Exploring Music's Complexities

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The Modern-day Viola

(1)
April 8, 2019

  What is a Viola? The modern-day viola, like the violin, evolved from the viola da braccio and came into its own in the 18th century, when the now obsolete tenor viola began to die out (1).  The names of all the instruments in the violin family – violin, violoncello, viola – come from the… Read More ›

Modern Forms of Instrumental Music

Virtually all types of music forms are being written today.  Technology continues to play an important role in the development of 21st century music.   Composers use recording tapes as a compositional tool.   Electronically generated sounds are used both on their own and in combination with traditional instruments.  Some are manipulating the performance of instruments in real time.

dress codes

Concertos Described

Origin of the Term Concerto What does the term “Concerto” mean?  How would you describe one?  What is it about them that make them fun to listen to? In earlier times the term “concerto” was “concert” in Italian.  Use of the term described works that involved voices and instruments in which the instruments had independent… Read More ›

dress codes

Concert Pitch-A4 and 440Hz in Music

Tuning Up to Concert Pitch You are been seated for the concert. The musicians are assembling and creating a variety of dissonant sounds. All of a sudden everything becomes quiet and the concertmaster (a violinist) approaches the podium and requests the oboe play an A. The woodwinds tune to it. The brass follow suit. After… Read More ›

A fret board

To Fret or Not to Fret

Frets     A fret is a metal strips embedded along a fret board. Frets are placed at points dividing the scale length by a specific mathematical formula (2). Standard classical guitars have 19 frets and electric guitars between 21 and 24 frets. Each set of twelve frets represents an octave. The twelfth fret divides… Read More ›

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