rhythm.” Components of rhythm 1. Beat a. A regular pulse; an invisible grid on which notes are placed b. Not every beat is heard, but it must be felt c. Notes may be shorter or longer than the beats, and may work along with or against it d. “Downbeat” (1,2,3,4…) falls on marked beats while “upbeats” fall between (one AND two AND three AND four AND…) 2. Meter a. The way the beats are combined into larger, repeated patterns b. Meter may be easy or hard to hear depending on style c. Popular music tends to foreground meter d. One of the most important (and clearest) active listening skills e. We organize meter into time signatures, which can be divided into simple or compound times f. 4/4 time most common—we call it “common time” 3. Accent a. Some musical notes are accented to make them seem more important b. Can simple be played louder; also, relates to meter and beat c. Accents may correspond with the beat, or they may contradict it—this is called syncopation 4. Tempo a. The speed at which the music moves b. The framework in which rhythm, meter and accent unfold c. May go faster or slower—we use Italian terms like allegro or grave as well as quantifications of beats per minute (BPM) Meter Time Signature: The numbers at the beginning of a musical score indicating how many beats there are in a measure and what kind of note gets one beat. The top number is significant for the meter: duple, triple or compound. Duple Meter • A simple pattern of regularly alternating stressed and unstressed beats • Can be counted as ONE-two-ONE-two or as ONE-two-THREE-four • Duple meter is common in marches (left, right…) • Also, the basis for Western popular music, as either ONE-two-three-four or in a “rock backbeat” as one-TWO-three-FOUR John Philip Sousa • “King of the March” • Strong duple meter • Closely associated with American nationalism and patriotism • Son of immigrant parents • Marches rely on strong duple meter to outline steps o Left, right as one-two or perhaps one-two-three-four • Marching band timbre o Brassy ▪ Trumpet, trombone, French horn o Triangle o Piccolo, flutes o Instruments you can walk with Triple Meter • Dvorak: Slavonic Dance o Form relating to the rhythm (Wallace) • Czech composer, developed their nationalist style • Emigrated to the USA 1892 • Aimed to draw on African and indigenous American music th o His 9 symphony, “New World”, was the result Common Time (also a duple time) • Nico “These Days” • Standard 4/4 o ONE-two-three-four o Long, sustained chords • Guitar: 1e&a-2e&a-3e&a-4e&a Common Time: Backbeat • Bruno Mars: “24K Magic” • Still common time, but shifts emphasis: o one-TWO-three-FOUR • Called “backbeat” o Prominent in rock and roll, hip hop, jazz, electronic music, etc. o In pop music and dance music derived from African American influences • Q: What’s the form? Dancing to backbeats • “The backbeat garnered controversy when it was introduced… against a history of violent oppression”. “Swung” Eights • Very common in jazz and blue • Occurs as well in art music o Beethoven Piano Sonata #32, op. 111 o Miles Davis: “Nefertiti” ▪ Listen to the hi hat ▪ Provides an alternate swung timeline ▪ Q: What instruments are present in Miles’ band? • Drum kit, bass, sax, piano Syncopation • “The displacement of beats…can be heard in much classical music as well”. • Son House: “John the Revelator” o Provides his own beat by clapping o Most of his words call between the claps o Clapped beat appears, vanishes, and shifts from downbeat to (mostly) upbeat o Variation of voice • For contrast o Blind Alfred Reed: “How can a poor man stand such times and live?” ▪ Considered an early protest singer ▪ No syncopation—very literal eighth-note rhythm ▪ Always on beat Compound Meter • “A regular pattern in which the beat is subdivided at two or more different levels” • ONE-two-three-TWO-two-three (6/8) • Rihanna: “Love on the Brain” (12/8) o Compound duple meter ▪ ONE-two-three-FOUR-five-six ▪ ONE-two-three-TWO-two-three-THREE-two-three-FOUR-two-three ▪ Has a backbeat even on the compound duple Irregular (or asymmetrical meter) • Odd-numbered meters larger than 3 • 5/8 • 7/8 • 10/8 • 5/4 • 7/4, etc. • Animal Collective: “What would I want? Sky” o Repeating 7/8 meter o Electronic loops underneath voice • Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra: “What we loved was not enough” o Alternates between 5/8 and 6/8 o Count: ONE-two-three-ONE TWO—ONE-two-three-ONE-two-three Polyrhythm • Several rhythms (or meters) occurring simultaneously • The National: “Fake Empire” o 4:3 polyrhythm in the piano throughout • Steve Reich “Drumming” o Repeated rhythmic pattern in 12 ▪ Can be subdivided as 2,3,4, or 6 ▪ “Phasing” Lecture 5: Pitch • Terms in relationship to music (for midterm!) Melody • The sequence of individual notes that make up… length of indivudal notes” • The element of music that many listeners find easiest to recognize and remember (213) Motive • “A short melodic fragment crafted to be especially memorable” Intervals • The distance between notes • Can be harmonic (vertical) and melodic (horizontal) • Label them based on their distance apart, based on number of whole of half steps o Unisons (same), major second, major third, perfect fourth, etc. • C Major Scale o TTS TTTS Lyricism • A melody’s quality as “singable” Conjunct • One pitch tends to follow another one that is either directly above is or directly below it o “Row, row, row your boat” Disjunction • When a melodic line features melodic motion by large intervals, requiring the performer to jump between non-consecutive pitches in the musical scale o “Merrily, merrily” Unchained melody • Conjunct Somewhere over the rainbow • Disjunction • Major 8 interval (perfect octave) Rhythm and melody • Lyricism and singability impacted by the rhythmic flow and organization of the pitches Cadence • A harmonic and melodic stop, found at the end of a phrase of a melody, of a section of a piece, or of an entire piece Dvorak Slavonic Dance Op. 72, no. 2 • Phrase structure o Through comparison to two verses of poetry that parallel Dvorak’s melody st o 1 ph. Inconclusive o 2 ph. More final; unstable harmony o 3 ph. Mirrors first, but not identical th o 4 ph. Melodic and harmonic stability (tempo slow to mark it) • Has a balanced phrase structure o Musical phrases are of equal length and are grouped together in pairs o Each grouping is open or closed to varying degrees • Phrases combine a lot of the fundamentals we’ve discussed so far o Shaped not only by the melody, but also by rhythm Blind Alfred Reed: “How can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live? • Common time • Strophic AAB+ refrain • Very regular phrase structure an rhyme scheme Motivic development • A motive is a “memorable melodic fragment significant to the structure of a piece of music” • Symphony no. 40, Mozart o The piece is centered around the recurring opening three-note motive being repeated and varied hundreds of times Fate motive • From Beethoven’s fifth symphony • Motive ends with a fermata o Beethoven wants us to notice this motive • In sonata form o Use of themes • Recapitulation Harmony and Texture • “Harmony and texture are related concepts crucial to understanding the way music affects the listener” • Harmony o The combination of notes to produce chords, and a way of understanding the progression of chords throughout a piece • Texture o Refers to the number of pitches or melodies that sound at the same time, and they way they operate together (234) • Recall: o Melody is the horizontal or sequential organization ofpitch, while harmony is the vertical or simultaneous organization of two or more pitches • We say things are in harmony when they work well together, but harmony does not need to be harmonious—it can be dissonant and discordant • What occurs when two or more tones sound simultaneously? o Is it pleasant or unpleasant? Grating or soothing? Is there a tension that demands resolution? When the notes changed, is it resolved? Overview • Medieval • Monophonic, Gregorian chants • Renaissance • Polyphonic, voices in counterpoint • Baroque • Moves towards homophony • *Classical • Functional harmony becomes dominant • Romanic • Modern • Anything goes! Medieval monophony: Dies Irae • Note the ppt! • No accompaniment=no harmony • In medieval sequence o Verse, verse same music, verse, verse different music Renaissance polyphony • Polyphony grows out of the middle ages with elaboration of music notation and the development of techniques for writing several lines of music in accurate rhythmic relationship to each other • We now have a more than one note at a time, and have to consider harmony and the relative roles of: o Consonance: the sound produced by a combination of notes whose overtones harmonize well o Dissonance: the resulting sound of a combination of notes with clashing overtones Josquin des Prez • Writing counterparts had become a vigorous intellectual exercise with elaborate mathematical games played with the form, rhythm and texture of a piece • Ren. Counterpoint focusses on combining independent melodic lines so that they fit together with only veryselectively limited number of clashes Kyrie from Missa ‘L’homee arme’ super voces musicales (1480s) • By Josquin des Prez • Setting of the mass ordinary o Sung during every service • Each voice sings the tune at different speeds • Tune the piece was based off: L’Homme Arme o Timbre ▪ Beginning • Monophonic ▪ Second verse • One voice ▪ Back to start o Short in length o Triple meter o Monophonic, solo voice, back to monophonic • Actual piece o Ends with a cadence o Intertwined voice o Conso
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